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The 16 Best Sports Bras for Every Workout

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut

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The best sports bras have to endure stretching, yanking, and profuse sweating. So we spoke to apparel designers and people who work out for a living — and sweat it out ourselves — to spotlight the very best sports bras worth strapping into now.

Every workout requires a different type of fit, so keep this cheat sheet from Brandy Hansen, vice-president of technical design at Abercrombie & Fitch and YPB (the company’s activewear line) in mind before you buy:

  • High-impact sports bras: “These are for your highest-intensity workouts and running — anything that will have a large amount of jumping or bouncing involved,” says Hansen.
  • Mid-impact sports bras: Hansen calls these the Goldilocks sports bras. They tend to have removable pads and cuter design details, with a good balance of comfort and function for most workouts.
  • Low-impact bras: “These are wonderful for light-impact activities such as yoga, barre, Pilates, or even relaxing or shopping … really anything that doesn’t involve much jumping or bouncing,” says Hansen.

And the same rules for shopping regular bras do not apply here: “When we wear regular bras, we generally like to have some breathing room up top, [but] with sports bras, we need more coverage,” says Year of Ours designer Alejandra Hernandez. “You want the extra coverage while doing higher-impact exercises to avoid slips; the same goes for the bottom of a sports bra, regardless of the coverage — you need something sturdy to make you feel secure and accident-proof.”

Below, vetted sports bras from the Cut Shop team and experts alike for still to sparkling activities.


Our top picks:

The Best Sports Bra for Pilates

Available in sizes 2XS–2XL.

Don’t be deceived by the name of this sports bra. Well, not if you’re a B-cup like the Cut’s senior shopping editor Bianca Nieves. She notes that the bra is the right amount of comfortable and supportive, especially for a Pilates class. The girls stay put even when you’re planking and piking your hips in the air.

The Best Sustainable Sports Bra

Available in sizes XXS–6XL.

Like its signature leggings, Girlfriend Collective’s Topanga bra is made from recycled plastic water bottles. The top has a high neckline and a low back, with adjustable crossed straps. Girlfriend’s recycled material feels buttery soft against the skin, making this bra a great pick for either working out or just hanging out at home. Nieves keeps hers in constant rotation and always has at least one person in her workout class of choice ask her, “Where is your top from? It looks so supportive!” Spoiler alert: It is.

The Super Soft (And Supportive!) Sports Bra

Available in sizes XS–XL.

If you are looking for support and style, make this your new essential bra. Well, technically it’s a tank but it’s so fitting that you won’t need to wear a sports bra with it. Nieves prefers hers when she does SLT Tread, so you know it’s both fit for a Reformer workout and a treadmill one. Whether you are in an inversion pose or running away your Sunday scaries, this bra will support you through it all.

The Best Sporta Bra for Ultra-Sweaty Workouts

Available in sizes 32–40.

Our beauty and fashion writer Asia Milia Ware hits the gym every morning. One of the sports bras she swears by? This one from Spanx. If you love the brand’s shapewear, then you’ll love its activewear. It holds everything in, providing maximum support.

The Best Weight Lifting Sports Bra

Available in sizes XS -XXL.

Another bra Ware has on rotation when she hits the gym is this Longline option from Gymshark. She loves that it doubles as a sports bra and tank and has great support thanks to its smooth fabric.

The Best Sports Bra for Indoor Cycling

Don’t sleep on FP Movements athleisure. Nieves did and when she tried their sets recently, she was pleasantly surprised. Both the leggings and the sports bra were incredibly soft and breathable and hugged her in all the right places. She first tested this our for Barry’s Ride and loved how the square neck sports bra was supportive.

The Best Sports Bra for Style

Available in sizes S–M.

You can’t go wrong with most sports bras from Nike. Both Nieves and Ware can attest. However, Ware’s latest favorite is the Indy Modern sports bra because she loves wearing it beyond the gym or her pilates studios. “I love the cut out and it stretches … a lot, she shares.


More tried and true options:

The Amazon Favorite

Available in sizes S–3XL

This simple racerback sports bra has nearly 60,000 ratings on Amazon, with more than 39,000 five-star reviews. The nylon and polyester construction moves with you, but won’t stretch out and lose its shape. The bra comes with light, removable padding and provides ample support in low- and medium-intensity workouts. If you’re looking for the most compression, size down.

The Sports Bra That’s Also a Shirt

Available in sizes 0–20.

If you only want to wear one layer when you work out, but feel a little naked wearing just a sports bra, this longline tank offers the best of both worlds, plus you can wear it with high-waisted jeans on the weekend. The reviews tend to be rapturous, but do note that the fit can run small, so you might want to size up if you don’t need as much compression.

If You Want a Sleek Sports Bra

Available in sizes XXS–XXL.

… That’s also under $40, Everlane has you covered. Its performance leggings are one of our favorites, so it just makes sense to buy the matching set. Made from the same performance fabric, you can expect a sleek design that’s just as practical for most workouts.

The Best Low-Impact Sports Bra

Available in sizes XS–XL.

“For low impact, I opt for skinny straps and an open neckline — and the shape of this sports bra is so flattering,” says Megan Roup, celebrity trainer and founder of the Sculpt Society. She says Alo’s Airlift bra is perfectly feminine and comfortable, and she owns it in multiple colors.

The Sports Bra Meets Corset

Available in sizes XXS–XXL.

Remember when Hansen, the technical-designer expert, mentioned a “Goldilocks” fit? She was talking about a tank bra like this. This is my ideal boxing-class situation. Not only does it have that four-way stretch so the piece moves with you, but the racerback style and corset doesn’t just look cute — it provides added support for anyone who’s a bit bustier on top.

The Strappy Situation

Available in sizes XS–XL.

Jasmine Tookes and Josephine Skriver, Victoria’s Secret Angels alums, created JOJA, a brand that makes athletic apparel that looks — and photographs — as good as it performs. Tookes’s favorite at the moment is the Topspin bra: “The fabric is so soft, cool, stretchy, and the design is so unique.” She says she mixes and matches it with other pieces in her closet, which basically gives it (metaphorical) legs for days. For something with a bit more coverage, Skriver says JOJA’s Butterfly Top has a double lining that provides all the support you need. (“Even though it looks like a tank top, you don’t actually need to wear anything underneath it.”)

A Great Post-Mastectomy Bra

Available XS–3X.

Recognized as the Best Post-Mastectomy Bra by InStyle, this bra has a unique combination of softness, adjustability, and style. It is made with a softer-than-cotton modal material and provides a comfortable compression for support through your recovery from surgery.

A Great Post-Breastfeeding Bra

Available in sizes 32B–42DDD

Listen, that first jumping jack post-breastfeeding hits you hard (and almost in the face). What once were perky titties were now what Cut contributor Shanna Shipin once heard described as “tennis balls at the bottom of a men’s sock.” Hers nearly popped over the top of the low-slung bra she was wearing, and she booked it to Lululemon for help. She came away with this ridiculously supportive bra that straps your boobs in without that boa-constrictor feel. The shoulder straps don’t dig in despite doing the heavy lifting, and the hook-and-eye closure back makes it much easier to put on in general, but especially when you’re sore from a tough workout.

The Best Medium-Impact Sports Bra

Available in sizes XS–XL.

Whether you’re going to do a cardio day, an at-home virtual class, or simply run some errands, Nieves recommends this sports bra for any and all medium-impact activities since it’s the ideal silhouette to provide support and doubles as a great top. The ribbed material also makes it the right amount of snug.

Our experts:

The 16 Best Sports Bras for Every Workout