7 best high-impact sports bras 2024, reviewed during HIIT | plmubl.com

7 best high-impact sports bras 2024, reviewed during HIIT

Did you know your boobs can move by up to 15cm during running and 19cm during star jumps? That’s according to research from Portsmouth University’s Research Group in Breast Health, and is exactly why a high-impact sports bras that supports your body is essential for high-impact exercise.

Finding the perfect high-impact sports bra is pretty hard, though. Many sportswear brands opt for styles that prioritise fashion over function, while supportive and secure sports bras look more technical than stylish.

As a fitness trainer and health editor, I’ve spent plenty of time scouring brands for the best high-impact sports bras. I used to love doing HIIT training and more recently have fallen in love with running, which means finding kit that can support my intense workout routine. I find that a good high-impact sports bra is important for avoiding irritation and pain, but it’s also vital for improving performance: another study from Portsmouth found that running without the right support reduces stride length by 4cm – that means a means a poorly fitting sports bra costs women an extra mile when running a marathon.

As a straight-size editor, it is infinitely easier for me to find a bra that fits my body than for those with larger boobs. In fact, a lack of inclusively-sized and truly supportive sports bras is why women with larger boobs are less likely to do high-impact exercise, according to studies. But there are brands out there that cater for every shape and that I have it on authority from larger-boobed friends are comfortable and make them feel great.


Best high-impact sports bras at a glance:

  1. Lululemon Energy High Support Bra, £48
  2. Nike Swoosh High-Impact Sports Bra, £49.99
  3. Bravissimo Shock Absorber Max Sports Bra, £43
  4. Under Armour Heat Gear Sports Bra, £41
  5. On Performance Bra, £45
  6. Maaree Solidarity High-Impact Sports Bra, £68
  7. Adidas by Stella McCartney Truepace Sports Bra, £85
Chloe Gray testing the Lululemon Energy sports bra for our round up of highimpact sports bras

Lululemon High-Impact Energy Bra

£48 AT LULULEMON

Nike Swoosh High-Impact Sports Bra

£49.99 AT NIKE

Shock Absorber D+ Max Sports Bra

£43 AT BRAVISSIMO

Under Armour Heat Gear Sports Bra

£41 AT UNDER ARMOUR

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How we test high impact sports bras

There are certain features that a high-impact sports bra needs to have in order to make it fit for purpose, and this is what I look for when testing high impact bras. They include the following, but you can find out more about how we test products, too.

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  • Underband support: It’s believed that 80% of breast support comes from the underband of a sports bra. That means the section that sits beneath the breast needs to be safe and secure, as well as being comfortable.
  • Adjustable features: It’s really hard to design a bra that will sit perfectly on every person, given we all come in different shapes and sizes. Even if the cup size is right for our boobs, some people have shorter torsos while others have smaller ribs, meaning the exact strap length and band size we need will vary. That’s why the best bras should have adjustable features, such as straps, clasp-back bras or removable padding, so you can fit it perfectly to your body.
  • Compression: Compression sports bras are a great option for people who don’t like a lot of faff with their bras. They are designed to press the boobs in to the chest to reduce movement for overall support, though they are also best suited to people with smaller busts. How well a bra compresses breasts is a key thing to look at when testing high-impact sports bras.
  • Encapsulation: The other type of support found in a bra is encapsulation. This is where each breast is contained separately, like in a traditional non-sports bra. It will hold a breast up and still, and can be more supportive than compression styles of high-impact activities and is often preferred by women with bigger chests.

Are high-impact sports bras supposed to be tight?

It makes sense that opting for the tightest high-impact sports can reduce bounce and therefore be safer for your breasts. But super-tight bras are very uncomfortable, which is likely why people are so put off of sports bras. And research from Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise shows that tight sports bras also restrict breathing, with athletes taking more frequent but shallower breaths. When they loosened their underbands, their breathing was deeper and slower, which is a good way to conserve energy during tough workouts.

Chloe Gray after exercising in the Maaree high impact sports bra

Can you wear a high-impact sports bra all day?

I’m one of the many who like to work from home and lounge around in a sports bra. But when I do this, I opt for a low-impact sports bra that has much more give and is less compressive. That’s because it’s much more comfortable on my body and stops any restriction when breathing and digesting all day long.

So while, in theory, a high-impact sports bra should be comfortable and loose enough to lounge in all day, it’s probably not a great idea in practice.


Scroll for our full edit of the best high-impact sports bras 2024.

