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Best Sports Bras for High Impact Running

last updated Sep 15, 2018

When it comes to running gear you don’t want to be restricted by something that simply can’t keep up, especially when you’re pushing your limits and your goals. You need high-performance wear that matches your pace, step-for-step, or you might as well just throw it away. Shopping for high-impact sports bras can definitely feel like an uphill battle when you’re trying to find a good personal fit (pun intended). Sports bras are a vital piece of equipment that are often ignored when it comes to nuanced innovation in running gear. Where something like a sock can be more “one size fits all” in its design, a high-impact sports bra can fit and function differently for each person.

We’ve taken a look at a variety of brands and styles to find high-impact sports bras that fulfill a variety of needs, sizes, and expectations. To make your search easier, we’ve compiled a diverse list of the best sports bras for high-impact running based on real customer reviews, and a list of custom criteria that you can read about below. Make sure to check out our FAQ for any questions you might have and if we’ve left out something you think should be on our list of the best of the best let us know in the comments!

Researched Sources
16
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
13.5k
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
13
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
10
Products Evaluated
Last Updated: September 14, 2018
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By Max Knapp:

This edition brings our top ten high-impact sports bras into our new and improved buying guide format that helps deliver more accurate and readable information right to you. We hope that this will help your decision making while browsing for the best sports bra for high-impact running.

Sorting Options
Comfort Support Style Price By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.8
Comfort
98%
Support
92%
Style
99%
Price
90%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.18)
2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.5
Comfort
97%
Support
98%
Style
96%
Price
95%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.18)
3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.5
Comfort
99%
Support
90%
Style
98%
Price
91%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.18)
4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97
Comfort
97%
Support
96%
Style
98%
Price
97%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.18)
5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.8
Comfort
94%
Support
98%
Style
96%
Price
99%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.18)
6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.3
Comfort
97%
Support
95%
Style
97%
Price
96%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.18)
7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.5
Comfort
94%
Support
98%
Style
95%
Price
91%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.18)
8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.3
Comfort
95%
Support
93%
Style
96%
Price
93%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.18)
$21.99
Best Deal
9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.5
Comfort
97%
Support
92%
Style
95%
Price
94%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.18)
10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94
Comfort
96%
Support
95%
Style
96%
Price
89%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.18)
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Panache Underwire
  • SYROKAN Bounce Control
  • Champion Freedom Seamless Racerback
  • Columbia Ombre Racerback
  • SYROKAN Bounce Control Full Figure
  • Nike Pro Classic
  • Wacoal
  • ChampionAbsolute with SmoothTec Band
  • Champion Shaped T-Back
  • Nike Womens Pro Rival
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

Top 10 Picks

1. Panache Underwire

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.8
1. Panache Underwire
Comfort
98
Support
92
Style
99
Price
90
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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

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 work out 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.

Style
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.

2. SYROKAN Bounce Control

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.5
2. SYROKAN Bounce Control
Comfort
97
Support
98
Style
96
Price
95
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Pros:

Breathable mesh panels

Supportive design

Runs true to the size

Affordable

Cons:

Limited color selection

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.

3. Champion Freedom Seamless Racerback

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.5
3. Champion Freedom Seamless Racerback
Comfort
99
Support
90
Style
98
Price
91
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Pros:
  • Breathable mesh
  • Moisture Wicking
  • Knit-in inner bra
  • Comfortable seamless design
  • 4-way stretch for great movement
  • Available in numerous colors and a classic style
  • Racerback support
Cons:
  • Not ideal for larger cup sizing
  • Less effective for high impact as cup size increases

Champion is a big name in sports gear and it is no surprise that they've brought a quality high impact sports bra to this list. Wide, seamless bands add plenty of comfort and support to this classic sports bra look. There's plenty of colors to choose from

4. Columbia Ombre Racerback

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97
4. Columbia Ombre Racerback
Comfort
97
Support
96
Style
98
Price
97
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Pros:
  • Removable Cups
  • Very comfortable fit
  • Seamless bands
  • Reasonably priced
  • Moisture Wicking
  • Multiple trendy colors
Cons:
  • Runs small

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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Comfort:
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.

