Posted on: January 23, 2024 Posted by: Comments: 0

In my experience, the search for the perfect sports bra is akin to the search for the perfect pair of jeans. It takes many changing room visits, several close calls with shoulder dislocation when trying to get them on and off, and for many of us, a battle with our self-esteem as we examine our tightly squeezed boobs to see if they’re likely to stay in place. It’s basically a workout before you’ve even worked out. We feel lucky and relieved if we eventually manage to find one that ticks the boxes.

My personal experience of finding suitable sports bras has been nothing short of arduous. Measuring at a 34FF, finding a sports bra that fits well at the band and across the bust has felt impossible at times. After a particularly long bout of no luck, I’ve taken it upon myself to Track down the very best styles out there. And, because every body is different, I wanted to get a second perspective. So, my colleague Georgia and I (she’s around a 34D) hit the shops to try on some of the best sports bras on the market for ourselves.

We wanted to try a range of options in different styles, for different activities and at varying price points. Read on to find out how we got on and for our sports bra recommendations. 

Natalie’s review: This ultra-soft V-neck bra offers light support and a secure finish. I opted for size L—which I tried across brands for consistency—and found the cup size to fit perfectly, though I didn’t feel that there was a lot of support at the band. However, for a gentle yoga flow or as a comfortable bra to lounge in, I would reach for this without hesitation. In terms of the style, I found the V-neck cut very flattering and liked the thick straps. Pros: Comfortable fit, long-line cut and thick bands. Cons: Very light support—only suitable for very low-impact activity. Support rating: 5/10

Georgia’s review: Before I get into my reviews, just a note to say that Natalie and I largely agreed on our feelings about all the sports bras we tried. As two women with boobs bigger than those we see on 90% of models brands use to photograph their sportswear, we found that the bras from the premium brands we tried were clearly designed for light activity and frankly—smaller boobs. I tried a size M throughout the styles, apart from when it literally didn’t fit and I had to borrow Natalie’s L.  This one from Alo is a case in point: pretty and a flattering cut but no more support than a tight crop top.  Pros: Flatteringcut, comfortableCons: Thin fabric, little to no support, expensive.  Support rating: 4/10

This also comes in black, grey and ivory.

Natalie’s review: I liked the shape of this bra—I’m always fond of a square neckline—and the longer length, but I found that it was significantly smaller than the others that I tried. I didn’t feel that there was a lot of support at the band, rather the support came from the compression. I wouldn’t feel comfortable running in this, but would be happy doing weights or hiking. Pros: Great colour, long-line cut. Cons: Uncomfortable for pro-longed wearing. Support rating: 4/10

Georgia’s review: Again, I totally agree with Natalie. She actually had to lend me her size L to try because the M genuinely wouldn’t stretch enough for me to get it over my shoulders! This one runs very small, and it has an inner lining that cups under your boobs for compression which adds to the tightness. I didn’t find it comfortable and felt like I’d be constantly readjusting. It’s a lovely colour and shape though, so I’d be willing to give the size up a go to see if it’s comfier. If your chest is bigger than mine or Natalie’s though, forget about it.  Pros: Fab colour, could be worn as a crop top thanks to the square neckline, affordableCons: Runs very small (and only goes up to an XL), inner lining uncomfortably compressed my boobs.  Support rating: 5/10

Style with leggings in another bright shade or wear with the matching shorts.

Natalie’s review: I loved the length and cut of this hybrid sports bra and vest top. The straps were comfortable and the built-in bra offered adequate support. Ideal for light exercise such as yoga or pilates. Pros: Comfortable fit, flattering cut, supportive for a vest top. Cons: Struggled to find a size that neatly fit my bust as well as my torso.. Support rating: 5/10

Georgia’s review: This bra vest really is super soft, and it was a nice fit. It didn’t sit as smoothly down my torso as in the brand’s image, but my boobs felt well-supported and I wouldn’t hesitate to grab it for one of my more chilled pilates classes, or simply for pottering about. It’s nice to see brands offering tops with built-in support for those who don’t like to have their tummy on show but also don’t want to wear additional layers.  Pros: Lovely, soft fabric, flattering neckline, ideal for those who want to cover their tummy, decent support for a low-impact classCons: Doesn’t sit flat and rides up, not enough support for running or jumping.  . Support rating: 6/10

The flattering V-neck will you have feeling good throughout your workout.

