​The best sports bras for every workout: Featuring Lululemon, Reebok, Nike and more

Our favourite bras tested – plus advice on which compression to choose
The best sports bras for every workout

The sports bra is an essential for every workout, whether you’re a weekend warrior, post-work Pilates lover or hardcore runner. We’ve tested the market’s finest sports bras and picked the best out so you can shop with confidence (and avoid trying on 400 different models in your local sports shop).

There are three key designs of sports bra: compression, which hold your breasts in place with powerful elastic material and a snug-fitting chest band; encapsulation, which has separate cups to hold you in place and offers extra support; and hybrid, which combines the two.

Generally, people with smaller breasts get on fine with compression models and those with larger breasts are more comfortable in encapsulation or hybrid designs, but higher impact sports such as running and HIIT often demand more support for maximum comfort.

This guide is split into five sections: the best sports bras for running; CrossFit and HIIT; cycling and triathlon; yoga, Pilates and barre; and plus-size. Every product is available in a range of sizes and across the guide there are products available in every size from 28A to 42G.

Best for running

Brooks Juno

The Best Sports Bra For Every Workout

The Brooks Juno sports bra is the ultimate ‘hybrid’ design: it has a moulded ‘unicup’ to support and separate each breast without the use of underwiring, along with a padded chest band to hold the bra firmly but gently in place. Its racerback design was recently updated to make it easier to put on and take off, following customer feedback that its supportive cut made it hard to get out of, while the perforated inner lining of the cups and mesh ventilation around the chest band help keep you cool on the run.

The stand-out feature of the Juno, though, is its velcro straps which can be adjusted and secured from the front without having to take the bra off or contort yourself. They offer a customisable fit that can easily be tweaked on the go if you find yourself getting uncomfortable, plus are rated well by new mums as they can be easily unfastened to feed. Overall, a highly supportive bra that’s designed to suit all different body shapes.

Sizes: B-F cup, 30-40 inch back

Lululemon Enlite Bra

The Best Sports Bra For Every Workout

It may not be a cheap option, but the Lululemon Enlite has a genius hybrid design that offers powerful support. Rather than being sewn on, its chest band is bonded to the cups and upper section of the bra, meaning it won’t ride up as you run. The cups are moulded into the bra, and the entire item is made with added Lycra fibre to help wick sweat away and stretch slightly to fit your form.

Its hook and eye closure and crossover back make it relatively easy to get out of (the importance of which can’t be overlooked after a long run!) while adding an element of style that’s rare in heavy duty sports bras. One criticism is that the shoulder straps aren’t adjustable, so if you have one side bigger than the other or find it doesn’t fit as you like then there’s not much room for manoeuvre. That said, its soft material and limited stitching make it a low-risk for chafing, so it’s a great option for long distance runners.

Sizes: 32A-40E

Runderwear Women’s Support Running Bra (UK only)

The Best Sports Bra For Every Workout

Runderwear have made it their mission to eliminate underwear-related discomfort and chafing, so it makes total sense that they rate well in the bra stakes. Their support running sports bra is made with lightweight technical material with micro-perforations for ventilation, plus it doesn’t have a sewn-in label – a common cause of irritation. Its adjustable straps are non-slip and it has a racerback design to maximise all-round support.

One great thing about this sports bra is that is doesn’t cut too highly into the armpits – a common cause of chafing and discomfort. We also love the underwire-free hybrid design, which offers compression from the material and shaped cups with removable padding, depending on whether or not you like a touch more cushioning.

Sizes: 28A-38E

Best for CrossFit and HIIT

Nike FE/NOM Flyknit Sports Bra

The best sports bras for every workout

Completely wire-free, the FE/NOM Flyknit bra from Nike is ultra-comfortable without compromising on support. The sculpted cups help compress you for a secure, skin-tight fit that lends itself to almost any sport from running and football to tennis and CrossFit. It's almost seamless, which helps protect your skin from irritation, and has a racer back design which allows you to move fluidly without having to stop and readjust the straps.

Made with Nike's Dri-FIT technology, the material wicks sweat away from your skin to avoid discomfort and the dreaded chafe. At pushing £70, this may not be a budget option, but it's a reliable, timeless investment that will kit you out well for many training sessions to come.

Sizes: XS to XL (30A to 40C/38E)

Reebok CrossFit Jacquard Fade Bra

The Best Sports Bra For Every Workout

This compression bra is specifically designed for CrossFit training, with a high neck that helps protect your collarbone from direct contact with barbells mid-lift and avoids any accidental flashing during dynamic moves like handstand push-ups and burpees.

The majority of its support comes from the secure chest band, while its removable pads offer additional comfort and coverage. Since the pads have specific slots sewn into the bra, you’ll avoid the hassle of them rearranging themselves in the wash and either warping or migrating to a different part of the bra.

The inner lining has excellent sweat-wicking properties, while the elaborate crossover back provides plenty of breathability as well as looking great. While this bra is specifically designed for CrossFit, there’s no reason it wouldn’t work just as well for a spin class or yoga session too.

Sizes: 2XS-XL (A-E cup, 30-42 inch back)

Lucas Hugh Kubrick Sports Bra

The Best Sports Bra For Every Workout

This sports bra from boutique brand Lucas Hugh comes with a boutique price point, but it’s definitely not style over substance. Its technical material is bonded rather than stitched together, meaning it nixes uncomfortable seams against the skin to prevent chafing, plus the fabric has in-built UV protection making it ideal for outdoor workouts.

