Running alone is already challenging, but it can be especially difficult for women with large breasts.
According to a 2018 study, having large breasts can be a barrier to women who’d like to engage in physical activities. Fortunately, numerous brands in the clothing industry have emerged to help these women enjoy the benefits of a healthy and active lifestyle.
In this post, we’d like to help you make an informed purchasing decision when it comes to your running clothes. That’s why we have reviewed the five best sports bras for running with large breasts.
Our top picks have been categorized based on the level of comfort they bring and the materials the manufacturers used.
But before we introduce the top products, let us share with you some information we have gathered about the effects of running with large breasts. Moreover, let us discuss the factors you need to consider when looking for the best sports bra.
Let’s get to it!
Effects of Running With Large Breasts
According to a 2013 study conducted during the 2012 London Marathon, 32% of the participants experience mastalgia (occasional pain in the breast). The study also found that 17% of women stop their running regime due to this intense and unbearable pain. Not wearing a supportive bra when running can lead to breast pain and other related issues in the upper back, and it is easier to prevent this pain with a good sports bra than it is to cure it.
Breasts are composed of fatty tissue, mammary glands, and muscle. However, the muscle does not support the breasts because it sits deep in the chest. Rather, ligaments help support the breasts. These thin, interwoven bands are not very strong, so when breasts are repeatedly bouncing up and down, the ligaments may be permanently stretched.
Breast pain normally comes with related back pain. A set of regular D-cup breasts usually weigh from 15 to 23 pounds, according to experts. Imagine the weight your body needs to endure to keep up a straight posture when carrying this weight. Heavier breasts require the spine and back muscles to work harder to support the weight. This strain on your muscles can be painful and lead to back pain that could possibly prevent you from doing everyday tasks.
Your breasts’ bouncing level depends entirely on their size and the elasticity of the skin covering them. Excessive breast bouncing tends to make your skin more elastic, making it harder for you to run comfortably in the long term. The more often your breasts are unsupported and bounce, the more elasticity you will lose in them. In fact, bouncing can lead to repetitive trauma to your breasts while you are running that is caused by constant movement.
Excessive movement.Your breasts move more than you think. The larger they are, the more they move and make you feel uncomfortable. Not only are they moving up and down, they also move from side to side when you are running. The more they move, the more tension they are going to put on those ligaments that support them.
Chafing or skin irritation.
The larger your breasts are, the more difficult it becomes to prevent skin-to-skin rubbing in the folds underneath your breast creases. Even if you are wearing a bra, the chafing will occur if your bra is not sweat-wicking.
Also, because your bra will be large to fit your large breasts, it likely has large straps that can cause rashes on your shoulders. The straps may also leave indentations on your shoulders that can be painful.
So what do you need to look for when searching for the best high-impact sports bra in order to avoid these health conditions? Let’s discuss some factors you will want to consider.
Finding the Best Running Bra for You
To feel most comfortable when running, you need to consider the following when choosing your bra:
Your bra’s band must be made of elastic material that can provide full support without causing back bulges. You will want to make sure that the bottom band fits you just right, meaning it is supportive without being too tight. Look for a bra that has an adjustable closure. An adjustable closure can loosen or tighten the band, even if the bra ages and begins to stretch.
The center of your bra should be placed on your breastbone between your breasts. Keep in mind that a correctly fitting sports bra will feel more snug than your typical bra. Test your bra out when trying it on by clasping your hands above your head. If the front elastic band moves up, it means that the bra doesn’t fit you properly. If the front band is not tight enough, you are leaving room for your breasts to bounce up and down.
Having a bra with underwire can add more support. The underwire of your bra should fit perfectly and be placed on your ribs so it doesn’t dig into your breasts. You also want to make sure that the underwire is able to enclose your breasts inside the cups. You don’t want any bulging or gaps either at the top of your bra or on the sides.
While it might seem weird to get a sports bra that has underwire, this is actually a great option for women who have larger breasts and want a good amount of support when doing a high-impact sport. Having underwire will help reduce the amount of compression that your sports bra has to provide. Plus, not only can underwire provide support, it can also help you avoid having the “uni-boob” look that is so common with sports bras.
The cups must be able to cover your breasts completely, without any gap. Remember that your running bra is different from your regular bra in the sense that it will be a bit tighter and should fit you in a snug fashion. Plus, separating your breasts with cups will allow air to circulate and keep you cool. The cups should encapsulate each breast well to ensure proper support.
Your bra’s shoulder straps should be wide and padded so they won’t be able to dig into your shoulders. When you have thick shoulder straps, it distributes the weight of your breasts more evenly throughout the straps. Alternatively, with thin straps, you will likely feel skin irritation and added pressure because the weight is all focused on one small spot on your shoulders. With the best sports bras for large breasts, high-impact activities should not affect the skin on your shoulders.
Now that you know what you are looking for when shopping for the best bra for lift while you’re running, let’s look at some of the top contenders that are available on the market today.
