Nike FE/NOM Flyknit Sports Bra and Knix Catalyst Sports Bra

We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.

A good sports bra can be a game-changer, whether you are a seasoned marathoner or a treadmill newbie. It can affect your training in more ways than you think.

According to research from the University of Portsmouth’s Research Group in Breast Health in the U.K., exercising without proper support can lead to breast pain, sagging, and even lower athletic performance (1).

This is because breasts don’t contain any muscle. Instead, they rely solely on your skin and connective tissue, known as Cooper’s ligaments, for support. External support (aka your fave sports bra) helps keep everything protected and in place.

Depending on your breast size, type of exercise, and personal preferences, a sports bra can be right for you. It can take a while to find the one that works best for you, so we are here to help make the search simpler.

The list below features our top picks for the best sports bras for running. Since running is considered a high impact exercise, we prioritized sports bras with more support — especially for larger cup sizes. We also made sure to include products that are rated well by customers.

Other features were considered.

  • Support. There are three main types of support. Compression bras are usually made of elastic. They compress your breasts against your chest to prevent them from moving while exercising (think: the classic pullover sports bra you may have worn growing up). Encapsulation sports bras support each breast in a separate cup and have a bra band and straps like you see in everyday bras. Combination sports bras are a little of both (2).
  • Closure. Pullover sports bras may provide enough support for smaller chests, but people with fuller chests may prefer a bra with a clasp or zipper. Additionally, the ability to clasp or zip up your sports bra makes it a lot easier to take on and off, no matter your cup size.
  • Strap type and adjustability. You’ll find both H-strap and X-strap (aka racerback) style bras on our list. Which style you choose mostly comes down to personal preference, though people with fuller busts may prefer an adjustable style (1, 2).
  • Trainer recommendations. We checked in with trainers and coaches to see what sports bras they like for high impact activities like running.
  • Vetting. The sports bras on our list have been vetted to ensure that they align with Healthline’s brand integrity standards and approach to well-being. You can read more about our vetting process.

A note on price

“The general price ranges are indicated by dollar signs. One dollar sign means the product is affordable, whereas three dollar signs mean it’s more expensive.”

The list prices range from $35 to $75.

The pricing guide.

  • $ = under $50
  • $$ = $50–$70
  • $$$ = over $70

Best overall

SHEFIT Ultimate

  • Price: $$$
  • Sizes: XS–6Luxe

The SHEFIT Ultimate has a front zip that locks into place for extra security, and compression and encapsulation for maximum support. Extra strap padding on larger sizes makes it even more comfortable for those with larger busts.

You can adjust the rib band by as much as 8 inches.

Reviewers rave about this one for its support and comfort, so it is definitely a winner.

Laura Flynn Endres, a private personal trainer and founder of the online team fitness game Get Fit Done, is a fan of the SHEFIT Ultimate for running, jumping, and dance workouts. She reports that plenty of her clients say it’s by far the best sports bra they’ve ever worn, making it worth the higher price point.

Flynn Endres says that you can adjust the bra in three places. It is easier to size because of the front zip. You feel like you have to dislocate a shoulder to get out of a sweaty sports bra. Not with this one!


  • The rib band is made of a fabric.
  • The pads are replaceable.
  • The straps are convertible.


  • The straps and underband may itch.
  • It may feel a little stiff.
  • runs small

Most comfortable

Nike FE/NOM Flyknit

  • Price: $$$
  • Sizes: XS–XL

If you’re a fan of Nike’s Flyknit shoes, then you’ll be stoked that the same flexible fabric is used for this sports bra.

“The fabric makes the bra lighter than other Nike bras, giving it a barely there feel. It doesn’t have padding, which makes it feel thick and stiff.”

Reviewers say the nearly seamless design makes it a lot more comfier than other sports bras.

This bra uses compression to take the bounce out of your run, but also has cups for extra support.


  • It provides compression and high support.
  • lightweight fabric
  • It is comfortable and durable.


  • Material is too thin for some.
  • It may not be enough for larger breasts.

