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The Best Sports Bras for Every Workout, According to Trainers

Updated: Apr. 15, 2024

A sports bra is the most important garment for women when it comes to exercise. Here’s how to choose wisely.

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Sports Bra color block
via amazon.com, via nordstrom (3)

The key to a better workout

When it comes to working out, what you’re wearing can be just as important as what you’re doing. If you don’t feel comfortable while you’re exercising—whether it’s because your shoes are old and don’t have support, your shorts are too tight and are cutting into you, or a seam on your top is rubbing against you with each move you make—you likely won’t have a great workout and may even be less motivated for your next one. For women, sports bras are also an essential component in this equation. Bras are always important, but the right sports bra can make or break your workout depending on how well it fits, if it wicks sweat to keep you dry, and if it’s comfortable.

What qualifies as the “right” sports bra? “You have to take into account the activity you plan to do in the sports bra, along with cup size,” says Kristen McParland, a certified personal trainer based in Somerville, New Jersey. “If you can, you should try multiple brands, shapes, and sizes until you find the one that works best for your body and doesn’t take away from your performance.”

Since we know that it can be hard to try on lots of different brands to choose which is best for you, we took the guesswork out of the process and tapped a few trainers to share their input on the best sports bras—and which ones are particularly amazing for women with large breasts, smaller chests, and everything in between. Find the right fit and get ready for a whole new level of comfort, no matter what you’re doing.

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The North Face Womens Stow N Go Sports Bra via amazon.com

The North Face Women’s Stow N Go Sports Bra

If you love running or working out with your phone but never seem to have a place to stash it, we have the perfect solution: Stick it into the front pocket of this moisture-wicking sports bra from The North Face. And that’s not the only reason you’ll love it. “This bra has excellent support, with wide straps,” explains Holly Roser, a personal trainer and the owner of Holly Roser Fitness Studios in San Francisco. “I love how the neckline is high, keeping you held in and fully covered.” Post-workout, when things are sweaty, simply unhook the clasp for an easy off.


  • Hook-and-eye closure
  • Internal pocket
  • Sweat-wicking

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Nike Womens Swoosh Sports Bra via amazon.com

Nike Women’s Swoosh Sports Bra

The classic silhouette of this sports bra looks good on all shapes and sizes, and it’s able to support all chest sizes for medium-impact activities. “The bra is designed with Dri-FIT material to keep you cool and comfortable during your workout,” says Roser. “And the compression in this bra helps hold you in place while you’re exercising.” Thanks to the thick straps, the bra stays put and won’t move or shift during workouts, either, which no one wants when they’re trying to exercise. Pair it with one of these exercise dresses.


  • Racerback design
  • Dri-FIT jersey material
  • 360-degree stretch

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Athleta Phenomena Bra via athleta.gap.com

Athleta Phenomena Bra

Slip this bra on and you’ll fall in love with the soft yet sweat-wicking fabric that molds to your body and provides incredible support. “I love the molded cups on this bra, which makes for a flattering fit, while also keeping everything in place when I’m doing high-impact activity like a HIIT class or running,” says Mallory Creveling, a personal trainer based in Brooklyn, New York. “The silky soft material also makes it super comfy to wear when I’m jogging for miles.” When you’re done working out, you’ll appreciate how easy it is to get off, thanks to the hook-and-eye closure. Pair it with these super comfy leggings and you’ll be all set!


  • Adjustable straps
  • Hook-and-eye closure
  • Sweat-wicking

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Handful Adjustable Sports Bra via amazon.com

Handful Adjustable Sports Bra

If you’re looking for a sports bra that provides some support but also flatters your figure, look no further—the Handful bra comes with pads, which can be removed if you don’t want them. “This bra is excellent for a smaller cup size because of the pads, and it’s perfect for low-impact workouts such as yoga or Pilates or even weight lifting,” says Roser. “The thin straps don’t cause any chafing or irritation, but might not be the most supportive.” Speaking of the straps, they’re also adjustable, so you can go with a straight back or crisscross them across your shoulders, depending on your outfit. In our opinion, it’s also the best sports bra to go from the gym to coffee with a friend. Make sure you also pick up some of the best underwear for women.


  • Removable pads
  • Adjustable straps
  • Quick-dry fabric

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Free People Movement Wave Rider Sports Bra via nordstrom.com

Free People Movement Wave Rider Sports Bra

You’ll love the exposed, sexy back of this moisture-wicking sports bra from Free People Movement. “This lightweight bra is perfect for smaller cup sizes, and it’s very fashionable if you enjoy working out with your sports bra and no tank on top,” says Roser. “Plus, the high neckline provides security during your favorite low-impact activities such as barre, Pilates, yoga, or dance.” Choose from three different colorways: blue granite, magenta, or black.


