The 12 best sports bras for support in any workout, from HIIT to yoga

The best sports bras come in a great range of sizes and are suitable for all activities

Three of the best sports bras from Sweaty Betty, Panache, and GymShark laid out on colorful background with shapes
(Image credit: Sweaty Betty, Panache, GymShark)

A pick of the best sports bras is one of the real essentials in a basic fitness kit, whether you're taking up high-impact activities like running or focusing on finding your flow with yoga and Pilates.  

Having the right sports bra is vital for getting the most out of your activity. It'll be the difference between a good workout and an uncomfortable one. But not only that, ditching your sports bra (even if you've got smaller boobs) can have longer-term effects for some people, such as poorer posture when you're working out and there may be issues down the line with the connective tissue around your breasts if you go without one for long enough. 

There are so many styles out there to choose from and as everyone's body is different, everyone has different requirements for a sports bra. We gathered together expert opinions and tried and tested picks to help you find the best one for you. From the best sports bras for big breasts to must-have brands in 2023, these are the best sports bras from the likes of Nike, Shock Absorber, Gymshark, and Sweaty Betty. 

Best sports bras as tested by us

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Shock Absorber Active Multi Sports Support Bra

(Image credit: Shock Absorber )

1. Shock Absorber Active Multi Sports Support Bra

Best non-underwired sports bra

Specifications

Sizes: Back sizes 30 - 40, cup sizes B - HH
Material: 49% polyester, 45% polyamide, 6% elastane
Support: Medium to High
Type: Compression
Wired: No
Machine washable: Yes
RRP: Up to £43, depending on size

Reasons to buy

+
Inclusive size range
+
Very comfortable to wear
+
Suitable for higher-impact workouts
+
Fully opening back for easy put-on, take-off

Reasons to avoid

-
Not suitable for long-distance running

The Shock Absorber Active Multi Sports Support Bra is one of the top picks overall, tried and tested by numerous members of the woman&home team - including myself and Lauren Clark. The main selling point of this bra is the comfort and support offered by the steadfast, padded straps and compression layers over the breasts. 

For me, this is my go-to gym bra. While I wouldn't personally wear this one for longer runs as it's not as supportive as others I own, like the Shock Absorber D+ Sports Bra, but it's great to wear during HIIT classes, treadmill workouts, and strength training. I barely notice the bra during my workout - which is a very good thing - as there is no padding to get in the way, no underwire to dig in, and the straps stay put. 

"Its key selling point for me is the fully-opening, double-clasp back, letting you put a bra on and take it off with ease, without compromising on racerback support," says Lauren. "The only slight downside is that the top clasp is a little fiddly to secure, but it's wire and padding-free, so this best sports bra holds your boobs close to your body for bounce-free support. The shoulder straps are padded for maximum comfort and relatively narrow for a sports bra, meaning they can be easily disguised under the straps of your workout vest." 

Panache Underwired Sports Bra

(Image credit: Panache)

2. Panache Sports Moulded Underwired Bra

Best underwired sports bra

Specifications

Sizes available: Back sizes 28 - 40, cup sizes C - J
Material: 49% polyamide, 36% polyester, 15% elastane (all material details exclusive of trims)
Support: Medium impact
Type: Encapsulation
Wired: Yes
Machine washable: No
RRP: £45 (but often on sale)

Reasons to buy

+
Cushioned strap and band
+
Suitable for all types of exercise 
+
Underwiring offers extra support
+
Turn straps into racerback for extra support

Reasons to avoid

-
Not available for cup sizes A-B 

Underwired sports bras might not be everyone's cup of tea but they are known for their incredible structure and stability as the thin wire under each cup offers an upward lift and defined shape to the bust. Panache's Sports Moulded Underwired Bra is our pick of the bunch as it fulfils the criteria perfectly, while still being relatively comfortable over long periods, and available in multiple sizes. 

"The Panache Sports Moulded Underwired Bra provides support without compressing or restricting breasts as they move. I wore the bra during multiple types of workouts and found it comfortable to wear for a couple of hours at a time. The bra also holds and retains its shape as well, even between multiple washes," says tester Lauren Clark. It does this through three design elements: lightweight padding, underwiring, and moulded cups. 

