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The Best Running Bras

Running bras tried and tested
(Image credit: Camilla Artault / Future)

Whatever your cup size, it’s important to find a good sports bra that fits and gives you the support you need while running. Not only will it make for more comfortable runs right now, it will also minimise the chances of sagging later on.

When choosing a sports bra for running, there are three main things to consider: it should be comfortable no matter how far you’ve run, it should offer adequate support, and it should also look good, because sometimes little things like that can make the difference between going out for a run or not.

Sports bras offer different levels of support. As running is a high-impact sport, it’s best to opt for a high (or super-high) support level, especially if you have larger breasts.

Broadly speaking there are two types of sports bras: ones which use compression, a tight band which flattens the breasts; and those which use encapsulation, with separate cups for each breast. Compression bras are more commonly found in general sportswear shops and can offer great support and a good fit, especially for women with smaller busts. For larger-breasted runners, compression-style bras tend to give an unflattering “uniboob” and may not offer enough support for running.

The majority of running bras are pulled on and off over your head (easier said than done after a run when you’re all sweaty). However, some bras offer a hook-and-eye clasp which makes taking them off easier, while others feature a zip at the front which avoids this problem altogether.

A racer or cross-over back will help the bra stay in place better than normal shoulder straps. Cutouts and mesh panels will help keep you cooler, but beware of weird-shaped tan marks if you’re doing a lot of outdoor running in the summer!

Here’s our pick of the best running-specific over-shoulder-boulder-holders out there.

How To Get The Right Fit

It’s important to get regular bra fittings, because your breasts can change in size and shape over the years. However, if you plan on buying a new sports bra online use this six-point guide from Ana Paula Dudillieu, senior designer at sports bra maker Shock Absorber, to check the fit of a sports bra at home yourself.

  1. Make sure your breasts are fully contained within the cups and that there’s no bagginess.
  2. Check that the straps are properly adjusted. They should feel secure with no more than 2in (5cm) of give.
  3. The chest band should feel firm but comfortable. Your chest expands when exercising so take some deep breaths and see how it feels.
  4. If the band lifts rather than sitting flat at the front, it’s an indication that the cup size is too small.
  5. If the back of the band rises towards your shoulders, the band may be too large.
  6. Do the bounce test: jump up and down and from side to side, checking that you feel comfortable, supported and secure.

Best All-Round Running Bras

Runderwear Original Running Bra , front view of bra in black, rear review of model doing clasp on a blue colourway

(Image credit: Runderwear)
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Runderwear Original Running Bra

Lightweight, breathable bra that scores highly in the comfort stakes

Specifications

Cup size: A-D
RRP: £50

Reasons to buy

+
Supportive, but not bulky
+
Very breathable
+
Soft, anti-chafe fabrics 

Reasons to avoid

-
Lack of padding won’t suit everyone  

A bra that feels soft and comfortable, doesn’t restrict your breathing, and lets you run bounce-free and chafe-free… Where have you been all our lives? Runderwear’s Original Bra really does feel great, thanks to its extremely soft, moisture-wicking and breathable fabric with moulded cups but no bulky padding, as well as slim, non-slip adjustable straps. It’s relatively easy to get on and off thanks to the hook-and-eye closure, and once it’s on, the racerback design means there’s no chance of the straps slipping. The V5, the newest update to the original Original, introduces a wider, even softer underband to further diminish the chances of chafing.


Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Bra win black with white detailing

(Image credit: Shock Absorber)
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Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Bra

Sturdy, comfy bra with enough support for all sizes

Specifications

Cup size: A-G
RRP : £46

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent support and secure fit
+
Thin fabric doesn’t trap heat

Reasons to avoid

-
Awkward to get into 
-
Sizing is off

A firm favourite among runners of all shapes and sizes, but particularly with bigger-busted women, this running bra aims to manage the figure-of-eight movement made by our breasts when we run. It has wide non-slip straps, with a soft lining and band to help keep you comfortable as you run. It’s also breathable and quick-drying, ensuring you don’t get overheated. The racerback shape with a double back closure system allows you to get in and out relatively easily, while ensuring you feel secure and fully supported. Once you've found the correct size that is – sizing can be a bit peculiar, so be prepared to try a few sizes before finding the right fit.


