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A supportive sports bra is arguably the foundation for a successful, comfortable workout—but the truth is, 80 percent of us wear the wrong size bra (sports bras included!), putting ourselves at risk for breast pain, sagging, and tissue damage. For those who’ve been wearing a long-discontinued sports bra for far too long, there’s a fair chance the bra has stretched beyond its size and support capacity, and it’s time for an upgrade.
To help you make sure that an ill-fitting bra never keeps you on the sidelines again, we have the inside scoop on what makes or breaks a quality sports bra, and how to make the most of finding the right sports bra for you.
Explore our top picks of the best sports bras that cater to your style, size, budget, and workout needs.
Best Overall: Wacoal Underwire Sports Bra
Resembling a classic T-shirt style bra, the Wacoal Underwire Sports Bra delivers maximum support thanks to the external floating underwire that lifts, separates, shapes, and stabilizes the breasts. This light and sturdy sports bra is padding-free and features double-lined cups for support with added compression to keep breasts upright and tight.
Because it's constructed with soft, moisture-wicking fabric and a breathable mesh back, this bra keeps the body cool and dry during high-intensity workouts, while wide, close-set straps evenly distribute weight with a slide-and-hook closure system that adjustments a breeze. It's available in band sizes 32 to 42, in cup sizes C to H, and in a wide variety of colors including black, lilac grey, nude, and more.
Best Budget: SYROKAN Bounce Control Wirefree Front Adjustable High Impact Maximum Support Sports Bra
Designed for high-impact support and shock absorption, this wireless, full-coverage sports bra delivers a comfortable fit with double-lined stretch cups and a cushioned band. Tighten the fit mid-workout—without bending over backward!—with convenient front-adjustable straps that won't stretch out and are designed to lay smoothly and reduce pressure on the shoulders.
For a breath of fresh air, this U-back bra features a front mesh panel for ventilation in addition to its smooth, sweat-wicking material. It comes in a variety of colors, from black to blue leopard and lotus red, and is available in sizes 32B to 44F.
Best Low-Impact: Nike Dri-FIT Indy Sports Bra
Soft and light, this V-neck, racerback bra from Nike delivers all-day comfort and support with superior breathability and moisture-wicking material. Crafted with the brand's Dri-FIT technology, the technical fabric wicks moisture away from the skin to help you stay fresh and dry. From there, strategically placed mesh panels—one on each side—keep the cool air flowing.
This versatile style can be worn for both casual day-to-day wear and light to medium impact activities, depending upon one’s bust size. It's also a favorite of Ibtihaj Muhammad, a U.S. Olympic medalist in fencing. "During quarantine, when my gym closed, I became an avid runner, and the most essential piece of my kit when I go on long runs is a good sports bra," she said. "My go-to is the Nike Dri-FIT Indy Sports Bra! I love the minimalist design, Dri-FIT fabric, and the next level of comfort."
Best Medium-Impact: Under Armour Infinity Mid Sports Bra
For cycling, strength training, boxing, and even running, this medium-impact sports bra provides strategic support with full coverage and a versatile design. Equipped with a molded, one-piece pad, this design limits breast motion while delivering a light, comfortable fit—plus, it has convertible straps that can be worn straight or crossed. It comes in a variety of colors, as well as sizes XS to XL.
It's also a favorite of track and field sprinter Natasha Hastings, a two-time Olympic gold medalist: "I like the cupping and cross-back straps," she said. "It’s supportive and stylish, but most of all, it's comfortable and can be worn for workouts as well as everyday wear.”
Best High-Impact: CW-X Xtra Support High Impact Sports Bra
For a bounce-free fit, look no further than CW-X's Xtra Support High Impact Sports Bra. Here, the brand's patented SUPPORT-WEB technology (which incorporates a mesh web to restrict movement) provides next-level stability that'll last through any HIIT workout. Plus, its racerback design (with a double-layer mesh criss-cross back) keeps the body cool. Lastly, it's crafted from stretchy, breathable, moisture-wicking fabric with UPF protection, and its elastic band keeps it snug and sturdy.