"The straps are airy soft and cups seam-free, adding comfort. But the most underrated perk of this bra is that it's very versatile. You can use this bra during a Pilates workout, boxing class, or a short run, so it's the perfect all-rounder in the underwired department. I would say other options are better for long-distance runs, but anything less than 10km and you'd be fine," she says. 

That being said, underwired bras aren't for everyone. Some find the structure a little too intense as they can restrict freedom of movement, so be sure to consider other options - like the Shock Absorber D+ Sports Bra - before making your final pick. 

Shock Absorber D+ sports bra

(Image credit: Shock Absorber)

3. Shock Absorber D+ Max Sports Bra

Best sports bra for large breasts

Specifications

Sizes available: 32D - 40H
Materials: 57% Polyamide, 39% Polyester, 4% Elastane
Support: High
Type: Combination
Wired: No
Machine washable: Yes
RRP: £42

Reasons to buy

+
Very supportive
+
Great size range for bigger busts
+
Available in three colours
+
Padded and adjustable straps

Reasons to avoid

-
H cup size only available from certain retailers 

There aren't too many options available if you've got larger breasts and you're looking for a supportive, high-impact sports bra. Even some of the most popular sports brands don't stock sizes beyond an F cup size. This high-impact sports bra from Shock Absorber, one of my favourite sports bra brands overall, is undoubtedly a pick top though. Size options begin at a 30D minimum and go right up to 40H at some retailers, with most stocking up to a 38H at least. It's a mixture of a compression bra, as the material is firm and tight, and an encapsulation bra, with separate support for each breast - an essential when shopping for larger sizes. 

I've been using the D+ Shock Absorber Sports Bra for the last four years consistently, so I can truly attest to how great it is for those with larger boobs. I'm a 34GG and, as digital health editor at woman&home, I'm also a keen runner and go to the gym about three times a week. I've found this bra stands up to any kind of workout without an issue, including running and HIIT exercises. This is thanks to the compression, padded straps on the shoulders that prevent the material from digging into your skin, and the adjustable double three-hook waistband at the back. As it's also a combination bra, the material presses your breasts into your chest while maintaining a good shape under your top. 

There are several colours of this bra available, which is more than can be said for many other brands' options. With sports brand Champion partnering up with Shock Absorber recently, there's the classic navy blue and red palette of the label, along with traditional white and black combos. Depending on the retailer, you'll find grey and red colours too. 

If you're looking for a good sports bra that offers back sizes above a 40H, the Runderwear Power Bra (our pick of the best-padded sports bras) goes up to a size 42F in many colours and for a larger cup size, I recommend the Shock Absorber Active Multi Sports Support Bra, which offers up to a HH in a good range of colours.

Shock Absorber Support Bra

(Image credit: Shock Absorber)

4. Shock Absorber Shaped Support Bra

Best sports bra for running

Specifications

Sizes available: 32B - 38F
Materials: 48% Polyamide, 41% Polyester, 11% Elastane
Support: Medium
Type: Encapsulation
RRP: $49.61 / £40

Reasons to buy

+
Supportive 
+
Comfortable
+
Adjustable straps
+
Lightly padded to prevent chafing

Reasons to avoid

-
Not easy to pull on 

While not a specialist running bra, the Shock Absorber Shaped Support Bra was voted pick of the bunch for running, jogging, and walking. This bra has a fixed padded panel for additional protection, adjustable straps, and three hook and eye loops for support. It could be a great option for those who've already picked up a pair of the best running shoes and are ready to go on the roads. 

"I was so impressed by this bra," says our tester, who is a 34C normally. "It hits the sweet spot of making me feel completely 'strapped in' without squeezing the living daylights out of me and nothing digs in or rubs, even on longer runs. While it's not the easiest to get on, with three fairly tiny hook and eye fasteners at the back, it's worth a few extra seconds fiddling around for how well it performs."

She adds, "I should say that I tested this bra when I was between two and five months pregnant, and it coped admirably with all my fluctuations, so it would also suit anyone whose bra size changes depending on the time of the month."

