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21 of the best sports bras for running

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When it comes to running, you can train wearing pretty much anything you want. But there are three key pieces of kit we wouldn’t recommend scrimping on: a good pair of running shoes, padded running socks and a comfortable and well-fitting sports bra.

The latter is vital if you want to minimise distractions on the run. And while a good sports bra for running might feel tight in the changing room, keeping you chest secure and reducing bounce helps to alleviate back and chest pain.

Not to mention, it also protects your Cooper’s ligaments – the connective tissue in the breasts that helps support the bulk of the breast tissue, preventing them from sagging.

But how should a sports bra fit and how can you ensure you find the best one for you? Keep scrolling for everything you need to know about running bras, as well as our round-up of the best sports bras for running on the market – tried and tested in the Runner’s World Lab and by our editors.

    What are the different types of sports bras for running?

    There are three main types of sports bras:

    1. Encapsulation bras have two cups, like a normal bra.
    2. Compression bras look more like a crop top. They work by pressing your breasts against your chest and are usually pulled on over your head. They are a good option for smaller-breasted women; if you’re opting for a compression bra, make sure the centrepiece lies flat against the breastbone.
    3. Combination bras, as the name suggests, combine the qualities of compression and encapsulation in one to provide the highest level of support for larger-breasted runners.

    How should a sports bra for running fit?

    If you’ve never worn a sports bra before, start with your usual bra size. It should fit snugly, without being so tight that you can’t breathe. Adjust the strap and ensure the back band is at the same level all the way around your body – if the back band rides up, the bra is too big. You should be able to get no more than one finger under the band, and the material shouldn’t pucker.

    As with shoes, sizes and measurements vary across brands, so it’s a good idea to try a few and find the one that fits you best. Find more information on how your sports bra should fit, how often you need to change it and why your sports bra is chafing in our guide.

    How we test

    We tested over 60 sports bras from the best brands on the market – both on the road and in the Runner’s World lab. Our panel of women – aged between 18 to 55 and with bra sizes ranging from an A to a K cup – put the bras through their paces, trying them out on the road and during 16 other activities, collectively.

    The bras, which ranged in support from low to high, were all triple-tested and judged according to their design, comfort, fit and overall performance. In the lab, we then conducted multiple wash tests to analyse shrinkage and colour changes and gave scores for both. Those that scored the highest collective marks received our Runner’s World Expert Tested seal of approval and are marked with this badge below.

    Editors’ Choice

    The ‘Editors’ Choice’ bras listed below are those that have been tested – and highly rated – by the female editors and contributors on our team. Over the years, we’ve tried and tested our fair share of running bras and, as technology has evolved, so have our expectations when it comes to comfort levels, bounce control and fabric quality.


    The best sports bras 2024 – chosen by our editors


      1. Sweaty Betty Zero Gravity Running Bra

      Best newcomer

      Sweaty Betty Zero Gravity Running Bra

      Zero Gravity Running Bra

      Best newcomer

      Sweaty Betty Zero Gravity Running Bra

      Sizes 30B – 38F
      Style Hook and eye fastening
      Support High

      Sweaty Betty’s latest high-support bra is a trusty choice for runners with bigger busts. Wide adjustable straps with a hook-and-eye closure at the underband and quick-release top clasp provide a secure and supportive fit, while an anti-bounce design ensures breasts stay firmly in place without feeling squished.

      The sweat-wicking fabric is soft and smooth, and resembles the fabric used in the brand’s ultra-comfy Power leggings. Our smaller busted testers both found that the fabric didn’t fit flush across the top of the chest, resulting in a some unwanted gaping; however, testers with larger cup sizes reported no issues.


          2. Lululemon Run Times Bra

          Best sports bra for high support

          Lululemon Run Times Bra High Support

          Editor’s Choice

          Lululemon Run Times Bra High Support

          Best sports bra for high support

          Lululemon Run Times Bra High Support

          Sizes 32B – 40 DD
          Style Hook and eye fastening
          Support High

          Lululemon’s Run Times bra isn’t cheap. It’s an investment, but one that has been carefully designed by the brand in its research and design lab.

          It comes in regular bra sizes, which we like – as it can be a struggle to convert a 32C or 34D into a XS, S or M based on different brand guidelines. It’s high support, so it’s built for running and the bra has padded, adjustable straps, which means you can tighten them for full support. You can also cross the straps on the back, if you feel you need the additional support.

