You heard it here first: Sports bras are better than ever. Designs are getting smarter, and working with your body to improve performance and make movement more comfortable. And the best sports bras in 2020 are paving the way, with science-backed innovations across the category, solving for issues that have plagued athletes with breasts for centuries.
It’s important to have a sports bra that works with your body for more than just the sake of getting through a workout without sore boobs. Over time, exercising with sub-par support can lead to trauma in your breast tissue, and actually do permanent damage to your body.
“If you have a heavier breast tissue and you’re doing a workout without being properly supported, you can actually risk injury to your Cooper’s ligament, which is what helps keep your breasts up and in place,” says Jessica Pfitser, the Vice President of Le Mystère. “And when you’re doing a rigorous workout without that support, it actually breaks down the tissue.” When this tissue is broken down, it can lead to discomfort and sagging by way of a condition known as “jogger’s breast.” “People don’t realize how important it is—you never want to do a workout without the proper bra,” says Pfitser.
Thankfully, finding the “proper bra” has never been easier. Check out some of the new, tried-and-tested options we’re most excited about, and the tech that’s landed them a spot close to our hearts… in more ways than one.
The best sports bras 2020
Encapsulation meets compression: New Balance NB Power Bra, $60
This year, New Balance released NB Power X Bra, a compression-encapsulation hybrid that also offers adjustable bands and straps for the ultimate in comfortable functionality. This makes our long-standing issues with sports bra-induced uniboob a thing of the past by mastering compression and encapsulation technology in a single sports bra. Instead of squishing your breasts down to your chest the way compression technology always had, or allowing them to flop around a little too freely the way most encapsulation bras tended to, the design combines the best of both worlds to give you support and two distinct boobs at the same time.
Adaptive fabric: Reebok Pure Move Bra, $60
Adaptive Fabric has become a major buzzword in the sports bra world of late. In 2018, both Reebok and Nike launched bras that “adapt” to the way your body moves (the PureMove and the Motion Adapt, respectively), offering flexible support that changes based on the type of workout you’re doing. If you’re running and jumping during a HIIT class, this type of tech will lock the bra close to your chest, but will loosen up for lower-impact activities like Pilates and yoga. In 2020, Reebok is expanding its PureMove size range to include 3XL E and F cups, and the brands has made adjustments to the bra’s design (like a thicker bottom band) to account for the needs of women with larger breasts.
Motion resistant bands: Brooks Dare Crossback Run Bra, $60
Brooks conducted nine years worth of research to come up with the tech behind their latest launch. The brand’s Run Bra uses a hidden bottom band to better support breasts during running. It’s able to reduce motion by up to 70 percent, and women who tested the style saw their marathon finish times improve by as much as 4.6 to 8.6 minutes. The band is fully integrated into the bra, and is sweat-wicking and soft so you won’t feel it during your runs. The result? No bouncing and no chafing, which means you can hit your stride distraction-free no matter how many miles you’re logging.
Moldable cups: Under Armour Low Infinity Bra, $35
Based on research that the female breast can move up to 21 centimeters during exercise, so Under Armour created a bra that moves with your boobs—both up and down and side to side—and works to offset impact. Instead of being made with flat foam and padding, the Infinity is made with liquid foam that molds to your body to fit your particular breast shape. And the coolest part? Since the Infinity is such a shape-shifting chameleon, it can change with your boobs, so even if your breast size fluctuates over the course of the month (like if you tend to grow a cup size or two before your period), you’ll never have to deal with feeling squashed or suffocated by your bra.
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