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best sports bra for large breasts running

It goes a little something like this. You’re off on your morning jog, which, it’s worth mentioning, you’ve been looking forward to ever since you woke up. You’re feeling well hydrated, you’ve got a super comfortable pair of running shoes on, and your energy-boosting playlist is all fired up. Then, about five minutes into your run, you feel distracted: Your boobs are bouncing all over the place, and it’s all you can think about. By the end of your jog, your chest feels downright sore.

We can’t stress the importance of a well-fitting, high-quality sports bra enough — especially when you’re engaging in high-impact cardio workouts like running (or dancing, aerobics, and plyometrics, to name a few). These kinds of exercises expose your breasts to more movement in every direction, and as such, it’s extra crucial to keep them in place. A well-structured bra will limit their movement, thus helping to prevent the delicate ligaments from strain or other damage.

So, which sports bras are best for running? Read on to find out.

Encapsulation vs. compression

In the world of sports bras, there are two kinds to know about: compression bras and encapsulation bras.

Here’s how they work:

True to their name, compression bras are designed to compress the breasts, holding the tissue more closely to the chest. These bras are popular because they’ve been around for a long time and they’re typically wire-free. They can be great for light to medium impact workouts, like yoga, spinning, and strength training.

Encapsulation bras, on the other hand, feature structured cups and sturdy underwire. Given that they have defined cups, they can provide more support for each breast individually. They’re also better able to reduce bounce when you’re running or working out. Obviously, the addition of underwire plays a role in the overall fit as well. Typically, encapsulation bras are more advisable for women with larger busts than compression bras for all of the aforementioned reasons.

Your best bet? Seek out a sports bra that combines both encapsulation and compression technology. That’s right — you don’t have to choose between the two! An ideal bra for running (and other high-impact workouts) is one that combines both, and therefore offers maximum support.

Related: A 3-Step Guide To Buying The Perfect Sports Bra

sports bra for running

Parfait Active Sports Bra P5542 in Tea Berry

Other helpful features

Beyond choosing the right style, there are certain other features to consider when choosing the right sports bra for running.

For one, it’s immensely important that the bra has an adjustable band and straps. It’s exceedingly difficult to get a flawless fit without these adjustable features, and if the bra band doesn’t fit snugly with the straps firmly on your shoulders, it won’t likely provide adequate support.

You also may want to look for a sports bra that has a wide, sturdy band. Did you know that the bra band actually provides a vast majority of the bra’s support? Thus, a thicker band can be helpful, particularly in regards to supporting heavier breasts.

Also, it’s highly advisable to select a sports bra that comes in traditional bra sizing, rather than one that only comes in XS-XL sizes. You’re far more likely to get a phenomenal fit with your cup and band size, and as previously mentioned, the right fit is key in regards to support. If you haven’t been measured recently (in the last six months), it’s worth paying a visit to your local lingerie boutique or department store to make sure you know your size before investing in a new sports bra.

Final considerations

It’s worth noting that there are several reasons why a supportive sports bra is critical while running. When you run, your breasts are subjected to far more movement than they are in everyday life. That movement can put some serious strain on the breasts — namely, the Cooper’s ligaments, which are responsible for helping them to maintain their shape. Over time, the strain on these ligaments can cause them to stretch out, which can lead to sagging. Not only that, but you may experience discomfort or pain after running when your breasts are not properly supported.

A high-quality sports bra that combines both compression and encapsulation technology, includes adjustable features and has a sturdy band is most likely to protect your breasts while running. The result? You can comfortably enjoy those morning or evening jogs without having to worry about doing a disservice to your bust.

Related: How Should A Sports Bra Fit?

best sports bra for running

Parfait Active Sports Bra P5542 in Tea Berry

We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for new sports bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.

Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!

Featured image lingerie:
Parfait Active Sports Bra P5542 in Tea Berry
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Published by

Rebecca Strong

Rebecca is a Boston-based freelance writer who focuses on style, fitness, food, and travel. She has contributed to such publications as HuffPost, Elite Daily and U.S. News & World Report. When she's not writing, she can be found at home or in the studio working on the songs for her upcoming album. Her favorite bra is a black demi-cup style with all-over-lace — timeless and feminine.

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