Support:
Wide bands in the shoulders and underband offer great support. The low cut neckline may be less ideal for those who want more coverage for support, but the reinforced seamless bands do give a snug fit.

Style:
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. 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.

5. SYROKAN Bounce Control Full Figure

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.8
5. SYROKAN Bounce Control Full Figure
Comfort
94
Support
98
Style
96
Price
99
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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

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.

Style
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.

6. Nike Pro Classic

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.3
6. Nike Pro Classic
Comfort
97
Support
95
Style
97
Price
96
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Pros:
  • Lightweight
  • Racerback straps for support
  • Stretch fabric retains shape
  • Great medium compression sports bra
  • Soft, moisture wicking materials
  • Available in numerous colors
Cons:
  • No extra cushioning
  • Not ideal for larger cup sizes

The Pro Classic sports bra from Nike is a reliable design from a timeless brand. The racerback straps and wide bands lend support while the Dri-FIT fabric keeps moisture at bay.

7. Wacoal

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.5
7. Wacoal
Comfort
94
Support
98
Style
95
Price
91
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Pros:

Moisture wicking

Slightly more cushioning in the cups

Vast sizing options

Available in multiple colors

Underwire that lifts and supports

Wide bands

Cons:

Can get expensive depending on size and color

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 must be handwashed and, depending on the size and color, may have a high price tag 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.

8. ChampionAbsolute with SmoothTec Band

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.3
8. ChampionAbsolute with SmoothTec Band
Comfort
95
Support
93
Style
96
Price
93
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$21.99
Best deal
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 with many colors to choose from
  • Highly affordable
Cons:
  • Runs small
  • Depending on the size and color may pack a larger price tag
  • Not ideal for those with larger cup sizes

Champion known for its great workout basics that are minimalist 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.

9. Champion Shaped T-Back

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.5
9. Champion Shaped T-Back
Comfort
97
Support
92
Style
95
Price
94
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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 found they did not offer enough support for bustier sizes

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, minimalist style. Although it is lacking in support, it can be a great high-impact sports bra for those with smaller cup sizes.

10. Nike Womens Pro Rival

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94
10. Nike Womens Pro Rival
Comfort
96
Support
95
Style
96
Price
89
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Pros:

Larger variety of cup sizes

High-quality materials

Moisture wicking with Dri-FIT

Extra cup support without underwire

Wide straps and bands

Racerback band

Cons:

Lower neckline

Pricey

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.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Comfort

High quality materials chosen with care and consideration can provide great features that will keep you cool and comfy during your workout.

The materials that go into making a sports bra can easily affect the comfortability. 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.

Support

Running is high impact sport that involves 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. Think also about weather conditions. If it’s very hot when you run, you can invest in a moisture-wicking bra. Run or jump a little- if there’s bouncing, your bra doesn’t work.

Style

The right design can make all the difference when it comes to the fit of a sports bra.

When looking for high-impact sports bras with a good fit we looked specifically for features that allowed for plenty of adjustment and customization. What may fit one body type well may not work for another and everyone is different. Convertible straps, adjustable hook closures, and designs that are flexible were all priorities. We also looked for things like thick underbands or underarm elastic that would help with security but wouldn’t chaff.

Keep in mind when shopping for sports bras that the sizing can differ from that of casual, everyday tops so make sure to check the sizing chart if available and be prepared to try on multiple sizes or styles. Many people routinely wear the wrong bra size, so you may want to consider choosing a department store that offers bra fitting services. Wearing something that just doesn’t fit could do way more harm than good in the long run.

Value

Name brand isn't everything; choose your budget in advance and stick to it.

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. Well, sometimes it’s true, however, brands like Nike, Addidas and etc. have the prestige which doesn’t come from anywhere. If you really have a 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.

Other Factors to Consider

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.

Advanced Features

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

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: Should I 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 a 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 absorbant, and allows for too much movement which is inconvenient and sometimes just painful!