The only downside, she says, is the appearance of the bra. "It's not the most attractive, something about the grey and neon looks a bit 80s." Much like the Runderwear Power Bra, its pads are also fixed so you can't remove them - which can be a positive or negative, depending on how you feel about this feature. If you're looking for a padding-free alternative, try the Nike Dri-FIT Swoosh bra or the Shock Absorber D+ Support Bra. 

Sweaty Betty Stamina Sports Bra

(Image credit: Sweaty Betty)

5. Sweaty Betty Stamina Sports Bra

Best sports bra for breathability

Specifications

Sizes: XS - XXXL
Material: 91% polyamide, 9% elastane
Support: Medium
Type: Compression
Wired: No
Machine washable: Yes
RRP: £38

Reasons to buy

+
High-tech, sweat-wicking fabric
+
Very comfortable
+
Good range of sizes and colours 
+
Suitable for those with smaller breasts 

Reasons to avoid

-
Only offers support up to C-cup

If you have below C-cup breasts and want to stay cool during your workouts above all else, the Sweaty Betty Stamina Sports Bra is one of the best options. For anyone with a larger bust, take a look at the Shock Absorber D+ bra for breathability and full support options. 

Helping to take the weight off your shoulders for medium-impact exercise, Sweaty Betty’s Stamina Sports Bra has racked up more than 1,000 reviews to achieve its 4.4-star status. As you’d expect from Sweaty Betty, this not only works well but looks good, too, thanks to the wide colour choice and stand-out waffle detailing. Much more than a design detail though, the waffle fabric has been placed across the back, chest, and sizes to help with breathability. Team that with sweat-wicking fabric, and you’ve got yourself a dry, comfortable workout. 

"This bra works by compressing your breasts close to the body, while the seamless edges minimise the risk of rubbing or chaffing. It has a real second-skin feel, so you feel as though you're almost not wearing anything," says our tester, who is a 32B and wears a size XS. 

Panache sports bra

(Image credit: Panache)

6. Panache Women's Full Cup Sports Bra

Best sports bra on Amazon

Specifications

Sizes available: 28A to 40JJ
Material: 48% Polyamide, 38% Polyester, 14% Elastane
Support : High
Type: Encapsulation
Wired: Yes
Machine washable: Yes
RRP: £29.50 - £45

Reasons to buy

+
High support
+
Great range of sizes 
+
Comfortable
+
Available in a range of colours 
+
Free delivery

Reasons to avoid

-
Not available on Prime

Whether your sports bra has suddenly gone missing or you've just realized it's starting to fray, sometimes you need a new one and you need it now. That's where Amazon always delivers. This Panache sports bra offers the most inclusive size range on our list, from a 28A through to a 40JJ, offers amazing support for medium- to high-impact workouts, and it comes in a range of colors. Although it's not available on Prime, Fast Delivery options are available. 

When I'm not using my Shock Absorber D+ Sports Bra, this is my go-to alternative for gym workouts, spinning, and boxing. It's completely adjustable with a thick band acting as the support foundation, three-hook and eye clasps on the back to help ensure the bra stays in one place when you're on the move, and fastening options on the shoulder straps to turn the bra into a racer back for even more support. 

My only criticism of the Panache Women's Full Cup Sports Bra would be that it's not quite as durable as my Shock Absorber bra. I've been wearing the Panache Women's Full Cup Sports Bra for a year now, perhaps once or twice a week, and I found the elastic starting to come through the band next to the hook and eye clasp about a week ago. As noted, I've been consistently using my Shock Absorber D+ bra for the last three years with no issues.

Decathlon high-impact sports bra

(Image credit: Decathlon)

7. Domyos High Support Fitness Bra 900

Best budget-friendly sports bra

Specifications

Sizes available: 6 - 22
Materials: 92% Polyester, 8% Elastane
Support: High
Type: Compression
Wired: No
Machine washable: Yes
RRP: £19.99

Reasons to buy

+
Under £20 
+
Suitable for all types of workouts
+
Adjustable shoulder straps
+
Three colors available

Reasons to avoid

-
Not very durable

Many of the best sports bras don't come cheap. However, there are options for those looking to spend less on their fitness kit this year. Decathlon is always a fail-safe option for high-quality gear at affordable prices and the Domyos High Support Fitness Bra 900 is just one example of this. Available in three colours with a racerback fit, it's suitable for any kind of workout but best suited to high-intensity ones with adjustable shoulder straps and a tight underband. 

