Yes, Sports Bras Can Be Uncomfortable—But You'll Actually Want to Wear These
Photo:Carlina Teteris/Getty Images
I used to absolutely hate wearing sports bras. When we had to wear them in middle-school gym class and during sports practices and games, I was definitely not a fan and would look forward to ripping mine off at the end of the day. They squished my chest, were too tight, and they just weren't cute, period.
Well, times have definitely changed because now I will gladly put on a sports bra for workouts. Heck, I might even wear one when I'm running errands instead of a regular bra. That's because sports bras styles have evolved so much, and now you're got so many options—from longline bras to zip-front ones to even one-shoulder designs for a stylish look. They fit so much better, so with the right size and silhouette, you can find one that suits you exactly.
I think middle-school me would be appalled at the fact that I own over 30 sports bras (hey, I'm a wellness editor, it comes with the territory). But then I think she would be really surprised at the different types I have in my activewear inventory and the fact that they actually look good and flattering.
Since I own over 30 sports bras, I like to think I'm sort of an expert in them, so if you're in the market for a new one or want to try out a new style, I've compiled a list below of some highly rated sports bras to check out. Let the shopping begin.
This low-impact bra is super flattering with a scoop-neck and strappy back details. It has removable soft cups, too.
What a reviewer says: "I am a 34D and the medium sports bra works for me. I plan on wearing this for hiking and lounging, it's light to medium support and has removable pads. It provides good coverage and is cute and strappy in the back."
Sweaty Betty's popular Stamina bra has just the right amount of compression and breathability. You don't have to worry about chafing here, as it's a seamless design.
What a reviewer says: "I like how lightweight and stretchy it is, and I love that there are no pads to mess with every time you wash it. I wear it for tennis and it's great."
If you're looking for a unique silhouette, take a look at this sports bra with an interesting cutout design on one shoulder.
What a reviewer says: "I don't usually write reviews, but when I do it's because I LOVE the product. I have small boobs and this bra is seriously just the sexiest cutest most comfortable bra ever. I do hot yoga in this and it withstands all my sweat. Whoever does product development needs to expand the color options for this thing!"
Made for your cardio workouts (running, HIIT, etc.), this sports bra features supportive compression and UPF 50+ protection.
What a reviewer says: "Great for a D chest girl feels supportive without being suffocating in the rib cage. Doesn't dig into traps either which is a huge bonus. My new favorite sports bra!"
There's a reason why the Paloma bra is one of Girlfriend Collective's best sellers—it's so comfortable, supportive, and flattering. It's soft yet sturdy and the built-in support band has you covered.
What a reviewer says: "I bought this unsure if it would be both comfortable AND supportive, considering most supportive bras feel like I'm being slowly squeezed into barrel that is also somehow getting smaller and smaller. I am so happy to be proved wrong. This bra is the perfect mix of soft and comfy and super functional. I'd feel totally confident running and lounging in it. I plan to buy several colors and make it my new staple."
The wrap design here is a stylish and different note. The strappy back design keeps you cool and looks cool, too.
What a reviewer says: "This sports bra is very comfortable to wear and has a cut that is super flattering. The wrap in the front gives it a little bit of flair that doesn't flatten your chest but also has enough coverage that you don't feel like you are falling right out of it."
You never will complain about putting your sports bra on and taking it off at the end of a sweaty workout with a front-zip style.
What a reviewer says: "I have spent countless dollars on zip front sports bras, only to be disappointed. Either it's cut too low across the back and I have a bulge above the band, or I have a uniboob, or I'm bulging out the sides, or the straps cut into my shoulders, etc. This bra is amazing. Breathable, easy to put on, it fits, it doesn't roll or bunch, doesn't cut into my ribcage, and it looks great under a shirt!"
This bra has a high-neck design in the front and a stylish V-back shape in the back, so maybe you could call it the "mullet" of sports bras (respectively, of course). The material is compressive and offers light support for low-impact classes.
