Best Sports Bras for High Impact Running

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Running is a great way to stay in shape and to improve your health. This is especially true for women who love getting out and hitting the trails or the gym to feel the freedom that comes with being in good physical shape. Even if you’re just starting out and you’re still working to build stamina, you understand the importance of having comfortable running gear. A lot of women have a unique issue when it comes to running. The repetitive motion can jostle their “upper halves” in a way that can be embarrassing and painful. Anything that distracts you from your run is taking away from your performance and making it more difficult for you to enjoy your sport. This is why sports bras have evolved to accommodate more women of all shapes and sizes.

Whether you’re lean or extremely top-heavy, there’s a sports bra out there that’s made to accommodate you. Any woman who’s ever struggled with this understands the importance of good support. There’s nothing more embarrassing then experiencing a wardrobe malfunction miles from your house, and having to try and run back without drawing too much attention or experiencing pain from the impact.

Last Updated: December 8, 2018
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By Tess Bercan:

We added information about the fit and function of sports bras, and what you need to look for to find the best model for your needs!

Panache Underwire
  • Panache Underwire
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Huge variety in sizing
  • Price: See Here
SYROKAN Bounce Control
  • SYROKAN Bounce Control
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Extra support
  • Price: See Here
Champion Freedom Racerback
  • Champion Freedom Racerback
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Seamless design
  • Price: See Here
A high-impact sports bra can stop this problem before it starts. You shouldn’t have to wear three or four bras every single time you go running just to keep everything in place. A sports bra is actually a vital piece of equipment, and new innovations have thrown that one-size-fits-all mentality out the window. There have been so many improvements in the design of the sports bra recently, that we decided to review some of the most highly recommended models. We combed through a huge variety of different brands and styles and brought you high-impact sports bras that are as tough as you.

Best Sports Bras for High-impact Running

1. Panache Underwire

This sports bra from Panache is a customer favorite with great ratings from real, verified users. It’s not just the trendy colors and patterns that make this high-impact bra a keeper though. The smart design is built to lend support when you need it most and is available in a huge selection of sizes.
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Comfort
The synthetic polyester and elastane fabric blend of this bra isn’t our favorite, but it is lightweight and wicks moisture well. If you don’t think the polyester is breathable enough for you there is a ventilating mesh in the front and sides of the bra. Flat seams mean you won’t be constricted or poked when you’re trying to workout and the straps have extra padding to prevent undue shoulder stress.

Support
The wide convertible straps are a great way to provide versatility while offering extra support if you need it. It does have a 3 point hook and eye closure can be more supportive than other closures, but for durability, we would have liked to so more than 3 points of closure.

Fit
The band extends past the underwire to help keep the fit close and prevent pressure. The sizing options for this bra are pretty impressive with some color options going up to HH. The cups are lightly padded and don’t compress like some other sports bras, but are meant to separate and lift for a comfortable fit.

Value
The price for this bra varies quite a bit, but for those who may usually wear large sizes the price is fairly decent and there is a wide variety of colors that usually aren’t available in sizes higher than B or C. The design overall is great and if you have just a little to invest this may become your next favorite workout bra.
Pros
  • Hook and eye closure
  • Ventilating mesh
  • Flat seams
  • Many colors to choose from
  • Larger range of sizes
  • Convertible racerback straps
  • Lightweight, moisture-wicking fabric
  • Underband for a close fit
  • Wide, padded straps
Cons
  • High price depending on size and color
  • Limited size and color combinations
  • Must be hand washed

2. SYROKAN Bounce Control

This is a bra that will give you very big amount of support. It’s made of Polyamide and Spandex. What we really like is the shock control that this bra provides. The bra covers the whole area of the chest, it’s perfect for those who look for a bra without a big neckline. There is slight cushioned underband to give you more support and comfort. There are straps that are adjustable, if the bra is too tight or too lose, you can change it. It will be very easy to find the appropriate size as you the sizing chart is like for normal bra. This is model is quiet pricey and it’s definitely one of the most expensive on our list.
Pros

