And how to rehydrate fast.
The girls that get it, get it—high intensity workouts and big boobs aren’t exactly a match made in heaven, and shopping for a high impact sports bra can be straight-up exhausting. Poor-fitting straps can cause serious neck pain, and a too-tight band can feel like you’re being sawed in half.
As a 40H, I know the struggles of sports bra shopping all too well and have tried on my fair share of duds. Forget style or comfort; finding one that fits my frame and can keep my boobs from flopping everywhere is already difficult enough. Luckily, innovations in sports bras are ever-changing, and according to bra expert Jené Luciani Sena, Access Daily’s “Bra-blem Solving” segment host and bestselling author of The Bra Book, there’s more bounce-blocking options available than ever before.
9 best high-impact sports bras, at a glance:
- Best overall: SheFit High Impact Ultimate Sports Bra ($75)
- Best for larger busts: Syrokan Women’s Sports Bra ($28)
- Best under $50: Athleta Ultimate Bra ($49)
- Best high-neck sports bra: Gymshark High Neck High Support Sports Bra ($54)
- Best for running: Knix Catalyst Front Zip Sports Bra ($89)
- Best for medium-impact workouts: Outdoor Voices, Doing Things Bra ($58)
- Best underwire sports bra: Freya Sonic High Impact Underwire Sports Bra ($72)
- Best for smaller busts: Reebok Women’s Lux Skinny Strap Sports Bra ($54)
- Best front-closure sports bra: Lululemon Enlite Front-Zip Bra ($108)
What to look for in a high impact sports bra
When picking out a high-impact sports bra, Sena says to avoid cotton at all costs. Since cotton absorbs moisture, it can leave unsightly sweat stains and, more importantly, feel uncomfortable during a high-impact workout. Cotton is also prone to stretching out after use, meaning your bra won’t retain its shape well after a while.
Instead, opt for lightweight, stretchy, moisture-wicking fabrics and and materials like:
Wide shoulder straps
Sena says to stay away from skinny cami-like bra straps. Instead, wide shoulder straps are your new gravity-fighting BFFs. While spaghetti straps might look great under a tank top, they don’t provide the support necessary for a HIIT workout and a sweaty cardio session.
“Don’t go out and buy a yoga bra expecting it to work for running,” adds Sena. “That’s not what it’s designed for!”
Extra support features
If you’re above a size D, keep an eye out for extra support features like adjustable straps, thick bands, and hook-and-eye-closures. Customizable features like these allow you to get the snug-but-breathable fit you’ll want in a sports bra.
For those who love extra boost of classic underwire bras, Sena suggests checking out brands and shops that specialize in bra-making. While some activewear brands make great sports bras (as you’ll see later on in this article!), companies that specialize in bra and lingerie design typically adhere to standard bra measurements, making them easier to shop for.
“A bra company does more fit testing,” adds Sena, who is a fan of Soma’s medium-support sports bras. “You’re gonna get a truer, better fit as opposed to an athletic company.”
Good bounce control
Sena recommends giving your new high impact sports bra the “bounce test” before purchasing. When trying a high-impact sports bra for the first time, jump up and down a few times or mimic the activity you’ll be using it for, whether that be running, yoga, or cycling.
This test will give you a good idea of how it will perform during your actual workout and can stave off buyer’s remorse. A good rule of thumb is if they bounce in the dressing room, they’ll bounce during your workout, too.
Of course, bra shopping is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. While some people might prefer a taped-down, the-girls-are-going-absolutely-nowhere feel, others might be looking for a more gentle lift. “What might be my favorite won’t be your favorite,” adds Sena. “Decide your preference of what style you like and what activity it is that you’re going to use it for!”
With Sena’s expert advice in mind, I set out to compile a list of *the* best high impact sports bras on the market today. Ahead are nine of the best-rated, top-reviewed high-impact sports bras on the market today, including seven styles that our editorial team can’t get enough of.
9 best high impact sports bras
Sizes: XS-6 Luxe, or cups A-I
Available in 11 different colors and an incredibly wide range of sizes, there’s a SheFit Ultimate Sports Bra for almost everyone. One of Sena’s favorites, this high-impact sports bra delivers second-to-none compression and support during HIIT workouts, treadmill sprints, kickboxing classes, and more. Equipped with a patented “zip, cinch, lift” adjustability, this bra comes with velcro straps and a velcro band for 100-percent customizable wear. Bonus: The zip-front closure allows you to take it off easily after a super sweaty workout.