What a reviewer says: "This top is SO cute! I love the detail on the back, and I love that it can be reversible for people with smaller chests! The colorblock design is cute too!"
Designed for running, Lululemon's Energy Bra features built-in molded foam cups for shaping (no uniboob!), adjustable straps, and a hook-and-eye closure.
What a reviewer says: "This bra is so comfortable and supportive I don't even notice it when I’m running, which is the highest compliment for a bra."
The bandeau style on this bra is a classic, but when you see the unique back design you'll be extra impressed. It's perfect for low-impact workouts.
What a reviewer says: "Love the fit and support of this bra. Very comfortable, doesn’t pull my shoulders, and no side-boob issues! Will buy again when re-stocked."
Beyond Yoga's pieces are just the absolute softest. This medium-support bra has body-contoured seams and removable cups.
What a reviewer says: "All I have to say is that this is the softest and most comfortable sports bra I've ever worn. It fits all the right places and doesn't move around during workouts. From now on my workout gear will be from this brand!"
Splits59 makes such fun, retro-inspired activewear pieces. This lightweight one with a striped trim doesn't disappoint.
What a reviewer says: "I love the '80s design and it's super comfortable."
If you like a longline silhouette, you'll definitely like this bra. It's a best seller with our readers. It's a padded design, but you can remove the pads if you want.
What a reviewer says: "I love these tops, they are great for working out and are very flattering. The material can also be worn outside the gym and you can't tell it's workout material!"
You're going to get the most support with this sports bra. It has a compressive fit and minimizes bounce. Plus, there's ventilation in the front and back of the piece for extra breathability.
What a reviewer says: "This is easily one of the best sports bras I've ever worn! As soon as I put it on I said, 'Oh. My. Gosh.' The sizing is absolutely perfect. I love that the straps are adjustable along with the band. I don't require much support, however the coverage and support are excellent and I can't imagine it not being so for someone needing those things. I love the material! It's extremely comfortable and breathable. It also isn't soaked after workouts like other bras tend to be. I would definitely recommend this bra and will be purchasing more in different colors!"
The stretchy jersey here is just so comfy and easy to wear. The bra features a wide band for support and is best for low-impact activities.
What a reviewer says: "This bra is THE most comfortable sports bra I’ve ever put on… and I've had tons. I highly recommend it. It's soft, doesn't dig in, doesn't give you uniboob, and it's cute! I want it in every color."
For those of you who want to try out the one-shoulder look, may I present to you this bra for Alo. It has a sculpting fit and features micromesh detail.
What a reviewer says: "Don’t let the one strap on this bra fool you. It has great support, looks awesome on, and has thick/soft material."
Athleta's cropped piece is made of buttery soft fabric that's quick-drying and breathable.
What a reviewer says: "Love the fit of this crop and where them whenever I can! I am short and curvy with not much of a torso, so this gives me a little bit of cropped fit without feeling like just a bra."
For extra coverage, try this high-neck crop top. It's made with Outdoor Voices's TechSweat fabric, meaning it's breathable.
Take this soft and comfortable sports bra out for a spin during your next low-impact workout. It's sweat-wicking, quick-drying, and will keep you cool.
What a reviewer says: "Are you looking for comfort? Buy this one! Washes well and is so comfortable that you forget you are wearing it!"
You're going to want to wear this to your sweatiest workout classes, like hot yoga. The super strappy back will keep you so cool (and it's a bold look, too).
What a reviewer says: "I have debated for two or more years about buying this top or something similar because I am a 34dd and wasn’t sure about support. I have to say it's very surprising! I did a quick moderate impact leg workout in and the support was better than expected. Also I can’t wait to wear this with shorts or linen pants to the farmers market. You need this if you live in a warm climate and wanna look cute but chill."
Next: So Many People Agree That These Are the Best 3 Bras, Period
This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.
- Explore More: