Sports bras are a leading contender for causing despair in athletes. Fear not, dear friends. We’ve done the research and found the best sports bras for every pair in this list.
Any person who owns a pair of boobs is an expert when it comes to their trials and tribulations with bras. I used to double up on them for soccer practice and horseback riding. Ace bandages, duct tape over bras, and triple bra stacks are a few of the tricks I’ve witnessed to try to keep the “gals” in place.
We won’t pretend that there’s a single sports bra that will work for all of us. It would simply be a lie. But through research, testing, and consulting other active women, we’ve compiled a list that we truly believe has something for nearly everyone.
Additionally, we tried to find a sports bra that would fit a spectrum of skin colors as a nude, and it doesn’t seem to exist. (Brands, take note.) And because styles, fits, and applications are so diverse, we didn’t rank these bras outright but rather sorted them into categories.
In digging through piles and piles of bra reviews — and mining our author’s own experience as a budget-restricted C-cup athlete — we’ve found it’s worth shelling out a bit more cash for more support. Most of the sub-$20 bras we looked at simply didn’t offer enough support or durability for hours exercising outdoors.
And don’t forget to check the price of a bra you may like! A ton of these bras go on sale regularly, so be sure to check back here (or at your favorite retailer) for a good deal.
The Best Sports Bras
A note on sizing: You’ll see that sizing nomenclature is all over the board for the following bras. This is an unfortunate obstacle when trying to figure out what will work for you. Your best bet is to measure yourself to get accurate fits across brands.
Also, many of the following bras are available in plus sizing! We’re very excited to see size inclusivity continue to grow in options and designs.
Best Low-Support Sports Bra: icebreaker Sprite, XS-XL
The icebreaker Sprite ($60) is fulfilling the wish of all of us who would like to be covered in merino wool from head to toe at all times. A friend of mine is a wildland firefighter and a hunter. She digs fire line by day and hikes up mountains by eve, and this is her favorite piece of gear in her closet.
Icebreaker does say this is a low-support bra (it’s thin and doesn’t have extra padding in the cups), but it’s still well-loved by many. A classic racerback made of supersoft core-spun merino, it regulates temperature and can be worn with your fave merino base layers without ruining the party. Note: Customers do say it runs small, so size up.
What customers said: “I love my icebreaker Sprite sports bra, which is on its fourth year!! It is super lightweight and merino, with a really narrow back and tons of arm room, so it never gets in the way, for shooting or digging line, with maximum breathability. But I’d say it’s mostly just for smaller-chested women.” — Lea, wildland firefighter, all-around badass
Best Medium-Impact Bra: Under Armour HeatGear Mid Impact Crossback Sports Bra, XS-2XL
This bra is well-loved and affordable. The crossover straps add a cute and feminine detail to an otherwise normal racerback-type sports bra. UA states that this is best for A-C cups, but many larger-chested reviewers love this bra as well.
I love Under Armour’s HeatGear collection ($27 for the Impact Crossback). It is silky comfortable, and the give marries with compression. Synthetics just aren’t wool when it comes to beating back scent, but this material does a decent job. A medium-impact bra, it will work differently for different sizes and body types. Some women run easily in this, some don’t.
What customers said: “The bra went on easily and gives me enough support for weightlifting or some light cross-training. The bottom band is a bit snug, which is a good thing for me, and it hasn’t rolled up yet. The sides of the bra are wide enough that it doesn’t make my back look flabby. The pads are a good size and do truly keep everything smoothed out. The UA size chart is accurate and the bra fits true-to-size. I will definitely be buying more of these!” — Lorals
Best High-Impact Sports Bra: Knix Catalyst, 32A-42G
My best friend trains polo ponies full-time and plays polo professionally. Most days, she rides a dozen horses — at least. Riding galloping horses all day long is the ultimate testing ground for a sports bra, so she’s our field expert for the best high-impact sports bra on the market.