          Read full review


          3. Gymshark Lightweight High Support Sports Bra

          Best high-impact sports bras for C-D cups

          Gymshark Lightweight High Support Sports Bra

          Editor’s Choice

          Lightweight High Support Sports Bra

          Best high-impact sports bras for C-D cups

          Gymshark Lightweight High Support Sports Bra

          Sizes XS – XL
          Style Pull over compression style
          Support High

          This high-support bra from Gymshark is designed to keep everything in place during high-impact training. While it’s not specifically designed for running, our tester, who is a 34C, found it offered ample support when clocking up the miles. There are no adjustable straps and the bra is available in XS-XL sizing, rather than your normal bra size, which is a tad annoying. That said, for a high-street brand, it’s a solid – and very affordable – option.


          4. Lululemon Energy Bra High Support

          Best Lululemon sports bra

          Lululemon Energy Bra High Support

          Editor’s Choice

          Lululemon Energy Bra High Support

          Best Lululemon sports bra

          Lululemon Energy Bra High Support

          Sizes 32B – 40D
          Style Hook and eye closure
          Support High

          This bra’s sturdy and stretchy double-cross back straps, coupled with its wide comfy back band, featuring a three-step hook-and-eye closure, make it an excellent choice for women with larger cup sizes. Designed specifically for running, it offers the high support and bounce control you would expect from a high-impact from Lululemon, but what really sets it apart is how comfy it is to run in. ‘It’s the comfiest bra I’ve ever had,’ said our tester, who is a 36C. ‘It doesn’t ride up and the adjustable straps across the back mean you can get the fit exactly right. The fabric is so soft against the skin and it doesn’t dig in – you honestly don’t know you’re wearing it. It also looks gorgeous on – I would happily wear it without a vest over the top when running on holiday.’


          5. Brooks Women’s Dare Crossback Run Bra

          Best pullover sports bra

          Brooks Women’s Dare Crossback Run Bra

          Editor’s Choice

          Brooks Women's Dare Crossback Run Bra

          Best pullover sports bra

          Brooks Women’s Dare Crossback Run Bra

          Sizes 30AB – 40 DD/E
          Style Pullover racerback
          Support High

          A pullover style with no hooks or zips, this bra claims to offer chafe-free comfort. We were worried at first that the lack of straps would mean the bra would be difficult to adjust, but when testing, it offered a comfortable fit.

          On the run, it didn’t rub and provided a good amount of support. We liked the built-in moulded cups (if you always end up pulling the padded cups out of a running bra, you will too) and the fabric is buttery soft, even after multiple washes. All in all, a great bra that didn’t rub, had good sweat-wicking properties and wasn’t too difficult to take off at the end of a long run.


          6. Lululemon Enlite Bra Zip Front

          Best zip-front sports bra

          Lululemon Enlite Bra Zip Front

          Editor’s Choice

          Lululemon Enlite Bra Zip Front

          Best zip-front sports bra

          Lululemon Enlite Bra Zip Front

          Sizes 30C – 40E
          Style Front zip
          Support High

          A relatively new invention in the world of running bras, choosing a front-fastening alternative makes compressive sports bras easier to get, and off when you are sweaty.

          This sports bra really is a dream come true. It’s easy to get on and off, thanks to the front-zip fastening, it’s buttery soft against the skin and the zip has never rubbed, even over a marathon distance. It’s an investment, but if you can afford it, it’s one of the most comfortable running bras we’ve ever worn.

          Read full review


          7. Nike Alpha High-Support Padded Zip-Front Sports Bra

          Best padded zip-front sports bra

          Nike Alpha High-Support Padded Zip-Front Sports Bra

          Editor’s Choice

          Nike Alpha High-Support Padded Zip-Front Sports Bra

          Best padded zip-front sports bra

          Nike Alpha High-Support Padded Zip-Front Sports Bra

          Sizes A-G
          Style Front zip and moulded cups
          Support High

          This high-support bra has all the quality we’ve come to know and love from Nike, but with the addition of a zip to make it easier to get the bra on and off. It offers Nike’s highest level of support, thanks to the encapsulation design, which individually supports each boob, and racerback, which has wide, adjustable straps. There’s a hook-eye closure that allows you to get the fit just right and the sweat-wicking fabric features mesh inserts in key cooling spots, to keep you dry.