  • Image may contain Bra Clothing Lingerie Underwear Adult Person Body Part Shoulder and BlouseLululemon Energy Bra High Support
    • Sizes available: 32B-40DDD.
    • Colour available: Black and white.
    • Pros: Adjustable straps and clasp-back fitting.
    • Cons: Needs more sizing options.
    • Tested by: Chloe Gray.
    “This has become my go-to bra for running thanks to the super soft and supportive design. Lululemon’s classic buttery fabric means this sits nicely on my skin without chaffing, while the encapsulation cups, multiple adjustable straps and clasp back help me find my perfect fit.”Shop the best Lululemon leggings, while you’re at it.£48 AT LULULEMON
  • Image may contain Bra Clothing Lingerie Underwear Tank Top Adult and PersonNike Swoosh High-Impact Sports Bra
    • Sizes available: 30A-48G.
    • Colour available: Black, white and purple.
    • Pros: Adjustable underband and race-back design.
    • Cons: No adjustable straps.
    • Tested by: Chloe Gray.
    “This bra has a great cut-out and mesh back for ventilation during hot workouts. I also love the uniquely adjustable underband that’s an easier way to re-fit your bra than a hard-to-reach clasp. The compression adds brilliant, comfy support.”£49.99 AT NIKE
  • Bravissimo Shock Absorber Max Sports Bra
    • Sizes available: 30D-40H.
    • Colour available: White, black, red, navy and khaki.
    • Pros: Great size range, completely adjustable and really comfy.
    • Cons: Sizing runs a little small so you may need to size up.
    • Tested by: Chloe Gray.
    “Shock Absorber bras are well-known for being the best high-impact bras around, and this bra doesn’t disappoint. With an average rating of 4.5 stars from nearly 400 reviews, it’s great for encapsulation comfort without a bulky design and great adjustable features including a clasp back and straps.”£43 AT BRAVISSIMO
  • Image may contain Bra Clothing Lingerie Underwear Swimwear Accessories Jewelry Necklace Adult and PersonUnder Armour Heat Gear Sports Bra
    • Sizes available: XS-XXL.
    • Colour available: Black, green, purple and pink.
    • Pros: Front-adjustable straps and cooling technology.
    • Cons: No adjustable underband.
    • Tested by: Chloe Gray.
    “Now for the bra I wear to race. I wore this when running a half marathon in Ibiza heat and it was so comfy – no chafe, no movement and no distraction. But my favourite thing about it is that the straps are adjusted from the front, so you don’t need to contort your body or rely on someone else to find your perfect fit. While you can’t change the underband size, it is designed with a great fit.”£41 AT UNDER ARMOUR

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  • Image may contain Bra Clothing Lingerie Underwear Adult and PersonAdidas by Stella McCartney Truepace Sports Bra
    • Sizes available: 28A-58F.
    • Colour available: Black, blue and purple.
    • Pros: Good size range, super soft fabric.
    • Cons: Higher price point.
    • Tested by: Chloe Gray.
    “I live in my Adidas by Stella McCartney bra. A great, wide-but-airy back gives good support with extra bulk, while the adjustable straps and clasp back make it great for fitting different body shapes. With moulded cups and a soft material, it reduces irritation and distraction so all I have to think about is putting one foot in front of the other.”£85 AT ADIDAS
  • Image may contain Bra Clothing Lingerie and UnderwearOn Performance Bra
    • Sizes available: XS-XL.
    • Colour available: Black, blues, green, purple and brown.
    • Pros: Racer back design and seamless material for style and comfort.
    • Cons: Limited sizing.
    • Tested by: Chloe Gray.
    “While this bra isn’t adjustable, the elastic material is designed to move with you, so you get a personalised fit without the faff and chafe. I love the higher-neck design that gives it an extra-supportive feel. I’ve seen runners do marathons in this bra and finish feeling comfortable, which is quite the feat.”£45 AT ON RUNNING
  • Image may contain Bra Clothing Lingerie Underwear and BlouseMaaree Solidarity High-Impact Sports Bra
    • Sizes available: 30C-38G.
    • Colour available: Black, green, yellow, turquoise, burgundy.
    • Pros: Overband technology and inclusive sizing.
    • Cons: Always selling out.
    • Tested by: Chloe Gray.
    “The Maaree Solidarity bra is so popular that this gorgeous green is currently on pre-order (you can still get your hands on limited sizing in black and other colours though). The reason it’s so popular? Specially designed overband technology that limits upward motion for properly supported breasts. The sturdy fabric also comes with plenty of adjustable elements: it’s got thick straps that can be hooked into a racer style for extra support and a clasp back for personalised fit.”£68 AT MAARE

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