Best sports bras

We’ve tested the best sports bras for every workout

Whether it’s a long-distance run, a sweaty HIIT session or a gentle yoga class, a good sports bra is a must. If you’ve ever tried to run up a flight of stairs without a bra on, you’ll know how important a good sports bra is when exercising.

Runderwear Energize Running Bra
Editors Choice

Runderwear Energize Running Bra


RRP: £45.00
Who’s this for?
Runners, or anyone taking part in regular exercise.
Marks and Spencer Ultimate Support Serious Sports Bra
Recommended

Marks and Spencer Ultimate Support Serious Sports Bra


RRP: £28.00
Who’s this for?
Particularly suitable for those with larger breasts. Good for all types of exercise.
Under Armour Infinity High sports bra
Recommended

Under Armour Infinity High Sports Bra


RRP: £50.00
Who’s this for?
Ideal for athletes, cyclists and runners
Runderwear Women's Power bra (easy-on)
Recommended

Runderwear Power Running Bra


RRP: £49.00
Who’s this for?
Runners or anyone taking part in any kind of high impact exercise such as HIIT

Gymshark Open Back Sports Bra


RRP: £35.00
Who’s this for?
We felt this bra is best suited to younger people who might wear just a sports bra and leggings for workouts.
My Protein Essentials Jersey Bra

My Protein Essentials Jersey Bra


RRP: £14.99
Who’s this for?
People with small breasts and those doing gentle activities such as slow-moving yoga

Breasts are made up of different forms of tissue; fatty, glandular, and connective/ supportive. Because of their delicate nature, breasts can be easily damaged, especially if we’re moving around a lot. A supportive bra when exercising is a must.  

The market is full of sports bras that all claim to be the best around, and it can be difficult to know what to look for. It depends on why you’ll be wearing it; the bra you’ll need for a high impact exercise, such as running or tennis, is going to be quite different to the level of support you’ll need for a gentler workout like tai chi.  

Another factor to consider is how you put it on and take it off. If you have any shoulder issues, getting a tight sports bra over your head could prove tricky, and a traditional back-fastening one may be more suitable.  

The size of your breasts is also important. Some companies have sports bras designed specifically for those with a D cup and above, which offer a greater level of support and compression. If you have a smaller chest, you might prefer a style with a lower neckline or thinner straps, but remember you’ll still need support to prevent too much movement.  

What our testers look for

Comfort: How comfortable did it feel when working out? Did it rub or chafe, did the straps dig in, or did we feel we could wear it all day?

How well the bra holds up – literally. Is the level of support given relative to the description from the company? Did our testers feel safe and secure in it?  

We’ve all been stuck in a sweaty sports bra after a workout. It’s not a good look. How easy were our bras to fasten, adjust, and take off again?  

A good quality sports bra is an investment. You want it to wash well and dry quickly, so you don’t have to buy too many of them. It’s also important that the support and functionality of the bra doesn’t diminish through regular washing.  

It’s reasonable to expect some sweat if you’ve done a workout, but you want the clothing you wear to draw that sweat away from your skin, especially if it’s a bra that sits tightly against you. Under-boob sweat is not pleasant, and neither are visible round sweat patches on the front of your t-shirt. So sweat-wicking material, and its effectiveness, is important.  

Does the price tag reflect what the bra offers? Is it good quality?  

Runderwear Energize Running Bra Overview

Runderwear Energize Running Bra

Runderwear Energize Running Bra
Editors Choice
Competitive

This bra is superb quality with excellent sweat wicking. It offers a great level of support and is very comfortable.

Comfort

Functionality

Washability

Price


Who’s this for?

Runners, or anyone taking part in regular exercise.

Our likes and dislikes

  • Excellent support
  • Washes well
  • Secure fit
  • Absorbs impact

Expect to pay

RRP: £45.00 Although the Energize bra retails at £45, we’ve seen it as low as £31.50 in the January sales, making this an incredible bargain.

We wore it for: Running, kettlebells, gym workouts 

A full cup sports bra designed specifically for running, but suitable for any type of workout. This bra has back fastening and offers strong support for runners. We tested a 38 D, and our model is a dress size 18.  

Runderwear offer a great bra fitting service on their website, or you can book a fitting call with them. We followed the online guidance and the bra fitted perfectly. It was easy to adjust. 

Runderwear Energise bra front viewCredit: Exceptional.com

What we liked: Our tester felt the quality of the product was strong. She was very impressed not only with the level of support, but also the comfort and said she would happily wear it all day despite it being a high-impact sports bra.  

She also liked the neckline; it fit snugly and made her feel more secure. Security was something that came up time and again for our testers; it’s important as it inspires confidence and enables the wearer to push more in a class or workout.  

There was no chafing or rubbing, and the bra drew sweat away from the skin quickly, keeping her dry. Unlike the Power bra, the Energize bra was easy to get on and off. You need to put it over your head and then fasten at the back, but it’s easy enough to do. It washes well and dries quickly. 

Runderwear Energize bra back viewCredit: Exceptional.com

What we didn’t like: Nothing! The Runderwear Power Running bra would be our top pick for anyone looking for a high-quality sports bra for energetic workouts, whether they’re a runner or not. 