Maaree Solidarity High Impact Sports Bra, front view of the bra in pink and rear view of the bra straps in black

(Image credit: Maaree)
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Maaree Solidarity High Impact Sports Bra

Supportive bra with “overband” to counter bouncing

Specifications

Cup size: C-G
RRP: £64

Reasons to buy

+
Adjustable overband
+
Option to convert to racerback for more support

Reasons to avoid

-
Stiffened fabric and extra straps can feel restrictive
-
Expensive

What goes up must come down, as they say, so one-woman company Maaree has developed sports bras that combat upward as well as downward breast movement. The addition of an “overband (opens in new tab)” helps to minimise the dreaded bounce, and the band is adjustable so you can fine-tune the fit. The stretchy fabric feels comfortable and mesh side panels help to keep you cool, while the extra-wide underband and fastening at the back ensure the band is secure and comfortable. The adjustable straps are wide and comfy, hooking together in a racerback shape for maximum support. The outsides of the cups have stiffened fabric panels to help the bra hold its structure, which should also delay any loss of shape from repeated visits to the washing machine. If you’re unsure about the fit, you can have a free virtual bra fitting (opens in new tab) with Maaree’s founder over Zoom.

Best Running Bras For Large Breasts

Runderwear Easy On Bra

(Image credit: Runderwear)
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Runderwear Easy-On Running Bra

Breathable anti-chafe bra to fit D+ with moulded cups and a secure fit

Specifications

Cup size: D-H
RRP: £55

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight breathable fabrics
+
Moulded cups offer good support
+
Wide, soft underband and padded straps

Reasons to avoid

-
Not very easy to get on

There are so few truly supportive sports bras available in larger sizes that it can be hard to find a comfortable fit, but the latest from Runderwear is designed just for those with larger busts. The Easy-On running bra runs true to standard bra size and is available in an amazing 70 sizes. Soft, moisture-wicking fabrics, wire-free moulded cups with a thin layer of built-in padding, padded straps and an encased band all combine to ensure there’s no rubbing or digging in. The high neckline encases breasts completely so there’s less bouncing, and the back opens fully and fastens with a double set of hook-and-eye closures to keep the fit secure. Despite the name, it’s not the easiest to get into – our tip is to do the clasps up in front of you and swivel the bra around when fastened.


Pour Moi Energy Empower U/W Lightly Padded Convertible Sports Bra, front and rear views or pink colourway worn by model

(Image credit: Pour Moi)
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Pour Moi Energy Empower U/W Lightly Padded Convertible Sports Bra

Stylish, affordable underwired bra with padded cups and good support

Specifications

Cup size : B-G
RRP: £28

Reasons to buy

+
Affordable
+
Good support level
+
Wide range of prints and styles available

Reasons to avoid

-
Too much padding for some

This high-impact sports bra is underwired and lightly padded to give you a natural shape as well as maximum support, while wide straps and soft cushioning on the band keep things comfortable. It’s a great-value option and is available in several cute prints.


Shock Absorber D+ Max Support Bra in white worn by model

(Image credit: Shock Absorber)
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Shock Absorber D+ Max Support Bra

Excellent support for larger busts

Specifications

Cup size: : D-G
RRP: £40

Reasons to buy

+
Comfy straps and band
+
Higher neckline for fuller coverage and support

Reasons to avoid

-
Sizing is way off

Another winner from Shock Absorber, this is a maximum-support bra designed for D-H cups. You won’t be worried about popping out of this bra, with its high-impact support and fuller coverage on the upper chest area. The shaped straps are padded to avoid any discomfort from digging in, and the band around the ribs is wide, soft and breathable, with a padded hook-and-eye fastener at the back.


Panache Sports Bra in black, front and rear views

(Image credit: Panache)
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Panache Sports Bra

Sculpting bra gives good support, best suited to D+ cup sizes

Specifications

Cup size: B-J
RRP: £42

Reasons to buy

+
Good support level even in large cup sizes
+
Sculpting effect for a better shape

Reasons to avoid

-
Underwired cups can be uncomfortable

Offering excellent support and coverage, this bra is very popular with runners looking for cup size D or larger. Its sculpting effect means it doesn’t compress your boobs into your ribcage. The moulded inner cups are underwired, however, so there’s a chance the wire might eventually work its way out, especially if you go against the instructions and machine-wash it. Which you will because, frankly, who has time to hand-wash their sports bra?


