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10 Best Sports Bras for Running

Updated 25 May 2022.

Ok, this week I am going to answer a question I get asked a lot; What is the best sports bra for running?

Firstly, for us female runners choosing the right sports bra for running is comparable to getting the right trainers. If it is the right fit, supportive and comfortable you will run better and longer. A good sports bra might feel tight at home but out on the trail keeping the girls in check and reducing bounce helps alleviate back and breast pain.

A good sports bra is also important for the breasts themselves. Especially if you run regularly, as a good sports bra will look after your breasts supportive structure – the Coopers Ligaments. These delicate ligaments hold your breasts up and stop your breasts from sagging. Check out my blog ‘Breast Sag and How to Prevent It’ for further reading on preventing the dreaded sag!

What Are the Top Ten?

Nothing tests a sports bras support and comfort like running. I for one have experienced the breast pain caused by a poor supporting bra and the rub from an ill-fitting one! If this is you it’s worth checking out ‘10 Common Fitting Problems & How to Solve Them’.

So, what are my criteria? Easy; support and comfort! You won’t find any crops here. They may be comfortable but as a rule they don’t offer the support you need. Structured bras all the way for me. They are designed to your back and cup size to offer the best support.

I have broken the list into two sections. Best underwired and best wirefree. I wasn’t going to do this and just list ‘my top ten’ but one thing I have come to realise is nothing creates more debate than underwired vs wirefree. It’s the Holden vs Ford of the sports bra world.

Furthermore, there were no financial incentives offered by suppliers to get their bra on the list. Unfortunately, this happens a lot to ‘best product’ lists meaning they are often biased and do not offer you the absolute best of advice. These are just my picks from a life lived in the world of sports bras.

Read on to see my top 5 + 5 = 10.

Top 5 Wirefree Sports Bras for Running

#1 Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Bra

Now I know this list is in two parts, but this sports bra tops them all. Designed specifically for runners the name says it all. It really is the ultimate run bra. Designed by Shock Absorber UK this multi award winning sports bra will keep the girls under control during any run. It provides the ultimate in friction-free comfort and reduces bounce by up to 78%. It’s features and benefits really are top of the list.

That’s the official research and I can tell you my own tests out on the trails of Nerang can back that up. It really is the best I have come across and ticks all the boxes. A big, big thumbs up from me.

Features:
  • Support – Extreme support. Up to 78% bounce reduction (University of Portsmouth 2009).
  • Band – Soft, wide elastic underband.
  • Cups – Soft, seamless cups that compress and encapsulate each breast separately.
  • Straps – Adjustable, non-slip, wide and padded.
  • Back – Double back fastening racer back style.
  • Fabric – Made from moisture-wicking, breathable, sports performance fabrics.

#2 Anita Active DynamiXstar Racerback Sports Bra

Am I allowed to say that this bra is my number two overall? I thought this list was meant to be in two parts. I can’t resist sorry as this bra is a clear second overall. There I’ve said it. It’s designed for comfort and offers great support. It’s so lightweight that you forget you’re wearing it. The soft comfortable band sits snugly against you rig cage and I also love the front adjustment. So easy to use!

If my Shock is in the wash, then this one is my next go to. Great in the warmer months as it’s so light weight and breathable.

Features:
  • Support – High to extreme impact support.
  • Band – Soft, comfortable and supportive.
  • Cups – Wirefree, seamlessly shaped, preformed, double layered cups. Encapsulates each breast individually.
  • Straps – Adjustable comfort strap system exclusively developed for Anita.
  • Back – Racerback design.
  • Fabric – Quick dry and moisture wicking.

#3 Triumph Triaction Extreme Lite Sports Bra

This bra is extremely light and comfortable with high bounce control. Triumph puts its bounce control at 77% with 3-layer anti-bounce compression and I would say it does a great job of keeping the girls under control so a big tick. It’s made from tech material that is breathable and has moisture regulating inserts, perfect for long sweaty runs.

Overall, this bra delivers high support and comfort for runners in the C-E cup range.

