For a female athlete, the right sports bra plays a pivotal role when it comes to performance. An unsupportive bra leads to back and breast pain eventually and can not only ruin your workout but it can also affect your posture in the end.
The type of sports bra you need totally depends on the type of sports you are interested in. There are several different types of apparel on the market and each one is designed for a different purpose. For running, you need something that provides firm support and prevents the bounce, while for yoga, you need something that will not hinder your stretching and the different asanas you perform.
Researchers at the University of Portsmouth have studied the damaging effects of different sports activities on the muscle. They found that constant bouncing and side movement results in degeneration of the muscle. Hence, a proper sports bra is as important as shoes, if not more.
Along with the type of support you need, you also have to consider other factors while choosing a bra. The important factors include underwire, fabric, breathability, and stretch. Moreover, every brand has a different size guideline.
Keeping these factors in mind, we have listed down the 12 best sports bras available on the market.
- 95% cotton.
- Pack of three.
- Tank top style.
- Multiple colors and patterns are available.
Featuring a 95 percent cotton construction and a soft tank top-like feel, this sports bra by Fruit of the loom is perfect for layering. It only contains 5 percent Lycra Spandex, hence it can be easily worn in the summer even if you want to put on a t-shirt over it. unlike other cotton sports bras, this one does not lose its elasticity over time.
Moreover, in contrast to the regular hook bras, this one does not create unnecessary pressure points providing a comfortable fit. Despite being a great sports bra, this is also perfect for loungewear. This one might be the answer if you are looking for the best sports bra for large breasts. You can use it in the gym or in a yoga class. However, due to a lack of proper padding, this particular product is not recommended for running.[i2pc pros_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-up” cons_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-down” show_title=”false” title=”Pros & Cons” show_button=”false” pros_title=”Pros” cons_title=”Cons” ][i2pros]
The cotton material makes it breathable.
It does not lose its elasticity overuse.
The comfortable fit makes it ideal for loungewear.
It is perfect for summer, even if you want to add another layer.[/i2pros][i2cons]
It does not have padding, so it cannot be used for running.[/i2cons][/i2pc]
- Removable cup.
- Crisscross back.
- Soft cotton construction.
- Moisture-wicking Technology.
This is one of the few sports bras on the market that literally does it all. It comes with stellar support and features a unique crisscross design that not only looks good but provides enough support to let you run and enough freedom to let you do your yoga without hindrance.
The bra has been designed to provide medium-level support along with great shape. The best part is, it has been designed using Moisture-wicking Technology which means it is breathable. Hence, you will not have to worry about sweating a lot. The maximized airflow will keep you cool and dry. Since it comes with a removable cup, it can be used for any and every sports activity including running, weight lifting, yoga, and other gym exercises.
In addition to all these great features, it also comes with a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee. You can return the bra within 30 days if you are not satisfied.[i2pc pros_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-up” cons_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-down” show_title=”false” title=”Pros & Cons” show_button=”false” pros_title=”Pros” cons_title=”Cons” ][i2pros]
It has a crisscross design for maximum support.
Comes with Moisture-wicking Technology for a cool and dry feel.
The best sports bra for running.
Also available in a tan top design.[/i2pros][i2cons]
The elastic is slightly tight. It can be uncomfortable.[/i2cons][/i2pc]
- 95% cotton construction.
- Spaghetti top design.
- Soft fabric.
- Available in many colors.
If you are looking for a low-cost alternative for the more expensive sports bras, this is the best sports bra. It is perfect for a medium-impact workout which includes working out in the gym, using the treadmill for a brisk walk and using the elliptical. You can also use it for yoga but it does not provide the best support for running, aerobics and Zumba.
Thanks to its soft cotton construction, it does not have any hotspots even though it does not use a mesh fabric. You can even layer it up with a t-shirt in the summers. Apart from the simple spaghetti top style bralette, it is also available in two other types of supports for larger breasts. It also doubles as a great loungewear bra thanks to its cotton construction. It only uses 5 percent Lycra Spandex.[i2pc pros_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-up” cons_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-down” show_title=”false” title=”Pros & Cons” show_button=”false” pros_title=”Pros” cons_title=”Cons” ][i2pros]
It does not have any hotspots.
The material used is very soft making the bra extremely comfortable.
Great for medium-impact workouts in the gym.
It has gentle compression so it does not create pressure points.[/i2pros][i2cons]
It cannot be used for running or other high-intensity workouts.[/i2cons][/i2pc]
- High nylon content.
- Great elasticity.
- Spaghetti top design.
- Light support.
