These high-impact bras delivered the best support for runners with a cup size C and larger.
When it comes to choosing the right sports bra, having enough support is the first priority, at least for us. But how you get that support can really be a personal preference. Some runners love cups with underwire support, while others prefer wire-free. Or maybe you like a little more compression for a super secure feel, while your running buddy wants looser, adjustable bands and straps. The key is finding the right style that supports your cup size. Here are full reviews of the best-performing models from our test, and a cheat sheet on the most popular support features out there so you know what to look for in your next bra buy
Runderwear Original Support
The Original Support bra is from the company that brought us chafe-free running underwear and socks, so we weren’t surprised Runderwear’s “Runderbra” din’t cause any unwanted friction on our skin. Early on in evaluations, our testers were game enough to wear the bra during the RW Half Marathon Festival (one racing in the 5K, the other in the 10K). Both of them experienced no jiggling when they pushed the pace on the rolling courses, and called out the fabric’s softness.
Brooks Dare Crossback
The Dare Crossback is just one part of Brooks’s new line of “run bras,” and it’s both seriously comfortable and supportive. Molded cups encapsulated each breast and provided support for both our A and D cup testers. The bra is smooth and seamless, and didn’t bulge underneath our shirt.
The PureMove has no hard-to-reach back hooks, adjustable clasps on the straps, or underwire. You simply slide the racerback over your shoulders and head out for a run. The front and back have perforated ventilation holes, and the bottom band is padded for a soft, cozy fit. The precursor to the PureMove+, the OG PureMove uses Motion Sense tech—essentially a gel inside the bra that stiffens with sudden movement—to stop bouncing.
Just like your everyday, nonathletic bra, some sports bras feature wired cups for support. You’ll typically find them in very high-impact bras designed for sizes DD cup and larger for superior bounce-banishing. The only drawback is that some runners find that they don’t move with your body as well as wireless versions.
Runners seeking an underwire alternative should turn to a sports bra with a molded-cup design. While they typically don’t always match up to wires for support, they do offer more flexibility and often come with removable modesty pads. Molded cups are also great for helping prevent the dreaded “uni-boob” appearance by providing an individualised structure for each breast.
The easiest thing a bra can do for support is offer you a little squeeze. Some runners opt for tight, locked-in, and bounce-free, while others balk at feeling too compressed. Generally, more compression will mean more support—so the bra will rely less on the other features like underwire or molded cups—but you’ll have to decide for yourself at what point “jiggle-free” starts to feel more like “constricting.” Encapsulation—a defined cup structure—is another feature in bra tech that keeps bouncing in check. Many designs will feature hook-and-eye back clasps, similar to your everyday bra, that let you set the bottom bust band to the right tightness. Same goes for your adjustable straps.
How We Test
We get it—all the extra doodads on high-impact bras look overwhelming, complicated, or just downright uncomfortable. But they’re not if you adjust them properly. Easier said than done, of course. To guide you in your search for the best support, we did the legwork—literally. All of these bras have been tested by RW staff and a small group of local runners, including one in her third trimester of pregnancy.