The 5 Best Sports Bras for Running With Large Breasts (2019 Review)
This is the best overall option for any type of exercise. It is made out of a sturdy mix of nylon and lycra materials, which offers great moisture-wicking properties to help keep you cool and odor-free.
This bra is good for both high-impact and low-impact activities because it is so comfortable and provides significant support. Also, unlike some other bras that have a complicated design or are difficult to get on and off, this bra is simple to put on with its front hook-and-eye closure.
The Enell Women’s High Impact Sports Bra has unique straps that do not stretch and therefore help prevent bouncing. The straps are also comfortable for your shoulders, and will not dig into your skin. Additionally, the wide elastic band in this bra and the motion-control neckline ensure that your breasts stay in place while you are running, while also making sure that you stay comfortable.
This bra also has a fullback design with cross-straps that help distribute the weight of your breasts in order to reduce back pain and help you maintain a proper posture while you’re working out.
- Great for both high- and low-impact exercise.
- Moisture-wicking properties will keep you cool.
- Straps are very comfortable.
- Does not fit women who are petite but have a large chest.
- Front clasps may fall off after several months of use.
This is the best option for running. The cups encapsulate the breasts instead of simply compressing them down, which offers ultimate support. This bra was developed and tested using the most advanced 3D motion and biomechanical technology, and it reduces bounce by 83% compared to other bras.
The racer-back option helps to provide extra support and allows you to have more freedom to move when you are running. The smooth inner cups reduce friction on your skin, so you can be sure that this bra will remain comfortable throughout your entire run. This bra’s seams are flat, which helps ensure that it will feel like a second skin.
This bra is easy to put on and take off with its hook-and-eye closure in the back. It also offers ventilating mesh panels at the shoulders and bust to keep you cool during your run. The wide, cushioned straps are gentle on your shoulders and offer an adjustable feature so you can fit this bra to your unique sizing needs.
Finally, the lightweight microfiber fabric is able to wick away moisture from your skin, and the breathable mesh panels ensure that air is able to flow and keep you cool.
- Reduces bounce by 83%.
- Comes in a variety of colors.
- Great for any sport.
- Has to be very gently washed.
- Not as durable as other options.
- Underwire tends to come out.
This bra is budget-friendly, so it is the best option for price consideration. It comes in a pullover style with removable pads, so you can customize your fit. The material is soft, stretchy, and breathable so you will stay comfortable, dry, and cool while you are doing high-impact activities.
The Mirity Women Racerback Sports Bra offers a compression fit with a racerback design, which helps distribute the weight of your breasts. It also features body-wrapping to allow for easy movement, while still supporting your muscles while you’re working out.
This bra will give you the support that you need while doing any high-impact sport. It has a double layer in the back to make sure you are getting the support that you need. It is made from high-quality fabrics that remain dry, and offers a four-way stretch to let you move around in any way necessary. Finally, the cups help prevent chafing to ensure comfort against your skin.
- Great for athletes on a budget.
- Allows air to flow, keeping users cool.
- The material is soft and stretchy.
- May become see-through when wet.
- The wide range of colors are not colorfast, so they must be washed with care.
- Some didn’t feel they got the support they needed.
This is the best sports bra for D cup athletes. It has a double fabric that offers firm support and ultimate comfort. The material is 69% polyester, 28% nylon, and 3% elastane. This Coolmax material is perfect for wicking away moisture while offering a soft feel. It also has mesh panels that help keep you cool.
This bra features a hook-and-eye closure, making it easy to put on and take off. The wide curvature wire in this bra offers users a comfortable and supportive fit. It features double fabric to help give you firm support, in addition to a built-up, padded strap for extra comfort. The bottom of this bra features a flat bottom band that securely fits the user’s body, so you can be sure that it will stay in place while you’re exercising.
- Best for women who are a D cup or larger.
- Offers heavy-duty support.
- Very comfortable.
- Quality is inconsistent.
- Seams are visible under clothing.
- Sizing runs small.
This is the best sports bra for low-impact activities, as well as the best sports bra for saggy breasts. It features contrast-banded trims with zigzag stitching and wide, adjustable straps. This comfortable bra is well-made, reasonably priced, and does not cause chafing.
Users love this bra because it helps to dramatically reduce bounce with its strong, comfortable bands. This bra also comes in a pretty style, allowing users to wear it on a regular basis. It is a well-constructed bra that is thin and lightweight, yet provides maximum support while you’re doing athletic activities.
This bra comes in many sizes and colors, so all users can find one that suits their needs and style.
- Great support for everyday wear.
- Optimal comfort.
- Has wide, adjustable straps.
- Elastic bands break quickly.
- Women with very large cup sizes still experience a bounce.
- Must be hand-washed.
All of the products we provided above are our top picks when it comes to overall quality and comfort. We checked the customer reviews and ratings of each to arrive at this final list. However, our winner for today is the Enell Women’s High Impact Sports Bra, as it is equipped with all the essentials for a long-lasting, comfortable sports bra.