Incorporating a supportive and comfortable sports bra into your workout routine can significantly enhance your overall exercise experience, whether you’re conquering a marathon, engaging in squat jumps, or immersing yourself in a yoga class. Due to the variations in sizing systems and the unique characteristics of every individual’s body, finding the perfect sports bra may require some experimentation. However, if you’re well-versed in your size and prefer online shopping, you’re in luck. We’ve consulted eight experts, conducted thorough comparisons of hundreds of options, and rigorously tested 31 sports bras with feedback from 25 panelists (ranging from band sizes 30 to 42 and cup sizes from A to JJ) over the course of nearly seven years to identify top-notch sports bras that will elevate your fitness journey.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ve categorized our recommendations based on cup sizes and styles, ensuring that you find the perfect fit. Whether you have DD+ cups and larger band sizes, DD+ cups with smaller band sizes, D/DD cups, C/D cups, or A/B cups, we’ve got you covered. Your choice will ultimately depend on personal preference—someone with a B cup might seek the support and enhancement of an underwire bra typically recommended for larger cups, while an individual with DD cups might prefer the comfort of a compression bra. Additionally, we provide insights into other exceptional sports bras, along with their pros and cons, to help you make an informed decision. We’ll also share tips on how to maintain your sports bra to ensure its longevity.
Our Top Picks
1. Elomi Women’s Plus Size Sports
Embrace full coverage and added lift with this encapsulation bra, featuring underwire, deeper cups, and comfortable wide straps.
If you’re in pursuit of substantial coverage, superior lift, and deeper cups, look no further than the Elomi Energise. This encapsulation bra is available in an impressive range of 61 sizes, including cup sizes up to K (based on UK sizing), and band sizes extending up to 46 (with a minimum size of 32). The Elomi Energise offers full-coverage, ensuring that you remain comfortable and spillage-free during vigorous workouts. Its wide straps and soft, breathable fabric make it a standout choice. One satisfied 34JJ tester commended its “amazing bounce support for running and burpees,” expressing how it allowed for unrestricted movement during exercises.
- Band size range: 32 to 46
- Cup size range: D to O (converted from UK sizing D to K)
- Strap style: U-back with J-hook
2. Panache Sports Wired Bra – Best for DD+ and Smaller Band Sizes
Experience exceptional support and easy strap adjustments with this underwire encapsulation bra.
For those seeking reliable support and bounce control in smaller band sizes, we recommend the Panache Sports Wired Bra. Available in 70 sizes, including cup sizes up to J (based on UK sizing) and band sizes ranging from 28 to 40, this bra offers comfort and adjustability. You can effortlessly customize the wide straps and band, even converting it into a racerback with a J-hook. A tester with a 30G size described it as the “most comfortable to wear for the longest amount of time.” However, some users noted that it could improve in moisture-wicking performance. While providing proper encapsulation, the Panache offers slightly less coverage than the Elomi.
- Band size range: 28 to 40
- Cup size range: B to M (converted from UK sizing B to J)
- Strap style: U-back with J-hook
3. SheFit Ultimate Sports Bra – Best for D/DD
Discover a high-support, customizable sports bra with a zippered front closure and adjustable straps and bands.
The SheFit Ultimate Sports Bra may not go unnoticed due to its unique design, described by one tester as a “contraption masquerading as a sports bra.” However, it truly shines in its ability to minimize breast movement. This combination bra combines encapsulation and compression techniques for effective support. Customization is the key, with adjustable inch-wide shoulder straps, band, and front-zipper closure. Despite its complexity, it remains comfortable and allows for natural movement. The lined, wireless cups offer support, though the contoured support seams may slightly affect the smoothness under shirts. Available in 10 sizes (XSmall to 6Luxe), the SheFit’s proprietary sizing proved successful for our testers on their first try.
- Band size range: 22 to 49½ (circumferences, non-standardized)
- Cup size range: A to I
- Strap style: Convertible crossback (front-zipper closure)
4. Champion Spot Comfort – Best for C/D
Experience cup definition and minimal movement with this high-support sports bra featuring a U-back design.
For those who prefer a sports bra with easy changes and ample coverage, the Champion Spot Comfort U-back bra is an excellent choice. This combination bra offers both encapsulation and compression, ensuring breasts stay in place during running and exercise. With padded, adjustable, vertical straps and a back clasp, it’s easy to put on and remove, unlike traditional pull-on racerbacks. The U-back design allows for quick adjustments. One 34DD tester even noted the ability to “adjust the straps without taking the bra all the way off.” Available in 18 sizes (34C to 42DDD), it provides optimal support for C to DDD cup sizes.
- Band size range: 34 to 42
- Cup size range: C to DDD
- Strap style: U-back
5. Champion The Absolute Workout – Best for A/B
Enjoy comfort and support in this medium-support compression bra designed for smaller cup and band sizes.
Champion’s The Absolute Workout sports bra is an ideal choice for those who favor pull-on racerback styles and don’t require encapsulation-style support or padding. Crafted with stretchy fabric that controls breast movement while running, it boasts a firm band for added support. Its simplicity extends to ease of wearing and removal, making it one of the most user-friendly options. Currently available in two colors and four sizes (XS through L), it offers a comfortable Goldilocks fit, ensuring the band remains secure without discomfort.
