Best Workout Bras Reviewed
Working out while not properly supported is not only incredibly uncomfortable, but it can also do a good deal of damage to something called Cooper’s Ligaments. These ligaments are responsible for maintaining structural integrity in your chest. Once these ligaments start to tear it’s a recipe for sagging- so they are definitely something that you want to protect at all costs!
Whether you are looking for something that fits tightly to hold you in, or you need a little additional support, there is a myriad of styles out there to support every size and shape of active women. While support and protection are important, comfort is another thing that you will also want to consider. In this guide, we have compiled a list of our favorite styles and brands that will keep your ladies comfortable from the beginning to the end of your workout!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 6 hrs of research
- Nike Swoosh
- Calvin Klein Performance
- Champion Marathon
- Adidas Don't Rest
- Under Armour Favorite Cotton Everyday
- Champion Freedom
- Hanes Sport
- Under Armour Eclipse
- Adidas Techfit
- Nike Pro Indy
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
10 Top Rated Sports Bras
1. Nike Swoosh
Strong chemical smell
The reason that we selected this sports bra to be our number one pick is that is it simple, stylish, and will keep you supported no matter what you are doing. It comes in a wide variety of colors and is made from Nike’s patented materials the keeps you cool and dry as you start to build up a sweat.Read more
It uses Dri-FIT technology woven into it’s a fabric that will keep your skin cool and dry as you start to build up a sweat. It is made from a blend of 88 percent polyester and 12 percent spandex which means that it will be comfortable to wear and easy to toss into the washing machine.
An impressive 86 percent of users felt that this design fit them just as they expected. This sports bra is offered in sizes that start at XX-small and run all the way up to XXX-L. There are no cups or underwire for additional support in this garment, just a reinforced layer of material that runs along the bottom.
If you are in the market for sports bras that are made from high-quality materials that will keep you cool and comfortable no matter how active you get, this design from Nike is one of your best choices in our opinion. Plus, it is offered in a ton of fun and bright colors to match your personal style.
2. Calvin Klein Performance
When you think of Calvin Klein you may not think of sportswear, but this is one of our favorite sports bras for quite a few reasons. The most notable thing about this design that we have read from previous users is that it is incredibly comfortable and feels great against your skin.Read more
One of the biggest complaints about these products is that they often feel too tight and constricting. This design from Calvin Klein is made from a blend of materials that uses 95 percent nylon and just 5 percent spandex. A lower percentage of spandex means that it will not fit as tight. Plus, it is made without seams so there will be no places that it will dig into your skin.
Size options start at X-small and run only up to X-large. However, an impressive 92 percent of users (os roughly 9 of out 10) felt that this design fit them just as they expected it to. It is offered in a few unique color options that include heather gray, black, charcoal, and radiant blue.
While it may not add the same level of support as many of the workout bras that use a higher level of compression and spandex, this is one of the more comfortable designs out there on the market. Plus, from what we have gathered from previous users, it washed up quite nicely. This is a great style to wear when engaging in yoga or any other low impact exercises.
3. Champion Marathon
The tagline for this sports bra is ‘beat the bounce’, as we liked that. What makes this design great is that it is constructed from materials that will keep your cool and dry and they will also hold you is so that you will not have to contend with that uncomfortable bounce that every woman is quite familiar with. Just like the name suggests, it is a perfect design to wear for your next marathon!Read more
Thoughtful construction is the thing that will hold you in place with each and every stride. It uses reinforced panels that run along the front and the sides that offer additional support. Unlike many of the other razorbacks that we have seen out there on the market, this design sports a pair of thick and adjustable straps to ensure that it will not dig into your skin.
Champion uses a blend of 82 percent nylon and 18 percent spandex that is infused with their patented Champion Vapor technology that cools you down as your temperature starts to rise. This fabric feels incredibly smooth against your skin to prevent bunching, rubbing, and chafing as you run.
If you need something that will give you superior support for those long distance runs, this will be one of your better options. Just be sure to consult the sizing chart before you make your purchase. From what we have read from previous users, the sizing it just a little off when it comes to this design.
4. Adidas Don't Rest
Hand wash only
If you are unsure the level of support that you need or want, you may want to give this workout bra from Adidas a shot. They have three tiers of support in their line of sports bras, and the Don’t Rest design falls right smack dab in the middle. Plus, it has a superior design and it made from high-quality materials that you expect from a sports bra by Adidas.Read more
The blend of 88 percent nylon and 12 percent spandex is what offers users a modest level of support when you become active. This means that it will hold you to avoid the dreaded bounce with each and every stride. It also used a thick band of spandex at the base to help hold it in place and prevent it from shifting around.
