By Rachel Walker 

Asking for sports bra advice is almost as tough as asking for shoe recs. As runners, we all have different bodies, which means we can have drastically different breast support needs. One women’s snug fave is another woman’s chafing frustration. Still. We all need sports bras. Regardless of your cup size or the width of your rib cage, protecting your chest and nipples with stretchy, technical fabrics is par for the course. For this Another Mother Runner Gears Up, we had testers of all sizes try out a range of brands and we were thrilled to discover exactly how many brands cater to women from XXS to XXL. Another discovery? Many of today’s sports bras come in the same sizing as your daily bras, making it easier than ever to find the right fit. So read on and see if your tried and true is part of our list, or if there’s another bra that might be calling your name. As always, let us know what you think in the comments.*

* Typically testers shoot their own images, but for various reasons, some testers opted to use stock photos of the products tested.

Adidas TLRD Impact Training High-Support Bra

An adjustable, full coverage bra with significant support, this back clasp powerhouse has wide, padded straps that don’t dig in. Made from 60% recycled materials, it’s smooth to the touch and lays flat on the body.

Pros: This is a set it and forget type of bra—once it’s on, you barely feel it, in the best possible way. From bumpy mountain trails to speed hill workouts, the bra held my 34-C chest snug without constriction. It wicks moisture, doesn’t chafe, and stayed put.

Cons: Getting the bra on was the hardest part. The adjustable straps cross in the back, which created a hole I had to get my head through. Then I had to reach back to clasp the elastic chest band, which took a few tries to dial in. 

Take it from a mother runner: “Despite the inconvenience of actually getting the bra on, I love this piece of gear. It’s rare to find a bra that holds your breasts, moves with your body, wicks your sweat, and is so comfortable. I definitely recommend it.”

Sizing: 2XS to XL

Price: $55

Brooks Dare Racerback Run 2.0

Extremely supportive and adjustable, this running bra’s straps are adjustable with a hook and ladder system on the front and a back hook and eye closure. Built in cups range from B to DD cups, and the fully molded cups lift and hold breasts in place.

Pros: This is a unicorn bra—it’s remarkably easy to get it on and off, even with straps (and even when sweaty). The cups separate the breasts which eliminated the sweaty uniboob that so many runners have come to accept as “normal.”

Cons: Ran small for our tester. She ordered her daily bra size, but it was too snug, and when she consulted Brooks’s bra size finder in the website, it instructed her to order the next size up, which fit perfectly.

Take it from a mother runner: “This is a great, comfortable bra, especially for larger bust sizes! I would very much recommend it.”

Sizing: 32B to 44DD

Price: $75

Handful Y-Back Bra

A high-impact sports bra with a racerback design, Handful’s Y-Back has a wide band and straps, removeable pads, and is made of a recycled polyester and spandex blend. Handful is female-founded and owned, and the company’s Breast Friend Forever program offers a lifetime discount of 30% to all breast cancer survivors. 

Pros: Stretchy enough to put on and take off with little effort, this bra is still secure and snug, offering tons of support. Our tester, a breast cancer survivor with implants that stay put, raved about the fit and the fact that the wide band does not chafe.

Cons: None.

Take it from a mother runner: “I’m obsessed. I have recommended this bra to so many friends that I should have an affiliate account.” 

Sizing: XS to XXL

Price: $62

Nike Swoosh

The company’s website calls the Swoosh a medium-support sports bra, but our tester, sized 34C, loved the secure fit of the medium sized Swoosh. Sports bras don’t get simpler than this: racerback with no seams or tags.

Pros: A workhorse that gets the job done, this is a supportive bra that slips easily on and off. It’s stretchy and lightweight, and it held up during hill repeats and a few rugged trail runs. At $32, it’s also the most affordable bra we tested.

Cons: The only possible drawback is that this might create *something* of a uniboob, but who cares if that cuts down on bounce?

Take it from a mother runner: “Life is complicated enough, why make it even more difficult with sports bras with no end of bells and whistles? This reminds me of the bras I wore running high school cross country decades ago, but I guarantee you that I love it not out of nostalgia but because I found myself reaching for it every morning.”

Sizing: XS to 2XL

Price: $32.

Nike Alpha Women’s High-Support Padded Adjustable Sports Bra

Compressing without crushing, and minimizing any bounce, this super supportive bra is an excellent choice for large breasted women who want to keep their chest secure without pinching or pain. Highly engineered with foam pads, ventilation, and an adjustable chest band, this bra takes some fiddling to dial in the fit, but once it’s set, it’s bomber.

Pros: The fit. Our tester typically wears a 38C, and the online bra size finder helped her find the perfect fitting bra. The ventilation wicked sweat from between her breasts, and the foam pads kept a smooth silhouette.

Cons: This bra took some getting used to. With several points of adjustment, it required patience to find the proper settings.

Take it from a mother runner: “I’m used to simple, over the head racerbacks, so this forced me to rethink what I need from a sports bra. At first, it felt fussy. But one run later, and I reveled in how free I felt in this bra. It’s almost like I needed the lockdown (though it didn’t feel oppressive!!) to appreciate running without any jiggling.”

Sizing: XS (A-C) to 3X (C-E)

Price: (As of press time) $38.97; normally $65.

