It may be only a fraction of the clothes you’re wearing on any given adventure, but finding the right sports bra (for you!) can make a huge difference in your day. It’s easy to overlook because when we nail it, we forget about it.
On a particularly chilly fall day in the Tetons, I went straight from a gym workout to meet some friends for a snowy jog on some local trails. I wasn’t sure the minimal fit of the Nobull Matte V-Neck Sports Bra would stand up to the jostle of a hilly trail run, but with no time to change, I went for it.
And I came out wholly impressed by the versatility of this simple yet well-constructed bra. In short, I completely forgot about it; the true test of a great sports bra.
With roots in the CrossFit world, Nobull’s shoes have become ubiquitous in gyms all over the country. And while they’ve become a trusted brand in the fitness world, their clothing and training gear have proven that they’re just as capable outside the doors of the gym. In keeping with their minimalist, no-frills design, the brand’s high-quality sports bras are flattering and comfy, and they get the job done.
This sports bra was an excellent addition to hot yoga classes and sweaty gym workouts, as well as becoming a go-to for long runs and mountain bike rides this fall. Finding a bra that’s both flattering and high-functioning can be challenging, and I was surprised at how quickly this one won me over.
In short: Despite its minimalist appearance, the Nobull Matte V-Neck Sports Bra ($52) is a true workhorse for everything from weight training to long mountain bike rides and thru hikes, exemplifying the brand’s durable and minimalist design. This bra won’t work for everyone, and isn’t intended to offer max-cushion or support, but if you have a smaller chest and don’t want to have to think when getting dressed, consider the Nobull Matte.
Read more in GearJunkie’s full Sports Bras guide.
- Material Polyester and spandex
- Support Light
- Straps Racerback, V-neck
- Cups Removable
- Size range XS-XXL
- Lightweight and stretchy
- Highly breathable during hot workouts
- Minimalist design only works well for smaller chests
- Low-impact design is not ideal for intense workouts
Nobull Matte V-Neck Sports Bra Review
Nobull was founded in 2015 by Marcus Wilson and Michael Shaeffer, who cut their teeth at Reebok before leaving to start their own company. Wilson and Shaeffer were tired of seeing brands claim that their technology would make you stronger or fitter, throwing out complex technologies to try to win over athletes.
As they’ve made clear on their website, the founders believe there’s nothing a shoe or piece of gear can do to make you stronger; the brand’s name comes from Wilson and Shaeffer’s desire to start a company that sold “no bullshit” to their customers.
As a result, their minimalist, high-performing products resonated with a lot of folks in the CrossFit community, and in the last 10 years, their reputation inside the gym has spilled outside the doors of the weight room. While training shoes are where the Boston-based brand first made a name for itself, their training apparel proves to work double duty in the gym and on the trails, with high-quality technical fabrics that, like their shoes, offer a long lifespan.
They added sports bras to their mix of training gear in 2018, and while the V-neck bra hasn’t seen any major updates since then, Nobull has tweaked the synthetic material to be softer and incorporated a wider variety of sizing in the last 5 years.
Like the rest of Nobull’s product line, the Matte V-Neck Sports Bra is pretty straightforward, not flashy or overengineered, just trustworthy and reliable. Nobull makes four different sports bras ranging from high to low coverage.
And, while this is by far the most minimalist bra, it proved to be a really solid choice for trail runs and long mountain bike rides this fall. I put it to the test jogging up steep trails in Tetons, climbing in the Cascades, and mountain biking in British Columbia. I was impressed by its breathability, comfort after long hours on the trail, and ability to disappear under literally any top.
Sometimes less is more, and this bra proves that there’s a time and place for a low-coverage design, especially on hot days in the mountains. The low-cut shape allows for more airflow, working in tandem with the fact that the thin material allows plenty of moisture to escape.
While the low-coverage V-neck design and thin straps don’t lend this to being a supportive bra, it does hold up well for moderate-impact activities (or high-impact for small-chested women) thanks to the fairly snug fit throughout the entirety of the bra (not just the strap).
The thin straps and v-neck also disappeared under pretty much any shirt or tank I threw on, which was definitely a bonus. I was a little wary of the narrow straps, which always have the potential to dig in compared to wide straps, but found that not to be an issue at all. The straps stayed firmly in place throughout long workouts, and after a few months of putting it through the wringer, they never showed signs of wearing down.
Supportive Elastic Chest Underband
Also known as the bust band, the elastic underband of a sports bra (below the chest) is typically where I first notice irritation, so it’s usually a pretty telling feature. This 1-inch-wide band is stretchy yet snug, adding a supportive feel to this minimalist bra. I loved the ample stretch that this band offered, which made it easy to pull on over our heads.
Bands can often feel rough and scratchy, compared to the soft fabric in the chest areas of the sports bra. I was happy to find that this one was just the opposite; it never rubbed or chafed, even during ultra-sweaty workouts. I found this bra to fit slightly on the snug side (which is definitely most noticeable in the elastic band). So, if you’re between sizes, consider sizing up (or take measurements via Nobull’s chart).
Padding: Removable Chest Pads
The Matte V-Neck bra comes with removable, medium-weight pads, which provide some welcome structure — especially when I wore the bra on its own without a T-shirt on top.
If pads aren’t your thing, they are easy to remove through the slot on either side. The envelope to slide the pads back in was wide enough to do so without much finagling. And although I know you’re not supposed to wash bras with the pads still in, this one came out of the wash perfectly intact. Without the pads, the bra can feel pretty thin overall unless you have a really small chest.
For gym workouts, I generally preferred the cups in, as they added a bit of protection while doing pushups and burpees. But on long hikes, I opted to remove them for extra breathability.
Soft and Quick-Drying Material
Constructed with a really soft blend of polyester and spandex, this Matte bra is quite stretchy, offering an intuitive fit. It disappeared under bike jerseys and running tanks, holding everything in place without digging in.
While sweating up a storm on an unseasonably hot October trail run, I noticed that it dried quickly and never revealed sweat marks; that could have to do with the specific color I tested (teal), so I can’t speak for lighter colorways.
Critiques of the Nobull Matte V-Neck Sports Bra
Perhaps the same things I love about this bra are also what others might not. If you prefer a little more modesty, this bra could definitely leave you wanting more (fabric, that is).
Folks with smaller cup sizes will no doubt gravitate more toward this bra. If you’re looking for something with a little more to it, Nobull does offer some more supportive high-coverage bras such as the High-Neck Sports Bra or the Pace Sports Bra.
Nobull Matte V-Neck Sports Bra: Conclusion
Many of us will agree that a sports bra we don’t have to fuss with is a huge asset.
So if we’re going by that metric, consider this bra wholly forgettable (in the best way possible) for gym sessions and lower-exertion adventures. Plus, the cute V-neck design makes it the perfect sub for a swimsuit top for an impromptu dip. Another benefit of the minimalist design: there’s less fabric that needs to dry if it gets soaked.
This isn’t a bra that stands out on the rack, and there’s no major innovative technology to report on. But from a comfort and performance standpoint, it’s a quiet crusher that works wonders for indoor and outdoor pursuits. Unless you’re looking for a more supportive bra, I’m confident that anyone from gym rats to hikers, bikers, and runners will love the fit and breathability of this flattering everyday bra.