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.

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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. 

Strap Design

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!

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Cup Design

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

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