Best for sensitive skin

Mate the Label Organic Stretch Sports Bra

  • Price: $
  • Sizes: XS–3X

The Organic Stretch Sports Bra is made with double-layer fabric that is organic cotton and spandex. It is a good option for people who prefer the comfort of natural fabrics.

Plus, cotton is known for being friendly on sensitive skin and may help prevent heat rash and chafing, which can happen especially if you’re running in hot, humid weather (3).

The bra is soft and provides comfortable support. It may not be the best choice for people who want high support.

Some reviewers say the bra stretches out over time, so you may want to size down if you are between sizes.


  • It is soft and absorbent.
  • Double-layer organic cotton.
  • It is very comfortable.


  • Some straps are too long.
  • Some customers say the underband is too tight.

Best back clasp

Brooks Dare Racerback Run Bra 2.0

  • Price: $$$
  • Sizes: 32B–44DD

In 2004, Brooks teamed up with the popular sports bra company Moving Comfort to continue the work of producing durable sports bras that can handle the high impacts of running. The Dare Racerback Run Bra 2.0 is one of Brooks most well-liked options, and for good reason.

It is supportive and holds everything in place.

It has the perfect fit thanks to the back clasps and racerback straps. The fabric helps keep you cool on hot days.

If you are between sizes, you may consider changing your bra size.


  • It is comfortable and adjusts.
  • It was designed for runners.
  • The bounce is reduced.


  • It may be difficult to take off.
  • Side seams can irritate skin.
  • Over time, it may stretch.

Best for smaller breasts

Under Armour Mid Crossback

  • Price: $
  • Sizes: XS–XXL

The Under Armour bra is great for compression sports bras. The bra is a good option for people with smaller breasts.

The sleek fabric is a favorite among reviewers for its comfort and sweat-wicking ability. Wearers also rave about the elastic band that keeps the bra in place at all times.

Some reviewers say the X-straps cause it to run a little small, so you might need to consider sizing up to find the right fit.


  • The compression is comfortable.
  • The fabric is lightweight and moist.
  • The cups are not original.


  • runs small
  • “It’s difficult to put on.”
  • Not supportive enough for some.

Best color options

Sweaty Betty Ultra Running Bra

  • Price: $$
  • Sizes: 30A–38G

If you want to change up your outfit or find a bra that matches your running shorts, the Sweaty Betty Ultra Running Bra is a great choice.

“You can wear it in a racerback style or as a U-back with the convertible straps. The H-strap style bra with straps that don’t constantly fall down is a huge plus for anyone who is looking for a bra that doesn’t fall down.”

The bra size is based on standard bra sizes, which might help provide a good fit.


  • Wide color choice.
  • The straps are convertible.
  • The support for compression and encapsulation.


  • runs small
  • “It’s difficult to put on.”
  • Some customers say it stretches out within a few months.

Best for reducing bounce

Lululemon Run Times Bra

  • Price: $$
  • Sizes: 32B–42E

The Run Times Bra has padded cups and back clasps. The bra is made for runners and helps to reduce bouncing. It is comfortable for daily wear.

The Run Times Bra is a favorite of Michele Canon, a NASM certified personal trainer and XPRO trainer for STRIDE.

She says that the bra is great for running because it has a soft underband to prevent chafing. The cup size is the most important factor in determining the perfect fit.


  • high support
  • padded straps
  • The bounce is minimized.


  • It was too padded for some.
  • Customers say the hooks fall off.

Best for larger breasts

Knix Catalyst

  • Price: $$$
  • Sizes: 32A–42F

“The Knix bra is wire-free and can be used if you can’t stand underwire sports bras. It has a flattering shape.”

The bra has molded cups that are made to fit your body over time.

Some reviewers complain about the straps coming undone during certain workouts, but they should stay in place while running.

Even if you wear it and wash it multiple times, you can still send it back if it is not for you.


  • The fabric is moist.
  • good color options
  • The strap length can be adjusted.


  • The straps come undone and loosen.
  • Fit issues are frequent.
  • There are inconsistent sizing.