Features:
  • Support – 77% bounce control, 3-layer anti-bounce compression.
  • Band – Wide lower band with a velvety touch.
  • Cups – Non-padded, wirefree, shaping cups, that firmly wrap around the bust. Compress and encapsulate each breast.
  • Straps – Adjustable, padded straps with practical snap closure.
  • Back – Regular back that can cross-over to racerback style.
  • Fabric – Light mesh material, double layering with flexible texture.

#4 Panache Wirefree Sports Bra

Next on the list is a great running bra from Panache Sport. Panache really do know how to make great sports bras. And this bra is no exception. So why haven’t I got it as my number one you ask? I’m sorry I do love it as an all-round sports bra but not as much as the three above as a running specific sports bra. It is good for running just not great. That said, I do love the padded straps and cross-back design.

I always look for that little bit extra comfort and support in my running bras and this bra does offer that.

Features:
  • Support – High / extreme impact.
  • Band – Wide, comfortable and supportive.
  • Cups – Moulded and seam-free. Encapsulates each breast individually.
  • Straps – Wide, cushioned and adjustable.
  • Back – Regular. Converts to racerback style.
  • Fabric – Breathable and moisture wicking.

#5 Glamorise Sport Adjustable Wirefree Sports Bra

This sports bra is an absolute Glamorise favourite. This best-selling bra is comfortable from start to finish. The cups are seamfree and the overall construction gives no-chafe comfort when running.

I particularly like the back design and front adjustment (can you sense a bit of a theme here?). Also, the padded back closure can be a life saver for those of you that run some serious k’s. Nothing worse than that painful mid-back rub that can occur on longer runs.

An easy number 5 for me.

Features:
  • Support – High to extreme impact with front adjusting outer panel.
  • Band – Wide, comfortable and supportive.
  • Cups – Seamless, non-padded and wirefree inner cups. Compresses and encapsulates each breast individually.
  • Straps – Non-slip adjustable straps.
  • Back – Two-way stretch back with regular back.
  • Fabric – Quick dry and moisture wicking.

Honourable Wirefree Mention:

Anita Active Extreme Control Sports Bra

It’s always hard doing a top five when there are so many great running bras out there, so I’ve had to throw in a ‘honourable mention’. And this sports bra is definitely it.  It’s designed with an extreme shaping function and provides maximum support.

Like all Anita bras is made from high tech material that is lightweight and comfortable. Can I rank this one 5.5 as it only just misses the top five?

Features:
  • Support – High to extreme impact support.
  • Band – Soft microfiber underband. Firm support that moulds to your body.
  • Cups – Soft, shaped wirefree cups that encapsulate each breast individually.
  • Straps – Adjustable ergonomically tailored comfort straps.
  • Back – Two-way stretch back with regular straps.
  • Fabric – Breathable with Anita sweat management system.

Check out my entire range of Wirefree Running Sports Bras.

Top 5 Underwired Sports Bras for Running

#1 Freya Active Epic Underwired Crop Top Sports Bra

Ok we’ve worked our way through the Wirefree top 5 but what if you’re an underwire lover. I love wirefree so this isn’t me, that said I make a point of trying everything I recommend and this my number one underwired sports bra.

Why? Quite simply the support it offers. Freya reckon it can reduce independent breast movement by 92%. I don’t know about that, but it certainly does a good job of keeping your assets in check. It’s surprisingly comfy for an underwired bra too (there’s my wirefree bias again!). All in all, a great running bra and a definite ‘best in underwire show’ for me.

Features:
  • Support – High / extreme impact. Reduces independent breast movement by up to 92% (University of Portsmouth).
  • Band – Wide, comfortable and supportive.
  • Cups – Perforated foam cups. Underwired. Encapsulate each breast individually.
  • Straps – Adjustable padded straps.
  • Back – Regular. Converts to racerback style.
  • Fabric – Breathable and moisture wicking.

#2 Panache Underwired Sports Bra

Next on the list is a classic from Panache Sport. If you want a supportive and comfortable underwired running bra then it’s hard to go past this offering from Panache. It’s not as supportive as the Epic but it comes close (83% bounce control). It’s a similar shape and design to the Epic just a touch less supportive. That said I found it on par (I’m a 12DD).

The moulded cups give a great breast shape and a smooth under shirt look. All in all, a great underwired sports bra perfect for running.

