As a female runner, you are likely very familiar with the battle that is finding a good, comfortable, supportive running bra that keeps your breasts still as you run. Running is a very high impact exercise, and no matter what speed you run at, your breasts will move with every step. This movement affects your run from making you take shorter steps, to causing chafing and pain in your lower back.
Your bra can make or break your run, so a good high-impact running bra is a super important part of your running kit.
Luckily there are bras of all styles, support levels, and sizes available on the market today – and the good news is that many of them look great too!
In this buying guide we review some of the best sports bras for running on the UK market today, to help you find that perfect supporting piece for next time you hit the roads.
Our Reviews – Best sports bras for running
Our current top picks:
We were impressed with the range available in the sports bras market right now. Our focus was to find bras that stood up to vigorous exercise – not just running but all motions like jumping, crawling, stairs, Crossfit and the like. Having taken a look at some of the best high impact running bras available, this was our final list. In no particular order:
1. Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Bra
It’s easy to see why this racer back, non-wired running bra is so popular with female runners of all sizes. Designed specially for runners, this extreme impact bra is built with an Infinity-8 support system which acts against breast movement when you run. Every part of this bra is built for running comfort, with wide padded straps, and a soft seam-free inner lining. Moisture wicking material moves sweat away from your skin quickly.
This bra comes in every size from 30A to 38G; we think it’s one of the best running bras for large breasts on the market.
- Infinity-8 support system reduces movement
- Extreme support
- Racer back
- Non-wired and non-padded
- Sizes 30A – 38G
2. Runderwear Original Support Running Bra
This comfortable, supportive running bra is specially designed for comfort on every type of run. Runderwear’s designers are all runners themselves, meaning they design for runners and it shows in how this bra is put together.
Support comes from the racerback style, and the supportive elasticated underband. The bra is made from super-soft breathable material which makes it comfortable against your skin, and the moisture-wicking fabric removes sweat quickly. Removable padding for the cups gives you both options depending on your preferences.
This bra comes in every size from 28A to 38E, making it suitable for runners of all sizes. If you are looking for the best sports bras for large breasts, you may be interested in its sister bra, the Runderwear Easy-On Support Bra which goes up to a 40H. We think they’re both great!
- Encapsulated cups to control movement
- Supportive underband
- Racer back design
- England Athletics Official Partner
- Sizes 28A – 38E
3. Under Armour Mid Crossback Running Bra
This supportive, comfortable, compression sports bra is designed to offer complete support for long-periods of time.
The elasticated band and cross-back straps are designed to provide support, and removable cups allow you to choose the level of support you need. The bra is light and breathable, so that excess heat can escape and keep you cool, and moisture-wicking and quick drying to remove sweat and keep you comfortable.
This bra comes in sizes XS to XL, and is best for A to C cups.
It’s also made to Under Amour’s usual high standards, and the price is reasonable too.
- Compression bra
- Soft breathable material
- Crossover straps
- Removable cups
- Best for A to C cups
4. Icebreaker Cool-Lite Meld Zone Long Sport Bra
If you prefer natural fabrics, this wool based bra with lycra reinforcement is perfect for very cold winter runs and warm summer runs alike.
This bra provides medium support, but cup inserts provide extra support if needed. The supersoft wool fabric is gentle on your skin, and is naturally breathable and moisture-wicking to keep you cool and sweat-free. Eyelet merino mesh provides additional ventilation in key areas, keeping you comfortable on runs in warmer weather.
This bra comes in sizes XS to XL.
- Made from wool
- Naturally soft and breathable
- Slim fit, long line bra
- Cup inserts for enhanced fit and support
- Wide open racer back style
5. Triumph Triaction Extreme Lite Sports Bra
Run comfortably in this adaptable sports bra from Triumph. Designed with extreme bounce control to provide the support you need when doing sports, the bra cups wrap firmly around your bust, keeping your breasts in place. The double-layered light mesh material gives you support, and the padding on the adjustable shoulder straps stop them digging in.
We like the lycra fabrics used in this bra. They make the garment soft, stretchable, and freely able to move as your body moves.
This non-padded, non-wired sports bra comes in sizes 34A to 40C.
- Adaptable bra – moves with you
- Extreme bounce control
- Breathable material with moisture-regulating zones
- Non-wired cup design
- Comfortable underbust band
6. Adidas Don’t Rest Sports Bra
Run confidently in this medium support, pullover bra, and look good while doing it!
The locked-in compression fit and stabiliser inserts on the front straps give you more support and less bounce as you run. Moisture absorbent AEROREADY fabric and mesh panels ensure that you stay cool and dry at all times.
It’s also hook-free so if you don’t like hooks on your bra, then this pullover bra with the racer back is for you.
This medium support bra comes in sizes from XXS to XXL.
