Sometimes motivation comes in the shape of a bra. Translation: It's infinitely easier to get yourself dressed and to the gym if you've got the right activewear. A comfortable sports bra makes all the difference.
Nike Swoosh Sports Bra
Best Overall Sports Bra
Glamorise Underwire High Impact Sports Bra
Best Sports Bra for Large Breasts
Adidas New Run Medium Support Bra
Best Sports Bra for Small Chests
Yvette Power V-Neck Cross Back Padded Running Bra
Best Sports Bra for Running
Glamorise Full Figure Plus Size MagicLift Seamless Sports Bra
Best Sports Bra for Plus Sizes
Running Girl Sports Bra
Best Sports Bra on Amazon
Lululemon Energy Bra Medium Support
Most Comfortable Sports Bra
Brooks Underwire Sports Bra
Best Sports Bra with Underwire
Victoria's Secret Featherweight Max Sports Bra
Best Supportive Sports Bra
Alo Yoga Run It Back Bra
Best Compression Sports Bra
GapFit Eclipse Medium Support Strappy Sports Bra
Best Affordable Sports Bra
All In Motion High Support Embossed Racerback Run Sports Bra
Best High Impact Sports Bra
Jockey Women's Zip Front Seam Free Bra
Best Medium Impact Sports Bra
Heroine Sports Cold Shoulder Bra
Best Low Impact Sports Bra
Forme Power Bra
Best Sports Bra for Posture
Akamc Zip Front Sports Bra
Best Nursing Sports Bra
Grace Form Strappy Sports Bra
Best Push Up Sports Bra
The best sports bras are not only supportive but are also stylish — and so comfy you can easily wear them outside the gym. How do you find the perfect pick for you?
Stephanie Holbrook, Level 1 USA Triathlon Coach tells us, “The truth is, there is no ONE best sports bra for every woman. You should consider several factors first that will help narrow down your search,” among them fit, breathability and, of course, support.
With this in mind, we talked to fitness experts, trainers and our own team of shopping experts to find the absolute best sports bras on the market for every body type and every activity. Ready to work up a sweat? Scroll for the 17 best sports bras of 2024.
How we picked the best sports bras?
To figure out which sports bras were the best of the best, we consulted a mix of fitness experts, trainers and our own shopping editors. They weighed in on what to look for when picking the right sports bra for different needs. We also polled this crew to find out which sports bras are their favorites — because there's nothing like a firsthand recommendation!
What to look for when shopping for sports bras
Whether you’re wearing it to run errands or run a marathon, you want to find a sports bra that is both comfortable and supportive. To find the option that best suits your needs, there are a number of factors to consider:
Your size may vary, depending on the brand (and sometimes the product), so be sure to check the size chart before adding it to the cart. Since sports bras are more compressive, don’t be surprised if your size is different from your normal bra size.
Your cup size will affect the type of support you should be shopping for. “You need to understand the support you need for your breast size and for the activity,” says Julie Lohre, women’s fitness expert, IFBB Fitness Pro athlete, and certified personal trainer. “A high level of support will be critical for a woman with a C and above cup who wants to include running or bounding plyometric exercises in their exercise routine.”
Many people wear the wrong sports bra for the activity they're engaging in; if you like to partake in a range of fitness activities, it's smart to have a range of sports bras, says Laura Martin, renowned mountain biker based in the Scottish Highlands.“High-impact sports bras should be worn for high-impact sports like jumping or running. These bras tend to be more restrictive, due to compression-style support which basically eliminates bounce. They tend to have more coverage and wider straps to help with the even distribution of the weight of the breasts. Low-impact sports bras are better suited to sports like yoga or walking. They have lighter support and are more comfortable. They tend to be a more relaxed fit and are made of lighter material.”
Compression vs. encapsulation
Another big decision is choosing between a compression bra and an encapsulation bra. Heather Wilson-Phillips, fitness expert, nutritionist and owner of Fitness Empire, explains the difference: “Encapsulation sports bras are usually marketed toward women who have larger breasts. They usually feature a separate cup for each breast, and give a more natural look.” Martin agrees, adding “These 'encapsulate' each breast to try to eliminate the bounce individually, instead of compressing the breasts against your body.”
Compression sports bras are more typically what we think of when we think "sports bra." Says Martin, “These will have a snug fit and look more like a band than two cups. They tend to be more compressing on the body. This pressure on the breasts helps eliminate the bounce and makes you feel more secure."
The fabric of a sports bra factors heavily into its comfort. Holbrook recommends “seeking out breathable polyester and nylon materials, as they effectively wick sweat away from the body.” While you may think cotton would be a preferable material since it’s soft and durable, that's not the best choice. Says Julie Lohre, “I avoid cotton because it tends to hold moisture against the body. When you are pushing hard in a workout, the last thing you want is your bra feeling water-logged and heavy.”
How should a sports bra fit?
A sports bra should fit snugly but not so tightly that it digs into the skin or restricts breathing: “The cups of a sports bra should fit securely, without being too tight that your breasts begin to come out the top or sides,” says Heather Wilson-Phillips.
How to prevent chafing
“Chafing is a workout mood killer. Who wants to break a sweat while wrecking your skin,” says Kim Turner, of the sock brand Fitness Snob. To avoid this, you first want to check the fit. “Too loose or too snug, and you're in for trouble. Second, cleanliness is next to, well ... no chafing. Get out of that bra promptly post-workout and keep it fresh by washing regularly to avoid lingering sweat or dirt residue. Third, start at the source, be mindful when shopping for sports bras. And of course, moisture-wicking fabric and seamless designs are lifesavers, too.”
Our team of experts:
Stephanie Holbrook, Level 1 USA triathlon coach, Level 2 USA cycling coach, Pose Method running technique specialist
Julie Lohre, women’s fitness expert, IFBB fitness pro athlete, and certified personal trainer
Heather Wilson-Phillips, fitness expert, nutritionist and owner of Fitness Empire