Anita Active Extreme Control in patterned black

(Image credit: Anita)
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Anita Active Extreme Control

Non-wired bra offering a high level of support and comfort for larger cup sizes

Specifications

Cup size: C-H
RRP: £57

Reasons to buy

+
Not overly bulky
+
Straps shaped to avoid slippage
+
Good shape for a non-wired bra
+
Easy to get on

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the best looking

If you want shape as well as support, but you don’t get on with underwired bras and don’t like the upholstered feeling of bulky padded bras, this one might work for you. It’s available in a selection of muted colours, with cleverly tailored three-section cups to offer full coverage without extra layers of padding. It’s easy to put on, with clasps at the back like an everyday bra, but the straps stay put thanks to the shaped design.

Most Comfortable Running Bras

Under Armour Infinity High Sports Bra in black worn by model, front and rear view

(Image credit: Under Armour)
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Under Armour Infinity High Sports Bra

Lightly padded high-support bra with cross-over straps for a solid fit

Specifications

Sizing: XS-SL
RRP: £50

Reasons to buy

+
Moulded cups give good shape
+
Breathable but not flimsy
+
Straps are sturdy but soft on skin

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the easiest to get on

The Infinity Bra offers high support without resorting to excess padding or an underwire. A hook-and-eye fastening at the back of the band and the sturdy crossed straps keep it firmly in place. Extra support has been injected into the fabric in a figure of eight (or infinity symbol) because that’s the movement pattern made by your breasts as you run and the idea is to counter that movement. Our main quibble is that it’s only available in five generic sizes, from XS to XL, rather than bra sizes.


Adidas Ultimate Bra in black worn by model, front and rear views

(Image credit: Adidas)
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Adidas Ultimate Bra

High neckline cross-back bra that’s supportive and comfortable

Specifications

Cup size: A-E
RRP: £45

Reasons to buy

+
Offers high level of support 
+
Soft, comfortable fabric 

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the easiest to put on

It’s called the Ultimate Bra, and although that’s a bold claim, this one does tick all the boxes. The bra’s main aim is to minimise bounce, and the combination of moulded cups, a compression fit, cross-over straps and a wide underband means it does just that. The soft fabric wicks sweat away effectively, plus there are mesh panels at the back, so it’s a good choice for warm-weather workouts. Best of all, it comes in a staggering 59 different bra sizes, from 30A to 48E, so there should be a size to fit almost everyone. There’s also a choice of colour: black, orange or pink.


Lululemon AirSupport Running Bra

(Image credit: Lululemon)
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Lululemon Air Support Bra

Comfortable, supportive and breathable running bra

Specifications

Cup size: C-DDD
RRP: £78

Reasons to buy

+
High support 
+
Good coverage
+
Flattering silhouette
+
Soft, breathable fabric

Reasons to avoid

-
Difficult to get on unless you’re very flexible

As usual, the excellent fabric is what sets this Lululemon offering apart: smooth, soft, comfortable and breathable, it ensures you don’t overheat. With moulded cups, this supportive bra holds its shape – or rather your shape – well. You may struggle to get it on and off unless you have very flexible shoulders, but once on, the “internal support system” does its job and stops your boobs bouncing around.


Adidas Fastimpact Running Bra

(Image credit: Adidas)
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Adidas Fastimpact Luxe Run High Support Bra

Breathable, front-adjustable high-support bra

Specifications

Cup size: A-DD
RRP: £65

Reasons to buy

+
High support 
+
Easily adjusted
+
Breathable fabric

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the easiest to wriggle into

Adjusting the tightness of a standard bra band behind your back is awkward at best. With a flash of genius, Adidas has redesigned things so you can adjust it at the front on both sides. That doesn’t mean it’s any easier to get on, however, because the bra doesn’t open at the back – you have to wriggle your way in through the cross-over straps. The shoulder straps have four hooks so you can fine-tune the length slightly. Soft, breathable fabric helps keep you cool and comfy. The bra is snug-fitting and supportive without squishing your boobs flat.


