The best running sports bras 2022 - Women's Running

The best running sports bras 2022

Author: Women's Running Magazine

Read Time:   |  March 14, 2022

The very best sports bras for running, from cups to straps to racer backs...

Finding the right sports bra is essential to your running: there’s nothing worse than feeling unsupported as you train. Whether you’re blessed with big or small boobs, it’s important that you protect them during high-impact activities like running. From underwired bras to compression tops, here are our very favourites…

Why do I need a sports bra?

Experts at Runderwear say: “Your normal bra will be supportive enough for gentle walking, but if you do any sort of exercise, you will need a sports bra to give you additional support, no matter what your cup size. A well-fitted, supportive sports bra is imperative for the long-term health of breast tissue and helps prevent irreversible damage.”

What am I looking for in a sports bra?

Runderwear recommend looking out for breathable, sweat-wicking material as well as label-free and seam-free bras to avoid chafing. It’s also a good idea to check for adjustable options – like straps and a hook and eye – so you can find your perfect fit. Make sure that the all-important underband fits you correctly, too: it should sit comfortably under your boobs without digging in, while also feeling firm and secure.

If you have big boobs, keep an eye out for moulded cups and a higher neckline, as this should give you further support.

Over 80% of women wear the wrong bra size, so if you have any doubt about your size then book yourself in for a fitting before you buy.

Find out more about choosing the right sports bra here.

Runderwear original running bra v5 best bras

RUNDERWEAR Original Running Bra v5 £50
Tester: Esther

This is, as you might expect, the 5th iteration of Runderwear’s iconic bra, and – astonishingly – it just keeps on getting better and better. Each time, they improve on what feels like a perfect bra. The covered, deeper underband is even more comfortable to wear (not that I had issues with V4, if I’m honest). The new design means there are fewer seams against your skin, and the fabric has also been upgraded, with a noticeably softer feel. So yes, those are the changes, but what remains the same is the support and the comfort that you only get with Runderwear bras: this is the one I reach for time and time again: I can rely on it to keep me firmly in place, with no rubbing and no irritation. It’s a bloody stupendous bra.

Want to read Esther’s full review? Runderwear Original Running Bra v5 review

Available in sizes 32A-38D

Lululemon best sports bras running

LULULEMON Run Times Bra £58
Tester: Claire

Having never worn a Lululemon sports bra before, I feel I’ve been missing out! This is a super-quality, sleek-looking bra that provides you with all the support and coverage you need. It fits beautifully with minimal bounce but doesn’t feel too tight or restricting and allows you to breathe. I have loved wearing this on longer runs; the soft brushed under-band and padded straps made it so comfortable. I really like the simple cut and shape of this bra, and it’s great for women with larger boobs. A BIG thumbs up from me!

Available in sizes 30A-40F

Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Bra best sports bras running

SHOCK ABSORBER Ultimate Run Bra £34.50
Tester: Laura F

This bra has been around for a while and its longevity is down to the fact it has become a favourite with many runners. The colours are updated regularly and the design is nice enough that, should you feel like taking your shirt off mid-run, it doesn’t scream ‘underwear’. The straps have been designed to offer total security; they’re not going to slip and loosen mid-run like traditional bra straps, so once you get your fit right, you know it’s not going to change. There are two fastenings so getting it off after your run is simple and doesn’t involve taking it over your head. The inside is free of seams to avoid chafing and the wide chest band stays firmly in place.

Available in sizes 30A-38G

Anita Active Air Control Delta Pad best sports bra running

ANITA Active Air Control Delta Pad Sports Bra £59
Tester: Claire

This maximum-control bra not only looks good but it packs a punch when it comes to technology and performance. I found it very comfortable to wear; I felt no movement but I also didn’t feel restrained. The design provides support and the super-light mesh fabric provides fabulous air circulation. Double-layered cups help to control body temperature and the straps are spot on for comfort, with sealed seams to prevent rubbing. Having previously struggled with over-the-head bras after a long run, I appreciated the back fastening on this one. Machine washable and quick drying, I recommend the black/yellow colour combo which looks great under a black vest top.

