10 Best Sports Bras for High Impact Running

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Looking for a sports bra that is meant for running? These have serious support and still look and feel great. See our detailed comparison of Bras here!

When it comes to the best sports bras, most women have one phrase in mind: high impact. Those little low impact bras that work just fine for yoga and medium impact bras for other sports just don’t cut it when you’re running on hard pavement. You need a bra that’s highly supportive yet breathable and comfortable. Style never hurts, either – why should a sports bra be ugly and boring compared to any other bra? The best sports bras are full of great features you love as an athlete, but they’re also stylish enough that you won’t mind stripping when you’re running outside on a hot day. Below are the top 10 best sports bras for runners.

Our Top Picks
Champion Freedom Racerback
  • Champion Freedom Racerback
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Seamless design
  • Price: See Here
Columbia Ombre Racerback
  • Columbia Ombre Racerback
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Medium Support
  • Price: See Here
Encounter High Impact Stretch
  • Encounter High Impact Stretch
  • 4 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Super soft comfort
  • Price: See Here

10 Best Sports Bras

 

1. 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

2. 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

3. Playtex Play Outgoer

This isn’t the classic sports bra in that it looks more like an everyday bra, but in this sense it appeals to some women who want a bra that is more versatile. The Play Outgoer sports bra is one of the best sports bras because it offers bustier women the support they need for high impact running. Whereas regular sports bras often just don’t give enough support, this bra is foolproof in that area.
Pros
  • All Day Dry fabrics
  • Lightly padded cups
  • True Support System with taller sides, full cups, wide straps, and underwire support
  • Ideal for bustier women
  • Very soft, comfortable fabric
Cons
  • Some women find underwire uncomfortable
  • Runs large

4. Encounter High Impact Stretch Racerback

Talk about wildly affordable. The Encounter is about as affordable as you can get when it comes to a sports bra, and it’s a real favorite. It comes in numerous color combinations and it has a classic sports bra look with a small twist: the details are a secondary color.
Pros
  • Very soft fabric
  • Sweat-wicking
  • Comes with a free wristband
  • Light padding
  • Medium impact
Cons
  • Some women considered it cheaply made
  • Others found it offered too little support

5. Wacoal Underwire

We had to include another underwire sports bra on the list, because for some ladies there really is no other option (think busty!). The Wacoal Underwire sports bra is one of the best sports bras because it really does offer unparalleled support.
Pros
  • Very high impact support
  • Perfect for bustier women
  • Fabric cups and underwire frame for support
  • Outside underwire frame and shoulder strap adjustment for minimal chafing
  • Doesn’t squish / suffocate
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Some women found the seams uncomfortable / scratchy

6. 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

7. 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

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. La Isla Level 4 High Impact

Once again, La Isla delivers with an affordable and highly stylish sports bra, this time in two colors which shape and compliment the feminine form. The bra is available in numerous color combinations and combines smart tech with high fashion. Here’s what it has to offer.
Pros
  • Highly affordable
  • Stylish and colorful
  • High support for running
  • Shaped, padded, and adjustable straps for comfort and support
  • Moisture-wicking fabric to keep you dry
  • Wirefree, wide underbust band
Cons
  • Some women had issues with the clasps in the back

10. Under Armour

Under Armour is known for high quality and breathable fabrics, and it doesn’t let us down with one of the best sports bras. This sports bra has an attractive band with the Under Armour logo, but otherwise it is attractive in its minimalism. It has the look of an absolutely classic sports bra. What sets this bra above others is its high-quality fabric construction and its availability in nearly any color you could desire!
Pros
  • Compression sports bra with great support
  • Super-smooth, double-layer HeatGear for comfortable and breathable fit
  • Signature Moisture Transport System wicks away sweat
  • Lightweight and 4-way stretch construction for comfort and movement
Cons
  • Some women felt the seams or band were itchy / uncomfortable


The criteria used when choosing The Best Bras For High Impact Running

While choosing the best product, you need to think about many aspects. Here we come with help. This list features all the most important factors that you should consider. Of course you don’t need to read all of this but if you want to be happy with your purchase, read it all. Enjoy!

What size do you need?

