The Best Nike Sports Bras for Running
Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned runner, you'll need a supportive sports bra to get up to speed. Here are our top Nike picks for every runner.
It can be difficult to find a sports bra that's comfortable but supportive enough for your toughest workouts. Running is an especially high-impact form of exercise that can lead to distracting bouncing, uncomfortable chafing and even back pain, especially if you have large breasts.
According to an April 2015 study in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, about 17 percent of women cite breast issues as a significant barrier to exercise. If yours have interfered with your speed and distance goals, the wrong bra could be to blame.
To get on track, you'll want the right gear and that includes a sports bra designed for runners. Here's what to look for, along with a selection of bras to choose from.
What to Look for in a Sports Bra for Running
- Fit: the right fit is the most important quality, so make sure that you measure your bra size first. And always test the fit before going for a run. It should fit snugly without feeling too constricting. If there are gaps or wrinkles, or if the band slides up when you raise your arms, it's probably too big. If the straps or underwire dig in, that's a sign that it's too small.
- Support: sports bras come in light-, medium-and high-support varieties. Generally, light-support sports bras are ideal for low-impact activities like yoga. Many runners will require a medium-support or high-support sports bra, depending on cup size. If you have larger breasts, you'll likely want a high-support sports bra.
- Fabric: some sports bras are made from cotton, which absorbs moisture. These can stay wet and aren't recommended for running. Elastane is a synthetic fabric that's quick-drying and stretchy and is sometimes blended with other moisture-wicking synthetics like nylon and polyester. But for the best in moisture protection, opt for Nike Dri-FIT fabric, which is a high-performance microfibre designed to disperse moisture over the surface of the fabric so it can evaporate quickly.
- Sustainability: some Nike sports bras are made from sustainable materials that reduce waste and carbon emissions. If protecting the environment is important to you, pay attention to this when making your choice.
- Padding: padding can provide shape and extra support. Many women prefer a sports bra with some padding, no matter what their bust size is. But it's ultimately up to your preference.
- Adjustability: some sports bras have adjustable straps or hooks at the back. This can help you achieve a more customised fit. Adjustable sports bras also tend to last a little longer, since you can always tighten them when they start to stretch out.
- Underwire: underwired sports bras have plastic or metal supports sewn into the bra under each breast. It provides both lift and support and is especially helpful for larger cup sizes.
- Style: how a bra looks should never be as important as how well it performs but you can consider style when choosing the right bra for you. Whether you love basic neutrals or bold logos and embellishments, there's a Nike sports bra with your name on it.
Medium-Support Nike Sports Bras for Running
Medium-support sports bras typically hold your breasts in place with compression. While a medium-support bra might provide sufficient support for athletes with larger breasts during a low-impact activity like yoga, medium-support bras are typically only recommended for runners with smaller chests.
These medium-support sports bras feature a racerback with wide straps and are available in a selection of colours and cuts with one-piece padded and non-padded options. Select sports bras are even made from sustainable materials.
Nike Swoosh sports bras start at just $30 but if you want to go the extra mile, opt for a Nike Dri-FIT Swoosh or a Nike Pro Swoosh sports bra.
- Nike Dri-FIT fabric keeps you cool and dry while you push yourself to the limits. The high-performance microfibre disperses moisture for fast evaporation.
- Nike Pro fabric uses AeroAdapt technology. The yarns in the fabric actually respond to moisture, creating vents for enhanced breathability. And when you cool down and stop sweating, those vents close to help you retain heat. Nike Pro sports bras are perfect for running in the cold.
High-Support Nike Sports Bras for Running
Most athletes who wear cup sizes C to DD or larger will require a high-impact sports bra, especially for running. These bras typically use a combination of compression and encapsulation for support. The separate cups also help lift and shape.
Each bra comes with adjustable straps and a back hook-and-eye closure so you can achieve the perfect fit. Moulded cups provide shape, compressive support keeps you bounce-free and breathable mesh fabric prevents chafing by keeping you cool and dry. For really strenuous runs, opt for the added sweat-wicking capabilities of Nike Dri-FIT fabric. Even the sweatiest runs are no match for these Nike sports bras.
Plus-Size Nike Sports Bras for Running
Nike has a range of options for high-support, plus-size sports bras. There are padded and non-padded options, along with H-Back and racerback styles.
Each high-impact sports bra has cups, adjustable straps and a hook-and-eye back closure. And many styles are made with Dri-FIT Technology so you can stay dry during your toughest runs.
Designed with athletes of all shapes in mind, these plus-size sports bras come in cup sizes 32F to 44G and are available in a selection of colours so you can match your sports bra with your running apparel.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Do Nike Sports Bras Last?
Most sports bras last about six to 12 months with regular use. But proper care can extend the life of your sports bras, as can having several in your drawer to rotate through. If you notice your sports bra band gets stretched out or slides around, or if the band or straps are causing chafing, it's time for a replacement.
What's the Best High-Impact Sports Bra for Large Breasts?
The best full-support sports bra for larger cup sizes will depend on your needs and preferences, but you'll want to look for one that fits properly, provides good coverage, wicks away moisture from your skin and reduces bounce. The most supportive sports bras typically have encapsulated cups, underwire, padding and adjustability.
How Do You Wash a Nike Sports Bra?
The best way to wash a Nike sports bra is to hand-wash it with a mild detergent in the sink. Avoid fabric softener and lay the bra flat to dry. If you use a washing machine, make sure that you place the bra inside a garment bag before washing on the delicate cycle.