Features:
  • Support – High / extreme impact. Reduces bounce by up to 83% (10E subject).
  • Band – Wide, comfortable and supportive.
  • Cups – Silicone encased underwire, moulded and seam-free. Encapsulates each breast individually.
  • Straps – Wide, cushioned and adjustable.
  • Back – Regular. Converts to racerback style.
  • Fabric – Breathable and moisture wicking.

#3 Glamorise Sport High Impact Underwire Sport Bra

So, what’s next on the list? For me it’s hard to go part this Glamorise bra. It offers great support and comfort when you’re pounding the pavement. I particularly like the Wonderwire technology. Glamorise have done a great job of designing the bra to give you the benefit of underwire but the softness of wirefree.

If you’re after a great running bra in a larger back size, then it’s hard to go past this one.

Features:
  • Support – High to extreme impact.
  • Band – Wide, comfortable and supportive.
  • Cups – Double layer seamless cups with integrated Wonderwire® design. Encapsulates each breast individually.
  • Straps – Adjustable padded shoulder straps.
  • Back – Two-way stretch back with regular straps.
  • Fabric – Breathable and moisture wicking.

#4 Triumph Triaction Control Lite Minimiser Sports Bra

This really is a good running sports bra and perfect for those who may be a little self-conscious about their breasts when running. I am a D cup and it really did feel good on. Soft, comfortable and supportive.

Triumph advertises it as having 3D powertech technology and 3D straps. I am not sure what that means and suspect it is just marketing jargon to break through the sports bra noise. That said whatever it is it works. I took it for a run and felt good throughout. An easy number 3 for me.

Features:
  • Support – High to Extreme impact support. Up to 77% bounce control.
  • Band – Wide, comfortable and supportive.
  • Cups – Non-padded, underwired, minimiser cups that reduces the bust by one cup size. Compress and encapsulate each breast individually.
  • Straps – Wide, padded, adjustable straps.
  • Back – Regular back that can cross-over to racerback style.
  • Fabric – Lightweight, soft fabrics.

#5 Berlei Shift Underwire Bra

Berlei make great sports bras, but I am not normally a fan of the support level they offer for high impact activities such as running. This bra breaks the mould. It ups the support factor whilst maintaining the comfort.

Well done Berlei you have created a winner here.

Features:
  • Support – High impact support. Berlei Support Factor 4.
  • Band – Covered elastic underband that is comfortable and supportive.
  • Cups – Multi-part, encapsulated underwire cups are cotton lined. Non-padded.
  • Straps – Wide adjustable straps.
  • Back – Regular back that can cross-over to racerback.
  • Fabric – Lightweight and breathable.

Honourable Underwired Mention:

Elomi Energise Underwired Sports Bra

I’ve given this one my honourable mention purely due to the support it offers women with fuller figures and larger cups. We are all entitled to have great support when we run, and this sports bra does just that.

I’m a 12DD so couldn’t really test the support it offers larger sizes but feedback I have received has been all good. Larger ladies love the support and comfort it offers.

Features:
  • Support – High impact.
  • Band– Shaped, comfortable and supportive.
  • Cups– Underwired, non-padded with 2-ply construction. Four sections with side support panels encapsulates each breast individually.
  • Straps– Wide and adjustable.
  • Back– Regular. Converts to racerback style with a J-hook.
  • Fabric – Smooth microfiber. Breathable and moisture wicking.

Check out my entire range of Underwired Running Sports Bras.

In Conclusion

So, there you have it. My 5 + 5 = 10 done and dusted. As always, the perfect sports bra for you is very much a personal choice. What works for your running buddy may not work for you. Use this list as a guide and hit the trials with the ultimate in support and comfort.

In closing can I say that no single sports bra can offer you complete support. The very best advertise 80-90% bounce control and over a long run that 10-20% can add up.

In my opinion a must have running accessory is the Pinkclover Breastband.

This athletic breast support band is designed to work with your sports bra to provide the complete support solution for holding your breasts in place preventing bounce and breast damage while you exercise. You will love it!

Happy running.

Amy x

Amy Jaffers

Amy is the face behind Sports Bras Direct, Australia’s largest sports bra website. She's a mother of two, outdoors lover and sports bra expert. Her life mission is to help active women get the support they need as well as assisting women in need through her charitable donations.

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