Best Style: IVL Collective Scallop Power Sports Bra
Elevate any sweat session with this scalloped sports bra from IVL Collective. This simple, chic design features a scoop neck front with wide, ballet-style straps and a sleek, curved V-neck back. It also boasts a longline silhouette that hits around the ribcage for a secure, smoothing fit.
While this bra is unpadded, there are pockets to add pads if desired, and its collagen-infused fabric smooths skin, wicks away moisture, and provides UPF 50+ sun protection. It's available in black or white and in sizes 2 to 12. FYI, it tends to run small, so for a less compressive fit, consider sizing up.
Best Size Range: Girlfriend Collective Simone Bra
Known for its commitment to sustainability, transparency, and size inclusivity, Girlfriend Collective’s activewear collection comes in sizes XXS to 6XL and is available in an extensive range of colors, from versatile earth tones to pastels. This full-coverage, double-lined sports bra flaunts a structured fit with sewn-in cups for support, lift, and a touch of padding.
Constructed from 12 recycled post-consumer water bottles and a touch of spandex, the Simone Bra is an ultra-comfortable, soft, and sturdy sports bra for medium-impact workouts.
Best for Large Band/Large Cup Sizes: Elomi Energise Full Figure Sports Bra
For some major lift and a spillage-free silhouette, the Elomi Energise Underwire Sports Bra provides a padding-free, non-compressive fit equipped with high-impact support for high-intensity workouts. Designed to individually lift and separate each breast, the molded, underwire, multi-part cups deliver a natural bust shape with full-coverage support. From there, microfiber support panels keep everything held in tight (while keeping you cool).
This bra is also fully adjustable, with a hook-and-eye back closure and a J-hook fastener to convert it to a racerback style. It comes in band sizes 32 to 46 and cup sizes D to O, as well as a variety of classic neutrals including black, navy, nude, and white.
Best for Large Cup/Small Band Sizes: Panache Women's Underwired Sports Bra
The Panache Underwired Sports Bra fits and feels like an everyday bra but supports each breast for a smooth and lifted shape. Designed to deliver full support for high-impact activities, it features smooth, molded cups with an ultra-comfortable silicone-encased, padded underwire to limit breast motion. The moisture-wicking performance fabric with mesh inserts keeps sweat at bay and helps the body stay dry and comfortable. Its sturdy band also keeps it firmly in place without any rubbing or slipping. It comes in a vast selection of eye-popping prints, vibrant hues, and classic neutrals, as well as in band sizes 28 to 40 and cup sizes B to M.
Best for Small Cup Sizes: Champion Women’s Show-Off Sports Bra
Infuse some color into your workout with this vibrant, minimalist sports bra that features moisture-wicking Double Dry technology to keep you dry all workout long. A super soft and cushioned band keeps the bra in place and prevents chafing, while mesh paneling provides extra ventilation. Although this pullover-style sports bra provides high-impact support for cup sizes A to C, it also provides medium support for D and DD cups. It's available in a wide variety of colors, as well as sizes S to XL.
Best Front Closure: Under Armour High Crossback Zip Sports Bra
Made with Under Armour's signature HeatGear fabric, this comfortable and supportive sports bra keeps the body cool and dry during hot and sweaty workouts. Its sleek, smooth exterior wicks away moisture while drying almost instantly—thanks, in part, to its mesh lining and inserts, which add ventilation. From there, the bra’s four-way stretch material moves with the body, allowing for restriction-free, fluid movement. Overall, this bra delivers maximum support for high-impact workouts in band sizes 32 to 42 and cup sizes A to DD. It's also offered in several neutral color combos, including black and jet gray and white and halo gray.
Best Padded: Chantelle High Impact Wireless Sports Bra
Score a sleek, rounded, and lifted look with this wireless high-impact sports bra from the French lingerie brand Chantelle. Boasting molded cups with built-in padding—meaning no more warped and ripped bra pads coming out of the washing machine—this sports bra delivers a defined silhouette and high-impact support. Bonus: This versatile wardrobe staple transcends sweaty gym sessions—it's just as supportive and comfortable under casual attire. It comes in a rich matte black, as well as in sizes S to XL.