There is a wide variety of sizing option to select from to ensure that you get a style that fits you best. Sizes start at XX-small and run all the way up to XX-L. Users found that when then consulting the sizing chart to find a size that was right for them, they were often met with success.
For those that are looking for something that will provide a good deal of protection, but is still made from materials that will be pretty comfortable with each and every stride, we know you will not be disappointed with the style and fit of this sports bra.
5. Under Armour Favorite Cotton Everyday
Simplicity is the name of the game when it comes to this workout bra from Under Armour. It boasts a very simple and classic shape that will hold your girls firmly in place without feeling like you are being strangled. What we liked most about this sports bra was the use of incredibly comfortable materials that you will be excited to slip on for a workout and the gym, or even for doing chores at home.Read more
The blend is what makes this design just a little bit different. The fabrics used include 55 percent cotton, 30 percent polyester, and 15 percent spandex. Utilizing cotton in the fabric while still maintaining a pretty high spandex count means that this is something that has a comfortable feel to it, but the spandex does a really great job at holding you in and preventing bouncing with each and every stride.
Size options start at X-small and run all the way up to X-large, which is a little more limited than most. From what we have read from previous users, this design fits pretty tight (which is what holds you in) but it may be just a little too tight for some.
We also liked the thick and basic U-shaped back cutout as well as the thick cut straps that will prevent it from digging into your skin when worn for long periods of time. If you are looking for something that is a little on the simple side (yet very effective) this is one of your better options.
6. Champion Freedom
What we liked most about the Freedom design from Champion is that it has a simple shape that will be easy to put up and over your head. While it may not offer much support as some of the other designs that we have seen, it does a really great job of keeping you cool and dry.Read more
The material that is used to make this workout bra is composed of a blend of 95 percent nylon and 5 percent spandex. The lower spandex count means it will not hold you in as much, but the higher percentage of Champion's nylon with moisture management technology means it will keep you cool and dry as you work up a sweat.
The thing that we liked most about this sports bra is that it is offered in all of the traditional sizes that you would use for your everyday bra. If you are a 34C, they classify their designs by your bust measurements to make sure that you get the absolute perfect fit.
Another thing that we noticed is that this bra washes up quite well. These materials are built so that you can toss it in the washing machine over and over again without it losing shape and durability. If you are looking for something that is simple and durable that can keep up with you on all of your adventures, this is a great choice.
7. Hanes Sport
Everyone is familiar with this brand- you may even have a pair of their underwear on right now! Hanes is known for making high-quality undergarments that will stand the test of time. You can feel good about tossing this bra in the washing machine over and over again without it losing durability or shape.Read more
The very first thing that we noticed about this workout bra is that is as a bottom band that runs quite a bit lower than most, and sports a razorback rear strap design. This design helps promote a full range of motion, and the lower cut back will help prevent it from shifting and rolling up on you as you more.
It is made from a blend of materials that include 95 percent polyester and 5 percent spandex. This means that it may not be as supportive to prevent bouncing, but it will be incredibly comfortable. Plus, it is made without seams so you won’t have to worry about itchy and uncomfortable seams digging into your skin as you move.
For those that want something that will feel incredibly comfortable and that won’t limit your range of motion, this is one of the best sports bras. Users simply love how comfortable it fits against their skin, and they also love how well it washes.
8. Under Armour Eclipse
Zipper is uncomfortable
Tired of over the head designs that make you feel like a toddler trying to put on a t-shirt? Every athlete knows the very specific frustration that comes from trying to pull off a hot and sticky gear, and the Eclipse design from Under Armour sets out to try and eliminate that very specific frustration with their unique style.Read more
What makes this style different is that it has a front zipper that you can use to slip it on and off. This means that it will fit more like a zip-up vest, which will make it a lot easier to take on and off. The back of the garment has criss-cross adjustable straps so that you can adjust the level of support that you want from this garment.
It is made from a blend of 89 percent nylon and 11 percent elastane. A higher elastane count means that it will do an excellent job of holding you in to prevent bouncing with every movement. The great news here is that it is offered in the traditional sizes that start at 32A and run all the way up to 38DD.
For those that want something that will do an excellent job at providing you with the support that you need when you hit the trails for a long run, this is one of your better options. Plus, we love the front zipper that removes the frustration that comes when you try and put these types of bras on!