- Medium support bra
- Compression fit
- Moisture-absorbing AEROREADY fabric
- Pullover bra
7. SYROKAN High Impact Support Bra
Add some style to your runs with this pretty bra. The slightly padded material, compression style, elastic underband, and power racerback make this bra a great choice for your daily run.
Front and back mesh panels in all the right places keep you fresh and dry as you go, and you’ll get maximum comfort with the pullover style, and anti-skid underband which keeps the bra in place as you get your miles in.
This bra is available in lots of colours, and comes in XS to XXL sizes.
- Medium to high support bra
- Compression fit
- Power racerback for support and freedom of movement
- Mesh panels for ventilation
8. Brooks Dare Zip Run Bra
This front fastening bra from running kit brand Brooks provides great support with a no-fuss zip, so you can change in and out of your sports bra with the minimum of fuss.
This is part of Brooks new running bras line, which is their best line yet. The integrated bottom band gives you smooth, chafe-free support, and the padded encapsulated cups give you both support and shape as you run. The light fabric is extra breathable, removing moisture, and keeping you cool and dry every time you lace up.
This bra comes in sizes 30AB to 38CD.
- High impact running bra
- Encapsulated cups for support
- Front zip for easy opening and closing
- Hidden bottom band
- Available in sizes 30AB to 38CD
Why is a good running bra so important?
While a good running bra can make you look and feel like you’re ready to take on the world, they’re also super important. There’s several reasons why you should always wear a good sports bra while running and working out:
Stop the bounce
Running is a high-impact activity, and each bouncing step you take has the potential to jiggle your breasts. No matter what size your breasts are, they will move while you run. Research has shown that an A-cup breast will bounce 4cm, and a G cup will bounce as much as 14cm!
That’s a lot of movement, and the strain caused by all this bounce stretches the ligaments holding your breasts up. Once those ligaments have stretched, there is nothing that can restore them, leaving you with permanent damage (or saggy breasts).
Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t run or work out! The total opposite in fact – we encourage you to get those miles in as often as possible. Just make sure you’ve got a good supporting bra and you’ll have nothing to worry about.
Banish pain and discomfort
Too much breast movement can cause you pain in not only your breasts, but also your lower back and shoulders. A good supportive bra improves stability from head to toe and will make a world of different to your workouts, especially if you’re large busted. It’s no wonder so many women say a good running bra increases their running confidence and makes them enjoy their runs that much more.
Stay cool, dry, and chafe-free
Most sports bras are made from breathable, moisture wicking materials that remove sweat from around your breasts and keep your skin cool and dry. They are also from softer materials, with added protection at the underband, shoulders, and hooks so that your bra doesn’t chafe as you run.
What makes the best support bras for running?
A good fit
It’s important that your bra fits you well on your back, shoulders, and breasts.
Shoulders – Most sports bras have fully adjustable shoulder straps, so you can find the right fit. Try slipping two fingers in each strap. If there is extra give, then the straps are too big, and may fall down mid-run. If you can’t slip your fingers in, they are too tight and will dig into your shoulders as you run.
Breasts – The bra itself should cover your entire breast, without them bulging over the top or out of the sides. If your breasts are squashed together, or your cleavage is showing – your bra is too small. If there are wrinkles or gaps, it is probably too big.
Back – Many people find that their rib cage expands while they run, so they choose to go up a back size to avoid their bra becoming too tight. The underband should be level at the front and back, and you should be able to easily slip two fingers in between the band and your skin. Make sure it isn’t too big, as that may cause chafing.
Running is a high impact sport, so you should look for a high impact support bra. This impact support will keep your breasts in place and stop the dreaded bounce.
There are two types of impact support in running bras, compression, and encapsulation. Some bras combine the two styles.
Compression bras pin down your breasts to stop them moving. They are usually crop top style bras, and they are better for smaller breasts.
Encapsulation bras have individual cups that are either hidden behind a crop top like exterior, or are visible from the outside. The cups are strong enough to keep your breasts from moving as you run, and are suitable for bigger-breasted runners.
Our top picks!
A good running bra can make or break your run. Research tells us that runners who are comfortable in their bra, and know that it supports their breasts tend to be more confident, and enjoy their runs more, and that’s why there are so many different bra options available on the market.
Runners of all sizes should wear a good, high impact support sports bra when they are out running. For an all-round support bra for runners of all sizes, we like the Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Bra with its super strong Infinity-8 movement control to keep your breasts safe and secure every step of your run.
If you wear a smaller bra size, and are looking for a comfortable compression running bra, the Under Armour Mid Crossback Running Bra provides a soft running experience with adjustable support options according to your preferences.
For the budget conscious runner, look no further than the SYROKAN High Impact Support Bra. The power racerback style and supportive underband make this compression bra a smart choice for runners who want an attractive, good value bra.
Do you have a favourite sports bra? Tell us about it.
You might also like: Our Top Waterproof Running Jackets For Women
Last update on 2021-01-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API