Here Are the Best Sports Bras for Runners, According to a Running Coach

Our running coach says the Brooks Dare Crossback Run Bra is the best

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Whether you’re running outside or on the treadmill, wearing the right sports bra is critical for your comfort and performance. Inadequate bra support can lead to breast pain and actually be a deterrent to exercise for some women. The best sports bras for runners are properly fitted and can "offer compression that will hold your breasts in place and provide bounce reduction," says Laura Burke, Intimate Apparel Stylist at Fit X Burke.

Reviewed & Approved

The Brooks Dare Crossback Run Bra is our top pick because it is versatile, flattering, comfortable, and supportive. If you're looking for an affordable option, try the Fittin Racerback Sports Bra.

When searching for a sports bra, look for wide straps, cups, and supportive bottom bands. It should also be made of fabric that’s moisture-wicking, quick-drying, stretchy, flexible, and breathable to help keep you comfortable and cool and prevent chafing.

We selected the best sports bras by researching more than 30 bras from at least 10 different athletic wear companies and looking at product details and customer reviews. We considered features such as support, adjustability, comfort, design, and price and also asked runners for recommendations of their favorite bras.

Here are the best sports bras for runners on the market, according to a running coach.

Best Overall: Brooks Dare Crossback Run Bra

4.5
Brooks Dare Crossback Bra

Courtesy: Amazon

Pros
  • Built-in cups

  • Nearly seamless

  • Well-ventilated and moisture-wicking

  • Excellent coverage and support

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Some prefer a wider bottom band

With exceptional comfort, support, and coverage, the versatile Brooks Dare Crossback bra earns our top pick as a go-to choice for runners of all shapes and sizes. The built-in cups, minimal seams, and free-cut construction create a streamlined silhouette that looks flattering under a shirt or without one.

The bottom band is integrated fully into the bra, providing support right where you need it and delivering chafe-free comfort. With a stylish crossback design and stretchy material, the bra is a cinch to get on and off. It's made from the brand's DriLayer HorsePower fabric, so it's sweat-wicking and quick-drying. Couple this with the bra's strategically-placed ventilation, and you have a bra that will keep you cool, dry, and comfortable.

The Dare Crossback is available in several colors and fits sizes 30A to 40DDE. When you need to wash it just simply toss it into a lingerie bag and wash on a gentle/delicate cycle and line-dry (it is not dryer-friendly).

Materials: Nylon, polyester spandex | Strap Style: Crisscross | Support Type: Compression and Encapsulation | Care: Machine wash, hang dry

Best Budget: Fitttin Racerback Sports Bras

Fitttin Racerback Sports Bras

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Budget-friendly

  • Very soft

  • Four-way stretch

  • Seamless

Cons
  • Some don’t like the removable pads

  • Not enough support for DD+ cups

A high-performance sports bra that’s comfy and inexpensive? That’s what you get with the Fittin Racerback Sports Bra, a simple pullover bra that’s a favorite among runners. Made of buttery-soft material, the sleek bra provides the right amount of support without feeling constricting. 

The seamless fabric, moisture-wicking technology, and four-way stretch mean you can run in comfort and stay chafe-free. With a flattering fit, the bra has a racerback style and wide straps that provide comfortable support. And the reasonable price means you can stock up and grab a few in different colors.

Although it fits chest sizes 30A through 44D, it’s best-suited to provide high-impact support for women with A to C cups.

Materials: Nylon, polyester, spandex | Strap Style: Racerback | Support Type: Compression | Care: Machine wash, hang dry

Best Sweat-Wicking: Lululemon Energy Bra

lululemon-energy-bra
Courtesy of Lululemon.
Pros
  • Excellent moisture management

  • Four-way stretch

  • Lots of color options

  • Stylish

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Not for plus size

Warm weather running calls for a sports bra with superior ventilation and wicking performance. Lululemon’s Energy Bra delivers in both areas, with a racerback weave design that breathes well, and four-way stretch, sweat-wicking fabric that helps keep you chafe-free.

Best for B- to C-cups, it provides outstanding support and coverage without being too constrictive. With many fun colors and patterns to choose from, this bra also gets major style points.