Her go-to is the wireless Knix Catalyst, an investment at $89. But if you do HIIT workouts, ride horses, do gymnastics, or simply jump up and down from the exciting prospect of a legit no-bounce sports bra, it’s an investment worth making. She’s done the hard testing, and now you can reap the benefits.
Sizing is generous. Cups are performance-molded. It has ventilation in all the hot spots. Straps are adjustable, and the ladder design doesn’t fall down or adjust while you move. Snaps in the back make it as easy to put on and take off as your regular bra. And more than 1,900 women have rated it as a 4.7-star product. Biggest con? The price tag. But if you have a need for speed, this bra cuts the mustard.
What customers said: “Your shit ain’t going nowhere.” — Liv, our high-impact field expert
Best Sports Bra for the Smaller-Chested: Patagonia Barely Bra, XS-XL
So, our friends with smaller chests tend to love this bra for everything from running to hanging out. I think this is a great low-impact bra for everyone, in addition to being a great all-around bra for those who need less support. I might even be wearing this bra while writing about the best sports bras — and enjoying its comfort immensely. And I might also call this bra “the best quarantine bra” simply because it is.
If you’re a hater of the uni-boob, the Patagonia Barely Bra ($49) is a win for you. It’s comfortable, shapely, lightly padded, and soft. It also comes the closest to having multiple nudes for different skin tones. Only con? It doesn’t have the size inclusivity of other bras on this list.
Patagonia has a ton of well-loved bras, another personal favorite being the high-impact Wild Trails sports bra ($65). This is my personal go-to for long trips in the backcountry or riding my horse daily. The popular brand also gets high marks for sustainability and Fair Trade ethics, with recycled materials and Fair Trade sewing used in its garments.
What customers said: “Wow, it’s been a journey to find the ultimate bra for hiking/ life. I have small boobs (32A) and finding a bra that doesn’t gap a ton but also doesn’t smash them into nothing while also searching for parts that won’t rub (fasteners and adjusters) has been a challenge!
“So happy to come across this bra. I love that it’s everything I want while also being really cute! My skin is usually pretty sensitive and this bra caused 0 issues while hiking over 50 miles. Highly recommend!” — Lauren
Best Budget High-Impact Bra: FITTIN Racerback Sports Bra, S-3X
When I see a 4.5-star rating and more than 16,000 reviews, I pay attention. This is the clear winner of Amazon’s budget options for high-impact bras, at $14-34. Reviewers say that ordering a size down helps minimize bounce. Most high-impact bras have some negatives on the comfort side, but reviewers love the feel of this racerback bra.
The removable pads don’t bunch up, and the bra washes well. The fabric is said to be stretchy and comfortable while still maintaining support. That said, the lighter colors are a bit see-through, so if you’re looking to wear this bra on its own, order a darker color.
What customers said: “Nice, thick, comfortable. I usually wear a regular bra under my sports bras but this isnt necessary with these as it provides good lift and support. Not the greatest for high impact, but will work for the gym or yoga. Im 5’5″, 155 lbs, wear a 36DDD cup. I ordered a large and it fits good. A medium probably would’ve worked for the high impact, but the large fits great.” — Brenda P.
Best Adjustable Bra: SHEFIT Ultimate Sports Bra, XS-6Luxe
SHEFIT is a really unique niche in the sports bra world, and a lot of my highly active pals swear by it. It’s also a great option for nursing mothers and for women who have undergone mastectomies, as the brand worked with plastic surgeons to create adjustability specifically for this purpose.
Not only are the Ultimate bra’s ($65) straps adjustable, but the bust band is also adjustable. Luxe sizes feature extra padding through the straps to alleviate pressure for large-busted women. The zipper is fully encased, eliminating the pain I’ve personally associated with annoying front-zip bras. Free returns and exchanges, as well as a money-back guarantee, provide customer service backing as well. Catch GearJunkie’s full review from 2018 here.
