How to Shop for a Sports Bra

How to Shop for a Sports BraShopping for the right sports bra comes down to thinking about how you’ll want to use it, and finding the right bra for your activity. Some activities, like running, require more bounce prevention, while others, like yoga, benefit from sport bras with a more relaxed fit. To make things easy for you, we’ve put together a list of the best sports bras to wear for certain activities, and criteria to help you shop for your own top sports bras for the activities you do most:

Which Sports Bras to Wear for What Activities

Here’s a quick breakdown of what sports bras to wear for common exercises and workout activities:

What’s the Best Sports Bra for Running?

Runner’s World named Champion Women’s The Show Off Sports Bra Style to their Best Sports Bras for Runners lineup – but personally, I think it’s difficult to fine-tune the fit when you’re ordering a bra that comes in S, M, L and XL. I prefer a bra-sized sports bra to get the best support and fit for a fuller bust, and after a lot of trial and error, my top running bra remains the Shock Absorber Level 4 D Plus Max Sports Bra Top. Alternately, try the Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Sports Bra. It’s hard to beat Shock Absorber for running bras!

What’s the Best Sports Bra for the Elliptical?

I’ve had too many issues with underwires poking into the undersides of my arms to wear an underwire bra on an elliptical these days, so our top sports bra recommendations for the elliptical are wire-free. We love the Glamorise No Bounce Cami Sports Bra and the Freya Active Soft Cup Sports Bra for wire-free workout wear that also offers good support. These bras fit slightly differently, so try them both to find the best fit for you.

What’s the Best Sports Bra for Aerobics?

You want a good bounce-prevention sports bra for aerobic activities, such as kickboxing or belly dancing classes, but you probably don’t want the compression and restricted feeling of good running bras like Shock Absorber. For a good compromise, we love the Freya Active Underwire Sports Bra and the Elomi Energise Underwire Sports Bra. Both offer good underwire support that holds up well to aerobic activities without leaving you feeling squished or constrained. Again, the fit on these two brands is different, so try them both to find the one that best works for you.

What’s the Best Sports Bra for Yoga?

Yoga, pilates and other low-impact activities require a slightly more low-key sports bra – you want something that offers some support, but doesn’t leave you feeling restricted. One of my favorite sports bras for yoga and similar activities is the Moving Comfort Maia Sports Bra – it offers some compression, but isn’t too constraining, so I feel supported but not restricted. It’s also a great bra for working around the house and running errands. If you want something with an even more relaxed fit, try the Leading Lady Cotton and Spandex Seamless Soft Cup Bra, or the Valmont Front Hook Soft Cup Comfort Bra. The Leading Lady soft cup bra is one of our shopper’s favorites, but the Valmont Front Hook Soft Cup bra has the added benefit of being easy to put on and take off.

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