This sports bra by Lemedy comes with 87 percent Nylon and 13 percent spandex. It provides a snug fit and most of the support provided by the bra is due to its snug stitching. However, due to its spaghetti straps, it provides low support for the large breast.
The nylon construction makes it very durable and elastic, which makes it perfect for medium-intensity workouts. The Lemedy women padded sports bra is available in many colors and comes with removable pads. You can put them in for added support while working out while removing them if you wear the bra as an undershirt or loungewear. Even though it is nylon, the bra has been designed such that it is breathable since it uses moisture-wicking power technology.[i2pc pros_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-up” cons_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-down” show_title=”false” title=”Pros & Cons” show_button=”false” pros_title=”Pros” cons_title=”Cons” ][i2pros]
It is available in a range of different colors.
Has a snug fit that provides good support to small and medium breast sizes.
The pads are removable.
It is durable, soft, and breathable.[/i2pros][i2cons]
Does not provide a great fit for large breasted women.[/i2cons][/i2pc]
- 96% nylon.
- Wireless bra.
- Full cup coverage.
- No padding.
This is a sports apparel by Hanes is a simple sports bra that provides low support and is more comfort-oriented. It is more of a yoga and meditation bra that does not come with any support or padding. It comes with 96 percent nylon and 4 percent spandex. Hence, it is extremely soft but is not very elastic.
That said, if you are a training instructor at a gym or a sports club but don’t exercise a lot during work hours, this will be the ideal sports bra for that purpose, especially in the summer. You can layer it with a breathable zipper and some yoga pants and you are good to go. The bra is available in 10 different colors as well as a crisscross back design. The design does not add support. It is for aesthetic purposes only.[i2pc pros_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-up” cons_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-down” show_title=”false” title=”Pros & Cons” show_button=”false” pros_title=”Pros” cons_title=”Cons” ][i2pros]
Incredibly soft and comfortable.
It can be used for yoga or as loungewear.
The fit is great, and the elastic is not uncomfortable.
It is true to size.[/i2pros][i2cons]
Provides low support.[/i2cons][/i2pc]
- Nylon construction.
- Wire-free sports bra.
- Removable padding.
- Elastic band at the end.
Designed specifically for use in Yoga, this AKAMC sports bra has one of the best sports bra fits. It does not hinder your freedom of movement but provides ample support. At the back, it comes with a crisscross spaghetti design that not only looks good but also plays an important role in supporting you.
The bra is equipped with removable padding and a removable cup. With both these accessories, you can increase or reduce the required support and enhance the shape it provides. By adding the cups, you will get a more defined shape. If you plan on using this bra for sports or workout purposes it is advised you do it with padding inside. The bra comes with 96 percent nylon construction and 4 percent elastane that gives it the required support. It also has an elastic band under the bust.[i2pc pros_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-up” cons_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-down” show_title=”false” title=”Pros & Cons” show_button=”false” pros_title=”Pros” cons_title=”Cons” ][i2pros]
Great for yoga and medium impact workout.
The crisscross construction looks great and provides ample support.
You can use it for running if you are small or medium-breasted.
Good elasticity and a snug fit.[/i2pros][i2cons]
Not true to size according to the US standards.[/i2cons][/i2pc]
- 88% nylon construction.
- Crisscross straps on the back.
- Soft scoop neckline.
- Medium support.
This beautiful-looking sports bra by running girl is the best sports bra for running with large breasts. Apart from this, it is one of the best-looking sports bralettes on the market. Despite being a fashion product, it provides ample support even for large-breasted women. The fabric used is sweat-wicking and four-way stretch, breathable, and keeps you cool.
Moreover, it fits like it is your second skin. The bra comes with an inner mesh lining to prevent any sweat stains. It keeps you cool and dry during the workout and can be used with high-intensity workouts such as aerobics and Zumba. The product has light compression which is required to keep your shape intact by providing the required support.
If you are looking for a comfy loungewear sort of fit, order a size up. However, if you are looking for proper support, go with your size.[i2pc pros_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-up” cons_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-down” show_title=”false” title=”Pros & Cons” show_button=”false” pros_title=”Pros” cons_title=”Cons” ][i2pros]
The company offers a satisfaction guarantee. In case you are not satisfied, you can return the product with a money-back guarantee.
Available in many colors.
Provides great support and is breathable.
The design is charming.[/i2pros][i2cons]
It might be too big on small-breasted women.[/i2cons][/i2pc]
- Combination of nylon and polyester.
- High support.
- Climacool technology.
- Mesh fabric.
Constructed using a combination of nylon and polyester, this bra comes with amazing support for both medium-breasted and large-breasted women. Since it uses a combination of the mentioned products and spandex, it provides a good fit and ample elasticity. If you are a running enthusiast and like to perform HIIT workouts, this bra is the best alternative to a performance-driven high-end expensive running bra.