Materials: Nylon, Lycra, polyester | Strap style: Strappy racerback | Support type: Compression | Care: Machine wash cold, tumble dry low

Best for Marathons: Lululemon AirSupport Bra High Support

Lululemon AirSupport Bra High Support

Lululemon

Pros
  • Adjustable straps

  • Reflective detail

  • Smooth, soft material

  • Excellent support and comfort

Cons
  • Only for C to DDD cups

  • Expensive

Marathon runners need a sports bra that can go the distance, with exceptional comfort and maximum support. Designed specifically for runners, the Lululemon Air Support Bra is lightweight, but still provides plenty of support and movement control for high-impact workouts.

The bra’s cups are injected with foam in a honeycomb pattern to add lift, control movement, and give breathable support. Padded, adjustable straps along with a ribbed underband and hook-and-eye closure reduce bounce and offer a snug, comfortable fit.

The breathable fabric feels butter-soft against the skin, dries quickly, and wicks away moisture, helping you to avoid chafing.

With a range of sizes from 34C through 38DDD, this bra is an ideal pick for large-chested runners.

Materials: Nylon, Lycra | Strap Style: Adjustable; cross-back | Support Type: Compression and encapsulation | Care: Machine wash cold, line dry

Best for Large Breasts: Outdoor Voices Circuit Bra

Outdoor Voices Circuit Bra

Outdoor Voices

Pros
  • Good support and coverage for big breasts

  • Very breathable

  • Molded cups

  • Adjustable fit

Cons
  • Expensive

  • No A cup sizes

If you’re looking for the perfect sports bra to support large breasts during intense running workouts, check out the Outdoor Voices Circuit Bra. Designed with sweat-resistant, lightweight SuperForm material, it stretches and sculpts without losing shape.

Elastic crisscross straps and an adjustable back clasp allow for a custom-like fit that feels snug without smashing your girls. The molded cups and wide chest band add even more support, enhance the overall comfort, and reduce bounce.

Additionally, the smooth construction provides a flattering, streamlined look underneath your shirt. The Circuit Bra is suitable for cup sizes B to DD and comes in a range of stylish colors.

Materials: Nylon, Lycra | Strap Style: Crisscross | Support Type: Compression and encapsulation | Care: Machine wash cold, tumble dry low

Best for Small Breasts: Athleta Ultimate Sports Bra A-C

Athleta Ultimate Sports Bra A-C

Athleta

Pros
  • Comfy

  • Stylish and flattering

  • Breathable and sweat-wicking

  • Made of recycled material

Cons
  • Not enough support for D+ cups

  • No adjustable straps

Runners with small breasts will love the comfort they get with this Athleta Ultimate Bra that’s designed for cup sizes A through C. Whether you’re doing a long run or an intense track workout, you’ll get the right amount of coverage and support. The bra’s smooth and soft SuperSonic fabric feels buttery soft against the skin, and the seamless design helps keep you chafe-free. It’s also breathable and quickly wicks away sweat so you stay dry and fresh.

Stylish and attractive, this bra looks great worn alone or under running clothes. It's so comfy that it’s also perfect for casual wear and post-run naps on the couch. Choose from a range of neutral and bright colors in sizes extra-extra-small to extra-large.

Materials: Recycled nylon, Lycra | Strap Style: Racerback | Support Type: Compression | Care: Machine wash and dry

Best Seamless: Champion Freedom Seamless Racerback Sports Bra

Champion Freedom Seamless Racerback Sports Bra

Walmart

Pros
  • Seamless

  • Sweat-wicking

  • Budget-friendly

  • Soft, stretchy fabric

Cons
  • No padding for those who like more coverage

  • Not supportive enough for large breasts

With a simple, seamless design that prevents chafing, this sports bra from Champion is a favorite among distance runners, especially for warm-weather running. The racerback-style bra has no underwire, clasps, hooks, plastic, metal, or tags, so you don’t have to worry about anything jabbing or rubbing your skin during runs.

Despite the basic design, the bra still provides exceptional, structured support from the knit-in inner bra and wide bottom band. The soft, stretchy fabric is well-ventilated and moisture-wicking, keeping you cool and dry.

Ideal for women who wear an A-, B-, or C-cup, this bra comes in several different colors and is so affordable, you may want to pick up more than one.

Materials: Nylon, spandex | Strap Style: Racerback | Support Type: Compression | Care: Machine wash cold, hang dry

Best for Sprinters: Under Armour Infinity Limitless High Sports Bra

4.5
Under Armour Infinity Limitless High Sports Bra

Under Armour

Pros
  • Sweat-wicking and breathable

  • Adjustable straps

  • Soft, molded cups

  • Good for high-impact activities

Cons
  • Not enough support for DD+ cups

  • Expensive

This versatile sports bra from Under Armour provides the support, coverage, and comfort that sprinters need for high-impact, high-intensity workouts. The ergonomic, aerodynamic design features injection-molded one-piece padding that syncs with your natural shape and motion. The soft cups lift and separate the breasts to prevent the dreaded uni-boob, while still reducing movement.

