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Like searching for the perfect leggings or running shoes, finding the best sports bra for running can feel like an uphill battle. With so many bras, brands, and styles to choose from, tacking on options such as impact level, cup size, and fabric can make finding the right sports bra even more challenging. But a great sports bra is necessary for avid runners to keep you feeling supported and comfortable when running. 

How do you find the best sports bra for running without all the stress of scrolling through hundreds of options? That’s where we come in. To support you on your bra shopping journey, we’re covering everything you need to know about sports bras, what to look for when shopping, as well as some of our favourite sports bras for running.

Why is wearing a sports bra important when running?

No matter your breast size, wearing a sports bra is essential when doing high-intensity exercise like running. Research has found that unsupported breasts will move up and down as much as 12 cm during activities like running or jumping. That’s because there aren’t any muscles within the breasts – they’re mostly a collection of fat and tissue held by two objectively weak structures: the skin and ligaments known as Cooper’s ligaments. This allows the breasts to move in a figure-eight motion, swinging up and down, forward and backward, and side to side. 

The force of high-intensity exercises, like running, can cause your breasts to move more vigorously. When the breasts aren’t well-supported, it results in two primary issues: breast pain and stretching of the skin and ligaments (which can cause sagging). A 2012 survey of the London Marathon found that of the 1,285 female runners studied, 32% experienced mastalgia (breast pain), and 75% of those runners had issues with bra fit – highlighting the importance of wearing a well-fitting, high-impact sports bra when running. 

Not wearing a sports bra when running can also affect your performance. Research shows that wearing an ill-fitting sports bra or not wearing a sports bra at all slows down the range of motion, averaging a loss of 4 cm in stride length. Thus, wearing the right sports bra can improve performance and reduce distractions by minimising breast movement. 

In addition to preventing breast pain, supporting overall breast health, and improving performance, sports bras also help improve your posture. Sports bras act as temporary posture correctors, pushing back the shoulders, so you stand taller and more confident

The different types of sports bras

Sports bras are divided into three impact levels: low, medium, and high. When running, you should wear a supportive sports bra that will hold you in place. When choosing a sports bra you should consider your breast size, and the impact level of the exercise you’ll be doing. To help make things a little easier, we’ve explained the impact levels below.


Low-impact sports bras are designed for activities with a minimal amount of bouncing (think: yoga, pilates, stretching, barre, or lounging around the house). Low-impact sports bras work best for cup sizes A through D, though any cup size can wear this type of sports bra when lounging. 

If you have small enough breasts, a low-impact sports bra might be supportive enough for activities like cycling, hiking, or going for a light jog.

Medium impact

Medium-impact sports bras have more support than low-impact bras and will come with more compression and a snugger fit. This type of sports bra is ideal for activities like hiking, weight training, golf, and certain types of cardio. Because it meets in the middle, medium-impact sports bras work for all cup sizes. 

Depending on your bra size, medium-impact bras can work for both low-impact or high-impact movements. For example, larger breast sizes might find medium-impact sports bras more supportive for activities like yoga or walking, while A and B cup sizes may find they get all the support they need for running with a medium-impact bra.

High impact

When in doubt, you can’t go wrong with a high-impact sports bra. They’re designed for high-intensity activities that require a lot of movement or jumping – like running, HIIT, boxing, dance, or cross-training that cause a lot of breast bouncing and movement, for example. High-impact sports bras get a lot of heavy-duty support from the straps, bottom band, and a high degree of built-in compression. 

We recommend high-impact sports bras for any cup size looking for a lot of support, but they’re especially ideal for those with larger breasts because they offer maximum comfort and support during those intense workouts. If you are a D cup or above, always wear a high-impact sports bra when running or doing other heavy training. 

Things to consider when shopping for a new sports bra


The most important feature of any sports bra should be the level of support it provides you during exercise. As we’ve mentioned, sports bras are designed for different levels of activity and impact, so you want to choose a bra that works for your cup size and workout intensity to control breast movement effectively. You want your sports bra to be snug to provide adequate support but not too snug where it causes discomfort and distraction.

To ensure you choose a good sports bra for running, we recommend a sports bra that is medium to high impact, depending on your cup size. A high-impact sports bra is critical if your breasts are on the larger side. Smaller and medium size busts will benefit from the support of a medium-impact bra. But at the end of the day, choose a support level that feels best for you.

Bra Straps

The best sports bras for running have adjustable straps. Why? Adjustable bra straps – just like in your regular everyday bra – improve the level of support. If you opt for a style without adjustable straps, you’re relying on the elastic in the strap to support your bust, and once this elastic stretches out, your sports bra won’t provide the support you need. A sports bra with adjustable straps should last longer in your collection since you can tighten it as the straps start to loosen.


The closure of your sports bra is also important. You may already be familiar with sports bras that are a bralette/pullover style. It’s a suitable style for those with smaller breasts, but it isn’t sufficient (or efficient) for larger breasts. If you have a large bust, look for a sports bra with a clasp or closure that allows for easy on and off. A hook-and-eye closure will allow you to tighten the back, providing more support and security during your workout.

The best sports bras available at Bendon

Breathe Bra

Ready to discover your new go-to activewear? The Breathe Bra is a high-impact sports bra engineered to control bounce and provide comfortable support that’s ideal for activities like running. A powerful “W” wire assists with impact control and support, plush wide straps won’t dig into your skin, and the moisture-wicking fabric is ultra-breathable, so you can perform at your best. This is a fantastic option for women with larger bust sizes.

Motion Zip Front Bra

The Motion Zip Front Sports Bra is ideal for high-intensity activities like running and HIIT. It controls breast movement with full foam cups, adjustable straps and back fastening, and fully bonded wings. The second skin fabric is moisture-wicking, so you feel fresh from start to finish. The best part? An easy on-and-off front zip means you’ll never have to struggle with taking a sports bra off ever again.

Power Bra

A powerful bra for a powerful you—the Power High Impact Underwire Sports Bra is everything you want in a flattering, supportive, high-impact sports bra. Here’s why. It features a highly supportive lining and a compressive outer layer to suppress breast movement while maintaining comfort and coverage. The antibacterial, moisture-wicking fabric ensures you stay fresh throughout your run. An internal side sling adds additional comfort and support, making it a favourite amongst women with large breasts.

Bendon Sports Sport U/W Bra

For a high impact option that combines comfort and cool, go with theBendon Sports Sport U/W Bra. Bendon Sports Bra in Black will become your go-to active choice.  Engineered to feel powerful and strong for extra support and impact control. The Bra has convertible cross over straps for versatility.

Ready to shop for sports bras?

The best sports bra for running ultimately comes down to fit, support, and impact levels. You want a sports bra that does it all: reduces breast pain, supports breast health, increases performance, and improves posture ­– plus, a cute style doesn’t hurt. To find everything you’re looking for and more, shop our entire collection of women’s sports bras, only available at Bendon.

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