The 10 Best Sports Bras for Any Workout

SHEFIT’s Ultimate Sports Bra offers unbeatable support up to a size 6X.

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Fashion Sports Bra
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The wrong sports bra can ruin your whole experience of a workout. So what, exactly, is the right sports bra? Well, comfort is primordial: You shouldn't feel any painful constriction or unruly sagging from your bra as you move. Not all sports bras are suitable for every type of exercise, either, so it's also important to consider what you'll be wearing yours for and pick a support level accordingly. Lastly, you'll need to check whether a specific model comes in your size (obviously), and whether it was designed with your bust size and shape in mind.

Considering all these factors as well as any special features, InStyle spoke to fitness experts from across the country to help us find the best sports bras on the market for every body type. And after much conversation, two of the experts separately recommended the SHEFIT Ultimate Sports Bra, which impressed us with its inclusive size range and the high level of support it offers.

Below, find the best sports bras to buy.

Our Picks

Best Overall: SHEFIT Ultimate Sports Bra

SHEFIT Ultimate Sports Bra
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Also available at SHEFIT

What We Love: It provides amazing support for high-impact exercise.

What We Don't Love: It's not the cutest-looking.

SHEFIT may not be a big-name sportswear brand (yet!), but it was recommended by two separate experts — and with good reason. When it comes to high-impact workouts, "you can't beat the support that SHEFIT offers," Anna Victoria, NASM-certified trainer and founder of Fit Body app tells InStyle. Going up to a 6X, this bra is more size-inclusive than most mainstream models, and provides support for many body types. "I recommend [SHEFIT] for my students with larger breasts," Vernee says. "The bust and cup sizes are more comfortable and they provide more coverage [than other brands]." For Victoria, the one downside to this model is that it isn't very stylish. But it does come in lots of colors aside from plain black.

Size: XS - 6X | Material: Nylon, spandex, polyester | Support Level: High | Style: Zip-front, adjustable straps and band

Best Splurge: Adidas Fastimpact Luxe Run High-Support Bra

Adidas Fastimpact Luxe Run High-Support Bra
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Also available at Sports Direct

What We Love: You can adjust both the straps and the band for a perfect fit.

What We Don't Love: It's hard to put on.

Part of Adidas' latest sports bra collection, this model was made to ensure athletes could have the support they deserve while practicing their sports. Though it only goes up to a size XL, it is one of the rare models that provides for smaller busts, with the size 2XS available for cups A to C. Its adjustable straps and band also mean you can tailor it to your individual needs, but its tight fit does make it a slight struggle to get into. Regardless, the majority recycled, moisture-absorbing material and chafe-resistant design make the Fastimpact Luxe a sound investment.

Size: 2XS - XL | Material: Polyester, elastane | Support Level: High | Style: Adjustable straps and band

Best Value: Champion Infinity Racerback Sports Bra

Champion Infinity Racerback Sports Bra
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Also available at Walmart

What We Love: It's great for lower and higher impact workouts.

What We Don't Love: It has a very limited size range.

Candy Nicholson, personal trainer and fitness instructor at Candy Gyrl Fitness, calls this her absolute favorite sports bra for comfort and versatility — she can use it for both low impact and high intensity workouts. "The best part about this bra is that it is seamless, so it almost feels like you have nothing on while still getting all of the support," she says. As far as decently supportive sports bras go, it looks really nice, too — thanks to a scoop neck and impressive color range. Sadly, though, it only comes in sizes XS to XL.

Size: XS - XL | Material: Nylon | Support Level: Medium | Style: Slip-on, sewn-in padding

Best Plus Size: Good American Seamless Chunky Rib Bra

Good American Seamless Chunky Rib Bra
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Also available at Good American

What We Love: It's super comfortable for everything from yoga to cardio.

What We Don't Love: The straps feel low-quality.

Good American makes all retailers who carry the brand purchase the whole size range, and not display it in separate sections, as co-founder Khloé Kardashian has explained. On the flip side, the largest size they carry (7/8) often has a waitlist, which defeats the point somewhat. We were sent this sports bra to try and loved how comfortable it felt for gentle yoga as much as for high-energy dancing — we almost forgot we even had it on. Our one complaint is that the straps feel cheaply made and might chafe during higher-impact workouts, but they redeem themselves by being adjustable.