"This sports bra doesn't quite feel as high quality as some of the others I've used over the years, but it gets the job done. I wore this sports bra out power walking one day, in the gym, and a boxing class and it held up well throughout," says our tester, who is a 34E and wears the UK 12 - 14 size in this product. "I love how adjustable the straps are because I don't need as much support for spinning as I do for walking, but I like how I could use the same bra. The only thing I would say is that sweat really shows through [on the tried and tested pink colour]."

Sweaty Betty sports bra

(Image credit: Sweaty Betty)

8. Sweaty Betty Power Medium Support Sports Bra

Best sports bra for the gym

Specifications

Sizes available: XXS to XXL
Materials: 62% Polyamide, 38% Elastane
Support: Medium
Type: Compression
Wired: No
Machine washable: Yes
RRP: £55

Reasons to buy

+
Removable padding
+
Comfortable to wear
+
Multiple colour options
+
Adjustable T-bar shoulder straps
+
Dries quickly post-workout and wash 

Reasons to avoid

-
Have to adjust pads after washing

What type of sports bra you'll need at the gym really depends on how intense your session is. For example, if you're doing a HIIT workout then you may need more support but strength training will require slightly less. The Power Medium Support Sports Bra is a good mix between the two, with an adjustable T-bar strap so you can make the bra as tight or as loose as you like.

"I was so excited to try out this Sweaty Betty bra as I love the Power leggings and try to wear them for all my workouts. Washing schedule dependant, of course," says our tester, who is a 36C and wears a size Medium in this pick of the best sports bra. "I tried it out during my regular sessions in the gym where I do a lot of dumbbell workouts and some barbell work. I also go on the treadmill for 30 minutes after my session, so I wore it then too. Firstly, it's really supportive, probably more support than I'd actually need but I'd rather have this than not enough. And secondly, it's so comfortable and looks great on. The shoulder straps are a unique shape and fully adjustable, which always makes things easier when putting a sports bra on, I find. They don't dig in either, which is a plus, and the color pops." 

The one downside to the bra, our tester discovered, was the in-built pads. "You can remove the pads, which I did after I washed the bra for the first time as they'd moved around and were difficult to get back in their original positions." However, this might be the perfect feature for those searching for a padded bra and wanting the option to remove the pads sometimes. 

My Protein Tempo sports bra in teal blue

(Image credit: My Protein)

9. MP Women's Tempo Wave Seamless Sports Bra

Best sports bra for yoga

Specifications

Sizes available: XXS to XXL
Material: 63% Nylon, 32% Polyester, 5% Elastane
Support: Low
Type: Combination
Wired: No
Machine washable: Yes
RRP: £36

Reasons to buy

+
Removable internal cups
+
Unique back strap design
+
Available in three colours
+
Suitable for everyday wear as well

Reasons to avoid

-
Not suitable for vigorous exercise

If you've already bought your pick of the best yoga mats (or thick yoga mats) and you want to elevate your yoga or stretching routine with a new sports bra, My Protein's Tempo Sports Bra should be first on your wish list. The new release is made from majority soft nylon, has a flattering criss-cross back, and a scooped neckline, and it's available in distinctly different colors. 

"I mainly do Vinyasa yoga so I'm moving a lot in class. Also, because my boobs are slightly bigger than average, I need some support when I'm doing any type of exercise," says our sports bra tester, a 38F in this case. "I felt supported in this one by the tight material and lattice-style straps at the back, without feeling uncomfortably strapped in or anything like that. I'll definitely keep using this bra for my classes as it also fits well without any spillage, and I always want something that looks great during the hot classes where I just wear the bra."

Our tester didn't have any considerations to note about this bra, apart from the fact that the straps aren't adjustable. "I'm probably pretty lucky that it fit me so well and I was supported as there's no way to tighten or loosen the straps," she says. If you are looking for an adjustable bra, we recommend the Sweaty Betty Power Medium Support Sports Bra, our pick for the gym, with its supportive T-bar strapping design - it also comes in similar colorways to the MP Women's Tempo Wave Seamless Sports Bra.