9. Adidas Techfit
What we liked about the Techfit from Adidas is that it provides athletes with all of the things that they would want out of one of these garments. It may be a little bit bulkier than many of the other sports bras, but it is a powerhouse at keeping you supported and cool all at the same time. Plus, it comes in a lot of fun colors and designs.Read more
The placement of various panels is designed to provide superior ventilation to keep you cool as your temperature starts to rise. The thick cut shoulder straps and the low waistband is designed to prevent it from digging into your skin and chafing, and it also prevents it from shifting around as you move.
The blend of materials to make this workout bra include 70 percent recycles polyester, 19 percent polyester, and 11 percent elastane. The higher elastane count means that it is something that will do a great job at holding you in place and preventing the bounce. We also love that it comes in a wide variety of bright colors that include pink, yellow, blue, green, and purple. It is also available in standard white, black, and gray.
Whether you are going for a long run on the trails, or you are simply heading to the gym to lift some weights, the Techfit is an excellent tool that will keep you cool and dry as well as supported.
10. Nike Pro Indy
Colors fade easily
For those that want something that has a more minimalistic design, you may want to check out the Pro Indy from Nike. This design is quite a bit smaller than many of the other designs that we have seen out there on the market. From the shoulder straps to the bottom of the waistband, there is nothing thick and bulky about the design of this option- which may be perfect if you are going for a walk or run on a hot summer day.Read more
What we liked about this design is that it has a low rise razorback that sports adjustable straps so you can find the right fit for you. Plus, unlike a lot of designs that we have seen, this design has a layer of cups on the inside to add just a little extra support and comfort.
One thing that we noticed users really liked the most from this bra is that it didn’t have seams which meant there is little risk of chafing when things start to get a little sweat. Plus, it is offered in a wide variety of fun colors and design to add a little pop of color to your workout gear.
For those that are looking for a workout bra that is a little less bulky to wear on those impossibly hot summer days, this design will be a great choice to keep you cool, comfortable, and supported.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
The type of materials used in a sports bra budddddddddddwill indicate how much support it will provide, how well it will wash, and if it will be comfortable.
Almost all designs that we found out there on the market provided users with a blend of three different materials: cotton, polyester (or nylon), and spandex (or elastane). We have broken down the benefits of using each of these types of materials. Based on the benefits of each of the fabrics, you will be able to make a better decision on which blend will work better for your specific needs.
Cotton: Cotton is incredibly comfortable and moves with your body quite well. We liked products that included cotton in their blends because they are softer and feel better against the skin. Plus, cotton is something that you will be able to toss into the washing machine over and over again without worrying about it losing shape or durability. The downside to cotton, however, is that it is prone to absorb and hold on to sweat which is a recipe for chafing. This doesn’t mean that cotton is out of the question here, it just means that you should ensure that cotton is not the only material used in the construction of the garment.
Polyester: Polyester is great because it is one tough material. It may not feel as comfortable as cotton, but it is the next best thing! The reason that we love products that use polyester or nylon in their fabrics is that polyester will help wick sweat away from your body, but it also provides a smooth finish that feels almost silky against your skin. Plus, you can toss it into the washing machine as much as you want without it losing its shape.
Spandex: Spandex is that material the hugs your body and provides a tight fit. In this instance, a tight fit isn’t necessarily a bad, thing. Designs that use over 10 percent of spandex in their garments typically offer a superior level of support over those that use under 10 percent. Underwires aren’t really an option to use to provide support in this case- its spandex that keeps the girls from bouncing all over the place as you run! The general rule of thumb here is that the more support you want, you need to opt for a design that has a higher spandex content. It may not be the most comfortable thing in the world, but it will hold you in place as you move.
For these types of garments, we often went for the more well-known brands such as Nike or Adidas.
Many of the higher end brands often utilize the same high-quality and proprietary materials that they use in their other workout gear, which makes them ideal when selecting gear that offers support, compression, and comfort. We have brown down some of the reason we selected designs from some of the big brands out there on the market.
Nike: What we liked about Nike is that even in these garments, they still use their Dri-FIT technology in the fabric. This substance is woven right into the polyester fabrics, and it pulls moisture away from the body to the surface of the garment where it can quickly evaporate. We were also drawn to the Nike line because all of the designs were offered in a lot of fo fun colors, but they always had that super sharp finish that can only come from a design from Nike.