Size: XS - 5XL | Material: Nylon, elastane | Support Level: Medium | Style: Slip-on, adjustable straps

Best for Large Breasts: Fabletics Trinity High Impact Sports Bra

Fabletics Trinity High Impact Sports Bra
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What We Love: It's ideal if you prefer fuller coverage.

What We Don't Love: It can't be adjusted.

This high-impact sports bra may not be adjustable, but it does do away with complicated straps that you have to wrestle yourself into thanks to its slip-on style. For Tracie Matthews, trainer at Pilates by Simona, its high-neck "front coverage and full support" make it a winning design, and we're partial to its phone pocket in the back, too. If you haven't tried Fabletics yet, Krystal Vernee, owner and instructor at Divas & Dolls Fitness, also recommends their sports bras "as someone who has a larger bust size (38), but not a large cup size (B-C)." She says, "their bras are comfortable, cute and provide decent support."

Size: XXS - 4X | Material: Nylon, elastane | Support Level: High | Style: Slip-on

Best for Small Breasts: Lorna Jane Compress and Compact Sports Bra

Lorna Jane Compress and Compact Sports Bra
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What We Love: It doesn't compromise on style or function.

What We Don't Love: The removable padding may come out in the wash.

Annie Malaythong, NASM master instructor and owner at Fitness Studio 108, absolutely loves Lorna Jane for high quality sports bras — the brand "makes them so comfortable and with beautiful fabric," she says. She calls this model, which comes in nine neutral tones, a "great investment piece and super cute." With breathable fabric, adjustable straps and a clasp tie, it makes the perfect companion for any running or sweaty team sports on your agenda. With that in mind, how comfortable this one is comes at a price: It's not as supportive for larger busts and is better suited to those up to a C cup, or used only for medium-impact workouts. While some appreciate the removable cups, be warned that they can easily fall out in the wash.

Size: XXS - XXL | Material: Polyester, elastane | Support Level: High | Style: Clasp, adjustable straps

Best for Yoga: Lululemon Align Reversible Bra

Lululemon Align Reversible Bra
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Also available at Matches Fashion

What We Love: It feels amazing on your skin.

What We Don't Love: The material is pretty thick.

This bra "literally molds to your body and has a cup inside for extra support," Nicholson says. Having bought and tried it ourselves, we can confirm that when Lululemon calls its material "buttery soft," they're not exaggerating — it honestly feels like a cloud on your skin, while also looking really pretty. That said, the material is a little thick, so it's not suited for sweaty exercise. "I prefer this one for lower impact and yoga workouts," Nicholson explains. While the reversible model only fits A or B cups, there is an Align bra for C and D cups, available online only.

Size: XXS - XXL | Material: Nylon, lycra | Support Level: Light | Style: Slip-on

Best for Running: Athleta Advance Bra

Athleta Advance Bra
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What We Love: It will keep your breasts in place during a run.

What We Don't Love: It can feel too constricting at times.

Specially designed with extra-sweaty workouts in mind, this is a very supportive bra that comes in an impressive 42 sizes. You can go running in this one with no fear of the shoulder straps tugging at your skin or your boobs making an impromptu escape. But you can't have everything: The high level of support here also means that it can feel too constricting for some people — like with most sports bras, it largely comes down to personal preference. Still, you can achieve the best fit for you using the clasp and adjustable features.

Size: XS - 3X | Material: Nylon, spandex | Support Level: High | Style: Clasp, adjustable straps and band

Best Padded: Nike Dri-FIT Swoosh

Nike Dri-FIT Swoosh
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Also available at Nike

What We Love: It features one-piece padding that doesn't constantly move around.

What We Don't Love: It's not adjustable.