Best underwire

Panache Ultimate High Impact Underwire

  • Price: $$
  • Sizes: 28B–40J

“The Panache bra is known for its bounce-eliminating comfort. It’s hard to find it without the straps, but reviewers love how much support it offers.”

“Some reviewers say that the underwire started to poke out after a few washes. Follow the manufacturer’s care instructions to avoid this.”

If you are used to U.S. sizes, you should check out the conversion chart before selecting your size.


  • high support
  • The straps are comfortable.
  • The bounce is reduced.


  • Some straps are too wide.
  • Underwire may cut or dig into the skin.
  • Several customers have reported fit issues.

Best for all-day wear

Lorna Jane Compress & Compact Sports Bra

  • Price: $$$
  • Sizes: XXS–XXL

The Lorna Jane Compress & Compact Sports Bra offers high support, adjustable straps, and removable padding. Many customers say the bra is comfortable for runs and daily wear.

This bra also gets high marks from Canon, who says, “When it comes to fit and fashion, Lorna Jane tops my list. The Compress & Compact Sports Bra offers heavy duty support with a lightweight feel due to the breathable fabric with four-way stretch. The straps are fully adjustable, and there is even a clasp to convert the straps to a racer back if you need extra support.”

“Several reviews say the bra isn’t supportive for larger chests.”


  • The straps are convertible.
  • The fabric is lightweight and moist.
  • There is aremovable padding.


  • Not supportive enough for some.
  • The back clasp is not comfortable.

Most adjustable


  • Price: $$$
  • Sizes: XS–6Luxe

The SHEFIT sports bra has a lot of adjustability, support, and comfort. It is also ultra supportive. The straps are convertible, so you can find what you want.

It has a strap that can be adjusted by up to 8 in. for a truly custom fit.

It is easy to take on and off.

Reviewers love the bra and think it is comfortable for daily wear.


  • The rib band is made of a fabric.
  • Easy to adjust.
  • It was comfortable and supportive.


  • thick material may rub the skin.
  • Too restrictive for some.

Best zip front

Athleta Ultimate Zip Front Bra

  • Price: $$
  • Sizes: XXS–XL

The Ultimate Zip Front Bra offers medium support and has lightweight, The pads are replaceable.. The front zipper makes this bra easy to take on and off, and it lies flat to prevent irritation. According to Athleta’s website, this bra is best for A–C cups, though it’s also available for D–DD cups.

Jess Evans, a USA Boxing certified coach and FightCamp trainer recommends this bra for running. She also says it works well for Pilates, yoga, and cycling.

Evans says that the Athleta Ultimate Zip Front Sports Bra has a tighter fit around his rib cage to help hold everything in place. The thicker straps in the back add support. I have a smaller chest, so I can run in and feel supported.

The SuperSonic nylon fabric for this bra is made from recycled plastic bottles.


  • The zip front is on the outside.
  • It was comfortable and supportive.
  • “It’s easy to put on and take off.”


  • runs small
  • The straps are not adjusted.
  • Some customers say it is difficult to zip.

Best for full coverage

Nike Dri-FIT ADV Alpha

  • Price: $$$
  • Sizes: XS–XXL

The Nike Dri-FIT ADV Alpha bra has a chest cover that helps reduce bounce. It has wide straps, two back clasps, and a sweat-wicking fabric to keep you dry during intense runs.

Extra Ventilation is possible by using a cutout between the chest and bra that allows for more air to come in.

Reviewers say that this bra is comfortable and has a tight fit without being restrictive. It is stylish enough to wear on its own.


  • Extra coverage and bounce are provided by the chest overlay.
  • It was comfortable and supportive.
  • breathable, The fabric is moist.


  • The chest shows through some shirts.
  • Not supportive enough for some.

Best with a pocket

Oiselle Flyout Bra

  • Price: $$
  • Sizes: 2–14

If you want to run without carrying your pockets on your shorts or leggings, then you may want to consider the Oiselle Flyout Bra. It has a mesh pocket on the back that is big enough to hold a phone but snug enough to keep it from bouncing around.

The bra is made with a spandex knit fabric that is designed to provide plenty of support and coverage.