What customers said: “Okay, so I bought this bra and was HIGHLY skeptical. I’m size 34H and have never found a bra that can actually support me and prevent bouncing and pain while running. I’ve spent over 10 years wearing sports bras that don’t fit right and using extra things to help provide support.
“NOT ANYMORE. I can run, jump, whatever exercise I might be doing during my workout and I feel 100% totally supported. If I’m bouncing a little too much, I just tighten the straps. This bra is a MIRACLE.” — Rachael T.
Best Bralette: prAna Becksa Bralette, XS-XL
It could be argued that this is a top and not a bra, but a built-in bra suffices, and people just love this bralette ($59). It incorporates recycled polyester into its fabric, so shoutout here for sustainability.
This too is a lower-impact bra, but it’s great for yoga and low-key wear. It’s flattering, and it’s made to match prAna’s Becksa leggings. So if you’re going for a matchy, pulled-together look, this is a great bet. There is also a full tank version for those who’d like to forgo the cropped look. Plus-size options are available for both the leggings and the tank.
What customers said: “I’m a big fan of prAna’s Becksa collection. The bra and tank top are snug and supportive and soft without feeling constricting. Great medium support. Comfy all day, I wear them as lounge clothes and sportswear. My breasts are a generous and very bouncy DD so I like bras that reduce the bounce without necessarily being a high-impact restricting bra.” — Elise Y.
Best Sports Bra for the Well-Endowed: Enell High Impact Bra, 00-8 or 32C-56GG
For all the ladies in the house with big breasts, we feel for you. Not only is it difficult to seek out the right fit, but you also have to figure out the sizing on individual bras. For scale, a 00 is a 32C cup and an 8 is a 56GG. I find this to be slightly maddening. But this bra is well-loved by many well-endowed women, including Oprah.
Enell is purported to be a go-to for women who are well endowed with smaller ribcages. Full back coverage spreads support across your ribs rather than over your shoulders. Hook-and-eye closure secures the fit, and the band is intended to be snug to hold things where you want them to stay. The Enell High Impact retails for $66.
What customers said: “This is the first high-impact sports bra I’ve purchased where it actually is built for high-impact … Running is a completely different experience now as I’m comfortable from the first step, not having to hold myself or wear two sports bras. It doesn’t dig in nor does it smash me into one uni-boob. One thing to keep in mind – it is not adjustable in the front or on the straps.” — Marie B.
Best of the Rest
We were really impressed with this bra in testing. This Outdoor Voices and Rapha collab sports bra ($79) offers medium support but high coverage, making it great for larger-chested folks and those who want to reduce bounce during high-output activities. It’s got a very comfortable band (especially for sports that involve a lot of movement, like cycling and climbing).
While it does have a higher price tag, it also has really specific features for athletes on the go, like a hidden key and card pocket and reflective accents on the back so you’re visible from behind.
What customers said: “Love this bra! The most supportive I’ve ever had from OV and very light weight. Love the light blue and the cut out in the back.” — Clare
Odlo makes some amazing wicking layers, so it’s no surprise that it also makes a really breathable sports bra ($35). The Odlo Seamless Medium bra is built with easy on and off wearing and comfort in mind.
While several of the brand’s bra styles are popular, we like the Seamless Medium Sports Bra the most due to its super-stretchy elastane blend and excess of mesh ventilation panels. It’s also got some ribbing on the band for added support.
What customers said: “Ideal for sports, running bra, very good support and very comfortable.” — Stephanie
I feel like I’d betray the feminine within many of us if I didn’t include a bra that is cute, and cute for straight and plus-size folks. Amazon’s Core 10 line ($35 for this bra) is an affordable take on the high-end yoga lines, and they really do knock it out of the park. Its fans are true fans across the board.
This is one of the favorites in the brand’s collection. It offers comfort and support, albeit less support than a high-impact bra. The mesh panels on the back are super cute and functional. And reviewers love that it’s also modest, with a higher neckline and wide straps. The moisture-wicking material works well for hot yoga and low-impact workouts.