Adidas: The thing that drew us into this line from Adidas is that they took into consideration that not every woman needs the same design and level of support. They made sure to make a design that is made for those that want limited support, and those that needs a little bit more. What we loved the most about this line is that instead of simply using one layer of fabric, they create vents in places that women will need it most to keep you cool and dry for the entirety of your workout!
Calvin Klein: This brand knows a thing or two about undergarments! The reason we landed this company so high on our list is that it is made from incredibly high quality and well-made materials that are designed to keep you comfortable. This line may not be the most supportive options that we found, but it is certainly the most comfortable as well as the most durable.
Hands down, support was the most important thing that we considered.
The ideal scenario here is to hold them in tightly so while you move you may even forget that they are there! Of course, not all activities require the same level of support. From what we have discovered through our research, the preference of support that women prefer in their designs varies quite a bit. While some hate the addition of cups or design that fit tight, others want their designs to fit like a glove made out of boa constrictors! We have broken down the various level of support offered from these designs, and the type of user the tends to flock to each design.
Minimal support: These designs typically have no cups built in, and they also are made from very soft materials. If you are looking for something that has minimal support, blends that have a percentage of spandex that is under 10 percent will be your best bet. These designs are typically worn by those that have fairly small cup sizes, or by those that don’t move around much. If you want something to wear while lifting weights at the gym or engaging in a little bit of yoga, these designs will be the perfect match for your needs.
Moderate/High support: This level of support is made for those that will be moving around a lot- such as those that are HIIT training or simply trail running. The thing that determines if it will hold you in place is the percentage of spandex that is found in the garment’s materials. We found that designs that use over 10 percent of spandex or elastane in the weave of their garment provide a lot more support as well as compression than those that have less than 10 percent. These styles of garments are ideal for those that are incredibly active and engaging in activities such as track running, plyometrics, Zumba, or HIIT training. If you are running and jumping around, you want something that will hold you firmly in place.
Before you make a decision, take into consideration the level of support that you will need. More support is often less comfortable than those that offer minimal, due to the fact that it uses materials that are less soft and comfortable to hold you in. If you prefer low impact activities such as yoga, you may benefit from a design that has less compression and support.
Also, take into consideration your cup size. Women that are a little more blessed often need something that provides a lot more support- even if you are simply doing yoga or hiking in the woods.
Little accents here and there can make all the difference in the world.
What we found when researching these style of products is that there were a lot of little features that users quite appreciated. Whether it was from the design of the straps or the cut of the back, little details will make a world of difference. We have broken down some of the little details that may interest you.
Front zipper: Every woman knows they very specific pain or trying to peel off hot and sticky gear so that you can just hop in the shower. A front zipper is a great way to make these garments a lot easier to pop on. Simply loop your arms through like you are putting on a vest, and then zip it right up!
Razorback: What users like best about this style is that it not only looks amazing and accents your shoulders, but it also promotes a full range of motion. We found that women lifting weights at the gym were drawn to the razorback design because they did not have to deal with straps holding back their shoulder.
Adjustable straps: Not all designs offer adjustable straps, which are hit or miss with some users. While there are some that simply love being able to change the length of the straps to offer more support, there are others that feel that the metal buckles tend to dig into their skin when worn for long periods of time or when lying down on a weight bench.
About 4 out of every 5 of your that are reading this sentence right now are likely wearing the wrong size bra.
Most women typically opt for a size that is too small in their everyday wear, which can actually be a little bit of an advantage when it comes to your sportswear. Of course, we want to make sure that you get the right size that will feel comfortable as well as keep you supported, so there were a few things that we looked for to ensure that you are covered.
Sizing charts: Most women determine what size they wear when they are young, and then they never adjust that number as they age or their weight fluctuates. We want you to go into your sewing kit and dig out that cloth tape measure! We made sure to select brands that provided users with a detailed sizing chart that didn’t just give you suggestions based upon your assumed cup size (because we are assuming that you may have that number wrong to begin with!). We wanted to ensure that we included siding charts that used actual measurements of not only your cup sie, but your lower chest as well to provide a great fit.
User reviews: Users will be the first to tell you if something feels right or wrong. We comb through hundreds of user reviews to get a general understanding of how well a garment will fit each woman. If there are a few women who find a design is too large or small, we generally assume that they purchase the wrong size (or didn’t consult the sizing chart). Sometimes, a design just runs small (or large) across the board, and we are able to determine this fact if there is a lot of users complaining about the same thing. If that is the case, we always make sure to note if a product runs on the large or small side.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
The first commercial sports bra hit the scene in the mid's 1970s and was designed for tennis players, and was referred to as a "jockbra". We are very glad that the name did not catch on!
