How To Pick The Best Running & Fitness Sports Bras

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By Takia McClendon

We know that sports bras are a staple in millennial women’s wardrobes. In fact, a survey in the NPD Group’s “2015 Bra Journey Insights” report found that 41 percent said they wore one in the past seven days. That's a lot of sports bras. 

But, did you know you should be changing your sports bras every 3-6 months (depending on your activity level)?

If you workout 4-5 days a week, your sports bras should never see a birthday. If your bras are over a year old, stop what you're doing, grab your credit card and do your boobies a favor by replacing your sports bra TODAY.

Keep reading to discover the perfect bra for your workouts.

It's levels to this...

Learn about sports bra categories before you make your next purchase. 

Low-Impact: Low-impact bras are great for women with smaller cup sizes and/or women who do lower impact activities like yoga and strength training. 

Medium Impact: Many of the bras you'll find at specialty stores and high-end retailers will fall into this category. They're great for running, yoga, strength training and more but are ideal for women with A-D cups and/or women with larger cup sizes who do low-impact activities. 

High Impact: High impact bras accommodate all workouts and will fit most cup sizes depending on the brand you're shopping with. If you find yourself wearing two sports bras during your workouts, you should consider a high impact bra to support you. 

Underwire or seamless?

It's a personal choice. Some women feel more supported in a sports bra with underwire while others feel like the wire can cause irritation. If you have very sensitive skin, look into sports bras with little to no seams. 

How much should I pay for a good sports bra?

It's confession time. I purchased a sports bra for $20 from Target in 2012 that I refuse to get rid of. I thought the bra was high quality until I purchased a real high quality bra. A high-quality bra may cost between $40-$65 depending on the brand. I recommend having a few very good bras and some lower quality bras that you can toss on to run errands, etc. 

How often should I replace my sports bras?

Good question. Sports bras usually begin to break down after about 35 washes. The rule of thumb is to have three good bras in rotation to help expand the life span. Besides my sentimental Target bra, I try not to keep bras for more than one year.  

Check out the bras below to get an idea on pricing and key features of sports bras. 

Energy Bra by Lululemon: $52

Every Bra Photo via Lululemon

Every Bra Photo via Lululemon

Description: Need a sports bra that does it all? Look no further! This sweat-wicking cross-strap bra gives you the coverage and support you need for yoga, run, and the gym—without restricting your movement or breath. This bra is intended to provide medium support for endorphin junkies with a B/C cup.


Description: The Nike Classic Swoosh Women's Medium Support Sports Bra has a compression fit and V-back straps that give you medium support and full range of motion during your workout. The compression fit holds you in and minimizes bounce during medium-impact workouts like running, dance and cardio classes.


Description: The Juno is a high-impact bra that fits B-E cup. The lightweight, perforated unicup design gives you that supportive shape, while keeping everything right where it belongs. The adjustable straps and back closure provide a custom fit for lasting comfort.

Brooks offers a wide range of options and sizes. Check out their Fit Finder.