This factor is crucial and you must really pay attention to this. Choosing the wrong size may cause that your bra won’t work well for you. Chaffing is one of the biggest problems when it comes to buying sport bra. This really unpleasant feeling may appear if your size is too small. Problems with choosing the right size of the cap are very common not only when choosing the sport bra but also the normal one. When you measure your bust size, you must do it around the fullest part of your breast. It’s no secret that our body is changing, we lose weight, we grow muscles and this may cause that we aren’t wearing the good size. Choosing the size that is too big is also a bad idea as you will feel very uncomfortable. Using bigger cap than you actually need won’t give you enough support. There are always a chart with sizes on producer’s page and it’s really advisable to check it out. The big mistake that you can make is to ignore the sizing of the producer and choosing the size which you’re wearing for the normal bra. This won’t be good for you as sport bra is much more different than the normal one.

Performance

This is why you buy sport bra- to provide yourself more comfort . Running is high impact sport that involve many parts of your body and chest is one of them. The first thing that you need to think is how much support do you need. Firm support can really make your running easier. Bustier women have the hardest task as many bras can’t deal with bigger size and the level of support may be not satisfying. Think also about weather conditions. If it’s very hot when you run, you can invest in moisture-wicking bra. Run or jump a little- if there’s bouncing, your bra doesn’t work.

Quality and durability

On the market, we can find many various running bras. There are so many of them that choosing the one can be 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 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.

Fabrics

Fabrics are very important while making a bra because they have many different features. Three most popular are Spandex, Nylon and Polyester. Let’s start with Spandex. This is very popular material used also for normal clothes. It’s not heavy and it’s quiet soft at the same time. It is very praised for keeping the original shape for a very long time. However spandex is heat sensitive. It means that washing it in hot water won’t be a good idea. Many buyers also complain that white color stops to be white after some time and it becomes yellow. Next fabric that is very popular amongst manufacturers is nylon. It’s very lightweight and you won’t have problem with washing it. The strength of it is very big and it doesn’t absorb a lot of moisture. It is very resistant to all kinds of damages or shrinkage. What we really don’t like about nylon is dyeing in the washing machine. It isn’t also a good material when it comes to resistance of the sunlight. The third very popular material is polyester. It’s very strong and durable material and it’s also resistant for abrasion. The main problem is that it absorbs a little.

Design/ Construction

The look of the bra is very important and now we want to focus on the design. You may thing that design isn’t worth thinking but it’s really untrue. Choosing the wrong design can lead to buying the bra with not firm enough support and that’s not what we want. Here are design types:
Compression sports bras compress breast very much. This prevents it from bouncing . Many runners really appreciate this type because there aren’t separated caps. They are very easy to put on, all you need to do is pull it over your head. However, we’re sure that for most of our readers, they won’t be supportive enough and they will be better for medium impact sports.
Encapsulation sports bras are in some way the opposite of compression bras. The Encapsulation bra has two individual caps build- in. To be honest, this type is the worst for runners. We mean that there’s so little support that this type is used only for low impact sports.
The best choice for the runner will be definitely the combination of these two types above. Mixing these two types can give you really firm support and it will truly restrict your breast movement.

Strap Type
  • Crisscross type is when the straps cross at the back. This type is adored by women who look for fashionable bras. Straps look excellent on your back and you can, in most cases, adjust the tightness easily. This is very comfortable option and you can wear it also as a normal bra.
  • Tank top is the next type of straps that are usually easy to adjust. You don’t need to worry about anything as many models have back closure which is very comfortable for the runner. This is the most basic type but it’s really enjoyed by the runners.
  • Racerback– this type is really perfect for high impact sports- so it’s good choice for running. It has this famous Y shape- it means that the straps cross at the back. The straps are usually very wide and strong to provide more comfort and support. However, there is one thing that we really don’t like about it- it’s not adjustable. If you decide to buy this type, choose the size carefully.

As you see, there aren’t many options when it comes to choosing the stripe. If you look for more support, it’s better to choose wider straps.

Best-Running-Sunglasses-3

Other important factors worth considering

Here we go with one more list. You can find here factors that may seem less important but they are still worth considering.

Look and color

Fashion is present in our everyday life. Especially woman want to dress nicely and they want to look stylish. It doesn’t matter if they go on the party or just to run. Stylish look makes you more comfortable and when you are confident, you are more likely to win. Wearing nice clothes may have a big impact on our running. You may think that it sounds crazy but it’s true. When you purchase sport bra, you want to wear it and it’s additional motivation for running. Appearance of the bra may be important for those who want to wear something extraordinary.

