How To Pick the Best Sports Bra for Large Breasts

February 27, 2013
model wearing moving comfort jubralee bra

Chafing, bouncing, digging, spillage—these are just some of the issues fuller-chested women face when wearing sports bras.


A busty woman myself (34D), I’ve experienced that awkward bounce while running, strap imprints on my shoulders that last for hours following a workout, and irritated skin from an ill-fitting band. So how do you avoid these pitfalls? “Large-breasted women should look for sports bras that offer both compression and encapsulation,” says sports bra fit expert Julie Baxter, vice president of Moving Comfort. Compression presses the breasts against the chest wall to limit side-to-side movement, while encapsulation is the supportive cup space for breasts that prevents bouncing. Full-figured women should also opt for sports bras that come in band and cup sizes for a more exact fit, as well as adjustable straps for customization.

Fit tips for D cups and above:

Band The band should be wide, stretchy, and fit snugly against your body. “Any gaps between you and the band will cause chafing,” explains Baxter. You should be able to comfortably take a deep breath. 

Cups Breasts should be held within the cups without overflowing. “To test coverage, jump up and down to see if breasts spill over the top,” suggests Baxter. 

Straps Wider straps with minimal stretch help disperse weight and prevent bouncing. “Adjustable straps are also great because they offer a customized fit for better support,” says Baxter.

Fabric You want a sports bra that moves moisture away from your body quickly. “Moisture management helps keep the bra from chafing,” says Baxter. There are a variety of moisture wicking fabrics (from nylon to patented materials) on the market, go for the one that is soft and comfortable against your skin.

Using these tips, I tested a variety of sports bras and found several I love (there is hope!). These are the best of the best!

1. Moving Comfort Jubralee (34D)
Love this sports bra. It’s so comfortable I forgot about the bra completely while running. The seam-free molded cups offer great coverage, the Velcro straps allow you to adjust exactly to your shoulders, and the fabric is soft and wicks moisture away. The band fit snugly, didn’t irritate my skin, and I felt secure running.
Great For: High impact, such as running and circuit training 

2. Under Armour Armour Bra (34D)
You can tell a lot of thought was put into the design of this sports bra. It’s lightweight, easy to move around in, but breasts feel secure and supported. The adjustable straps don’t dig into shoulders, cups are padded for shape and coverage, and the side of the bra has a soft mesh flap to alleviate any pinching or bulging side boob. Plus, the material is soft, smooth, and wicks away sweat.
Great For: High impact, such as running and circuit training

3. Sugoi Jackie Power Bra (Large)
Perfect for Pilates and yoga, the Jackie Power Bra is lightweight and offers moderate support. The foam-lined molded cups offer medium compression and the soft helix fabric is flexible, comfortable, and keeps you dry.
Great For: Medium impact, such as strength training, yoga, and Pilates

4. Moving Comfort Rebound Racer (34D)
I’m generally not a fan of the racerback style, but this sports bra won me over. Surprisingly, the straps were comfortable on my neck, offering balanced support. The strap fabric was flexible enough to allow for easy movement without bothering my shoulder blades. The front Velcro straps allow for a personalized fit, the snap back closure keeps the band tight, and the seam-free cups minimize bounce.
Great For: High impact, such as running and circuit training

5. 2XU High Impact Support Bra (Large)
With a lightweight bare minimum approach, this easy-to-wear sports bra features (Power X), a stretchy but firm fabric. The double rear clasp and adjustable straps allow for an almost custom fit. Cups encapsulate breasts for moderate support.
Great for: Medium impact, such as strength training, yoga, and Pilates

6. Athleta Glory Bra (34D)
While I wouldn’t run a mile in this sports bra, it is comfortable, easy to get on and off, and great for low-impact activities. The underwire lifts and separates breasts to avoid the uni-boob look, and the molded cups offer shape and full coverage. 
Great For: Low impact, such as walking and yoga

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