Trying to find a good sports bra for working out is like trying to find 10 minutes to yourself on a Saturday morning when the kids are screaming for snacks and your husband has fled to the golf course. I.e. it’s difficult at best and impossible at worst. Every bra you try is either too tight (giving you that oh-so-flattering uniboob) or too flimsy (allowing your boobs free rein to bounce all over the place).
But just like you can snag those 10 minutes once your husband gets home, you can also find that good sports bra—as long as you know where to look and what to look for.
How to choose the best high impact sports bra
We asked Title Nine expert Molly Hanks for her top tips when it comes to finding the right sports bra. “First, the band should fit low and snug around your rib cage—if it’s too loose, try a smaller band and bigger cup,” she suggests, adding, “Make sure your breast tissue isn’t spilling out over the side or the top—if you are coming out of the cups, try going up a cup size.” As for the overall fit, Molly says your bra should feel snug and supportive without being tight or uncomfortable.
That all sounds nice, sure, but where do you actually get a sports bra that fits like that? And more importantly, that holds everything in place while you’re running, jumping, and burpee-ing? To help you workout comfortably (and jiggle-free), we’ve found the best high impact sports bra options out there, especially for those of us who are a little more well-endowed. Let’s just say we give these two thumbs—or rather, two boobs—up.
Who said sports bras can’t be sexy? Certainly not us, and certainly not Le Mystere. That’s the brand behind this flirty top, which boasts a peek-a-boo mesh overlay and plunging neckline. But fear not—it really is as functional as it is fashionable. It’s made of sweat-wicking fabric with supportive straps that are adjustable and, more importantly, convertible. (That means you can turn your bra into a racerback by simply sliding the J-hook up the straps.) It also goes on easily thanks to the hook-and-eye closure in the back so you don’t have to struggle to pull it over your head and chest. Basically, it’s a snap to put on—sorry not sorry for the pun. Sizes 32C-38F (and 32-36G).
Running is hard. Running while your boobs are bouncing so much they’re basically hitting you in the face is even harder. Enter this Nike compression bra. Reviewers rave that it’s the best bra for running (and other high-impact activities) because its elastic racerback straps hold the girls in place while the breathable jersey material is odor-resistant and wicks away the dreaded boob sweat we all have to deal with. The bra is available in 18 different colors—from basic black to electric blue—so if you love it as much as its 2,800 reviewers do, you can buy one in every color. (And when your husband asks why you need yet another sports bra, ask him why he needs yet another beer…) Available in tall sizes (long torso) and up to 4XL.
Spending $50 on a ‘designer’ sports bra with flashy cut-outs and the latest high-tech fabric doesn’t interest you. At all. A.ka. a no-frills sports bra like this one (which comes in a pack of two for as little as $10) suits you just fine. And don’t be fooled by its basic looks—this bra is a must for high-impact activities. It’s quick-drying, flattering, and double-layered for extra support, yes, but it also has four-way stretch so it moves as you move. “I can lean forward, backward, sideways, jump, stretch, etc… and everything stays in place!” one reviewer raves, adding that she wears her bra for everything from cardio to Pilates to lazy days around the house. Available up to size 3XL.
After sitting at your desk all day, a nice, sweaty HIIT session sounds good—until you start jumping around and reality sets in. Your boobs (or rather, your fancy yoga crop top) were not made for burpees and high knees. The solution? This super supportive sports bra. It’s wireless and seamless—i.e. no painful underwire poking into you—and the thick straps paired with the snug racerback design hold your girls securely in place. Another highlight is the breathable, moisture-wicking fabric that this sports bra is made of, which reviewers say is soft to the touch and comfortable against your skin even when you’re sweating your butt off.
You feel good when you work out—and now you can look good, too. Meet the sports bra of champions (literally, it’s made by Champion), which is available in 30 gorgeous colors. Its soft, wire-free cups and thick straps prevent any unwanted bouncing while the mesh panel keeps your skin dry and chafe-free. Women of all bust sizes have given it a five-star review on Amazon for being comfortable, high-quality, and just the right amount of compressing (i.e. not too tight, not too loose). “It is, hands-down, the BEST sports bra I’ve ever used and it’s been my go-to sports bra for the past 4 years,” one woman raves. Sizes 34C-42DDD (equal to an F cup).
Three words: zip-front bra. Three more words: must buy now. Not only is this Under Armour sports bra easy to slide on, but reviewers say the zip stays securely in place while you work out by simply pressing the tab down. Plus, there’s no underwire (praise be!) and it has a pretty open back that even has adjustable straps for the most comfortable fit. Is it more expensive than your average sports bra? Yes. But is it worth a few extra bucks? Yes, at least according to reviewers. One woman calls it a “keeper” while another says it’s the only sports bra she’s found that both fits her DD chest and looks cute. Win-win. Sizes 32A-38DD.
Wide straps + wide lower band = the best high impact sports bra. “The bottom band provides 80% of the support, so make sure that you have a band that fits low and snug around the ribcage,” Molly from Title Nine explains. And this affordable sports bra has both of those things—and more. The breathable mesh panels on the front and back of the bra keep you dry and cool while the racerback cut provides both movement and support. Still not convinced? Take it from the 2,100+ reviewers. They love that the bra solves all your biggest sports bra pet peeves, from armpit bulge to boob sweat to unwanted jiggles. Up to size XXL.
Looking for the best sports bra for DD and up? Look no further than this Title Nine bra, which has adjustable straps and an adjustable back closure so you can custom-fit it to your body. Even better, it has concealed underwire and contoured cups that both lift and support your girls so you don’t end up with the uniboob that so many sports bras create (le struggle). Here’s what one woman, who wears a size 32DDD, had to say: “It keeps me locked and loaded—I don’t move! But it also provides great shape—it’s not a masher like so many of the other options for gals my size.” We’ll take it. Available in sizes 32-38, D to F cup.
Hate pullover sports bras? Same. Fortunately, sports bras with back clasps exist—like this one for plus size or full busted women which has nearly 11,000 reviews (!!) on Amazon. It has a hook-and-eye closure with four clasps—rather than the usual three—so it stays securely in place and is easy to put on (no more embarrassing incidents involving your bra wound around your arms and neck as your husband tries to free you of its grip). The moisture-wicking bra also has extra wide straps that you can adjust to the perfect fit along with reinforced—and more importantly, wire-free—cups for support. And if you’re not a fan of baring all at the gym? You’ll be totally comfortable in this bra, thanks to its high camisole-style neckline. To top that off, it goes up to size 50J, so everyone is *covered*.
And if you’re asking whether or not you need a new sports bra— you do. Especially if you have been double-bagging (wearing two layered sports bras), it’s time to find one good sports bra that is as strong as you are.
Want a pair of chic leggings or a tank top to pair with your new sports bra? We’ve rounded up all of our favorite style essentials to keep you looking your best at the gym and beyond.