Best supportive sports bra

Whether you’re training for a marathon or heading to a yoga class, finding the best sports bra for your workout is imperative. The right bra has the power to help you lift heavier, run further, and sink into that cobra pose you’ve been working on for months, while the wrong bra can ruin a workout before it’s even begun. 

Best supportive sports bra

Whether you’re a runner or a yogi, below we’ve rounded up the best high-impact sports bras, HIIT sports bras and more to buy in 2022. To help you work out which is the best for you, we’ve put all of the bras on this list through their paces in a number of different sessions — from sweaty half marathons to gentle yoga flows. 

The best sports bra is the one that offers the right level of support for the activity you are doing. Not wearing a supportive bra can cause damage to the connective tissue in the breasts, also referred to as Cooper’s ligaments. Once these stretch, they cannot stretch back, which can lead to sagging in the breast tissue. In order to ensure your bra is still giving you the right amount of support, experts recommend changing it every six to 12 months, depending on how much you wear and wash the bra. Time for an upgrade? Read on. 

Lululemon Enlite Bra

When it comes to high support, it doesn’t get better than the Lululemon Enlite bra. We found this bra to be extremely supportive for everything from a HIIT class to a marathon. It’s available in a large range of sizes, and unlike other bras on this list, you can order your actual everyday bra size, rather than trying to convert your size to S, M, or L. The Enlite bra is sweat-wicking and quick-drying, which comes in handy for most intense workouts. We didn’t have any problem with rubbing or chafing using the regular Enlite, however, we did when testing the Enlite with the zip-front, which rubbed when wet. It’s machine washable (on a gentle cycle) and the hook-and-eye fastening and wide back closure make the bra easy to get on and off, even after a particularly difficult run.

Nike FE/NOM Flyknit

The Nike FE/NOM Flyknit bra fits more like a crop top that you pull over your head than a traditional hook-and-eye fastening bra. It’s highly compressive, pressing the breasts against the chest to minimize movement. For these reasons, we’d say it’s best suited to women with an A-C cup looking for a high-impact bra.  

The bra’s fabric is virtually seam-free, minimizing chafing on the move. We tested this bra on sweaty summer runs and HIIT classes and didn’t have any discomfort. The Flyknit fabric feels compressive and completely minimizes any movement, which does remove all distractions and allows you to focus on your performance. We also found the bra washed well and lasted a good few months.

The downside with the Nike FE/NOM Flyknit is that it can be difficult to remove after a sweaty workout, especially after a few washes. What’s more, having to physically pull the bra over your head isn’t the most comfortable. That said, if you prefer the crop-top style design of compression bras, this is one of the best we’ve tested.

Brooks Dare Crossback

Last year, Brooks revealed a new line of bras that had been developed with research partners at the University of Portsmouth Institute for Breast Health in the UK. The biomechanical testing ensured the bras fully supported the breasts during exercise. The Dare Crossback was one of the bras released, and it’s fast become one of the brand’s most popular bras.

The cross-back design is suited to women who prefer to pull a bra over their head than worry about straps and fastenings that can chafe on the move. The molded cup supports offer a good amount of nipple coverage if you’re a runner who prefers to wear just a bra in the summer months, and the seamless design minimizes chafing. The sizing is a little unusual — the bra is available in AB, CD, and DDE cup sizes, so if you’re between two cup sizes, it can be tricky to work out which fits right, but once you get the right fit, the bra is extremely comfortable on the move.

As well as struggles working out the correct size, the straps on the Brooks bra are not adjustable, which at first glance caused concern. However, we found the bra to fit well and stay put on the move.

Under Armour Infinity High Sports Bra

The Under Armour Infinity High Sports Bra is a high-impact bra, perfect for running. The support is in-built, so you won’t have to worry about padding falling out in the washing machine, and the bra comes in four different colors — black, white, green and pink. During testing, we were a fan of how easy it was to get the bra on and off, even when sweaty thanks to the hook-and-eye-fastening.

The bra has a cross-back design, with adjustable straps, that can be tightened for a personalized fit. There are mesh panels for breathability, and the bra wicks sweat and dries fast, even on seriously sweaty gym sessions. We did experience some light chafing under the armpit during a very hot summer half marathon, but aside from this, we had no issues with the fit of the bra.

On Performance Bra

The Performance Bra is the first high-impact running bra from On Running, a brand famous for its slightly unusual ‘cloud’ shoes, which have distinctive pillows on the outsole of the shoe. We were seriously impressed with this bra during testing — it’s comfortable and soft against the skin, even when wet, it’s seamless to minimize chafing, and it’s stylish enough to wear on its own.

The bra is an encapsulation bra in design — encapsulation bras support each breast as you run, separating them and holding them in place for high support. The cups are slightly padded, so you’re able to wear this on its own, and you don’t have to worry about removable cups bunching in the wash.

We found the bra fit well, and wasn’t uncomfortably tight across the chest. It fit well, and felt incredibly lightweight, even when wet. The downside is the price point, which won’t be affordable enough for all runners, but if you can add this to your running wardrobe, you’re unlikely to be disappointed.

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