On the market, there are many types of running bra and you can choose for example what strap type you want. Many runners tend to look for bra which are suitable both for running and everyday use. This is very useful and it’s very good support for your breast. Nowadays, runners like when the bra fits the rest of the outfit. There are many colors available on the market. There are very flashy ones which are really popular during the summer but there are also normal colors. The most universal color is black. It’s really hard to see the dirt or any other staff on it and this color is the least see-through.

How much money do you want to spend?

Running clothes aren’t very cheap. Good quality brans offer wide range of products but you need to pay for it. But have you ever wondered why running clothes can be so expensive? In most cases, this is because running staff needs very high quality materials. You don’t care if your normal clothes are sweat absorbing or water resistant. However, when it comes to running clothes, they must be very durable no matter what season you run. Good sport bra must be made with high quality material or otherwise it won’t work well and it won’t give firm support for your breast.

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 and arm or leg. Some people say that sometimes your just paying for a logo. Well, sometimes it’s true, however, brands like Nike, Addidas and etc. have the prestige which doesn’t come from nowhere. If you really have problem with bouncing, don’t be afraid to invest the money in the product. This will definitely give you more comfort and you won’t regret it.

Where should I buy my bra?

When you find the bra of your dreams, it’s time to choose where you want to buy it. Many runners usually hesitate whether shopping in the store is better than shopping online. When it comes to buying sports bra , it can be much easier to buy it in the store. Why? Well, the biggest advantage of it is ability to try on the bras. Shopping in the store is usually recommended also for bustier women. It’s much harder for them to find the appropriate size so going to the shop is a good option.

What’s more, in some stores there are special assistants that will measure you and they will help you to choose the best size. You will be more sure if you buy product in the store but shopping online isn’t also a bad idea. There are much more brands available than in the store. You can buy bras that aren’t available in your country . Remember that you need to check carefully the fabrics and all the features. Bra may look good only in the picture and you don’t want to have delivered useless, cheaply made bra. It’s your choice which way you choose.

Any extras?

Providing support and comfort is the main task for bra. However, there are many other things that can make you really enjoy the product. What does it mean? Well, if you live in very hot climate and your skin is very susceptible to Sun, don’t waste your time and invest in bra with UPF. Sun protective clothing works very well, breast is very sensitive part of your body , the skin is very fragile. When you run, you need to keep somewhere your key or mp3 player.

You may not believe it at first but there are bras that have storages for keys or phones( of course small ones). This can be really useful if you already have something in the other pockets. The other convenience that is excellent, especially for runners are reflective materials. How many times have you been outside in the dark and you weren’t feeling safe because you weren’t visible enough. With reflective materials, you won’t have this problem again.

FAQ

We know that choosing the bra isn’t very simple task. Running in a bra may provide so much comfort to your running that you will want to know more about bras and how to find a good one. 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 running sport bra is 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 are 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 this 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 sport bra for high impact training is 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.I don’t know which material would be good for me- Nylon, Polyester , Spandex ?

A. That’s a good question as many people don’t know much about the materials and the materials are of course crucial part of comfort
Nylon is very strong material. It is also water resistant so you can even run in the rain.
Spandex- it is also called Lycra or elastane. This is very elastic material. The big advantage of Lycra is that it dries very quickly comparing to the other materials.
Polyester is also good and very durable material. It can be washed and dried in the machine. You shouldn’t wear it if you sweat a lot.

Q. How to measure and choose the best size?

A. Many women think that finding the appropriate size is impossible. Actually, it’s not. There are 2 things that you need to measure. Start with rib cage. You need to put the measurement type just under your breast. You should be able to breath normally so the type can’t be too tight. The next and last thing that you need to measure is bust size.

You must be sure that you measure it in the fullest part of your breast. Then you need to compare your measurements with the charts of sizes on particular brand site. This is because some brands have their own size chart but when you take the measurements, you shouldn’t have problem with choosing the size.

Q. I’m looking for a sport bra with caps but unfortunately my one breast is bigger than the other one. How should I choose my bra?

