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Fact: Not all sports bras are made equal. Not only do you need different sports bras for different types of workouts, you also need different sports bras for different needs -- like chest size, the temperature you're working out in, or the season you're wearing one. You may not need something with thick shoulder straps or high support for walking or weight lifting, however you'll definitely need a bra with lots more support if you run or do HIIT exercises. While you may feel your best in a pair of new leggings and your favorite running shoes (don't we all), you probably don't feel your best once the workout begins if your bra isn't giving the support you need.
We picked out the best sports bras for women for any workout occasion. Soft bras that feel comfortable for everyday wear will come in handy for yoga or pilates, while a sweat-wicking bra with medium to high support will come in handy if you just got your Equinox or Orange Theory membership -- high impact activities like rowing, treadmill sprints, and brutal Burpee exercises call for more support. Shop our list, and pick out a favorite (or a few) to have on rotation each week. Once you find the right sports bra, you'll be hitting personal records and feeling much more confident in the gym.
1. Best for Low-Intensity Workouts
Under Armour Seamless Low-Impact Sports Bra - Kohl's, $22.75+
A low impact bra is great for those quick at-home workouts in the living room, weight training, or yoga. This polyester bra has four-way stretch for all of your movements, plus a comfy band so you won't feel constricted. Under Armour's seamless bra won't chafe, and it has a soft knit with ventilation to keep you cool and dry. This also features removable cups, which is a plus: it means you can alter the shape and coverage to meet your needs, and the straps are also adjustable for really customize your fit. This isn't just a great bra for exercise, but it's also an excellent bra for everyday wear. It comes in sizes XS-XL and is available in over 10 different colors.
This sports bra is best for A-C cups. For larger busts, consider Athleta's Conscious Cut Out Crop D-DD cup bra.
2. Best for High-Intensity Workouts
Gymshark High Support Open Back Sports Bra - Gymshark, $40
For those full-out sprints and HIIT workouts, you'll need a high-impact bra. High-impact bras are exactly what you need when you're jumping or doing any exercise that requires quick or intense movement. Think jump ropes, Burpees, and any other workout that expels a lot of energy. This top-quality bra meets all of our standards for intense training: breathability, adjustable straps, an elastic underband, and preformed cups. The bra will keep your chest secure, but you won't feel restrained. It's made of polyester and elastane, making it stretchy for an enjoyable fit -- and it's available in sizes XS-XXL.
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3. Best for Running
Drive 3 Pocket Run Bra - Brooks, $50
Brooks is a leading brand for running apparel and running shoes. To no surprise, their sports bras deliver the same quality product. Brooks' sports bras were designed with all the pain points you may encounter during a run: The bra offers high impact and has a phone pocket in the back, because keeping your phone on you when running outdoors is crucial. You can even store an ID or credit cards in the side pockets. The bra doesn't just stop at storage -- it's a compression bra that moves with you and is also designed to prevent chafing, making it the ultimate for running. It's available in sizes 30AB to 40DE.
4. Best for Small Cup Sizes
lululemon Align Reversible Bra - Lululemon, $58
Lululemon apparel is an all-time favorite for fitness enthusiasts. Their reversible bra is a great light support bra -- and it's specifically made for A/B cups. Consider it a sports bra for yoga, everyday wear, or even running errands. You can even pair the bra with a cropped jacket, leggings, and your favorite sneakers for an on-trend athleisure look, too. The buttery-soft and weightless fabric is so comfortable for all-day wear, and it's available in sizes 2-12.
5. Best for Large Cup Sizes
PANACHE Ultimate High Impact Underwire Sports Bra - Bare Necessities, $58
You've probably heard of this bra by now, and yes, the hype is real. We know that "underwire sports bra" may sound like a turn-off to some, but the brand claims this bra reduces bounce by 83 percent, which its loyal fans happily testify to. The high-impact bra is made to accommodate larger chest sizes -- and is specifically made with people that have cup sizes larger than a D or DD in mind. Thankfully, the underwires are silicone encased so you won't even feel them. Also, kiss chafing goodbye: with smooth seams, you won't have to experience uncomfortable rubbing and friction.
If you work out in the heat or sweat a lot, no worries. This bra has breathable mesh that's sweat-wicking, so you'll stay dry and cool. Choose from sizes 28B to 40J. Seriously, this bra is impressive, and we love the print and color options. Of course, black and gray are always classics, but the colorful prints are too cute!
6. Best Compression Sports Bra
Nike Women's Victory Compression Sports Bra - Amazon, $35+
Snug compression bras are great for many workouts (most running bras have compression), but they're also a favorite for their ability to limit movement by using fabric that keeps the chest comfortably and securely pressed down. While it's a matter of preference and comfort, many people like them over traditional sports bras, so if the description sounds appealing to you, we suggest you snag this Nike bra. It's tried and true for good reason, and is made of 88% polyester and 12% spandex for a tight but comfortable fit, no matter what cup size you are. A customer in a size 34DDD even mentioned it's a great compression bra for 5K marathons! It's available in sizes XS-4XL, and if you bike, run, or cycle, you can't go wrong with this bra. Choose from over 10 different colors.
MORE: Women's Running Apparel for Hot Weather: 11 Picks to Keep You Cool
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