Hanes has been in the business of making high-quality undergarments for quite some time! They were founded in 1901 and still make great quality undergarments for both men and women.
Support from these garments does not come from the dreaded underwire. Instead, a blend of polyester and spandex create compression that holds you in and promotes circulation.
Other Factors to Consider
Whether you are running a marathon, or simply doing some yoga in the park- it is important to stay supported and protected. Even if you do not need that much support, these designs are made to also keep you cool and dry and comfortable.
The biggest piece of advice that we could pass along to you before selecting a design that is right for you is to consider how much support you will need. This means that is you have a larger chest, or you like to engage in high impact activities, you will need more support than if you have a smaller chest and enjoy low impact activities such as spinning.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Why do I need to wear a sports bra?
Small or large, your breasts are something that you want to protect. If you have ever gone for a run in your everyday bra (because you forgot to pack your other one in your gym bag) you probably didn’t have a very enjoyable run. With each step, you felt the weight of gravity trying to rip out your underwire. At the end of the run, you found crossing your arms tightly against your chest was the only way to keep them from that very painful bouncing.
So, why does running without compression hurt so much? The answer to that question lies in your Cooper’s Ligaments. These ligaments are what are responsible for keeping your breasts happy and perky. That feeling of pulling with every stride is actually the feeling of these ligaments under strain. Opting for a design that offers compression to reduce the bounce is the best way to protect these ligaments.
q: Do workout bras need to be padded?
No, they do not need to be padded. The compression offered by these garments will be enough to keep them supported and comfortable without the need for extra materials. We found that some users actually hate the idea of pads in the inside, because they tend to bunch up in all of the worst places, and typically slip out in the washing machine (never to been seen again along with the missing pairs of all of your mismatched socks)
However, there are some benefits to padded cups. If you are heading out on a cold day, or if your local gym’s thermostat seems to always be set to just above freezing, the addition of padded cups may offer you a little bit of extra warmth right where you need it.
q: Can I refer to it as an ‘over the shoulder boulder holder’?
q: What style should I select if I have a large bust?
There are a few things that you will want to consider if you have a larger chest. There are subtle design features as well as materials that will provide you with quite a bit more support to keep you from using your forearms as support on your next run!
First of all, the most important thing you should look at is the amount of spandex that is found in the fabric. Sure, cotton and polyester may be more comfortable, but they aren’t going to offer you all that much support. We suggest for maximum support that you opt for designs that have over 10 percent dedicated to spandex or elastane. The more spandex, the better support!
Second, we found that larger busted users liked adjustable straps. Not all women are built the same, so the freedom to adjust the straps to give you the level of support just for you is a big part of finding the right style for your needs.
q: What is a ‘low impact’ sports bra?
This simply means that this design is not going to give you a lot of support. If you are engaging in activities such as yoga, pilates, weight lifting, or just walking around the neighborhood, you probably will not need much support.
Low impact designs are built to wick away sweat, keep you cool and dry, and also keep you comfortable. , they are made from about 95 percent cotton or polyester, with under 5 percent dedicated to stretchy materials such as spandex. User like these for more casual activities because the lack of spandex provides a more natural and comfortable feel rather that fit very tight.
q: Can I wear it all day long and while I sleep?
So, you tried on a design that you love and now you never want to take it off. However, there are quite a few rumors swirling around out there that say wearing these for long periods of time (especially when you sleep) can do some real damage. Do these rumors hold any water?
No, they don’t. There are no studies out there that found that wearing any type of compression garment all day or while you still will do any damage in the slightest. In fact, there was a study that found that you can even sleep in your underwire and it is perfectly ok.
q: Are they easy to wash?
For the most part, yes. Most of the designs that we found claimed that you could toss them into the washing machine when. However, to ensure that the materials will hold up to ensure that you get your money's worth, there are a few precautions that you should take.
First of all- skip the dryer. Whether you washed it by hand or you washed it in the machine, it is important to skip the heat. When some of these fabrics are exposed to high heat, they are more prone to become weak and brittle, and the spandex may start to lose elasticity over time. We suggest that you simply hang it up on a line to air dry.
If you are tossing it into the washing machine, be sure to use cold water. As we stated earlier, spandex is not very good friends with the heat of any kind, so it is best that you opt for cooler water. Besides, using cooler water will also help keep those bright colors bright!