By Amy Schlinger
Not all sports bras are created equal, and the right/wrong one can make or break your workout. (Ever been on a run that got super uncomfortable the second you picked up your pace? Yeah, not fun.)
See, while some sports bras may look fashionable and cute, they may not be all that practical when it comes to function (hence bouncing, chafing, or cutting off your circulation).
That’s why we tested hundreds of sports bras to find the most supportive ones on the market. Here’s what to look for in a supportive sports bra, and the best ones to buy now.
RELATED: The 6 Best Travel Coffee Mugs
How to Find a Supportive Sports Bra
So how can you judge a sports bra when it comes to support? There are three main features to keep in mind—strap design, cup design, and fabric.
Thin straps might look nice against your back, but they can’t support your chest as well as thicker straps can. It’s important to make sure the straps fit tight but also don’t cut into your skin. Generally speaking, racerback designs or crisscross straps will increase the level of support, though if the straps are thick enough, a crisscross may not be necessary. Up to you!
Where and how your breasts lay in a sports bra is one of the most important things when it comes to feeling supported. While you definitely don’t want them to feel pushed up and exposed, you don’t want them to feel pushed down and cramped either. Though some do prefer a more compressed cup fit, molded or perforated cups can sometimes provide more support—especially if the fabric has more than one layer. Wire or no wire, that’s a personal choice!
Cup and strap design both play a key role in creating a supportive sports bra, but the fabric of the whole piece is extremely important, too. Breathable fabrics tend to work best, not cotton.
Keeping these details in mind, here are some of the best and most supportive sports bras currently available. Happy sweating.
Supportive Sports Bras for Every Activity
Syrokan Full Support High Impact Racerback Underwire Sports Bra
The high-performance poly-spandex fabric will keep you secure, while underwire helps hold you up. The foam-lined cups also prevent the bra from pushing your breasts together.
Nike Women’s Swoosh Sports Bra
If you prefer compression when it comes to feeling secure, look no further. This poly-spandex blend bra fits snug against your chest, and the longer profile adds support below the bust. The racerback design and thick straps minimize movement without constricting your range of motion. The supportive fabric is breathable and sweat-wicking, too.
Lululemon Energy Bra
This full-coverage bra is one that will likely make it into your weekly rotation. The sweat-wicking fabric provides high coverage and crisscrossed double straps help hold things down. The back of the bra sits flat against your back without moving or rubbing.
Champion Women’s Sports Comfort Full-Support Sports Bra
This classic brand is no stranger to creating sports bras, and this cult-favorite is recommended for running, even marathons. The durable fabric allows for little to no bounce, sans underwire if that’s something you find irritating. The straps are padded and adjustable for a personalized, comfortable fit. Some users recommend sizing up when you purchase.
Panache Women’s Underwire Sports Bra
A hook-and-eye closure makes for an easy on, and maybe more importantly, easy off. The thick straps are adjustable, and the fabric is cut so the bra comes high on the chest, covering everything, so you can feel secure. Bonus: The mesh paneling on both the straps and at the bust make ample airflow easier!
FITTIN Women’s Racerback Padded Seamless High Impact Sports Bra
You won’t have to worry about chafing when you slip this seamless sports bra over your head and chest. The soft fabric fits tight without cutting into your sides or chest, and it’s stretchy enough for you to move freely (and breathable enough to manage moisture and heat!). The bra has over 4,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, and you can’t beat the price.
Brooks Women’s Juno Sports Bra
A cult favorite, this sports bra has been around for years, with small improvements made to it over time. For instance, the adjustable straps are bonded and concealed with hook-and-loop closures in the front for a unique fit that won’t move or loosen as you exercise. The inside perforated cups provide comfort and a bracing foundation, and pair with the racerback design for optimal support.
Glamourize Women’s Double-Layer Custom-Control Sports Bra
With about 2,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, this quick-drying, thick strapped, supportive sports bra isn’t one to be overlooked. The most highlighted feature? The outer panel of the bra, which sits on top of the cups, and can be adjusted to be more or less supportive, depending on the activity you’re doing. That means you can wear the same bra to yoga and on your runs!
Jockey Women’s Molded Cup Seamless Bra
If you’re not willing to sacrifice fashion for function, you won’t have to with this sports bra. Molded cups provide full coverage for any chest size, and the piping around the neckline and straps are flattering on all shapes and sizes. The bra has a seamless construction, too, so you won’t have to worry about rubbing or chafing once it’s on. Adjust the straps to fit your body!
Under Armour Women’s Mid Keyhole Sports Bra
Best for medium-impact activities like biking, this sports bra is made of compressive material and an elastic band that easily pulls over your head. The tried-and-true racerback design provides support for your chest, while still being comfortable against the skin—it doesn’t cut in under the arms. It’s best for D and C cups or smaller.