With a hook and eye closure and adjustable straps, the bra is easy to get on, make adjustments, and take off. The sweat-wicking material feels smooth and soft against your skin, while the breathable mesh panels also keep you cool and dry.

Available in sizes 30A through 40D, this sports bra caters to a range of shapes.

Materials: Polyester, elastane | Strap Style: Crisscross | Support Type: Compression and encapsulation | Care: Machine wash, hang dry

Best Front Closure: SheFit Ultimate Sports Bra

SheFit Ultimate Sports Bra

Courtesy of SheFit

Pros
  • Easy to get on and off

  • Excellent support and coverage

  • Controls bounce

  • Moisture-wicking

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Hand wash recommended

Nothing kills a post-run endorphin surge quite like having a wrestling match with your sweaty sports bra as you struggle to get it off. The SheFit Ultimate Sports Bra saves you from all that frustration, with a front closure that allows you to easily slip it on and off. With adjustable straps, it offers a snug, custom-like fit that controls all movement.

The moisture-wicking bra is made with two-way stretch fabric that offers the highest level of support and keeps bounce under control. Its wide straps and band are supportive without digging in or pinching, and the seamed cups provide natural definition, shape, and comfort.

The bra can fit women with bust measurements from 29 to 55 inches, but the maximum support and coverage make it best-suited for women who are a C-cup or above.

Materials: Nylon, polyester, spandex | Strap Style: Adjustable | Support Type: Compression and encapsulation | Care: Hand wash, lay flat to dry

Best Adjustable: Oiselle Queen Bra

Oiselle Queen Bra

Oiselle

Pros
  • Adjustable

  • Molded cups

  • Supports C to DD

  • Straps can switch from H-Back to crossback

Cons
  • Some have trouble with the closure

  • Expensive

A high-impact sports bra without underwire? The Oiselle Queen Bra proves it’s possible to provide exceptional support without any uncomfortable parts.

The bra’s molded cups fully encapsulate each breast to avoid the uni-boob look, while the wide chest band supports from underneath. Padded straps, a ribbed elastic chest band, and smooth, soft fabric further add to the bra’s overall plush and comfortable feel.

With adjustability in the straps and the band, the bra offers flexibility for the amount of support, with the option of a snug fit for running. Runners also appreciate details such as the sewn-in cups, which are perforated for heat release, and the straps that can be switched from H-back to cross-back.

This versatile bra is designed for runners who wear 32C to 40DD.

Materials: Polyester, spandex | Strap Style: Adjustable; H back or crisscross | Support Type: Compression and encapsulation | Care: Machine wash, hang dry

Best for Storage: Brooks Drive Three-Pocket Run Bra

Brooks Drive Three-Pocket Run Bra

Zappos

Pros
  • Supports A/B to DD/E

  • Three pockets, including a back phone pocket

  • Excellent support and coverage

  • Chafe-free fit

Cons
  • Not easy to get on and off

  • Some don’t like the removable pads

Runners are always looking for secure ways to carry their essentials on the run and this Brooks Drive Three-Pocket Run Bra has plenty. The back pocket is ideal for stashing your phone, while two side pockets can hold nutrition, keys, money, or credit cards.

The bra also features low-friction bonded seams around each of the pockets, so there’s little chance of chafing. Sweat-wicking fabric also keeps you dry and comfortable.

With a snug and supportive fit, the bra reduces bouncing, even when the pockets are loaded up. It’s available in several colors and a wide range of sizes, from 30A to 40DD.

Materials: Polyester, spandex | Strap Style: Racerback | Support Type: Compression | Care: Machine wash, hang dry

Final Verdict

The Brooks Dare Crossback Run Bra (view at Amazon) features molded cups and a built-in band that are supportive and significantly reduce bounce as you’re running. The nearly seamless design and quick-drying, moisture-wicking fabric keep you dry and comfortable.

For large-chested runners looking for a go-to sports bra, the Outdoor Voices Circuit Bra (view at Outdoor Voices) is designed with molded cups and thick, adjustable straps for exceptional support and bounce protection. The smooth construction and sweat-wicking material keep you dry, comfy, and chafe-free.