Brooks Drive Convertible Run Bra in white worn by model, front and rear views

(Image credit: Brooks)
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Brooks Drive Convertible Run Bra

Shaped compression bra with option to convert to racerback

Specifications

Cup size: B-DD
RRP: £45

Reasons to buy

+
No bulky padding
+
Option to convert to racerback for higher support

Reasons to avoid

-
Tends to give you a uniboob

This shaped compression bra can be worn one of two ways: with straight straps or using the hook to convert it to a more supportive racerback. This adaptability is a great idea that allows for a more personalised fit – we found the support was excellent with the bra in racerback mode. The soft fabric feels great on the skin, with an extra layer on the cups so your nipples won’t show through – although this doesn’t make it feel bulky or padded. The adjustable straps are wide and soft, as is the underband. It’s easy enough to get on and off, with a triple hook and eye at the back, although the racerback hook may be hard to reach for some. A mesh panel at the sides allows for more ventilation.


Sweaty Betty Ultra Run Bra

(Image credit: Sweaty Betty)
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Sweaty Betty Ultra Run Bra

Unpadded convertible bra in fun colours

Specifications

Cup size: A-F
RRP: £55

Reasons to buy

+
No bulky padding
+
Option to convert to racerback for higher support
+
Fun range of colours
+
Easy to get on and off

Reasons to avoid

-
Thin fabric means not enough coverage for some

Combining compression and encapsulation, this high-support bra is made of quick-drying fabric, with mesh panels for ventilation and no bulky padding. The straps are adjustable at the back and can be hooked together to allow you to wear the bra either as a racerback or with standard straight straps. It’s available in an array of fun block colours, from cornflower blue to pale lilac and a sunny Riviera yellow.


Brooks Dare Crossback Running Bra in black worn by model, front and rear views

(Image credit: Brooks)
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Brooks Dare Crossback Running Bra

Clasp-free bra for a second-skin feel

Specifications

Cup size: AB, CD, DDE
RRP: £55

Reasons to buy

+
Soft, comfortable fabric with no clasps to rub
+
Good support when it fits

Reasons to avoid

-
Hard to get on and off
-
Fit cannot be adjusted

This recent launch does away with uncomfortable hooks and adjustable plastic bits on the straps, so there will be no more struggling with clasps and getting tangled in racerbacks. Its cross-over straps, moulded cups and very soft material work together to produce a “second skin” fit combining compression and encapsulation. However, as there’s no adjustability in the straps or chest band, either it fits perfectly or it doesn’t. Try one and see: it might be your new fave… or it might not.


Reebok PureMove+ Bra in black worn by model, front and rear views

(Image credit: Reebok)
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Reebok PureMove+ Bra

Supportive bra with cross-back option

Specifications

Cup size: A-D to E-F
RRP: £50

Reasons to buy

+
Built for comfort with wide straps that can be crossed or worn straight
+
Firm support 

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the easiest to get on
-
Can get very sweaty

This is a high-support bra with a second-skin feel. The moulded cups and crossover straps (which can be worn as straight straps) make the Reebok PureMove+ supremely comfortable and it seems to fit almost all sizes and shapes. With back opening and crossover straps, it’s not the easiest to get into – but once you’re in, it’s extremely supportive and comfortable.

Best Zip-Front Running Bras

Lululemon Enlite Bra Zip Front in black worn by model, front and rear views

(Image credit: Lululemon)
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Lululemon Enlite Bra Zip Front

Zip-fronted bra with moulded cups and soft cross-over straps

Specifications

Cup size: A-E
RRP: £88

Reasons to buy

+
Soft and comfortable
+
Very supportive
+
Front zip makes it easier to get on and off

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

This ever popular running bra is now available in a handy zip-front version, so you don’t have to elbow your way through a tangle of straps to get into it. It offers plentiful coverage, and the zipper sits under a zip garage to ensure it won’t come undone during a hill sprint. The soft, moulded cups are lightweight and breathable, giving a sculpted, natural look rather than a flattened chest. The Lycra mix means it feels stretchy and holds its shape well. It’s not cheap, but it gets everything right.