Oiselle Boom Bra

With a high chest, padded and adjustable straps, a wide elastic back strap, and molded cups, this is a bra designed for high-impact sports. It’s also a beauty, with feminine designs on the fabric and four color options. Designed for C cup to DD, it’s best for large chested women who want the ability to personalize the fit with plenty of adjustable options.

Pros: This bra comes in actual sizes—not S, M, L. With band size options ranging from 32-40 and cup sizes from C to DD, it’s relatively unique among sports bras. Our tester liked the thickness of the band and straps and also that it did not have an underwire.

Cons: Although the bra has plenty of adjustability, it cannot be adjusted by yourself when it’s on. So make sure it fits before heading out the door. At $82, it’s on the pricey side, which can be a deterrent, especially since the bra is only available online and thus cannot be tried on before buying.

Take it from a mother runner: “For once I didn’t feel like I was arguing with a bra while I ran. The straps didn’t slip, there was no chafing (I applied my body glide in all my usual spots), and I didn’t notice any bouncing. Also, the cups are shaped like a normal bra. The material felt strong but not tight; the bra was very well made. I definitely recommend it, especially to large chested women.”  

Sizing: Band size from 32 to 40; cup size from C to DD

Price: $82

Patagonia Wild Trails Sports Bra

With increased ventilation in the front and back, the Wild Trails comes in racerback design with a hook and eye closure. A secure, high-impact bra for B/C cups, it offers medium support for D+. Our tester normally wears a 38C/L.

Pros: This bra felt great, from the smooth fabric to the thin (non-removeable) pads, and the fit was superb. The fabric held her breasts snugly but also breathed well.

Cons: None.

Take it from a mother runner: “I seriously, in no way, thought about my boobs. When I stopped running I even did a couple of jumps to be sure I just wasn’t paying attention. I didn’t feel trapped, they just came along for the ride.”

Size: XS to XXL

Price: $69

Smartwool Seamless Racerback Bra

A 70% merino wool/30% polyester blend, this stretchy sports bra offers a surprising amount of support. The wool was slightly itchy while our tester wore the bra around her house, but once she went on a run, the bra was functional and comfortable.

Pros: No-fuss and with thin, removeable pads, this is a bra that does the job it sets out to do. The wool will probably add warmth and comfort in colder weather. Great chest band that stretched enough to get on and off, but stayed put during a run.

Cons: Initial itchiness made our tester wary (even though it resolved on the run), and the bra wasn’t terribly inspiring.

Take it from a mother runner: “The workhorse of sports bras: not too flashy, but functional and competent.”

Sizing: XS to XL

Price: $60

Rabbit Crop Hop

A two-layer sports bra with a snug sports bra and a looser tank, this is a supportive running bra for small- to medium-breasted women. The material is smooth to the touch, and this piece does double duty as a cooling top and supportive bra. Comes with a built in back pocket that can hold a phone.

Pros: As supportive as the inner layer is, the outer layer is loose and not fitted, so it really feels like you’re not running in just a sports bra. Super cooling with excellent wicking, this is a good choice for warm days. The pocket lets you run with your phone without having to hold it or tuck it into a pants/shorts pocket.

Cons: One tester experienced minor chafing toward the backs of her armpits from the outer layer but said that she could have mitigated it with glide.

Take it from a mother runner: “This top is super flattering while also being comfortable and extremely supportive.”

Sizing: XS—L

Price: $65

Rabbit Ez Bra-vo

A lighter support bra for smaller chests, the EZ Bra-vo is good for light running days, strength and stretching workouts, and multi-sport days when you’re exercising, mom-ing, and working, and need all-day comfort.

Pros: With buttery soft material and comfortable straps, this is a minimalist bra that does what it sets out to do. No bells and whistles; just support and ease.

Cons: None.

Take it from a mother runner: “This is a great bra for a quick run that you can feel good wearing under regular clothing, if needed.”

Sizing: XS—XL

Price: $55

Saucony Skyrocket Bra

A streamlined classic racerback bra, the Skyrocket has a mesh back panel for added ventilation and a plush lining for interior softness. Easy on and off, the bra fits snug without being too tight, has zero cups or extra padding, and offers support that lasts for even the longest runs/

Pros: A compressive sports bra without any extra features, this bra delivers what it promises: an unlined, supportive racerback style that’s pretty much unchanged from the racerbacks of years past. The mesh back wicks well and keeps runners cool in hot conditions. Relatively inexpensive, it is a good, affordable addition to your regular bra rotation.

Cons: Not the bra for you if you want any sort of lining; because it is a basic bra, our tester found the lack of padding or lining to be uncomfortably revealing (“yes, we all have nipples, but that doesn’t mean we all want to show them off!”). The bra also sat higher on our tester’s shoulders/closer to her neck, a noticeable—and not completely welcome—change from her regular sports bras.

Take it from a mother runner: “If you are looking for a basic bra, this is a fine addition to your stash. But if you are looking for something more flattering with padding and lining, keep looking.”

Sizing: XXS to XXL

Price: $35

Check out all of the AMR Gears Up columns here!

Did we miss your favorite sports bra?
Let us know in the comments below!