          8. Adidas Running Medium-Support Pocket Bra

          Best sports bra for training in the heat

          Adidas Running Medium-Support Pocket Bra

          Editor’s Choice

          Adidas Running Medium-Support Pocket Bra

          Best sports bra for training in the heat

          Adidas Running Medium-Support Pocket Bra

          Now 44% Off

          Sizes 2XS A-C – XL D-DD
          Style Pullover
          Support Medium

          Adidas’ magenta-coloured long-line running sports bra is one of our favourites for staying cool while running. Why? Not only is the material moisture-absorbing, it comes with these handy elasticated bungee cords on the back – which means you can whip off your T-shirt and thread it through the back (without having to wrap anything around your waist). There are also several handy pockets, big enough to fit your phone, keys and gels.


          9. Freya Active Underwire Molded Sports Bra

          Best sports bra for large breasts

          Freya Active Underwire Molded Sports Bra

          Editor’s Choice

          Active Underwire Molded Sports Bra

          Best sports bra for large breasts

          Freya Active Underwire Molded Sports Bra

          Size 28D – 40G
          Style Wired with hook-and-eye fastening
          Support High

          With underwiring, padded straps and a mesh front for breathability, this Freya Active sports bra is an excellent choice for runners looking for serious support. The flattering design is available in sizes up to 38JJ and comes in black, beige and white. It’s the best running bra for larger-chested women, with size F-J cups.

          10. Sweaty Betty Power Pro Bra

          Best for sweaty sessions

          Sweaty Betty Power Pro Running Bra

          Power Pro Running Bra

          Best for sweaty sessions

          Sweaty Betty Power Pro Running Bra

          Sizes 30-38 A-F
          Style Hook-and-eye back with adjustable straps
          Support High

          This non-padded bra has been specifically crafted for running so it won’t let you down, whether you’re attempting a PB or heading out on an easy run. Our favourite features? Fully adjustable straps and a hook-eye fastening for easy on/off, plus quick-drying fabric and breathable mesh panels to keep the skin cool and sweat-free. ‘I didn’t feel at all overheated during my run and the bra didn’t stick to me after my workout,’ confirmed one happy tester.

          Our only gripe is that the design isn’t the easiest to get on if you’ve got a larger bust. You have to pull it on over the head, but as the straps aren’t super adjustable, it’s quite a snug fit. Getting the bulk of the bra over your breasts is then a bit fiddly, too.

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          The best sports bra for running – tested by the RW Lab


          11. Adidas FastImpact Luxe Run High-Support Bra

          Adidas FastImpact Luxe Run High-Support Bra

          UK Expert Tested(RW)

          Adidas FastImpact Luxe Run High-Support Bra

          Adidas FastImpact Luxe Run High-Support Bra

          Sizes 28B-44E
          Style Scoop neck with removable padding
          Support High

          Whether you’re running, lifting weights or tackling burpees, there’s no activity too vigorous for our winning sports bra. It proved highly effective at eliminating bounce, keeping testers’ boobs locked firmly in place as they put in the work. Despite the high level of compression, the smooth, sweat-wicking fabric also kept them cool and comfortable all workout long.

          Stellar performance aside, the innovative design is what makes this bra really stand out. Instead of a bog-standard hook-eye closure at the back, it has swan hooks around the chest and adjustable shoulder straps at the front so you can scale up the support easily. The fastening system is a tad fiddly to begin with, but you’ll get there after a couple of wears. Overall, a seriously impressive bit of kit.

          Note: the sizing runs small, so it’s worth sizing up for maximum comfort.

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          12. New Balance Impact Run AT Bra

          BEST FOR TRAIL RUNNING

          New Balance Impact Run AT Bra

          UK Expert Tested(RW)

          New Balance Impact Run AT Bra

          BEST FOR TRAIL RUNNING

          New Balance Impact Run AT Bra

          Sizes XS – 2XL
          Style Crop top with built-in cups
          Support Medium

          Yes, we’re after a sports bra that keeps our breasts in check, but we want it to look the part, too. Enter this stylish number from our pals at New Balance, which was an instant hit with our panel. More of a crop top than a traditional bra, with built-in cups and a flattering square neckline, everyone said they felt confident wearing it without a T-shirt.

          Good looks aside, its clever design impressed our experts. It has a small front pocket for your keys and a large drop-in pocket at the back for your phone – ideal for the trail runners among you. Testers felt extremely secure and said the bra significantly reduced movement while running. What’s more, the smooth, stretchy material offers comfort that goes the distance. ‘It’s hands-down my new favourite running bra,’ declared one satisfied tester.

          If we had to find fault, it’s not the easiest bra to squeeze out of, but we’re willing to let that slide given its top-notch support, style and comfort.

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          13. On Running Performance Bra

          BEST FOR SWEAT WICKING

          On Running Performance Bra

          UK Expert Tested(RW)

          On Running Performance Bra

          BEST FOR SWEAT WICKING

          On Running Performance Bra

          Sizes XS – XL
          Style Pullover racerback
          Support Medium – high

          Given this is On’s first foray into sports bras, it’s an impressive debut. It’s an encapsulation bra – meaning it supports each breast separately in a lightly padded, moulded cup – but looks more like a classic pull-on compression bra. Unlike the latter, though, it’s a cinch to slip in and out of – no need to wrestle it overhead after a sweaty sesh – thanks to the stretchy fabric.

          The bra is completely seam-free, and the smooth material feels soft against the skin, so it’s extremely comfortable, even on a really long run. No unwanted rubbing or chafing was reported on the move, with one tester saying it was so comfortable, they forgot they had it on!

          It scored highly in the sweat-wicking stakes, keeping our runners cool, calm and free from sweat patches as they racked up the miles. Performance aside, it also earned a thumbs up for its sleek design.

          Some would have preferred adjustable straps for a more tailored fit, but that wouldn’t stop them from wearing it time and time again.


          14. H&M DryMove High Support Sports Bra

          BEST VALUE FOR MONEY

          H&M DryMove™ High Support Sports bra

          UK Expert Tested(RW)

          H&M DryMove™ High Support Sports bra

          BEST VALUE FOR MONEY

          H&M DryMove™ High Support Sports bra

          Sizes XXS – XXL
          Style Lighty padded cups with a hook-eye fastening
          Support High

          This fuss-free design from high street heavyweight H&M exceeded our expectations. It has thick straps that don’t dig in or rub (hallelujah!) and it’s totally seamless, providing a chafe-free running experience.

          Though comfy, it effectively restricted breast motion during runs and energetic HIIT sessions, and it did a stellar job of wicking away moisture when things got hot and sweaty. Other plus points include adjustable straps and a hook-eye closure to help you find the perfect fit, and moulded cups for a flattering silhouette.

          At just £27.99, it’s a reliable bargain.

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          15. Under Armour HeatGear High Sports Bra

          BEST FOR QUICK ADJUSTMENTS

          Under Armour Women’s HeatGear® High Sports Bra

          UK Expert Tested(RW)

          Under Armour Women's HeatGear® High Sports Bra

          BEST FOR QUICK ADJUSTMENTS

          Under Armour Women’s HeatGear® High Sports Bra

          Sizes XS – XXL
          Style Compression
          Support High

          There’s nothing more irritating than having to adjust your bra while you’re dodging traffic and pounding the pavement. Fortunately, there’s no such problem with this clever Under Armour design.

          Unlike most bras, which are adjusted from the back, this one has hooks at the front of the bra, which you can easily reach during exercise. In terms of support, it ticks the box for all our high-impact workouts from interval training to burpee-filled circuits. There are mesh panels on the back and sides for breathability and the HeatGear tech prevents any unpleasant stickiness.

          Despite the pull-over style, the flexible fabric meant it was a doddle to get in and out of and many testers appreciated the high neckline to prevent any awkward boob spillages. In short, an excellent all-rounder.

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          16. Royce Aerocool Sports Bra

          Best compression bra for bigger boobs

          Royce Aerocool Sports Bra

          UK Expert Tested(RW)

          Aerocool Sports Bra

          Best compression bra for bigger boobs

          Royce Aerocool Sports Bra

          Now 29% Off

          Sizes 32G-40K
          Style Hook-and-eye back with adjustable straps
          Support High

          If you wear cup sizes G to K, it’s likely that finding a well-fitting compression bra is a bit of a challenge. This is a supportive solution that helped testers go the extra mile with no discomfort. The adjustable straps can be worn normally or as a racerback – although the clip’s a little fiddly. The sports bra comes up small, so sizing up is recommended but overall this is well-designed and looks good, too.

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          17. Brooks Drive Convertible Run Bra

          Best for a lightweight feel

          Brooks Drive Convertible Run Bra

          UK Expert Tested(RW)

          Brooks Drive Convertible Run Bra

          Best for a lightweight feel

          Brooks Drive Convertible Run Bra

          Now 30% Off

          Sizes 32B-40F
          Style Hook-and-eye back with adjustable straps
          Support High

          Get set with this lightweight offering that’s made just for running. Brooks’ unique technical fabric feels luxe and supportive to wear while the easy-to-access adjustable straps and racerback clasp make it simple to fit this compression bra how you like it. There are no built-in cups but the bra feels secure as you run, especially for our testers with smaller boobs. We’d give it extra points for the attractive design.

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          18. Brooks Drive 3 Pocket Run Bra

          Best sports bra with pockets

          Brooks Drive 3 Pocket Run Bra

          UK Expert Tested(RW)

          Brooks Drive 3 Pocket Run Bra

          Best sports bra with pockets

          Brooks Drive 3 Pocket Run Bra

          Sizes 32B – 40DD
          Style Compression bra with hook fastening
          Support High

          Looking for a sports bra to wear on long runs? This trusty pick from the experts at Brooks is our winner. It also has not one, not two, but three pockets for stashing your phone, keys and gels.

          The compressive material will keep your boobs as secure as your valuables, the high neckline provides ample coverage, and the padding is easily removable so you can customise the fit. On top of all that, the buttery soft fabric and bonded seams prevent any uncomfortable rubbing or chafing.

          The bra is a bit of a struggle to put on and take off, but that wasn’t a dealbreaker for our testers – many said they’d buy it again and would happily recommend it to friends.

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          19. Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Bra

          Best for technical design

          Champion Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Bra

          UK Expert Tested(RW)

          Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Bra

          Best for technical design

          Champion Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Bra

          Now 57% Off

          Sizes 30A-38G
          Style Non-padded racerback
          Support High

          From speed sessions to marathons, this technical sports bra is built to give you maximum support by counteracting the figure-of-eight motion your boobs naturally make on the run. What it lacks in style – it’s not a design to wear on its own – the compression bra makes up for in comfort, thanks to adjustable straps and a nifty clasp that combine for a secure fit, banishing unwelcome and uncomfortable movement to the past.

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          20. M&S Goodmove Extra High Impact Serious Sports Bra

          Best budget running bra

          M&S Goodmove Extra High Impact Serious Sports Bra

          UK Expert Tested(RW)

          M&S Goodmove Extra High Impact Serious Sports Bra

          Best budget running bra

          M&S Goodmove Extra High Impact Serious Sports Bra

          Sizes 32A – 42F
          Style Wired
          Support High

          M&S may not be the first brand that springs to mind when you think of sports bras, but this high-impact number was a big hit with our panel. The support comes from an underwire that keeps your breasts in place as you pound the pavement, and the moisture-wicking fabric ensures you stay cool and dry, even on lengthier runs. The straps are adjustable, which is handy, and the classic bra fastening makes it easy to get on and off.

          Testers reported the sizing was hit and miss, so we’d recommend trying before you buy. When the fit is right though, this bra is a dream to run in and, best of all, it comes in at under £30. Affordable activewear at its finest.

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          21. Panache Wired Sports Bra

          Best underwired sports bra for bigger boobs

          Panache Wired Sports Bra

          UK Expert Tested(RW)

          Panache Wired Sports Bra

          Best underwired sports bra for bigger boobs

          Panache Wired Sports Bra

          Sizes 28B-40GG
          Style Wired
          Support High

          This underwired bra is designed to keep large breasts tamed during exercise, and it doesn’t disappoint. According to our testers, it’s extremely supportive thanks to separate moulded cups and wide straps that convert between straight and racerback styles.

          If you’re concerned about the underwire digging in or poking you mid-run, you needn’t worry. Our runners confirmed the bra was a delight to wear, with one saying: ‘I felt comfortable after running for over two hours.’ They also rated it highly for sweat-wicking and said the soft fabric was breathable and didn’t cling to the skin unpleasantly.

          The only downside is that the bra needs to be washed by hand, which could be irritating if you’re running most days.

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          Headshot of Yanar Alkayat

          Yanar was our former Fitness Group Testing Manager. She managed health and fitness product testing across all the magazines, overseeing all testing processes and ensuring our lab and panel tests are conducted to the highest standards. Yanar spent 15 years as a health and wellness content editor and writer for national titles such as Runner’s World, Men’s Health and Women’s Health. Yanar is a Level 3 qualified PT, trained yoga teacher and a registered yoga therapist. She has been into fitness and wellness her whole life. After many years running races and marathons, she now trains and competes in CrossFit and Olympic lifting. She passionately advocates strength training for women to build a stronger mind and body for life. 

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