“My daughter has struggled to find the right sports bra and now she finally has,” reviewer Yuliana C. shares. “Thank you so much for this product and ingenious design. This has changed her life.”
- Wide elastic band offers comfort and support
- Thick, heavy-duty adjustable straps
- Zip-front closure for extra hold
- Removable padding
- 11 colors
- Unique sizing method might make it difficult to find your size
Best for larger busts
Sizes: 32B-44F, with H cups available in select band sizes
Take it from yours truly: This $28 bra from Amazon is a win for bigger-busted babes. Last year I wrote an in-depth review of the Syrokan Women’s Sports Bra as a size 40H customer, singing its praises as an affordable high impact sports bra option. It comes with thick velcro straps that you can easily adjust mid-workout that make it excellent for larger chests, plus a heavy-duty longline band that mimics the support of an underwire bra.
The material is super thick but moisture-wicking and proves plenty of nipple coverage. It comes in a huge variety of colors (19 to be exact) and fits bust sizes from a 32B all the way to a 44F, with H cups sprinkled in across a few band sizes. For the amount of support and extra features, you’d be hard-pressed to find a comparable sports bra at the same price point.
- Versatile color options
- Scoop neck helps keep natural bust shape
- Hook-and-eye closures for extra support
- Adjustable straps
- The velcro straps can weaken over time
- H-cup only available in small number of band sizes
Best under $50
Sizes: XXS-XXL in eithe A-C or D-DD+
Well+Good associate commerce editor Francesca Krempa,knows a thing or two about the struggle of finding the perfect sports bra. In 2018, she had a “life-changing” breast reduction and went from a 34DD+ to a 34B-C to alleviate back pain, general discomfort, and to boost her self esteem.
While significantly smaller in the chest, she knows the importance of a supportive, comfortable, and flattering sports bra, which is why she swears by the Athleta Ultimate Sports bra for ticking off all three of those boxes without breaking the bank. “You can spend a lot of money on a bra, but here’s the thing—a hefty price tag doesn’t automatically means it’s good,” she says. “For $49, Athleta’s Ultimate Sports Bra gets the job done. I wear the A-C and find it to be extremely supportive—the racerback straps keep me nice and strapped in when I’m on the elliptical or doing a HIIT workout. I sweat a lot and really love the opening in the back that provides a teensy bit more airflow than other bras I’ve tried.”
Bonus: The materials are largely sustainable. The bulk of is made from a recycled nylon that’s sweat-wicking, compressive, and quick-drying. A touch of lycra adds some stretch, too.
- Made from recycled performance materials
- Thick, racerback design for support
- Open back for added airflow
- Generic A-C, and D-DD+ sizing might not be as custom as some shoppers like
Best high-neck sports bra
Sizes: 32B-40E/F, 42D/DD
For those who want a little extra cleavage coverage, the Gymshark High Neck High Support Sports Bra is hard to beat in function and modesty. This open racerback bra comes equipped with soft, adjustable straps and a hook-and-eye closure band for a custom fit.
This bra also features dual-cup sizing, meaning it’ll still fit properly if your bust fluctuates during (and after) your period. Well+Good Senior Fitness Editor Jennifer Heimlich says this sports bra helped her navigate her changing body as a new mom and provides gentle-yet-effective support for postpartum breasts.
“I first tried Gymshark’s High Neck High Support Sports Bra when I was just a few weeks postpartum and starting to run again—with boobs that were bigger and bouncier than they’d ever been in my life,” says Heimlich. “The structured high neck gently keeps any bouncing in check without having to squish everything uncomfortably. My boobs have since shrunk a size or so, but I’m still loving it; I ran the London Marathon in it a couple weeks ago and I didn’t have to think about my boobs once—nor did I get any chafing along the bra line, a true miracle!”
- Thick, soft straps
- Modest high-neck design
- Longline silhouette
- Hook-and-eye closure for extra support
- Can be worn solo as a workout top
- Not offered in cup sizes above an F
- Limited color options
Best for running:
When it comes to running bras, the Catalyst Front Zip Sports Bra from Knix goes the extra mile. Decked out with adjustable straps, an adjustable band, AND a front zipper, this heavy-duty sports bra is a pro at keeping things in place.
As a new owner of the Knix Catalyst bra, I can wholeheartedly say that this bra is an excellent option for running and absolutely passes Sena’s “bounce test.” The material is super duper soft and sleek, and since it’s practically seamless, I feel comfortable wearing it under tight-fitting workout tanks.
Over 2000 positive reviews echo my sentiments, sharing how great the Catalyst bra is at keeping the girls in place.