Marks & Spencer Extra High-Impact Zip-Front Sports Bra in floral print worn by model, side and rear views

(Image credit: Marks & Spencer)
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Marks & Spencer Extra High-Impact Zip-Front Sports Bra

Great-value front opening option with good support

Specifications

Cup size: F-H
RRP: £25

Reasons to buy

+
Affordable
+
Good support
+
Front zip makes it easy to get on and off

Reasons to avoid

-
Straps aren’t adjustable
-
Runs small

If you find back clasps too awkward to reach, this bra from M&S is a great-value front-opening option. The full-coverage cups are not padded, making it more breathable, and the tailored sections create a shaped silhouette. Wide straps and a racerback design ensure it stays put, although the straps are not adjustable, which means it won’t be a great fit for some. It runs small so you may want to consider trying a size or two up.

Buy from Marks & Spencer (opens in new tab) | £25

Best Running Bras For Nursing Mums

Trying to breastfeed while wearing a normal sports bra is almost impossible, but thankfully there are sports bras designed for nursing mums. Active breastfeeding mums also tend to find they need a larger size and more support from their sports bra, which can make it worth investing in a new bit of kit.

Natal Active Artemis Nursing Sports Bra in blue worn by model, front and rear views

(Image credit: Natal Active)
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Natal Active Artemis Nursing Sports Bra

Excellent sports bra that adapts with you through pregnancy and breastfeeding

Specifications

Cup size: B-G
RRP: £45

Reasons to buy

+
Comfortable and supportive
+
Comes with bra extender
+
Option to cross straps for more support

Reasons to avoid

-
Non-standard sizing – you’ll need a tape measure 

It’s a challenge to find a sports bra that fits when you’re pregnant because your body just keeps changing shape, so a bra that can also change is a brilliant idea. This nursing bra can be adjusted to fit you throughout pregnancy and into the postnatal phase. It comes with a matching bra extender so it will fit even when your ribcage expands during pregnancy. The soft, wide straps can be worn straight or crossed over for extra support. It’s available in four colours: black, white, electric blue and hot pink.


Natal Active Freyja Bigger Bust Nursing Sports Bra in black worn by model, front and rear views

(Image credit: Natal Active)
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Natal Active Freyja Bigger Bust Nursing Sports Bra

Sports bra in larger sizes that adapts to changes through pregnancy and breastfeeding

Specifications

Cup size: G-J
RRP: £45

Reasons to buy

+
Higher neckline gives more coverage
+
Comfortable and supportive
+
Comes with bra extender
+
Option to cross straps for more support

Reasons to avoid

-
Non-standard sizing – you’ll need a tape measure 

Nursing bra specialist Natal Active now offers a nursing bra for bigger-busted mums. A bra extender is included so you can get a better fit throughout pregnancy as well as while breastfeeding. The crossover straps and underband are wide and soft, and the higher neckline means more coverage and support. Sizing isn’t standard, so find a tape measure and check the brand’s sizing chart to get the best possible fit.


Cake Maternity Zest Sports Bra, front and rear view

(Image credit: Cake Maternity)
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Cake Maternity Zest Sports Bra

Great shape and high support for active breastfeeding mums

Specifications

Cup size: B-H
RRP: £46.90

Reasons to buy

+
Moulded cups with flexible wire give better shape
+
Option to convert to racerback for higher support

Reasons to avoid

-
Support not as good as other options

The moulded cups on this nursing bra include flexible underwire for a high degree of support, making it ideal for running, HIIT or Buggyfit classes. You can unhook either cup with ease and its A-frame design keeps the bra in place while you feed. Wide, padded straps mean nothing digs in, and there are mesh panels to offer some ventilation, while a conversion clip on the straps allows you to wear it either with straight straps or as a racerback.


Buying Guides

(Image credit: Unknown)
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Boob Design Fast Food Sports Bra

Simple but supportive pull-over-the-head nursing sports bra

Specifications

Sizing: S-XXL
RRP: £54.99

Reasons to buy

+
Simple, comfortable design

Reasons to avoid

-
Basic sizing and no option to adjust the fit
-
Expensive for what it is

One for those who don’t get on with underwire or padding, this fuss-free racerback sports bra has a simple, pull-over-the-head design. The drop-down cups are designed for breastfeeding and can be unhooked with one hand, which makes feeding your little one mid-workout a whole lot easier. It comes in sizes S to XXL rather than standard bra sizes.

Buy from Boobydoo (opens in new tab) | £54.99


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