The compressive fit and wide chest band offers sturdy support, while the crop top design of the bra is flattering and gives excellent coverage to prevent mid-HIIT wardrobe malfunctions. It doesn’t feature additional padding, unlike many bras on the market, so for those who prefer a classic silhouette or find extra material uncomfortable, the Kubrick bra is a great shout.

Sizes: XS-L (UK size 6-14)

Best for cycling and triathlon

Threo Sports Crop Top (UK only)

The Best Sports Bra For Every Workout

Created by a pair of female triathletes who were unhappy with the high-performance sportswear on the market, Threo make cycling and triathlon kit that fills the gaps left by other brands. Their sports bra crop top offers compression support from elasticated technical fabric, complete with built-in UV protection.

The chest band is designed to fit a heart rate monitor strap underneath without chafing – something many sports bra models don’t take into account, and making it ideal for tough rides and turbo trainer sessions.

While those with bigger breasts may find it uncomfortable to run in alone, the bra fits perfectly under a trisuit (which itself provides more support) and dries quickly, making it a brilliant choice to wear throughout a triathlon.

Sizes: XS-XXL (UK size 6-20)

Shock Absorber Ultimate Fly Bra (UK only)

The Best Sports Bra For Every Workout

Probably the best-known sports bra brand on the market, Shock Absorber’s Ultimate Fly Bra features laser-cut fabric layers around the bust to support you from all angles. Rather than using padded cups to support the breasts, this bra is moulded to support you. This makes it extremely light and far more breathable than bulkier products, meaning it fits almost like a second skin.

The rear of the bra has two clips: one for the chest band and one for the racer back, making it more adjustable and offering extra comfort all-round. The straps are limited in how much they can be adjusted, but offer enough leeway for you to find a suitable fit.

With its lightweight design, it’s easy to forget you’re wearing the Fly Bra, making it a great option for long rides and spin classes, plus its super supportive shape means it lends itself well to triathlon-wear for bigger-busted women.

Sizes: 32B-38F

Beachbody Intent Compression Sports Bra

The Best Sports Bra For Every Workout

With powerful elasticated material and a wide chest band, this compression bra does a brilliant job of holding you in place. The fabric is mapped to support you where you need it most – vastly different to many compression bras on the market, which have the same level of support in all areas of their material.

The seamless construction is designed to avoid chafing and irritation against your skin, which is essential whether you’re out on the road for a long ride or just cycle commuting.

Sizes: XS-L (UK size 4-14)

Best for yoga, Pilates and barre

Gymshark Flex Sports Bra

The Best Sports Bra For Every Workout

Gymshark sports bras are easily recognisable by their elasticated chest bands emblazoned with their name and logo, but these serve a purpose as well as providing a signature look: the thick elastic provides a strong basis of support for the chest, boosted by the compression of the bra itself.

The firm compression along with the racerback design means this bra does not budge, even during dynamic moves like Sun salutations, Pilates flows and barre routines. It also features removable pads, which add comfort and shape, though these sometimes shift in the wash – make sure you put them back in place before hanging it to dry so it holds its shape.

Sizes: XS-XL (UK size 6-16)

Evveervital Power On Bra

The best sports bras for every workout

London-based brand Evveervital's boutique collection of athleisure is as stylish as it is comfy. This Power On bra features an innovative double layer design, with a structure that passes both over the shoulders and crosses below the neck for a secure fit, without feeling like you're boxed in.

The sweat-wicking fabric has a four-way stretch for flexibility as you move through your asanas, plus it has built-in UV protection to look after your skin - a must on yoga retreats. The only thing worth noting is that the bra isn't adjustable, so give it a try on before practising to avoid any accidental flashing if it's not quite your size.

Sizes: S-L (UK sizes 8-16)

Best for plus-size

Anita Momentum Sports Bra

The Best Sports Bra For Every Workout

Available up to G-cup and up to a 46-inch back size, the Anita Momentum sports bra is an absolute all-rounder. The encapsulated design means each breast is held in place but a moulded cup, and secured by thick straps and a four-clip hook and eye clasp.

Many bras in larger sizes sacrifice style for practicality, but the Anita Momentum steps beyond the ordinary with metallic shimmer material in a range of colours that looks stylish and totally timeless.

The straps are fully adjustable and the rear of the bra features mesh material to allow your skin to breathe as you work out. The cups of this high impact bra tend to come up a little big, so it’s worth buying a size down from your usual. For any woman who’s ever felt her bra size is holding her back from sport, this is the solution.

Sizes: 30B/32A-42G/46E

Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Bra

The Best Sports Bra For Every Workout

Another classic from Shock Absorber, the Ultimate Run Bra is loved by women of all sizes. Its additional high back clip makes it ideal for those with bigger busts, as it helps spread the weight-bearing support across your upper back as opposed to just over the shoulders.

The cups are seam-free on the inside and have sweat-wicking outer material to prevent chafing, while the adjustable straps allow for a customisable fit.

Its ‘Infinity-8’ system, designed to prevent the figure-of-eight movement of breasts during running, was the result of extensive research into breast movement at Portsmouth University back in 2005 and has formed the base of Shock Absorber’s designs ever since. Whether you’re into the tech behind it or not, there’s no denying the Ultimate Run Bra truly is the ultimate option for plus-size runners.

Sizes: 30A-38G

Tags:    Workout
Tagged    Workout