What to Look for in Sports Bras for Runners

Support Type

Compression sports bras compress your breasts against your chest to prevent them from moving while exercising, while encapsulation bras support each breast in a separate cup. Sports bras that offer both compression and encapsulation are especially effective at supporting and controlling movement and are popular among large-chested runners.

“It’s very possible to have a high-impact sports bra with no uni-boob,” says Laura Burke. “Look for a center seam, separate cups, or any sports bra that offers encapsulation.”

Fit

The fit of your sports bra makes a tremendous difference in keeping you comfortable during a run. It should be snug from the first wear and there shouldn’t be any gaps or extra room.

Closure

Sports bras offer several different closure styles, such as pullover, front-closure, and back hook closure. A clasp or zipper closure makes it a lot easier to take the bra on and off, but some women prefer a smooth, seamless bra with no hooks or other closures.

Runners with smaller chests may be fine with pullover bras, but those with larger chests may opt for front or back closures.

Material

If you choose a sports bra made of material that’s not breathable, it will trap moisture and cause chafing. “Some fabrics are better for wicking away moisture than others. Typically, 100 percent cotton is not great,” says Steve Stonehouse, NASM CPT, and USATF certified run coach and director of education for STRIDE, an indoor running franchise.

Look for sports bras made of performance fabrics, such as polyester and nylon, that are breathable and will wick away sweat.

Pad Options

Some sports bras have built-in padding or removable cups that offer a smooth, rounded shape and encase each breast. Smaller chested women sometimes prefer padding for a more flattering look, while larger chested runners like that padding provides more support and coverage.

Straps

Whether you choose a crisscross, H-strap, or racerback style really depends on your own personal preference. Wide straps typically offer the most support and comfort and help to distribute weight. Runners, especially those with large breasts, should avoid bras with very thin straps. Straps with cushioning enhance the overall comfort and can also help prevent chafing.

Adjustability

Runners have very specific sizing needs when it comes to sports bras and their size can fluctuate from week to week or even day to day. Sports bras with adjustable straps and closures make it easier to get a snug, custom-like fit with good support and coverage.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I fold sports bras?

    Keeping your sports bras neatly folded and organized not only saves you time and hassle by not having to search for them, but it will keep them in better condition.

    To fold a sports bra, first lay it flat and then fold in the straps. Next, neatly fold it into thirds so that it’s a square. Then it’s ready to be stored and stacked in a drawer with your other sports bras.

  • How do I wash sports bras?

    Handwashing your sports bras can extend the length of their life. To do so, fill a sink with cold water and add a tablespoon or so of mild or sports-specific laundry detergent, which is made to remove sweat and odors from sportswear. Soak your bra for 15 minutes and then swish it around to make sure you remove all the sweat and dirt out of it. Rinse the detergent off with clean water.

    If you don’t always have the time or desire to hand wash, most sports bras can be machine washed. Place your sports bras in a mesh lingerie bag so they don’t get tangled with other clothes and to contain any removable pads if they get loose. For best results, use a cold water setting.

    Although many people put their sports bras in the dryer on a low setting, the heat can damage the elastic and material. Lay the bra flat to dry or hang it on a hanger.

  • How are sports bras for running supposed to fit?

    “Sports bras are a support garment, so you want them snug but not uncomfortable,” Burke says. “A snug band that anchors to the body and does not ride up is the key to support.”

    To check your fit, reach around your back and tug on the band. If you can pull out the band more than an inch, then you need a firmer band. Make sure all the breast tissue is in the cup and you’re not relying on super tight straps for lift, Burke advises.

    Additionally, you should check that the straps or clasps aren’t digging into your skin.

  • What happens if you don't wear a sports bra when exercising?

    The most direct and obvious effect of not wearing a sports bra when exercising is the sharp pain of breast tenderness and tightness. High-impact exercises such as running can put excessive stress on the chest muscles and ligaments that support the breasts. “Sports bras help protect your Cooper ligaments, or the connective tissue in the breast that helps maintain structural integrity,” Burke explains. “Once they’re stretched out, there’s no exercise that can bring it back.”

    Exercising without a bra also causes the weight of your breasts to pull you forward and hunch over, which is definitely not proper running form. Your head is also pulled down, which can lead to neck pain and discomfort, as well as headaches.

Why Trust Verywell Fit

Certified running coach and fitness writer Christine Luff has spent years researching, testing, and recommending fitness and athletic products and knows that the right gear can tremendously improve performance and comfort.

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