Available in sizes 30AA-42H

Casall Iconic best sports bras

CASALL Iconic Bra £49.95
Tester: Geri

The Casall Iconic sports bra is a bestseller and, as soon as you put it on for a run, it’s obvious why. It’s soft and supportive, leaving you feeling secure for any activity – and it stays in place. This bra is not padded and doesn’t have cups but the material is taut which provides enough support. It comes in so many colours and styles that it caters for every taste and is good value for money.

Available in sizes XS(A)-XL(D)

Boobuddy best sports bras

Tester: Holly

All too often, sports bras provide uplift without any compression from the top – and the Boobuddy is here to solve that. You can wear this band over or under your normal sports bra and it provides you with so much more support. There are three band sizes, and all have an adjustable back designed to work for any bust size. I’d give it a quick test in the safety of your own home before heading out, as I underestimated how much support I needed and had to readjust behind a tree (embarrassing), but now it’s become a wardrobe staple that I’d recommend to any bigger-boobed runner.

Available in sizes S-L

Pour Moi Energy Empower Convertible Sports Bra running

POUR MOI Energy Empower Lightly Padded Convertible Sports Bra £28
Tester: Emma

This a great sports bra from Pour Moi. As someone who’s had a mastectomy, I tend to steer clear of underwired bras but I’m several years on from surgery now and this actually felt really supportive, comfortable and was true to size which is always a big plus. The price is also a big bonus: much lower than we’d excpect for a bra of this quality and in this size range. The Energy Empower comes in a fab range of vibrant colours, the fabric is soft and the straps are really comfortable. I think I might need one in every colour!

Available in sizes 32B-40G

Brooks Dare Zip best sports bras running

BROOKS Dare Zip Run Bra £55
Tester: Tina

An unusual and interesting design, this test gave me my first time running in a bra where the bottom band is integrated into the material, giving it a really smooth appearance. The first time you wear it you’re thinking ‘okay, how is this working?’ as it has an almost ‘evolved’ racer-type design at the back that fully integrates into the bottom of the bra. The material is super stretchy so you get a very comfortable fit over the back, and the moulded cups have a similar feeling to when you add in pads to your bra. The DriLayer fabric is thinner than usual, but firm and stretchy so won’t chafe your skin. The front zip is brilliant, although it took some fiddling time to get it done up the first few wears. It really appeals to not have to struggle to get a bra over your head, or reach back to unclip, and there’s a tiny J-hook inside the zip for double security. When you first clap eyes on this bra, the simplicity of the design means you don’t think it’s going to work, but even though I am only a B, it did exactly what it needed to do.

Available in sizes 30AB-40DDE

Asquith Balance best sports bras running

ASQUITH Balance bra £45
Tester: Louise

The Balance bra felt so easy and comfortable to put on. Unlike other racer back tops, that can feel a squeeze to get on and off, this was stretchy but didn’t compromise support. It’s made of Bambor fabric, which is a blend of bamboo viscose organic cotton and elastane to give a smooth, soft feel. Breathable, sweat wicking and in a stunning blue camouflage design, I’ll wear it not just for run days, but on its own for yoga or at the beach. A bigger size range would have been welcome.

Available XS-XXL

Brooks Dare Crossback Run best sports bras running

BROOKS Dare Crossback Run Bra £55
Tester: Claire

This Brooks bra is so light and flexible that, on first inspection, I expected it to be a bit flimsy and unsupportive, but don’t be fooled: this bra is expertly designed with a sleek, streamlined style and with the support of built-in moulded cups that lift you up and hold you in. The bottom band is integrated fully into the bra, offering support where you need it. Its free-cut construction for visible shape and a streamlined silhouette that contours to your body gives you a smooth, chafe-free comfortable wear. The straps are super soft with no harsh edges or bulky plastic adjustment which prevents any uncomfortable digging in, and back or underarm bulge. I really like the bra’s cross-back design with pullover style which makes it simple to get on and off, and the sizing is pretty inclusive too.