- Band size range: 30 to 40 (XS to L)
- Cup size range: A to DD
- Strap style: Racerback
Choosing the Perfect Sports Bra: What You Need to Know
Hey there, fitness enthusiasts! If you’re anything like me, you know the struggle of finding that perfect sports bra. It’s not just about looking good in the gym; it’s about feeling comfortable and supported while you conquer your workouts. So, let’s dive into the world of sports bras and see how to pick the right one to keep your girls happy.
Understanding the Anatomy of a Sports Bra
A sports bra might seem like a simple garment, but it’s actually quite complex. It’s made up of several essential components like the band, straps, seams, and more, all working together to minimize breast movement during physical activities.
Now, why is that important? Well, here’s the deal. When you’re jumping, jogging, or doing any high-impact exercises, your breasts move, and that can put stress on something called the Cooper ligaments. These ligaments are like your body’s natural support system for your breasts, and you definitely don’t want to mess with them. A good sports bra acts as your trusty sidekick, providing the backup your body needs to reduce bounce and, more importantly, the discomfort that can come with it.
The Band: Your Best Friend
The band is where most of the magic happens. Biomechanics lecturer Jenny Burbage explains that you want about 80% of the tension to be underneath, with only up to 20% on your shoulders. So, that band at the bottom of your sports bra? It should be wide, fit snugly, and provide most of the structural support. If it’s too loose or rides up onto your breasts, you’re in for some chafing trouble.
Testing for Support
Now, here’s a fun way to test a sports bra’s support level. Put it to the test! Jump up and down or jog around your house (or even a store if you dare) to see how well it holds up. Your breasts shouldn’t be attempting any daring escapes.
Styles of Sports Bras
There are three main styles of sports bras to choose from, each with its unique approach to support:
Compression Bras: These flatten your breasts and pull them close to your body, making them look like one continuous shape. They’re known for creating the “uniboob” look, but keep in mind that this flattening effect might not be the most comfortable, especially if you have a larger cup size. However, some folks prefer it for minimizing breast protrusion.
Encapsulation Bras: These separate your breasts into cups using a piece of fabric called a gore. They provide support through seaming, molding, or underwire, giving you a more typical bra look. They also come in familiar sizing systems, so you’re more likely to find the perfect fit.
Combination Bras: These are the best of both worlds, blending cup definition to separate your breasts and fabric to keep them close to your body. Perfect for controlling all types of breast movement during your workouts.
Consider These Factors
When shopping for a sports bra, don’t forget to consider these factors:
Material: Look for bras with stretchy yet rigid materials. They should move with you but also provide enough support to control bounce. Remember, it’s all about that “stretch and recovery.”
Wicking: Opt for sports bras made of wicking material. This fancy term means it’ll whisk away sweat from the inside of your bra to the outside, where it can evaporate faster. Cotton? Not a good choice. It gets heavy and uncomfortable when it’s wet.
Coverage: Make sure your sports bra covers you well. No spilling out of the cups, please. Some extra fabric or light padding can also prevent “headlighting,” which is when your nipples make an appearance.
Adjustable Straps and Bands: Go for bras with adjustable straps and bands. They let you fine-tune your fit and ensure your bra stays snug during your workouts. Wider straps distribute pressure more evenly and can be more comfortable.
Cost: While a cheap sports bra isn’t necessarily bad, investing a bit more can get you a better-quality bra with wicking material and extra features. If you’re in the larger cup and band size category, be prepared to spend a bit more for proper support.
Our Selection Process
So, how do we find the best sports bras out there? We do our homework, my friends. We read through countless editorial articles and reviews to identify the top contenders. We scour roundups from reputable sources like Outside Online, Runner’s World, Bustle, and more. We also tap into the wisdom of Reddit’s /r/ABraThatFits community and check out Amazon best sellers and specialty retailers like HerRoom and Bare Necessities.
From a whopping 170+ contenders, we meticulously test 31 different sports bras with a diverse group of 25 testers. We cover a range of bra sizes and body shapes because we know that one size definitely doesn’t fit all.
The Human Factor
Our testers aren’t immune to bra-fitting challenges, just like many of you. They sometimes order the wrong size, even after measuring themselves using the /r/ABraThatFits tool or getting a professional fitting. But we’re here to make sure you get the best recommendations based on real-world testing, not just theory.
So, whether you’re a gym enthusiast, a jogger, or just looking for a comfy sports bra for daily wear, remember these tips when you’re on the hunt. Your breasts will thank you, and you’ll be ready to conquer any workout that comes your way. Happy shopping!
Selecting the right sports bra is a crucial decision for active individuals. Understanding the styles, features, and considerations outlined in this guide will empower you to make an informed choice, ensuring comfort, support, and confidence during your workouts. Remember that a well-fitted sports bra can enhance your performance and make your exercise routines more enjoyable.
What is high impact sports bra for?
A high-impact sports bra is designed to provide maximum support and minimize breast movement during high-intensity physical activities such as running, jumping, or intense workouts. It helps reduce discomfort, pain, and potential damage to breast tissue caused by excessive bouncing and motion during exercise.
Which bra is best for high intensity workout?
A sports bra with high support and moisture-wicking fabric is best for high-intensity workouts.
What impact sports bra do I need for running?
For running, you should look for a high-impact sports bra.
What is low vs high impact bras?
Low-impact bras provide minimal support and are suitable for activities like yoga or everyday wear. High-impact bras offer strong support for intense workouts like running or aerobics to reduce breast movement and discomfort.
Features and Products Image sourced from Amazon