What customers said: “I’m totally in love with this bra. The quality of the material, the fit and the design is just great and justified for the price of the product. I wear a 36D and a medium size fits perfectly. Due to the high neck design, cleavage doesn’t show a lot during yoga. It’s best for low impact workouts.” — Anon
Brooks is, of course, a running company. And it makes a myriad of bras for its intended audience. This one is from the brand’s latest running bra collection, Dare ($60). It’s also one of the bestselling sports bras at REI, and it was built with sweat-wicking support in mind.
The DriLayer HorsePower fabric dries quickly, and cups are molded using a shapely kind of compression. We love the seamless band and straps as well as this bra’s penchant for great performance over long distances.
Reviewers note that it runs small, but if you’re able to lock in the correct fit, it’s well-loved.
If you’re looking for a similar crossback style, medium-impact bra with a lower price point, try the UpLift Crossback for $44. The UpLift also has Brooks DriLayer fabric but an additional feature: an adjustable rear closure.
What customers said: “THE ABSOLUTE BEST SPORTS BRA I’VE EVER HAD! I’ve always been one to compromise on comfort for cost but I will never do that again! This is totally worth the cost and the comfort is amazing! I recommend this for any bustier runners!” — Amber G
The prAna Everyday ($49) has good support and a minimalist look. This is definitely an everyday bra but can still hold its own when you transition from the office or errands to yoga or running. Essentially, if you like to slip something on without thinking too much about your daily activity level, this bra is a good fit.
It’s padded, has a unique jersey fabric with a UPF 50 rating, and also has a cute crossback style if you decide you want to shed your shirt during a yoga or workout class. Reviewers’ only cons with this bra were the slightly smaller fit and that the removable cup padding was annoying and not easy to fit. In testing, we didn’t have any issues with rubbing or overstretching of the cord straps.
What customers said: “So comfortable! Definitely comfortable enough to wear all day! Usually sports bras make my neck ache after awhile but this one does not! No constriction anywhere! Will definitely buy more colors!” — sunriseyoga
The Cheata Trotter ($55-80) was made with equestrians in mind, and its goal is hardcore, almost binding compression. Runners love it for lack of bounce. And it’s full coverage, designed to eliminate lines and aid in thoracic back support as well as chest support.
Posture is helped with this structure of this garment, but the structure does make it a bit difficult to get on and off. It’s a small price to pay for mega and necessary support. And many larger-chested women rave about the Trotter’s power of compression.
What customers said: “My boobs are wrangled. Finally, I can go about my day without my ladies flying all over creation. THEY ARE PACKED and TUCKED away. Feels good, feels natural, feels organic. 10/10.” — N.A.I.
Make It Last: 3 Sports Bra Care Tips
Now that you’ve found the perfect bra, you want to make it last as long as possible. Experts say regularly worn (sweated, swam, and adventured in) bras only last about a year. Hopefully, these three tips will help it thrive a bit longer:
- Remove immediately after working out. It’s tempting to wad up your sweaty bra into a ball and toss it in the bottom of your bag, but take a few extra seconds to treat it with care. At the very least, hang it out to dry while you get changed and then lie it flat in your bag. Even better if you can give it a rinse to remove sweat, bacteria, and body products that can break down the materials.
- Wash in cold water with mild detergent. Avoid fabric softeners and bleach, as these speed up the fabric breakdown and can inhibit the wicking properties. If you have a wool bra, consider using a specialty soap like our favorite Granger’s Merino Wool Wash ($10 on Amazon).
- Skip the dryer whenever possible to avoid overheating, stretching, and misshaping your favorite bra. These bras are all made of quick-drying materials — simply hang up or lay flat to dry.
And remember, everyone is different. You don’t necessarily need a high-impact bra to run in, or a special wicking bra to go hiking. It’s all about what’s comfortable for you.
Find what works for your body and go with it. Explore, adventure, and have fun. That’s what it’s really all about.