Nothing can ruin your workout like a bra that slips, slides or just plain doesn’t support you. We tested new styles from top sports bra makers to find the top performers for ladies of all sizes.
Champion Seamless Space-Dye
The classic racerback silhouette gets a couple of twists from Champion (besides a groovy tie-dye pattern). First, its seamless construction is a standout comfort feature, particularly in high-impact activities, where an innocent seam can cause annoying and even painful abrasions. Second, the fabric itself—an almost spongey nylon/spandex blend—is supremely soft and breathable. Adequate for high-impact activity for A-cup women. PS: We love the Champion Sizing Guide, which not only breaks S-2XL (when available) into cup sizes and chest measurements, but also helps determine the amount of support you need based on your size and activity.
CW-X is the sports arm of the popular lingerie manufacturer Wacoal, so it’s no surprise that this bra offers serious support with a super-wide band and reinforced side panels. It also looks the most like a regular bra (and not a terribly stylish one at that), with a row of front hooks, which makes it less versatile than other styles. But as long as you plan to cover up, this is a high-performance sports bra that will keep you comfortable for hours. Available in three colors, and sizes 34-40 B/C, 32-40 D and 34-40 DD.
Moving Comfort Jubralee
When we first pulled this bra out of the box, we eyed the Velcro-adjustable straps skeptically. Would they really hold through a high-impact workout? The answer is yes! Between the straps and the triple-hook closure, it’s easy to get a custom fit without irritation, but this well-constructed bra still offers exceptional support. Design details like wide-set straps, a U-back and curved seams create a flattering silhouette, too. Available for B-E cups and in 8 color combinations.
We like the slightly V-necked cut, ample armholes and racerback style of this bra, especially for summer. Also appreciated are the breathable cups, which provide just enough padding for modesty’s sake but not so much that you look like you’re wearing a Wonderbra. Adjustable straps may be a good feature for finding the right fit, but we’re somewhat concerned that the exposed buckles would rub us raw during long runs. One complaint: While the bra comes in XS-XL, nowhere on the website (not even in the sizing guide) are sizes translated into typical band- and cup-size measurements. Our experience is that it runs slightly small.
At first glance, the stripes along the bottom band, sides and straps of this bra look like nothing more than an accent for fashion’s sake. But in fact they’re made of mesh that helps keep you cool and dry where you need it the most. That’s just one of the nifty features of this pull-on bra, which also boasts adjustable straps. Sizing is a bit confusing—first you must choose the A/B or C/D model, and then size S-XL. But it does have built-in cups and we found it just as supportive as other styles sized more traditionally.
Fila Mesh Back Sports Bra
Though designed for yoga, this sports bra impressed us by standing up to the most active of fitness tests. A breathable mesh back is great for ventilation, and removable padding can amplify your natural assets or give you a boost where you may be lacking. Firm-fitting, the bra is easy to get on, super supportive and moves with your body no matter what your fitness activity. We’d love to see this offered in more colors, but for now it’s available in black in sizes XS-XL.
Jockey Seamless Cami Sport Bra
For a lightweight, barely-there sports bra, the Jockey seamless cami is amazing. The seamlessness makes it one of the most comfortable sports bras we tested. Though not intended for heavy-duty action—light to medium activity—the cami’s moisture-wicking material keeps you cool no matter how sweaty you get. And the adjustable straps ensure a perfect fit. Available in black, white, violet and navy in sizes S-XL.
Brooks Epiphany Bra II
We love the styling of this racerback bra, including its mesh panels along the neck and back for extra ventilation, the contrast piping that morphs into double straps, and the minimalist silhouette. Substantial lining in the front provides modesty without compromising breathability. But we found that the Epiphany II runs at least a full size smaller—there’s no way the Small we tested was the 32-34 that was promised. Best suited for A-B cup sizes with low- or medium-impact activity.
ISIS Henna C/D bra
We fell hard for the feminine design of this bra, from the curved straps, to the flattering v-neck to the floral print across the front. Those sweet details are often rare in full-coverage styles. That said, we’d recommend this for low-impact movements only—while super comfortable, the stretchy nylon band didn’t offer enough support for a run. But it will definitely give you a lift for light activities—or just lounging. Available in five colors and sizes S-XL.
Saucony Motion Sensor
Getting into this bra requires some yoga-like contortions—the combination of criss-crossing straps and a triple hook closure means you have to reach blindly behind your back and slide three hooks into eyes. But once you’re in, this sports bra keeps all your parts in place without restricting your movement in high-impact workouts. From the front, the design is very plain, but no embellishments means there’s nothing to rub you the wrong way—and the bra provides a smooth, sleek look under a tank or tee.
Lululemon Flow Y IV
Lululemon’s Ta Ta Tamer is one of the most popular bras around for larger bra sizes, but the company hasn’t left smaller ladies in the lurch. The Flow Y IV bra offers medium support for yoga and other low-impact sports in an extremely comfortable, versatile package. Removable cups give you options (and we liked the bra’s performance both ways) and the criss-cross straps are cute as can be. As Lululemon warns on the site, the dye in their brightly colored clothes sometimes run, but we found it laundered out without staining.