There are mesh panels at the front and inside to provide more breathability

Extraordinary design

Runs true to the size

Cons

Price


3. Champion Freedom Seamless Racerback

And here we are! The best of the best sports bras. Unsurprisingly, it’s a Champion. This bra has an absolutely classic sports bra look, and it’s available in nearly every color imaginable. This makes sense since so many women end up buying this bra for all of their sporting activities.
Pros
  • Moisture Management tech and knit-in ventilating mesh to keep you cool and dry
  • Knit-in inner bra and wide bottom band for great high impact support
  • Seamless design for zero chafing
  • 4-way stretch for comfort and freedom of movement
  • Available in numerous colors and a classic style
  • Very comfortable
Cons
  • Some bustier women craved more support
  • More low – medium impact than high impact

4. Columbia Ombre Racerback

4. Columbia Ombre Racerback
This medium support sports bra allows for full range of motion wit it's racerback design and can be used for multiple activity types including but not limited to running or biking. It's bindings are elastic, so you get all-around conforming support.
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Wicking:
The omni-wick material effectively moves sweat away from the skin and regulates moisture build-up in the bra itself, allowing sweat to easily evaporate and overall ample airflow.

Material:
The material is a composition of Nylon, Polyester and Spandex, giving a nice stretch without compromising comfort and softness. It's seamless, so you won't be dealing with any chafing either.

Extra features:
It also features removable cups.

Price:
The price point here is not bad for an effective performance bra. It's not the cheapest, but it is quality and be no means is it expensive. You get what you pay for and here you get value and performance which is why it lands high on this list.
Pros
  • Removable Cups
  • Very comfortable fit
  • Chafe Resistant
  • Reasonably priced
  • Omni-wick effective avaporation
Cons
  • Runs small

5. SYROKAN Bounce Control Full Figure

The SYROKAN Bounce Control sports bra is built to keep you in place, offering a high amount of compression and stability. It is great for those who want to limit the movement of their chest while still feeling comfortable and mobile.
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Comfort
This bra is 100% polyester which isn’t great for ventilation but will be soft and wick moisture well. There is no underwire so you don’t have to worry about being prodded or having pressure where you don’t want it.

Support
There is a 3 point hook and eye closure which is much better than some other types of closure in terms of support, but we do wish it had more than 3 points of closure. The convertible straps allow you to move between a straight, over the shoulder fit and a racerback style which can lend more support and reduce the stress on your shoulders as well as help with posture. It has virtually zero stretch which can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on what kind of fit you’re comfortable with, but if you’re looking to reduce your chest movement and use compression for stability then it will definitely benefit you.

Fit
Elastic on the top and sides of the bra and a thick underband provide a close fit, giving you support without the pressure of an underwire. The sizing of this bra isn’t as diverse but does go up to DD sizes.

Value
This bra is super affordable, topping out at about the 20$ range. The no-stretch compression may not be for everybody, but even if you end up disliking it you won’t be losing out.
Pros
  • Moisture-wicking fabric
  • Non-stretch compression means more stability
  • No underwire
  • Elastic at top and sides
  • Wide underband
  • Convertible straps
  • Hook and eye closure
Cons
  • Colors and sizing are limited
  • Fabric isn’t breathable
  • Non-stretch compression may be uncomfortable for some

6. Nike Pro Classic

6. Nike Pro Classic
Nice job, Nike! When Nike says Pro Classic, they really mean it. This has the classic sports bra look with a nice, small Nike swoosh in the center of the bra.
Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Very comfortable and stretchy though retains shape and size
  • Great medium compression sports bra
  • Soft fabric
  • Available in numerous colors
Cons
  • Lacks padding for women who want it

7. Wacoal

7. Wacoal
Wacoal is a popular brand that makes high quality bras. This model is a blend of Nylon and spandex. This also the next bra with hook and eye closure. The caps are separated and this help to reduce the motion of breasts. The shoulder straps are really comfortable and there’s no chaffing or skin irritation. It can be washed only in hands. It may cost even more than 50 dollars but we think that it’s better to invest in high quality and enjoy it for a long time. The bra has classical design and there are also 7 colors to choose from.
Pros

It will be great for more women with larger breasts as for H and G cups, there’s inner sling for extra support

The sizing is the same as for regular bras

It handles the moisture very well

Cons

High price


8. ChampionAbsolute with SmoothTec Band

8. ChampionAbsolute with SmoothTec Band
Champion is sometimes known for its great workout basics that are minimalistic in style. If that’s what you go for, they’re absolutely fantastic. With this bra, though, they step up their style game with exciting and fun marble patterns in neutral or flashy and bright colors. The Champion quality remains the same, though.
Pros
  • SmoothTecTM band for no chafing
  • Quick-dry Champion Vapor tech keeps you cool and dry
  • Racerback design for freedom of movement and comfort
  • Stylish
  • Highly affordable
Cons
  • Runs small

9. Champion Shaped T-Back

9. Champion Shaped T-Back
Champion strikes again and again when it comes to the best sports bras, and the T-Back sports bra is no exception. It comes in a variety of colors and has a nice, minimalistic style. Here’s why we love it.
Pros
  • Seamed shaping cups and inner bra for added support
  • Moisture-wicking comfort band
  • High support
  • Zero chafing
  • Absorbs sweat well
  • Durable and long-lasting high quality
Cons
  • Some women found they did not offer enough support for bustier sizes

10. Nike Womens Pro Rival

10. Nike Womens Pro Rival
The last product on our list is from Nike. Pro Rival is one of their best high impact bras It provides wire-free support. The bouncing is under control thanks to compression-molded fit. The material wicks the moisture and keeps your skin dry. Dri-Fit fabric used also on many other Nike products, prevents any excessive sweating. Our bodies are different so to make it even more comfortable, the design features elastic chest band and contoured seams. The strips are wide so there’s no chaffing and skin irritation. This bra is on the more expensive side.
Pros

Great bra for women with a bigger chest

Very good quality

Cons

For some the neckline was too big


Our Criteria for The Best Bras for High Impact Running

When we put this review together, we looked at a huge number of different factors to determine which brands will provide you with the best quality. At Runnerclick.com, we understand the needs of runners, and we know how much one small inconvenience can completely derail your experience. This is why we’ve listed only bras that are made with the highest quality materials and that have been tested in all sorts of conditions. These recommendations are the result of a stringent review process that took a number of different things into consideration.

Fit

Every bra should have a base fit, with customizable features. We looked for sports bras were both high impact and adjustable in more than one way. You can’t size your sports bra the same way you do your standard cup size, so it’s important to try something on or to approximately measure yourself before purchasing anything. It’s also important to take elasticity into consideration. If you need a lot of support or have a larger bust, then you don’t want to bra that’s going to bounce all over the place. Yes, you wanted to be light breathable, but you don’t want it to be so light that it can’t do its job. Regardless of your cup size, you also want to make sure that it’s not too restrictive. If the bands are too tight at any point, it can constrict your chest and interfere with your breathing rhythm.

Another thing that can impact comfort is whether or not the bands dig into your skin or pinch. If you take it off and you have angry red welts where your bra was, then it may be a little too snug. When finding the right sports bra, you want to find the right combination of support and elasticity to make sure that you aren’t sacrificing comfort for function. Even if you have a smaller chest, it’s important to find a sports bra that allows you to breathe and doesn’t accumulate sweat underneath it. This can cause the material to slip and create unnecessary friction that can lead to sores or chafing. The right fit will support you comfortably and absorb the shock of the run.

 

Stability and Comfort

The more you have to support, the firmer you want your sports bra to be. This keeps everything in place and takes some of the stress off of your body while you run. Before you actually purchase a bra, consider trying it on and jumping around (preferably in the dressing room) to see if anything bounces. If you experience a lot of movement, then that probably isn’t the bra for you. This is a product that’s all about function and support. The more support you have, the easier your run is going to be. Not having to constantly stop and readjust yourself saves you energy that can be channeled into improving your performance.

Quality

On the market, we can find many various running bras. There are so many of them that choosing the one can be a really hard task. You don’t need to care about the look or design if you want to simply enjoy comfort and support and that’s why quality is very important. Every person at least once in life bought something that turned out to be cheaply made and it was just a waste of money.

Good quality products don’t need to be very expensive and you can find on our list bras that aren’t very expensive but they are high-quality products. Durability is also worth considering. To be clear, don’t expect your product to last for many years because it won’t happen. Many of our readers complain that bras dye in the washing. This happens with rather cheap materials. You must be careful also with dryers as most products are very sensitive to heat.

Materials

The materials that go into making a sports bra can affect many different aspects of the bra itself like the durability, the comfort, the value, etc. For example, some of the most popular fabrics to make workout clothes with are Spandex, Nylon, and Polyester. Polyester is great at wicking moisture but it isn’t as breathable as Nylon. Nylon is more breathable, but it may not have the same stretch as Spandex. Spandex may deteriorate quickly if not reinforced with other more durable fabrics. You have to be aware of what materials are going into what you’re buying and how’ll they’ll enhance or affect your clothes.

 

Best-Running-Sunglasses-3

Other important factors worth considering

Durability

Consider the quality of materials, how active you’ll be while wearing them, and whether they’ll hold up over time. If you’re investing a good amount of money into something you’ll want it to last more than just a season.

Any Extras?

Something that can really make a product worth buying is getting more than we bargained for (in a good way). Extra features like UV/UB protection, small pockets, or reflective material can definitely add some convenience and value to a high-impact sports bra.

How much money do you want to spend?

We searched for the products that would be most suitable for those who are ready to shell out for a decent and worthy product, but we also kept our eyes open for those that might not cost an arm or leg. Some people say that sometimes your just paying for a logo. While sometimes that is true, tried and true brands like Nike and Adidas may carry an expectation of quality. Be aware of your budget, but don’t be afraid to invest in a product that will last. This will definitely give you more comfort and you won’t regret it.

FAQ

There are many questions when it comes to running bras and that’s why we have the most common questions here with answers. We hope that it will also make it easier for you to understand why running bras are so important.

Q. Is any sports bra good for all types of sports?

A. Well, we can say it’s good for most sports because it gives very much support. To be clear, there is the bra for low impact, medium impact, and high impact. Running is a high impact sport and this is why it needs more support. Here’s a little explanation how it works:
Let’s start with high impact sports. Basketball, football, handball, hockey, running, waterskiing. When you do these activities, there’s a big degree of bouncing and your breast needs really firm support.
Medium impact sports such as tennis or gym workouts, provide less bouncing than with high impact sports and your bra doesn’t need to be as supportive as the one for high impact

Low impact sports don’t make much bouncing. Yoga and Pilates are the best examples of low impact sports.
There are also no-impact sports but they sometimes are called low-impact. Swimming is one of this sports.
Buying a sports bra for high impact training is the perfect option as there’s no problem with using it for medium or low-impact. On the other side, if you’re planning to run a lot, there’s no sense in buying low impact bra- it won’t work.

Q. How do I size for a bra?

A. Not all bra sizes are universal, so make sure to check the sizing chart for any bra that you intend on purchasing. You can measure for your bra size at home using charts and instructions like this, or you can get fitted for one in most department stores with the help of an associate.

Q. My chest is asymmetrical. How do I shop for a proper fit?

A. Chest asymmetry is very common and not incredibly hard to accommodate. A good rule of thumb is to always fit to whichever side is larger. You may not have as difficult of a time with wear when it comes to asymmetry and sports bras, but if you want something with light padding or that has cups you can get extra pads or fillers that are specifically for helping to fill gaps in ill-fitting bras. Sometimes you can even find custom bras that have differing cup sizes to fit asymmetrical chests.

Q. I was wondering if I should purchase a bra with underwire?

A.  Underwire can be a really good source of support as longs as it fits comfortably. However, for some people, underwire is too stiff and puts too much pressure on their ribs or other parts of their chest. It depends on how much support you need, what kind of support is the most comfortable, and whether or not you like the fit. Sometimes a good elastic underband can be enough to provide support in a sports bra.

Q. Why do I need to wear the sports bra? Why can’t I use my normal one?

A. Everyday bras will probably not have most of the qualities you need from the clothes you’re wearing while running, like moisture wicking, compression, ventilation, and extra support. You could run in a more casual bra if you’d like, but you’d probably quickly find that it is uncomfortable, too warm, too sweat-absorbent, and allows for too much movement which is inconvenient and sometimes just painful!

Q. How long will my bra last?

A. There’s no one lifespan for every bra. There are different brands, some offer really good, high-quality performance that will stay with you for more than a year. On the other side, there are many bras that aren’t durable enough to last 5 months. It’s approximately 30-40 washes when you should buy a new bra. The more you wash your bra, the less supportive it becomes. We don’t say of course that you should wash your bra rarely but we recommend using delicate settings or not using high temperatures because then the product will last shorter.

 


Sources

Here are some of the sources we used while conducting our research.

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