Reviewer Claudia B. puts it best: “It keeps the girls in line, what more can I say?”
- Versatile color options
- Thick, adjustable straps
- Hook-and-eye closure for added support
- Fits super tight at first, then adjusts with more wear
Best medium-impact sports bra
Sometimes you want support without feeling like you’re being strapped into a Formula One race car. The Doing Things Bra from Outdoor Voices provides exactly that: decent support for jogs and pilates classes, sans intricate pulley system.
This bra comes with a flattering scoop neck and a breathable, super-flexible mesh racerback. While not specifically marketed as a high-impact sports bra, Well+Good writer Danielle Calma says it offers plenty of support without feeling restrictive.
“I’ve owned this sports bra for several years, and it continues to be the one I reach for when I run or do HIIT,” says Calma. “Like a compression bra, it sits high on my chest, offering both the coverage and support I need to help me power through my activities. It’s stretchy enough to be comfortable, but it hasn’t lost its supportive qualities (even after years), keeping its original form through heavy wear and many washes.”
The downside is, it doesn’t come in specific cup or band sizes. But if you’re looking for a comfy, flexible bra for “doing things” in, it gets the job done.
- Lightweight, compressive fabric
- Mesh sides
- Removable padding
- Sweat-wicking, flexible material
- Sizes tend to sell out quickly
- Best for medium-impact workouts
- Not adjustable—doesn’t come in specific cup/band sizes
Best underwire sports bra:
While many people hate the poke-y feeling of underwire bras, some of us actually prefer the scooping lift they provide. The Freya Sonic High Impact Underwire Sports Bra delivers the support of a traditional bra with the shape and flexibility of a high impact sports bra.
This bra comes with a four-column, four-row hook-and-eye closure and two adjustable straps that can be transformed into a racerback. Reviewer Diane K. writes, “I am a 54 year old woman, so my breast needs support. I have looked for YEARS for a bra that held me up and felt good! I will definitely continue buying these bras!”
Available in 20 colors and a wide range of sizes, you’re sure to find one that fits you—and your personal style—best.
- Versatile color options
- No “uniboob” effect
- Thick, adjustable straps
- 4-column hook-and-eye closure for extra support
- Comfortable underwire that provides lift without poking or prodding
- Not available in sizes above a 40G
- Reviewers say the metal may “squeak” when you move
Best for smaller busts
Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise: Smaller chests need support, too! While A-cups might get away with wearing medium- or low-impact sports bras on a run, HIIT workouts that require jumping are best done while wearing a high-impact bra. Unfortunately, some high impact sports bras suck the chest in *to*o much for smaller chest sizes.
W+G commerce writer Kayla Hui swears by Reebok’s Skinny Strap Sports Bra for smaller chested babes. “I know this bra says medium support but as someone who falls within the itty bitty titty committee, I find it supportive enough for HIIT, running, and jump roping,” she says. “The polyester and elastane blend renders this bra compressive with just enough give, and it has criss-cross adjustable straps for extra support. Also, it doesn’t have any underwire so it doesn’t dig into my skin during high-intensity exercises.”
- Racerback adjustable straps for support
- Open back design for airflow
- Snug band offers more support and lift
- No underwire
- No custom band/cup sizes
- Skinny straps might not be supportive enough for some folks
Best front-closure sports bra:
There’s a few reasons why someone might want to choose a bra that opens in the front rather than the back. Securing a hook-and-eye closure behind your back can be difficult for anyone, but especially for plus-sized folks or those who struggle with back pain. Front-closure bras also allow easy nipple access for breastfeeding moms. Plus, zippers are kinda fun!
Whatever your reasons may be, Krempa says Lululemon’s Enlite Front Zip Sports Bra is a dream come true for zip-front bras. “Honestly, most zip-front bras are kinda matronly and not all that cute—except for this bad boy,” she says. “Between the bright, summery colors, the soft, seamless fabric, and the cool open-back design, this is not your grandma’s beige zip-up bra. This one is cool. And it’s specifically designed for running, so you know it’s supportive.”
A top-to-bottom front closure that makes putting it on and taking it off a breeze. It offers maximum support and hold without poky underwires, and features a cut-out racerback that maximizes support without making you sweat. And that soft seamless fabric? It’s also a game-changer for sweaty situations and dries quickly without chafing or pooling. Albeit expensive, it’s worth every penny in Krempa’s opinion.
- Soft yet supportive
- Front-zip makes for easy on-and-off
- Designed for running
- Cutouts in the back allow for airflow
- Not adjustable
- Sizes only available through 40D