Available in sizes 30AB-40DDE

Zaazee Alicia sports bra

ZAAZEE Alicia bra £45
Tester: Caroline

Not only is it supremely comfortable, the Alicia is incredibly supportive. It doesn’t irritate or chafe the skin and, for the smaller busted among us, gives an option for a bit of va-va-voom as it comes with nifty removable foam pads. Performance wise, I found it was breathable and wicked away sweat on my runs. It also retains its vibrancy and shape wash after wash and is quick drying too. Such a gorgeous colour and it comes with a matching scrunchie too!

Available in sizes 10-16

Pour Moi Energy Empower best sports bras

POUR MOI Energy Empower Sports Bra £22.40
Tester: Laura K

This Pour Moi sports bra comes in a variety of vibrant colours and could be worn in the summer as a crop top. The wide straps can be altered so you can choose between over-the-shoulder or racer back. With the straps set to racer back, I struggled to get into it but once on, the fit was great. The underwire added to the overall support and it was comfy. The thin foam padding gives your boobs a smooth silhouette too.

Available in sizes 32B-40G

Sundried Power best sports bras

SUNDRIED Escape Sports Bra £18
Tester: Emma

I think this Sundried compression sports bra might just be my favourite ever. Talk about good support! It looks really durable and well made, and it is stretchy for full range of movement, although you might want to consider going a size up as the band can feel restrictive. I really like the racerback style and the breathable mesh panel on the back. A few other colour options would be nice but that aside, for comfort, quality and support, and a fantastic price point, it’s a solid choice.

Available in sizes XS-XXL

Shock Absorber Multi Sport Support best sports bras

SHOCK ABSORBER Multi Sports Support Bra £39
Tester: Sue

This is a great all-round bra that will cover you for a range of sports, from running to horse riding. I liked the crop top design with the security of the integrated sports bra. It’s very comfortable; the padded straps prevented cutting in, and a racer-style back gave some extra support. I liked the fact it opens fully at the back, which prevents the usual struggle to get it off after a long and tiring run. The colour choice is good too: I tested the Pink Picante which is rather fabulous but there are lots of other colours too. A sizing tip on the website is to size up and I would agree with this, so if you’re normally a 34D, I’d advise going for a 36D.

Available in sizes 30B-40HH

Shock Absorber D+ Max Support best sports bras running

SHOCK ABSORBER D+ Max Support Sports Bra £38
Tester: Laura F

This bra is designed specifically for larger boobs. It has wide, comfortable straps and offers more coverage of the chest. While it has minimal seams and no underwires, the subtle cups do a good job of defining the breasts and preventing the ‘monoboob’ look. It has a traditional bra design and a hook-and-eye fastening that makes it easy to get on and off when sweaty. However, I’d say this design doesn’t give quite the same sense of security as a racerback for runners.

Available in sizes 30D-40H

Tala SkinLuxe Racer Strap best sports bras runner

TALA SkinLuxe Racer Strap Sports Bra £36
Racer: Tina

Yes, this is a high-quality and comfortable sports bra, but it may be the colour and design that really tick your boxes; perhaps you’ll even be tempted to go it alone so you can show the criss-cross back off. It gave good support for my B-cup boobs while running, and felt soft and comfortable in terms of strength and stretching. If you don’t want to have an enhanced cleavage, you may want to size up but personally, I felt that was an added bonus. You can buy matching shorts for an outfit that screams summer fitness.

Available in sizes XS-XL

Want more underwear recommendations from our testers? Here’s the running underwear that won our Product Awards!

Women's Running Magazine

NMA’s 2020 Lifestyle Magazine of the Year, Women’s Running provides expert advice on gear and training, motivation from your favourite runners and the latest running news.

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