The material is formulated using 62 percent nylon, 30 percent polyester, and 8 percent spandex. So, it has enough elasticity and enough support for large breasts as well. It is padded and designed to be tight to provide snug support and prevent bouncing. If you want to get it for medium-intensity workouts, buy a size up. Moreover, the bra comes with Climacool inside to provide moisture management through proper ventilation.[i2pc pros_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-up” cons_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-down” show_title=”false” title=”Pros & Cons” show_button=”false” pros_title=”Pros” cons_title=”Cons” ][i2pros]
The support is excellent, it is the best high-impact sports bra.
It comes with Climacool technology for proper ventilation.
It comes with removable pads.
The elastic closure provides great shape.[/i2pros][i2cons]
The lighter colors are sheer, which means when worn, due to stretching, they become see-through.[/i2cons][/i2pc]
- High support.
- Nylon construction.
- All-day comfort.
The MIRITY has been rolling out women’s sports bras for a while now. Over the years, its products have grown sophisticated and are a budget-friendly alternative to the more expensive brand. This particular sports bra is one of their new products, and it comes with a stellar fit, durable material, and breathability.
The racerback sports bra has been designed for racers specifically and it is one of the best sports bras for large breasts. It runs a little tight and is made using 90 percent nylon and 10 percent spandex. This makes it more elastic as compared to other bras, hence it provides enough compression to give a good fit but not so much that it starts creating pressure points.
The material is super soft and is not itchy at all. It can be used in the summers as well and can be layered up.[i2pc pros_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-up” cons_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-down” show_title=”false” title=”Pros & Cons” show_button=”false” pros_title=”Pros” cons_title=”Cons” ][i2pros]
Comes with wide shoulder straps to properly distribute the weight.
Ideal for high-impact training sessions.
Comes with padding and proper ventilation.
Due to its high nylon content, it is very durable.[/i2pros][i2cons]
It does not come with a reimbursement offer in case you don’t like it.[/i2cons][/i2pc]
- 92% polyamide.
- Removable bra pads.
- Many colors are available.
- Comes with a zipper.
This sports bra by WANAYOU has been designed as a medium impact sports apparel for small and medium-sized breasts. It comes with a zipper underneath, hence, unlike the other sports bras mentioned in the article it is not a pullover, rather can be work like a jacket.
This makes taking it off after a workout very easy. It will not roll out and get stuck like other spandex sports bras. Moreover, the zipper makes it an ideal sports bra for new mothers out there. Even if they don’t want to get this for sports purposes, the bra can be used as an ideal alternative to the more expensive, pocket-ripping maternity bras.
It can be used for running and other gym exercises. The size convention of the bra is true to size.[i2pc pros_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-up” cons_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-down” show_title=”false” title=”Pros & Cons” show_button=”false” pros_title=”Pros” cons_title=”Cons” ][i2pros]
The front zipper closure adds a lot to convenience.
It is breathable and ultra-light.
Comes with great elasticity to provide enough support.
The support pads are removable.[/i2pros][i2cons]
It creates a uni-breast if you have larger breasts.[/i2cons][/i2pc]
- Nylon and polyester construction.
- Moisture-wicking technology.
- Adjustable straps.
- Medium impact.
If you are looking for an extremely efficient medium impact bra that does not create a uni-breast yet has enough support, you might want to check this bra by PUMA out. It comes with adjustable straps, which means you can adjust the amount of support you need for a certain activity. This makes it the best multipurpose sports bra that can be used for yoga, running, and other exercises.
The material is designed using 80 percent nylon, 8 percent polyester, and 12 percent spandex. Thus, it has enough support but does not compromise on breathability. It comes with moisture-wicking technology and a puma branded elastic band for under the bust area.[i2pc pros_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-up” cons_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-down” show_title=”false” title=”Pros & Cons” show_button=”false” pros_title=”Pros” cons_title=”Cons” ][i2pros]
The padded cups are removable.
Comes with an active stretch for added support.
The sizing is true to size.
Its straps are adjustable.[/i2pros][i2cons]
Does not provide a lot of support for large breasts.[/i2cons][/i2pc]
- Breathable Nylon material.
- Moisture-wicking technology.
- High support.
- 30-day refund policy.
Last but not least is this healthy yoga bra designed for high-impact sports. It comes with an inner lining on the front and has a hollow-out eyelet pattern created with bra pads. Moreover, it uses breathable nylon topped with spandex material which makes it ideal for all sorts of sports, including running, aerobics, and Zumba.