Natalie’s Review: Ideal for a run or HIIT class, this bra supported me from all angles. I loved the front-zip finish and that I could select my bra size, rather than “large”. I opted for my typical size and it fit perfectly. Pros: Easy-to-use zip fastening, comfortable and very supportive. Cons: Less flattering shape than some of the other styles. Support rating: 9/10

Georgia’s review: There’s a reason many of us in the UK get our very first bras from M&S and remain loyal for life. Granted, this one may not be the most aesthetically pleasing, but the front-zip closure is nothing short of genius (no dislocated shoulders here) and, like Natalie’s, my boobs were firmly caged in by the thick fabric and structured cups. I’d even wear this for HIIT.  Pros: The zip closure is life-changing, thick fabric and structured cups provide proper support, affordableCons: Not the chicest.  Support rating: 8/10

The front-zip feature makes this so easy to put on and take off.

Natalie’s review: I found this style less comfortable than the others—simultaneously too big and too small. The cup size was quite tight, whilst I found the underneath band and the shoulder straps too loose to offer significant support. Pros: Classic, flattering cut. Cons: Unsupportive finish. Support rating: 3/10

Georgia’s review: I was pretty happy with this one from Vuori in terms of fit, but for over £60, I’d need more support. The size M fit me comfortably and didn’t dig in at the back like some others I’ve tried with back cut-outs, so I’d happily wear it as a comfy crop top or even for a gentle yoga flow or something more restorative, but for me, it wouldn’t hold up for more intense exercise.  Pros: Comfortable fit, smooth finish, doesn’t dig in at the backCons: Expensive,only offers light support for bigger boobs because of the low cut.  . Support rating: 5/10

The removable pads allow you to adjust the fit for a more comfortable finish.

Natalie’s review: Coming in at only £13, this affordable sports bra offered the support and comfort that I was looking for. Fuss-free and comfortable, this is deal for days when you need medium support, such as for a barre or spinning class. Pros: Affordable, supportive. Cons: Lacks easy fastening and has to be put on over the head. Support rating: 7/10

This also comes in a butter-yellow shade.

Georgia’s review: Thislonger-length crop top style was one of my favourites. The higher neck means bigger busts are kept more secure (no risk of your boobs falling out here—which, let’s be honest, is a very real possibility with low-cut styles), and the functional fabric is structured yet soft. I also appreciate the nicely elasticated waistband, removable cup inserts and the fact that it comes in seven colours.  Pros: Flattering shape, sits smoothly, higher neck provides security for bigger boobs, comes in lots of colours, very affordable, available up to XXL with a petite option. Cons: Padding may not be preferable to some, boobs could feel squeezed at the sides depending on size and how they sit. Support rating: 8/10

Comfortable and flattering, this longline style is one of our favourites.

This high-coverage sports bra is build for high-intensity exercise and is ideal for a larger bust.

The V-neck finish is ulta-flattering.

A front-zip feature and longline cut are two features to look for if you have a bigger bust. 

If you fancy something jazzy.

This comfortable bra is great for high-impact movement.

Another playful design that will make your workouts all the more enjoyable.

This offers full support with padded cups and mesh panelling, making it ideal for intense workouts.

A square-neck design is flattering on everyone.

The perfect hybrid between activewear and loungewear.

This ultra-supportive bra is ideal for long runs or HIIT sessions. 

Next Up: I’m Fussy About Workout Clothes, But These 10 Legging-and-Top Sets Are Perfect

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