A. Well, at first, your problem is very common. Many women have this problem called breast asymmetry. This is the effect that cause hormones in your body. You shouldn’t worry about it much as long as there’s no pain. If there are any other problems with your breast, you should see the doctor immediately. You can easily deal with the smaller breast- all you need to do is to exercise it a little. Chest presses are very good exercise to build the muscle and as a result lift and even enlarger the breast.

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

A. Underwire is loved by many women but it is also hated for many of them. Underwire is a really good thing as longs as it fits your breasts. It helps them to stay in place. However, for some women, underwire is very uncomfortable and it can hurt your skin. It must be placed under your breast, it can be placed on the lower part of your breast as it may be really painful. While wearing a bra, you should be able to do all the movements easily and there shouldn’t be any pain.

Q. How to check if the bra fits me?

A. Well, here are points that you need to evaluate while trying on the bras. Firstly, you should have a feeling that your bra is tighter than the normal bra. This is because sports bra gives more support. You should inhale and exhale the air easily so that means the bra isn’t too tight. Your whole breast should contain in the cup.

If there’s still space between bra and breast, this means the bra is too big. On the other side, if you see that your breast is ,, out” of bra, the bra is too small for you. If you hold your arms high and the band goes up, it’s sign that the bra is too big. If you can, you should check and adjust the straps. If they’re too tight, they will leave the trace on your skin. Wearing them loosely will cause that bra won’t give you much support. Try to run a little or jump. Your breasts should stay in place, there shouldn’t be much movement. Don’t forget about the most annoying thing about some bras- chaffing. Make sure there’s no traces of it on your skin.

Q. I know that cap is very important part of the bra but there are also many other important features? What are those other parts of the bra that I should pay attention to?

A. Yes, it’s absolutely true that there are other parts/ features of the bra and people forget to test them. The straps are very important thing as they decide about support. People don’t focus on straps but they should do it. Possibility to adjust the tightness is great especially if the cap is good but the straps are too loose. Underwire is also a feature that may not be great for everyone. Many runners also choose back closure. This is very helpful when you wash your bra a lot and it stretches out. You just use the closer hook and you don’t need to buy a new one.

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

A. there are many reasons why you should wear sports bra. First of all, it’s for your comfort. We know the feeling when you run and your breasts don’t have anything to hold them in the place. This is very annoying, it doesn’t look good and in many cases, it can be also very painful. Nowadays, sports bras became so popular that many women wear it for everyday life. There are many colors and designs available on the supermarket and now it’s cool to wear sports bra. It’s also a good idea for those who want to reduce breast pain. Sports bras are also helpful after surgeries and many women with bigger sizes wear it because sports bras give much more support.

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 staff 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 not using high temperatures because then the product will last shorter.

Q. I have big breast and I’m afraid I won’t find good bra. What should be the most important for me?

A. It’s not true that if you have big boobs, you won’t find good bra. Manufacturers are aware that every woman is different and every breast is different. On the market, you won’t have problem with finding the bra for example with J cap. There are some things that you need to check carefully. At first, your bra must be very firm and supportive. Separated caps will be a good option for you.

When you’re looking for a sports bra, there’s a lot more to take into consideration than men may think. There’s just so much to consider! You want a bra that’s attractive. You want one that you feel good in. But it’s also nice to have a bra that’s reliable, just stretchy enough, just supportive enough (without being constricting), moisture-wicking, etc.! All of these bras on this list fit the bill. They’re some of the best sports bras for running because they offer just enough support. They’re also pretty high-tech with chafe-free design, 4-way stretch features, great lining and shaping, and unparalleled support.

For women, having a properly supportive bra is one of the most important things when it comes to prepping for a good run. You don’t want to be bouncing around out of control, you don’t want slippage, and you definitely don’t want to straight-up fall out. The best sports bras won’t let you down, and they’ll look so good you’ll want to work out more often.

Here’s a final tip on finding your next great sports bra: try them on in numerous sizes. When it comes to sports bras, sizes are just a suggestion. This is because depending on how much compression and what type of impact exercise you’re doing, you may want a tighter or looser fit than normal. If you’re going for a run, we definitely recommend a more high impact bra. Cheers to finding your ideal sports bra and to improving your running game!


Sources

Our team works really hard to provide only true information. Here are sources that we have used during the research

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