WHEN you’re well-endowed in the chest region, finding a sports bra takes a bit more effort than just throwing a £10 one off the rack into your shopping bag and calling it a day.
Sports bras for large chests are usually a lot more expensive than those for smaller breasts, so you’ll want to make sure you’re investing in the right one for you.
We’ve all been duped by sports bras that claim to be up to the task of containing large breasts, but when push comes to shove they’re hardly more supportive than a regular bra.
In order to save you some money, time, and back pain, I made the most of my 32E chest and tried out eight of the best sports bras for large chests so you know which one’s are up for the job.
Best sports bras for large chests at a glance
- Best overall: Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Bra
- Best high-impact sports bra: Panache Wired Sports Bra
- Best padded sports bra: Pour Moi Energy Empower Lightly Padded Convertible Sports Bra
- Most stylish sports bra: MP Women’s Power Ultra Strappy Sports Bra
- Best sports bra for pilates: TLC Sport Luxe Cross Back Gym Bra
- Best sports bra for yoga: Boody Motivate Longline Sports Bra
- Best long-line sports bra: MP Women’s Power Longline Sports Bra
- Best zip-front sports bra: TLC Sport Zip Front Cropped Tank
Best overall: Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Bra
- Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Bra, £50 from John Lewis – buy here
Pros: Significantly reduces bounce, doesn’t rise up when running, holds breasts in place without feeling constricting.
Cons: Expensive, tight underbust band
Of all the sports bras I tried during my research for this review, none eliminated boob bounce quite like the Ultimate Run Bra from Shock Absorber. In my experience, even the highest quality sports bras can’t hold my boobs totally in place.
But when I ran in this one it took me a second to realize what felt different and its that my boobs weren’t bouncing in step with my feet.
When I first saw the bra I wasn’t sure how something with no padding and such a lightweight material would be effective, but somehow, it works.
I found the waistband to be quite tight, not necessarily uncomfortable but it felt slightly constrictive. It was worth feeling totally secure though, so that’s a trade-off we’re willing to make.
Size range: 30A – 38G, Style: Wired bra with back clasp, Suitable for: High-impact workouts, Machine washable: Yes, Underwire: Yes
Best high-impact sports bra: Panache Wired Sports Bra
- Panache Wired Sports Bra, £42 from Bravissimo – buy here
Pros: Extensive size range, comfortable moulded cups, perfect for all workouts
Cons: Expensive, hand wash only
The Panache Wired Sports Bra was very comfortable, while still being able to keep my breasts locked into place during a HIIT workout and during a run – a win/ win in our books.
The cut of the bra is flattering too and doesn’t give you that unfortunate uni-boob look other sports bras are notorious for.
The effectiveness, comfort, and style of the bra have made it the first one I reach for when I work out. The only real downside for us was the fact it has to be hand-washed, which isn’t very convenient when you have a penchant for sweaty workouts.
Size range: 28DD – 40 GG, Style: Moulded, seam-free cups with underwire and adjustable back style, Suitable for: High and low-impact workouts, Machine washable: No, Underwire: Yes
Best padded sports bra: Pour Moi Energy Empower Lightly Padded Convertible Sports Bra
- Pour Moi Energy Empower Lightly Padded Convertible Sports Bra, £28 from Pour Moi – buy here
Pros: Budget-friendly price, thick straps, lots of designs to choose from
Cons: Not as much protection from bounce as other options we tried
Pour Moi is famous for designing gorgeous lingerie in a wide range of cup sizes, and luckily for us, their sports bra offering is no different.
We tested out their Energy Empower Sports Bra and were impressed with its support for both medium and high-impact sports.
The sports bra kept the girls firmly in place during high-impact activities, allowing us to focus on the task at hand rather than any unwanted movement or bounce.
It has wide adjustable convertible straps, is underwired for extra support, and has a cushioned elastic band for comfort, all of which we felt did their job perfectly.
The bra is available in band sizes 32-38 and cup sizes B-G, and it comes in a wide range of beautiful colours and patterns.
Some of the sports bras have matching leggings too – which we can also attest are great.
Size range: B – G cup size, Style: Padded with back clasp, Suitable for: Medium to high impact workouts, Machine washable: Yes, Underwire: Yes
Most stylish sports bra: MP Women’s Power Ultra Strappy Sports Bra
- MP Women’s Power Ultra Strappy Sports Bra, £32 from My Protein – buy here
Pros: Flattering V-neck, built-in padding, stylishly strappy back, good temperature regulation, super comfortable
Cons: Not supportive enough for high-impact workouts
I found this bra to be more in the athleisure category for those with big breasts, as it looks great but doesn’t provide the amount of support needed for a high-impact workout.
