As a fitness editor, I’m always testing all kinds of gym gear in an attempt to help you find the best products. Did you know that you should be updating your running sports bra around every six months, or after around 30-40 washes? After this, the bra might not be supportive enough to protect your ligaments during the run, leading to discomfort and sagging in the breasts. Yet, sports bras can be expensive, so if you’ve been waiting for the Black Friday deals to upgrade yours, now is a good time to shop.
High-impact bras are recommended for activities like running, HIIT training, and playing football. A high-impact bra can fall into two different categories — encapsulation and compression. An encapsulation sports bra will look like an everyday bra, with two separate cups for targeted support that minimizes the movement of each breast. A compression bra will often look more like a crop top, and work by pressing the breasts against the chest to prevent movement. Compression bras are often comfortable for smaller-breasted women.
As a fitness editor, here are the three high-impact running sports bras I’d buy in the Black Friday sales:
Lululemon Run Times Bra: was $68 now $49 @ Lululemon (opens in new tab)
When testing this bra, I ran a half marathon in it fresh out of the box (or, well, bag). I was blown away by the support and how comfortable it was on the run. It has adjustable straps for a personalized fit, and a traditional hook-and-eye fastening which makes getting the bra off after a particularly sweaty run that little bit easier. The straps can be crossed at the back if you’re bothered by straps showing under your tank (I wasn’t), and the fabric is sweat-wicking and fast-drying, so the bra never felt overly soggy on the run. It comes in a B to a G cup, and for $49, this is a great deal.
Brooks Dare Crossback Bra: was $60 now $39 @ Brooks (opens in new tab)
This is another high-impact running bra I often reach for. It’s super comfortable, buttery-soft against the skin, and has a seamless design that avoids chafing, even on sweaty summer runs. I was a little worried about the lack of adjustable straps but found it fits me well and minimizes movement as I run. A pet peeve with sports bras is the removable padding — I always pull them out the second they arrive as I cannot bear the padding bunching, or moving in the washing machine. This Brooks bra has in-built padding and support and really does offer a distraction-free experience. At $39, this is well worth investing in. I have two in my shopping basket already.
Nike FE/NOM Flyknit: was $80 now $50 @ Nike with the code BLACKFRIDAY (opens in new tab)
The Nike FE/NOM Flyknit bra is a compression sports bra that fits more like a crop top that you pull over your head. It’s highly compressive, pressing the breasts against the chest to minimize movement. For these reasons, I’d say it’s best suited to women with an A-C cup looking for a high-impact bra. The bra’s fabric is virtually seam-free, minimizing chafing on the move. I’ve tested this bra on sweaty summer runs and HIIT classes and didn’t have any discomfort. The Flyknit fabric feels compressive and completely minimizes any movement, which does remove all distractions and allows you to focus on your performance. I also found the bra washed well and lasted a good few months. At $50 this is a great time to buy.