Best for Running: Sweaty Betty High Intensity Running Bra
Slip into Sweaty Betty's High-Intensity Running Bra for full-coverage support during runs, HIIT, and cross-training. With a mid-rise scoop neckline and breathable mesh inserts, this sports bra offers compression but is still lightweight and quick-drying, which we love. Also nice: It's fully adjustable, with a hook-and-eye back closure and straps that can be worn as a U-back or racerback style. It comes in black, as well as in sizes 32 to 38 and cup sizes A to DDD.
Best Cotton: Fruit of the Loom Women's Tank Style Sports Bra
When comfort is the main priority, Fruit of the Loom Women's Tank Style Sports Bra delivers the ideal balance between support and coverage without restriction. Ideal for lower-impact workouts and lounging, this comfort-driven design provides unlimited layering possibilities along with a soft and stretchy, tag-less construction for irritation-free wear.
Need more convincing? It's a great value, offered in packs of three in a wide selection of vibrant and neutral colors (in both U-back and racerback fits). It comes in band sizes 34-50.
Best Bra Top: Eleven by Venus Williams I Am Wonder Woman Corset Sports Bra
Channel your inner Wonder Woman in this structured, corset-style bra top. From tennis icon and superstar Venus Williams’ activewear line, EleVen, this sports bra features a longline silhouette without the addition of bulky pads or inner cups. However, there’s no question that the highlight of this piece is the glittery fabric, which keeps its sparkle wear after wear and also has built-in SPF 50 sun protection. Support-wise, it's perfect for medium-impact activities like weight training, cycling, power walking, or even a night out on the town. It's available in sizes XS to L.
The Panache Women's Underwired Sports Bra is a standout choice for anyone looking for a comfortable, classic, and versatile sports bra. For a wireless option, we recommend the Under Armour High Crossback Zip Sports Bra—its convenient, zip-front style offers compression and support during high-impact activities. Lastly, if you're on a budget, snag the SYROKAN Bounce Control Wirefree Front Adjustable High Impact Maximum Support Sports Bra.
What to Look For in a Sports Bra
Bras with adjustable straps and closures allow for a fully customized fit. While a bra with a fixed band or straps may fit off the rack, the fabric can stretch after several wears, resulting in a loose, unsupportive fit. Choosing a fully adjustable bra enables you to continue tailoring the fit and support level based on your activity level and comfort needs.
Additionally, if you have a fuller cup size, adjustability is especially critical. Opt for a bra that has cushioned, wide, adjustable straps to help distribute weight evenly and prevent any digging into the shoulders. The same goes for the band—choose a bra with a wide, sturdy one that also has a hook-and-eye back closure to ensure a custom fit.
Sports bras come in compression, encapsulation, and combination styles. A stretchy, wireless, pullover-style racerback bra is a classic example of a compression bra. This support method uses compression to stabilize and restrict breast motion by compressing the breasts against the chest wall. This style of bra is best suited for smaller bust sizes. Encapsulation bras feature built-in, molded cups that individually lift, support, shape, and stabilize each breast. Encapsulation-style sports bras can also incorporate compression for optimal support.
Underwire sports bras offer the highest level of support for high-impact activities. Built into encapsulation style bras, a flexible underwire supports each breast individually and provides optimal bounce control, stability, shape, and separation—all of which are especially high priorities for those with fuller cup sizes.
For a garment that’s made specifically for sweaty endeavors, it’s especially important to opt for breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics—because nobody likes having sweat show through their bra. Non-wicking materials can trap sweat, causing bacteria to build up and lead to skin irritation. Styles designed with breathable mesh ventilation throughout allow for airflow so that skin can breathe.
Why Trust Byrdie
Byrdie contributor Emily Stone is a health and fitness writer with experience working for lifestyle and fitness publications and activewear brands. As a fitness enthusiast and fellow shopper, she's passionate about finding reliable fitness gear and equipment that prioritizes comfort and function for people of all shapes, sizes, and abilities.