For her days packed with medium-impact workouts, Vernee swears by the support she gets from Nike racerback sports bras. "I teach pole, aerial arts and aerobics (chair dance, lap dance, twerk and floor work) mainly so this bra provides great support under clothing or if I wear it as my top," she explains. The models Vernee owns came with two pads, which she removes, but we like that the new version features one-piece padding designed to stay put for those who prefer the added comfort. This bra isn't adjustable, though, since it's a slip-on style.

Size: XS - 2XL | Material: Polyester, spandex | Support Level: Medium | Style: Slip-on

Best Non-Padded: Sweaty Betty Balance Seamless Bra

Sweaty Betty Balance Seamless Bra
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Also available at Sweaty Betty

What We Love: It doubles as a cute crop top.

What We Don't Love: It doesn't fit all body shapes properly.

Essentially the British Lululemon, Sweaty Betty is a favorite of Kate Middleton, Reese Witherspoon and Jessica Alba's — and we started to see why while researching the best sports bras. We fell for this light-support model while trying it on in-store: It's so soft and comfy, and the square neckline and longline design mean you can easily wear it from yoga to brunch. Unfortunately, the lightweight fabric combined with the non-adjustable straps means it won't fit every body shape perfectly, so it could be a case of trying before you buy.

Size: XS - XXL | Material: Polyamide, elastane | Support Level: Light | Style: Crop, slip-on

What to Keep in Mind

Support

Sports bras come in light, medium and high support levels. One isn't better than the other; it just depends what you're looking to wear your bra for. Light-support bras are suitable for low-impact exercise, for example yoga, pilates, barre, or even for walking around in. Medium-support bras are great for — you guessed it — medium-impact sports, such as spinning, dancing, or aerobics. You'll need a high-support bra for running, or any sport that involves jumping: Think team sports, like soccer or basketball, or HIIT workouts. These are designed to prevent discomfort by keeping your boobs in place as you move.

Size Range

For obvious reasons, you'll need to consider the size range available when shopping for a sports bra. Frustratingly, many mainstream sportswear brands have yet to catch up when it comes to carrying an inclusive size range. This is true on both ends of the spectrum, with sizes above an XXL few and far between, and high-support bras made for A-cup breasts also difficult to find. Thankfully, many brands do now keep a wider range of body types in mind, and we found some great models from SHEFIT, Good American and Fabletics in particular.

Style

It's important to like what your sports bra looks like, of course, but that should really be the cherry on top of an already great garment. Most of all while researching the best sports bras on the market, we considered a variety of styles: padded or non-padded bras, those with adjustable clasps, bands and straps or stretchy slip-on models, and how much coverage each provided. While there are advantages and disadvantages to each style, it largely comes down to personal preference.

Your Questions, Answered

Are sports bras supposed to be tight?

Victoria puts it best when she says sports bras should be "tight, but not constraining." It should never feel painful, and ideally shouldn't leave red marks on the skin after you take it off — though that is a common trade-off with high-support bras. "A good sports bra supports the breast while minimizing movements that can cause soreness and pain," Vernee adds. "A great sports bra also gives you a little bit of a lift."

Will the sports bra be less effective if I remove the padding?

The padding in sports bras is primarily there for modesty reasons, so, no, your sports bra won't be less effective if you remove the padding. Many people prefer to, so the pads don't go flying around the washing machine or bunch up in awkward ways within the bra. And if you have a larger bust, removing the padding could actually make your bra even more effective: "If you are a little over a C cup and remove the padding, the sports bra will probably fit better and still feel supportive," Matthews advises.

How do you wash sports bras?

There are technically best practices for washing sports bras — check the label on yours if you want to take the most precautions. For example, SHEFIT recommends to hand wash the Ultimate Sports Bra and not tumble dry it, while Lululemon says it's fine to wash and tumble dry the Align Bra on low. However, out of the experts who advised us on how to wash sports bras, all four admitted that they just throw them in with the rest of their laundry, and it hasn't damaged their garments. Vernee also hasn't had any problems with bras shrinking in the tumble dryer, though Nicholson does warn against it. "Lay [them] flat or hang [them] up to dry, to preserve the bra longer and keep the elasticity from wearing out too fast," she suggests.

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