The shoulder bands are wide enough to help you stay comfortable even if you are wearing a hydration backpack.

“It is available in Oiselle’s signature flying birds print.”

Reviewers love the pocket on this bra, and some forget to have their phone with them during runs.


  • A pocket can hold a phone.
  • The cup is replaceable.
  • The fabric is comfortable.


  • Reviewers mention that the bra can trap heat.
  • It may be difficult to put on.

Sports bras Price Sizes Strap type Closure
SHEFIT Ultimate $$$ XS–6Luxe convertible, adjustable,
The rib band is made of a fabric.
MATE The Label Organic Stretch Sports Bra $ XS–3X X-strap, nonadjustable pullover
Nike FE/NOM Flyknit $$$ XS–XL X-strap, nonadjustable pullover
Brooks Dare Racerback Run Bra 2.0 $$$ 32B–44DD X-strap, adjustable back clasps
Under Armour Mid Crossback $ XS–XXL X-strap, nonadjustable pullover
Sweaty Betty Ultra Running Bra $$ 30A–38G convertible, adjustable, padded back clasps
Lululemon Run Times Bra $$ 32B–42E convertible, adjustable, padded back clasps
Knix Catalyst $$$ 32A–42F H-strap, adjustable back clasps
Panache Ultimate High Impact Underwire $$ 28B–40J convertible, adjustable,
back clasps
Lorna Jane Compress & Compact Sports Bra $$$ XXS–XXL convertible, adjustable back clasps
SHEFIT Flex $$$ XS–6Luxe convertible, adjustable,
The rib band is made of a fabric.
Athleta Ultimate Zip Front Bra $$ XXS–XL racerback front zipper
Nike Dri-FIT ADV Alpha $$$ XS–XXL X-strap, adjustable back clasps
Oiselle Flyout Bra $$ 2–14 nonadjustable pullover

It is important to look for higher support options when searching for the best sports bra. It is important to keep support, closure, and straps in mind while searching for sports bras.

For people with smaller chests

A compression bra is likely to provide adequate support if you have a small chest. If you prefer more support, you can try an combination bra.

Personal preference is what determines the types of strap and closure.

If you have a hard time getting a sports bra over your head after a sweaty run, you might want to try a back clasp or a front bra. If you have shoulder pain, then an H-strap style is the right choice.

It might take a little trial and error to find the right sports bra for you, but most medium and high impact bras provide the right support while running.

For people with fuller chests

Research suggests that poorly fitting sports bras may limit physical activity and exercise levels, especially for people with larger breasts. It’s important to find a properly-fitting sports bra that provides adequate support and minimizes pain and discomfort (4).

Since running is a high impact activity, you will likely find the most support with combination sports bras. The styles support each breast separately, which may help prevent bouncing.

“The most comfortable bras for people with full busts are the back clasps and the front bras. The bras aren’t adjusted so they won’t offer enough support.”

Strap style is again a personal preference. As long as they’re adjustable, straps don’t typically affect the amount of support the bra offers. If you find that your sports bra straps dig into your shoulders, you may want to try an H-strap bra (5).

Do you have to wear a sports bra for running?

You don’t have to wear a sports bra for running, but they’re generally the best way to reduce breast movement, alleviate discomfort, and provide support (6, 7).

If you have a small chest, you may prefer a bra or top.

How should a sports bra fit for running?

A running sports bra should fit more tightly than your everyday bra, but not too tight or restrictive.

It should provide enough support and compression to keep things in place, but still allow you to breathe. The underband should be level and parallel to the floor.

How do you find the right sports bra size?

The size guide on company websites is a good place to start when looking for sports bra sizes. You can use your bust and underband measurements to determine the right cup size.

Measure the fullest part of your chest with a tape measure. Measure under your bust to see where the underband of a bra is.

Finding the right sports bra for running is difficult, but it is absolutely necessary if you want to stay comfortable and supported.

It is important to prioritize bras with higher support since running is a high impact exercise. Look for straps that fit your chest size and preferences.

“If you can’t find a great fit, you can try getting a fitting from a retailer near you.”