Marks and Spencer Ultimate Support Serious Sports Bra Overview

Marks and Spencer Ultimate Support Serious Sports Bra

Marks and Spencer Ultimate Support Serious Sports Bra
Recommended
Budget

An underwired full cup bra which offers great comfort and support and is a great plus size choice

Comfort

Functionality

Washability

Price


Who’s this for?

Particularly suitable for those with larger breasts. Good for all types of exercise.

Our likes and dislikes

  • Great underwired support
  • A good plus size choice
  • Suitable for all types of exercise
  • Very high neckline

Expect to pay

RRP: £28.00 The Ultimate Support bra is a great budget option

We wore it for: HIIT, spin, kettlebells, and strength training 

A wired full cup sports bra, M&S say this bra reduces bounce by up to 25%, making it perfect for high impact workouts and those with larger breasts. We tested a 40D and our model is dress size 18/20. As you might expect for a company renowned for its bras, the size guide and subsequent fit of the product was spot on.  

M&S Ultimate Support bra front viewCredit: Exceptional.com

What we liked: This proves wired bras don’t need to be uncomfortable and are a practical option for sports. The bra is full cup, meaning your breasts are completely enclosed. Because of this, they don’t really move. During the sprints in spin, our tester felt more secure than she has done in other bras, and this is so important if you have large breasts.  

This bra has adjustable straps both front and back and four hooks, meaning you can really find the fit that works for you. It also opens completely at the back; a great choice if you have any kind of shoulder issues that might make it difficult to get a bra over your head. The straps are padded for extra comfort. Our tester felt this was a great plus size choice.  

It’s also good value at £28, and it’s worth noting that M&S offer a post-surgery sports bra as well.  

M&S Ultimate Support bra back viewCredit: Exceptional.com

What we didn’t like: It takes a while to get used to the high neckline on this bra; it’s almost like a large bandage swathed around your chest. This is due to it being high impact and full-cup, so if you need that level of support, it’s worth bearing in mind. It’s fairly thick, so takes a while to dry. It’s also quite long, sitting well down onto the ribs.  


Under Armour Infinity High Sports Bra Overview

Under Armour Infinity High Sports Bra

Under Armour Infinity High sports bra
Recommended
Luxury

A very good quality, comfortable bra with firm support

Comfort

Functionality

Washability

Price


Who’s this for?

Ideal for athletes, cyclists and runners

Our likes and dislikes

  • Lightweight
  • Absorbs sweat well
  • Dries quickly
  • Pricey

Expect to pay

RRP: £50.00 Under Armour changes its styles regularly so look out for sales

We wore it for: HIIT workout, strength training, Olympic rings (including going upside down) 

This is a high-impact bra with back fastening and adjustable straps. Under Armour says its design make it lighter to wear than traditional high-impact bras. We tested a medium and our model is a 34C, dress size 10/12. This was sized accurately, as it fit very well.  

Under Armour Infinity sports bra front viewCredit: Exceptional.com

What we liked: The Infinity bra is very comfortable and could be worn for a full day. As the company claim, it is very light and doesn’t feel like you’re strapped in or pinned down. Somehow, though, it stays incredibly high-impact and is great at absorbing shock. The back fastening makes it easy to get on and off; only the straps need to go over your head which makes it much easier than trying to wrestle yourself in and out of it.  

Adjustable straps help with comfort and support and although it has a thick band around the bottom, it didn’t feel too tight or like our ribs were being crushed. It offers a very good level of protection for the breasts. It also drew moisture away from the body and there was no chafing even after HIIT. The bra washed well at thirty degrees.  

This is a very high-quality bra and worth the money.  

Under Armour Infinity sports bra back viewCredit: Exceptional.com

What we didn’t like: Because the Infinity bra is quite thick, it takes a while to dry. A relatively minor point but one to bear in mind if you only have one or two sports bras. The crossover straps meant that it could rest a little uncomfortably on the collar bones at times.  


Runderwear Power Running Bra Overview

Runderwear Power Running Bra

Runderwear Women's Power bra (easy-on)
Recommended
Luxury

A high quality sports bra with a higher neckline for fuller coverage.

Comfort

Functionality

Washability

Price


Who’s this for?

Runners or anyone taking part in any kind of high impact exercise such as HIIT

Our likes and dislikes

  • Offers strong support
  • Washes well
  • Draws sweat away from the skin quickly
  • Difficult to get into at first

Expect to pay

RRP: £49.00 The RRP of the Power running bra is quite high, but we’ve seen it as cheap as £34.30 in sales.

We wore it for: Running (including a half marathon), kettlebell training 

A high-impact bra designed specifically for running. Lightweight and strong, Runderwear states that the Power bra will allow you to run with confidence. We tested a 38C and our model is dress size 14.  

The Runderwear website has a handy tool for finding your right size, as not all bras fit similarly -if you’re unsure you can book a call to help. We really liked this touch although we didn’t use the service because the detailed size guide was enough. The bra fitted accurately (see below).  