It is high support and full coverage bra that provides great structure to large breasts as well. The bra has a racerback strap construction of the back that not only helps in providing good support but also helps you improve your posture in the longer run.
The product is backed by 30 day money-back guarantee. In case you don’t like the product, you can return it within 30 days with a full refund.[i2pc pros_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-up” cons_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-down” show_title=”false” title=”Pros & Cons” show_button=”false” pros_title=”Pros” cons_title=”Cons” ][i2pros]
The added pads provide excellent support.
It is suitable for women with large breasts.
The material used is breathable and keeps you cool during workouts.
Backed by 30 days money-back guarantee.[/i2pros][i2cons]
It runs a little small, so if you want something that is not very snug, order a size up.[/i2cons][/i2pc]
Sports Bra Buying Guide
As mentioned, a good-fitting sports bra plays a role as important as your shoes during the workout. If your bra is not supportive or comfortable enough, you will develop back and breast pain eventually. Moreover, the constant bouncing and side-to-side movement will result in the degeneration of the muscle.
Here are some things you need to factor in while buying a sports bra:
Level of support
Sports bras designed for yoga or loungewear use come with low support, while the others designed for other activities have medium or high support. The type of support you need depends on the activities you are interested in. For running, aerobics, and Zumba, you need a high support bra. However, for other workouts, such as gym workouts, cycling, walking, etc., you can do well with a medium-impact bra. A high-support bra is usually tighter and is snugger.
The size of the bra matters the most. If you buy something smaller than your size, it will be too tight to work with. However, if you get a larger size, you will not get any support whatsoever. Hence, before investing in a sports bra, make sure you check the size. Some bras run smaller while the others are larger. Usually, medium-impact bras are true to size and high-impact bras run a little smaller.
The fit of the bra also has a huge impact on the support it will provide and the shape it will provide. Some bras fit well and provide great support but end up giving you a uni-breast look which does not look good. Go for sports bras with proper padding and subtle compartmentation for each breast. These ensure that the shape of the breasts is maintained. Sports bra with adjustable straps and ones with eyelet patterns provide the best support.
This is when the bra runs against your skin making you uncomfortable. It can lead to painful bruises and scratches later on. A properly fitting sports bra that is not larger in size prevents chaffing. It usually results from friction, so, if you buy a snug fit bra, it will not chaff. You can also use an anti-chaffing balm.
Frequently Asked Questions
Some of the frequently asked questions about sports bras are:
Can sports bras flatten breasts?
A tight sports bra can flatten your breasts while you are wearing them. However, it cannot permanently change the shape of your breast, contrary to the common misconception. If your bra causes flattening, this means it is very tight for you and is not according to size. Don’t wear it for extended periods.
Is it OK to wear a sports bra all the time?
Yes, wearing a true-to-size sports bra at all times is ok. However, if you are wearing a rather tight sports bra, it is not recommended for extended use, i.e., longer than 8 hours.
Which bras are better sports or normal?
This depends on your requirements. If you want to secure the shape of your breasts under a shirt or dress, go for the normal hook bra. However, for sports, don’t wear the normal bra, it does not prevent bouncing of the breasts.
Is it bad to wear a sports bra in public?
No, it is not bad to wear a sports bra in public. However, if you are feeling rather conscious, you can layer it up with a cute zipper or an off-shoulder top.
Are sports bras meant to be worn alone?
No, you can layer them up the way you layer normal bras. The main purpose of a sports bra is to provide the required support during sports activities.
Which is the best sports bra?
The best sports bra is the one that fits well, provides ample support, and does not chaff.
Which bra is good for running?
High-impact bras are usually good for running. They are very snug and provide high support to prevent bouncing of the breasts.
Is it OK to swim in a sports bra?
Yes, it is okay to swim in a sports bra. However, it is advised you invest in a proper swimsuit.
There are many different types of sports bras on the market from racerback sports bras to spaghetti straps, back closures, and underwire bras. Each one comes with its own plusses and minuses. In this article, after a lot of research and consideration, we have listed the top 12 sports bras for different activities including running, cycling, yoga, and other sports. Each sport has a certain set of requirements when it comes to finding the best bra. Make sure you keep that in mind before investing in a bra.
There is a brief buying guide as well to help you understand what factors were considered while choosing the mentioned products. You can use these factors to choose the best sports bra for yourself as well.
Amongst all the products mentioned in this article, our favorite is the WANAYOU Women’s Zip Front Sports Bra due to the added convenience, the PUMA Women’s Solstice Seamless Sports Bra due to the adjustable bra straps and the great shape it provides as well as the AKAMC Women’s Medium Support Cross Back Sports Bra due to its breathability and versatility.