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Champion Womens Spot Comfort Full Support Sports Bra via amazon.com

Champion Women’s Spot Comfort Full Support Sports Bra

Put on this bra and immediately notice the comfortable feel of the gel-infused adjustable straps. And that’s not all—the full coverage keeps everything in place, and it’s the best sports bra if you’re jumping around, doing plyometrics. “The mesh is a great feature that can make a tight sports bra feel breathable and comfortable during summer activities,” says McParland. “The thicker straps make for great support, too, for activities like running, jumping, or other high-intensity workouts.”


  • Hook-and-eye closure
  • Breathable mesh
  • Sweat-wicking fabric

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Vuori Yosemite Sports Bra via nordstrom.com

Vuori Yosemite Sports Bra

If you want to have coverage during your Pilates class but you also don’t require too much support, consider Vuori’s Yosemite sports bra. Thanks to its four-way stretch fabric, the bra flows with your body and won’t restrict any movement. “The soft fabric makes it a good bra for all-day wear, along with a stretchy fit for classes like Pilates or yoga,” says Creveling. “I also like the chic straps in the back.”


  • Moisture-wicking
  • Stylish back design
  • Soft fabric

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Alo Intrigue Sports Bra via nordstrom.com

Alo Intrigue Sports Bra

If you’re all about yoga, you’ll be all about this lightweight sports bra from Alo. It’s made of four-way stretch material, so you won’t feel restricted flowing from one move or pose to the next. Plus, the adjustable straps give it a customized fit. “All bodies are unique in size and structure, so having a sports bra with adjustable straps is perfect if you fall in between sizes,” says McParland. Choose from three different colorways including black, aqua, and woodrose. Because it’s so slim, it’s also the best sports bra for travel, as it’s very easy to pack.


  • Adjustable straps
  • Lightweight design
  • Four-way stretch fabric

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Glamourise Magiclift Seamless Sports Bra via nordstrom.com

Glamourise MagicLift Seamless Sports Bra

If you have a large bust, you’ll get the coverage and support you need sans wire with this sports bra. The seamless, molded cups lift and support your chest, without making you feel squished in or down. “I like the thick chest band at the bottom, which looks like it would help the bra stay put, while also staying comfy through dynamic movements,” says Creveling. Two-way stretch in the back, along with non-slip straps, keeps things flexible without allowing the bra to shift or move entirely so that you have to readjust mid-move.


  • Non-slip straps
  • Seamless cups
  • Wireless

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Spanx Longline Medium Impact Sports Bra via nordstrom.com

Spanx Longline Medium Impact Sports Bra

A sports bra that can double as a crop top? You can’t go wrong! This bra from Spanx provides enough support and coverage for a distraction-free workout—indoors or outdoors. “This versatile sports bra is sweat-wicking and chlorine- and salt-resistant, so it’s a great option for someone who wants a multi-use piece of apparel that they can wear in the gym and at the beach,” says McParland. It has built-in UPF 50+ sun protection, too. Speaking of which, if you’re exercising outdoors, don’t forget to protect yourself with the best face sunscreen.


  • Stylish design
  • Sweat-wicking fabric
  • UPF 50+

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Under Armour Womens Keyhole Sports Bra via amazon.com

Under Armour Women’s Keyhole Sports Bra

This racerback sports bra that’s best for A to C cups is a fan favorite on Amazon, where it’s garnered more than 3,200 five-star reviews. Roser particularly likes it for HIIT training because the sweat-wicking fabric will keep you cool and dry. Plus, she adds, “the shape is also a perfect fit under most tanks, so you won’t see straps on the sides of your tank, for a seamless look.” The keyhole design allows for a bit of extra ventilation, so you won’t get too sweaty, no matter how hard you’re working. FYI, here’s how often you should be washing all of your gym clothes, including your sports bra.


  • Sweat-wicking
  • Compression
  • Racerback design

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Brooks Dare Crossback Sports Bra via nordstrom.com

Brooks Dare Crossback Sports Bra

You’ll never run into issues with chafing when you wear this sports bra that boasts a seamless design. “If you’ve ever worn seamless leggings, you know how life-changing they can be,” says McParland. “Imagine that but in a sports bra! Comfort for the ladies and your lats.” The perforated dot design doesn’t only look cool, by the way—it’s designed to add more ventilation to help keep you cool and dry. It’s both sweat-wicking and supportive, too.


  • Ventilated design
  • Racerback design
  • Chafe-free material

Now that you’ve found the perfect sports bra, check out these comfortable and stylish bralettes to wear at home and (nearly) everywhere else. Then, read up on what you should know about ThirdLove’s sports bra and leggings.


  • Kristen McParland, a certified personal trainer based in Somerville, New Jersey
  • Holly Roser, a personal trainer and the owner of Holly Roser Fitness Studios in San Francisco
  • Mallory Creveling, a personal trainer based in Brooklyn, New York