The padding and adjustable straps do provide a low level of support, meaning you’re getting more than you’d get with a regular bra, but not by much. The padding adds a highly flattering lift that leaves the girls looking great, but if you prefer a more modest look this might not be for you.
It looks super stylish (especially when paired with high-waisted workout shorts) but would be best suited to long walks, yoga, pilates, and other slow-paced workouts rather than running or HIIT.
Size range: XXS – XXL, Style: Strappy, padded bra with adjustable straps and under band, Suitable for: low-impact workouts, Machine washable: Yes, Underwire: No
Best sports bra for pilates: TLC Sport Luxe Cross Back Gym Bra
- TLC Sport Luxe Cross Back Gym Bra, £38 from TLC Sport – buy here
Pros: Budget-friendly, stylishly strappy back
Cons: Straps not adjustable, not suitable for high-impact workouts
Non-adjustable straps are every big busted girls worst nightmare, so if that’s a deal breaker for you steer clear of this bra.
The material is soft and comfortable to wear, and the cut is undoubtably flattering.
The strappy back is stylish but inhibits support, so this one is most suitable for lower pace workouts like pilates or walking.
Size range: XS – 4XL, Style: strappy, non-adjustable bra, Suitable for: low-impact workouts, Machine washable: Yes, Underwire: No
Best sports bra for yoga: Boody Motivate Longline Sports Bra
- Boody Motivate Longline Sports Bra, £39.95 from Boody – buy here
Pros: Flattering longline length, soft bamboo and cotton fabric, high front coverage
Cons: Slightly tricky to put on, quite tight on the waist, smaller size range than most options on this list
This longline bra was a front-runner for my favourite from this round up.
The organic bamboo material is luxuriously soft, breathable, and supportive while still moving with me during a yoga class without being constrictive.
I would recommend ordering a size down if you have larger breasts as it will feel more supportive and reduce bounce.
Size range: XS – XL, Style: Longline crop top bra, Suitable for: Low-medium impact workouts, Machine washable: Yes, Underwire: No.
Best long-line sports bra: MP Women’s Power Longline Sports Bra
- MP Women’s Power Longline Sports Bra, £26 from My Protein – buy here
Pros: Budget-friendly, flattering longline length, high front coverage
Cons: Stylishly strappy back design, small sizing
I usually find sports bras with strappy backs have ditch support in favour of style, but I’m happy to say this one combines both.
The medium-support bra looks great and is my new favourite for spin class.
The strappy back makes it feel more breathable and it offers the perfect amount of freedom for movement and support.
Size range: XXS – XXL, Style: Longline crop top sports bra, Suitable for: Low-medium impact workouts, Machine washable: Yes, Underwire: No
Best zip-front sports bra: TLC Sport Zip Front Cropped Tank
- TLC Sport Zip Front Cropped Tank, £40 from TLC Sport – buy here
Pros: Soft and stretchy fabric, easy to put on, adjustable zip front
Cons: Tight neckline and arms
If you prefer a more modest sports bra, this zip up bra from TLC zips up to the neck for maximum coverage.
The structured panels help to flatter your silhouette and give the impression of a smaller waist, while also supporting your breasts enough for a low-impact workout.
I enjoyed the flexible fabric of this bra, and found it absorbed sweat quickly and was a perfect match for my sunday morning yoga and coffee routine.
Size range: XS – 4XL, Style: Zip-front, Suitable for: low-impact workouts, Machine washable: Yes, Underwire: No
Do sports bras stop bouncing?
When it comes to choosing the right sports bra, having enough support while you’re exercising should be your first priority.
While it’s unlikely that it will keep your breasts completely still, a good bra should soften the bouncing by more than 50 per cent, according to fitness experts.
How do I choose a sports bra for heavy breasts?
If you’re wearing anything above a C cup, there a few things to keep in mind to avoid painful boob bouncing.
Ditch the traditional sports bra, which usually has a single flat panel and opt for one with two separate cups that will give you decent support.
You’ll also want to look out for options with higher armholes and decent coverage at the front (avoid plunging necklines), so that your breasts aren’t spilling out of the neckline or underarm.
Finally, pick bras with wide straps that will evenly distribute weight without digging into your shoulders and provide greater comfort compared to narrow ones.
How should a high-impact sports bra fit?
Getting your measurements wrong can lead to sagging, back or neck pain and even scarring, so it’s important to get a sports bra that is right for you.
It should feel a lot more close-fitting than your ordinary underwear although sizes are the same.
As a general rule of thumb, you should just about be able to get a finger under the supportive lower cuff of the bra, and it should be tight without cutting into your skin.
Similarly, make sure the straps don’t slip off or dig into your shoulder during high-impact activities.
If you feel the band is riding up in the front or pulling at the back, it probably means it’s not the right size and you’re not getting the full benefit of support.