Runderwear Power bra front viewCredit: Exceptional.com

What we liked: The quality of this bra is outstanding. The fabric does an excellent job of quickly wicking away sweat which means you stay dry and comfortable, which is great when you’re only an hour into a three hour run.  

It was great for running, and really does inspire confidence as you’re not constantly readjusting or feeling uncomfortable. There’s nothing worse than hitting the stride of your workout and feeling like you might pop out of your top at any moment. There was no chafing or rubbing. It washes very well and dries quickly 

The bra also has adjustable straps and opens fully at the back.  

On the surface it’s easy to think £49 for a bra is a lot, but we felt the price was very reasonable given the quality of the product and level of service.  

Runderwear Power bra back viewCredit: Exceptional.com

What we didn’t like: When our tester first tried this bra, she had to get her husband to help her in and out of it. It’s not that the fit was wrong, it’s just a powerful piece of clothing. That said, it became easier after the second wash, and soon our tester could get it on and off with ease. A very small payoff given the excellent job this bra did of supporting our runner.  


Gymshark Open Back Sports Bra Overview

Gymshark Open Back Sports Bra

Competitive

While it looks lovely, the open back sports bra felt uncomfortable and overly restrictive.

Comfort

Functionality

Washability

Price


Who’s this for?

We felt this bra is best suited to younger people who might wear just a sports bra and leggings for workouts.

Our likes and dislikes

  • Preformed cups are a good option
  • A wide range of colours available
  • Uncomfortable to wear for long periods
  • Overly restrictive

Expect to pay

RRP: £35.00 Gymshark often have very popular sales, so look out for those and be quick.

We wore it for: Pilates, yoga, cycling, gym workouts (treadmill running included) 

A back-fastening, high support sports bra with moulded cups. We tested a medium, our model is a size 34C and dress size 10.  

We used the fitting guide on Gymshark to make sure we ordered the correct size but felt the S, M, L, XL and XXL is a bit too vague; other sites that offer actual bra sizes seem more specific. 

Gym Shark Open Back sports bra front viewCredit: Exceptional.com

What we liked: The colour was lovely; the soft green made a pleasant change from black or bold patterns. The bra also has a mesh panel across the front which made it a bit more standout. The bra is back fastening, though you still need to put the straps over your head.  

The preformed cups felt solid and secure, and the elastic under band was supportive. It offered a good level of support for most exercises. It washed well and dried very quickly. 

Gym Shark Open Back Sports bra back viewCredit: Exceptional.com

What we didn’t like: The bra just wasn’t comfortable. It dug in underneath the bust and felt overly restrictive. Our tester said she kept needing to readjust it when running on a treadmill as it was getting progressively more uncomfortable.  

Whilst sports bras are designed to be worn for workouts and not for a whole day, our tester said she couldn’t wait to get it off after she’d finished in the gym. It felt like this bra has been designed for aesthetics rather than comfort, but we aren’t about to start working out in just a bra and leggings any time soon. So, whilst it might be suitable for some, it’s not the type of bra we are looking for.  


My Protein Essentials Jersey Bra Overview

My Protein Essentials Jersey Bra

My Protein Essentials Jersey Bra
Budget

Very comfortable and soft, this bra felt more like sleepwear than a bra

Comfort

Functionality

Washability

Price


Who’s this for?

People with small breasts and those doing gentle activities such as slow-moving yoga

Our likes and dislikes

  • Soft
  • Inexpensive
  • Very little support
  • Not padded

Expect to pay

RRP: £14.99 My Protein frequently offer deals so keep an eye out. We’ve seen this particular bra for £9.99 before

We wore it for: Yoga 

A soft, jersey fabric bra offering light support. Although a sports bra, this range is designed with the everyday in mind. We tested a small, our model is a size 34B and dress size 10.  

The bra did fit according to the website size guide, which we weren’t necessarily expecting given the price point.  

MP soft jersey bra front viewCredit: Exceptional.com

What we liked: Our tester said she could have worn this bra day in day out. It’s exceptionally comfortable, especially given how cheap it is. The fabric is soft, and the elastic band didn’t dig in or chafe. It’s perfect for a relaxing yoga session for those with smaller breasts. It’s easy to wash due to the jersey material. 

MP soft jersey bra back viewCredit: Exceptional.com

What we didn’t like: The website does say it’s a light support bra, but we still would have liked there to be some support at least. Our tester, at 34B, felt far too worried about the level of support offered to wear this for anything other than yoga, so we couldn’t test it for any other sport.  

There’s no padding, and this made her self-conscious. This might suit a younger person, but a woman who’s breastfed two children doesn’t want her nipples showing through her shirt. Its comfort and value were sadly overshadowed by this; it felt more like wearing a sleep bra than anything else.  

Becky Fuller

Written by Becky Fuller she/her

Updated:

Becky Fuller is a fully qualified Personal Trainer, specialising in strength and conditioning for over 50s. Becky’s focus is helping people to become stronger both in body and mind, and to move well without pain. Becky also has many years’ experience working as a freelance journalist, writing for a wide variety of publications such as Screen Rant, Geek Feed, and Daily Actor. She also regularly reviews theatre productions for UKTW.

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