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When it comes to living an active lifestyle, you can’t underestimate the importance of proper support, either from a designated spotter or your go-to sports bra. And while spotters are usually reliable, sports bras can be a pain — literally. There’s sliding, pinching, crushing (we could go on) can get in the way of your favorite workout, let alone motivation.
We’ve certainly been there, which is why we asked some of our favorite brands to send us what they consider their most comfortable offerings for a variety of disciplines and sizes (after all, different workout styles and cup sizes have different needs).
Read on for some of the innovative, supportive, barely-there picks that will (finally!) keep up with you, whether you’re just going a light walk or preparing to square off with an opponent in the boxing ring.
Under Armour Eclipse Low Impact Women’s Sports Bra, $40, Amazon
This sports bra from Under Armour is designed with a custom StudioLux® fabric for a snug, yet soft and almost silky, hold. A special moisture-transporting system also helps wick away sweat and keep you dry. Scoop it up in one of the six shades — we love the "Tropic Pink" and "Bayou Blue" for summer — for hiking at a favorite warm-weather spot.
Gap Low Impact Coolmax Layer Triple-Strap Sports Bra, $37, Gap
Low impact meets high performance in this scoop sports bra from Gap that features triple rouleau straps to allow for a wider range of motion, along with removable padded cups for adapting to your workout. It also boasts a special Coolmax® lining, which is perfect for that outdoor yoga or trapeze class!
Manduka Damana Sediment Bra, $52, Amazon
This bra from Manduka is as comfy as it is chic, complete with an ultrasoft interior and four-way stretch material to support your every crouching tiger. It even includes a special mesh panel to help keep you ventilated.
Athleta Inhale Bra, $44, Athleta
Stylish enough for everyday, yet supportive enough for your go-to Pilates class, this bra from Athleta has a breathable fabric and adjustable shoulder straps for a barely-there fit. We personally love the navy multi-pattern version shown (it can double as a swimsuit top when you’re in a pinch!).
Victoria's Secret Seamless Strappy Sport Bra, $24, Victoria's Secret
A lightweight, seamless sports bra that’s cool enough for the club? Yes, please! This new offering from Victoria’s Secret is both high fashion and high function. Rock once of the four shades under your favorite cutout tank or tee (or even by itself) for your next scheduled or impromptu dance class. It’s so soft that there’s a good chance you’ll forget you’re even wearing it.
C9 by Champion Women’s Power Core Compression Padded Racerback Sports Bra, $17, Amazon
This sports bra from Champion’s special C9 by Champion collection combines the support and shape of cups with the hold and sleekness of compression, resulting in a comfortable, effective and flattering fit. Bonus points for the playful geometric print (available in "Steel Blue" and "Fuschia").
Aday Smoke It Up Bra, $55, This Is Aday
This supersoft, lightweight and extremely stretchy bra from Aday feels like a second skin. It also features a wicking system, cutouts and UV protection, making it perfect for walking and riding your bike to work.
Fabletics Macey Sports Bra, $35, Fabletics
This strap-happy pick from Kate Hudson’s Fabletics line is seamless, moisture-controlling and offers a wide elastic bottom band that won’t cut into your sides as you move. It’s also customizable: just remove and add the cups to fit the workout occasion.
Old Navy Go-Dry Racerback Medium Support Sports Bra for Women, $27, Old Navy
Sleek and snug, this sports bra (available in seven shades) from Old Navy hugs the body tightly, yet comfortably, offering support from the bottom and above. It also manages to keep you dry so you don’t need to worry about it slipping and having to adjust throughout that spin class.
Forever 21 Medium Impact Sports Bra, $14, Forever 21
This is another one of those sports bras that looks almost too good to be true. The nylon-spandex fabric blend fits like a glove and the front and back cutouts allow for more breathability as you sweat. Oh yeah, and it rings in at under 15 bucks. Score!
Lululemon Enlite Bra, $98, Lululemon
This innovative bra from Lululemon was developed with the serious mover and shaker in mind. The 360-degree design has encapsulating cups and a bonded underband to provide the ultimate support, along with the brand’s custom Ultralu fabric, making it soft and sweat-proof. We took it for a test run and never looked back.
Reebok Running Compression Sports Bra, $50, Reebok
Go ahead and hit the trampoline (regardless of your cup size), thanks to this compression sports bra from Reebok. Not only does it control bounce (with molded cups for added shaping and hold), but it’s not bulky, unlike many other sports bras that cater to larger sizes.
New Balance Power Bra, $24 - $65, Amazon
This is another sports bra designed to support fuller sizes. In addition to its sculpted, molded cups, it has stabilized frames and a built-in cradle to keep everything in place, along with gel-infused straps for added comfort. We love this bright lime shade for night workouts!
Adidas CMMTTD Marble Chill Bra, $42, Amazon
This fitted bra from Adidas features adjustable, racer back straps with soft-brushed elastic to support a wide range of motion and provide comfort. The high-tech design is also made with a special climachill™ mesh-like fabric with aluminum-silver dots that deter heat for keeping cool during those summer obstacle courses.
Nike Pro Rival Women’s High Support Sports Bra, now $60, Amazon
The molded, wire-free cups in this sports bra from Nike are covered with soft fabric for added comfort. It also contains an elastic chest band for keeping everything in place and minimizing friction, and is made with special Dri-FIT technology to keep you dry all boot camp long.