9 Sports Bras That Are (Actually) Easy to Remove After Your Sweat Sesh

Photo: Brooks Running
We all know the feeling: You've just finished an intense workout, you're covered in sweat and ready to shower, and you just. can't. get. your sports bra off. I get ridiculous anxiety in this moment, struggling to take my bra off, overcome by an irrational fear that I’ll be stuck in it forever. Or even worse—stuck with my arms over my head and my breasts exposed. So I wear the same three sports bras that are easy to get on and off on repeat.

But when you work out on the reg, it's tough to make three sports bras work every week—and the support wears out quickly. Is there a dream sports bra that fully supports AND comes off without a hitch? We checked in with bra-fitting specialists to get their recommendations.

Why do sports bras get stuck?

What is it about a sports bra that feels so restrictive when you’re sweaty? “When a person perspires, it can be expected that their clothes will feel sticky against their skin, but if your bra feels too restrictive, or is too difficult to remove after a workout, you may be wearing the wrong size," explains Jane Newman, chief design officer for Global Innerwear at Hanesbrands.

If your bra feels too restrictive, or is too difficult to remove after a workout, you may be wearing the wrong size.

That makes sense. It’s my bra with the tightest band that makes me feel as though I’m going to dislocate a shoulder. Not only will the right bra come off without injury, but it helps in other ways. “A well-fitted, supportive bra can provide chafing relief and prevent discomfort when sweating,” says Newman.

How do you get the right fit?

Whether it’s because of breast pain or too much bounce, breasts are cited as the fourth largest barrier to exercise. Part of the problem is not choosing the right bra. How do you finally find a sports bra that gives you support…without being too tight? Chellie Carlson, wardrobe stylist and styling expert, says it comes down to breast size.

“Full-busted women need an underwire or a highly supportive sports bra to give them proper support. If you do not receive proper support in a sports bra, your breast tissue could be damaged by high-impact movement up and down. Once breast tissue is damaged or stretched it will never go back," she says. It might be best to look for styles that are sized by band and sized by cup to get a more accurate fit.”

On the small side? “Smaller busted women can go with styles that have no wires. These can slip on over the head and have less supportive bands,” says Carlson.

Most importantly, it’s time to stop guessing your size. You can go to a bra store for an in-person bra-fitting session or go virtual for a fitting performed in the comfort of your home.

What to look for in a sports bra

Besides the right size, other factors make for the perfect sports bra. These are some characteristics to look for when finding the sweet spot between adequate support and suffocatingly tight.

1. Fabric

“Fabric is THE most important foundation for any good sports bra," says Chloe Chamberlain, co-founder and chief design officer at athleisure brand Vitality. "Finding a fabric that feels good against the skin and provides good moisture-wicking properties to keep you dry during workouts is very important!”

She suggests looking for polyester or nylon-spandex blends to give you support, stretch, and breathability. “High-quality fabrics will have a better ‘recovery’ rating—meaning they will easily stretch around your shoulder blades when you take them on and off, but will bounce back to their original shape more effectively rather than being irreversibly ‘stretched out’.”

2. Compression and comfort

Sports bras are designed to compress your breasts so they aren’t distractedly or painfully springing with each move. “The level of compression should be enough to minimize bounce and provide support without feeling too constricting. A blend that offers compression while allowing for comfortable movement is ideal,” says Chamberlain.

3. Underbust band

This is the part of the bra that you’re struggling to get off your body. Too restrictive and you can’t pull the thing over your head. But too loose, your breasts are flopping. “Look for bands that are wide enough to distribute pressure evenly, soft against the skin to avoid chafing, but tight enough to lay securely around your underbust," says Chamberlain. "Half the support of a bra comes from the underbust band."

4. Adjustable straps

Finally, find a bra you can customize to your body shape. “Straps that are adjustable allow you to customize the fit to your torso, ensuring the bra stays in place during various activities. Always find that sweet spot that gives you the lift and security you want without putting uncomfortable pressure on your shoulders,” says Chamberlain.

9 sports bras that are easy to get on and off

Ready for a bra that checks all the boxes? These sports bras are easy to get on and off and provide optimal support for your workout.

Pullover sports bras

We’ll start with the classic sports bra—a pullover style. These pullover bras aren't crazy tight and are easy to take off due to their flexible fabrics and minimal compression.

Pullover bras

Hanes sports bra easy to take off
Hanes Ultimate Ultra Light Comfort Women's Wireless Pullover Bra — $40.00

“Wireless pullover bras offer full-coverage, comfort and support, and the hardware-free styles make them easy to remove,” Newman says. This bra features lightweight material, adjustable straps, and a flexible fit that’s perfect for lower-impact activities like walking or yoga. Plus, it’s often on sale.

beyondyoga Spacedye Lift Your Spirits Bra
Beyond Yoga Spacedye Lift Your Spirits Sports Bra — $68.00

Need a bra that easily transitions from the yoga studio to the grocery store? The 4-way stretch offers support and comfort for your workout and beyond. “Spacedye fabric is so yummy and soft and gives a perfect amount of coverage for smaller-to-average busted women,” says Carlson.

hanes sports bra
Hanes Sport Seamless Women's Racerback Sports Bra, Moisture-Wicking — $21.00

“Many seamless bras wick moisture away, improve range of motion, and minimize chafing and itching so the you can move freely and comfortably even when you sweat,” Newman says. This seamless bra is budget-friendly and is designed for medium-impact activities like biking, the elliptical, or hiking.

Zip-front sports bras

Nothing comes off easier than a zip-front bra. Plus, they come in handy if you have any shoulder mobility issues. No need to yank or do bra gymnastics when you can just pull down the zipper.

Zip-front sports bras

shefit ultimate sports bra
SHEFIT Ultimate Sports Bra — $69.00

This is Carlson’s top pick for a zip-front bra. “This is the ultimate high-impact supportive bra for full-busted women. It comes in a wide range of sizes [XS to 6X] and it’s available in 12 colors,” she says. “I like it because it’s a female-founded brand—Sara Mane created the product she couldn’t find on the market. It has an awesome fit and looks stylish enough to wear on its own.”

vitality sports spra
Vitality Activate Zip Bra — $56.00

This bra comes with both a hook-back and zip-front so there should be no problem getting it off—even after a super sweaty workout. “Styles with a higher neckline or racerback designs can provide good coverage and support while still looking stylish. Wider straps or racer back styles tend to offer a higher support level,” says Chamberlain.

victoria's secret zip-front bra
Victoria’s Secret Knockout Front-Close Sports Bra — $55.00

I couldn’t write about sports bras without including my all-time favorite. Supportive for jump roping, burpees, and all other moves that jostle your breasts, this bra also comes off without a struggle. And the cushioned, adjustable straps are oh-so-comfortable.

Adjustable bras

In many ways, adjustable sports bras are similar to your daily bra—but they offer the ultimate support for the most intense activity. “Sports bras with adjustable straps allow you to loosen the bra before taking it off, further enhancing comfort and ease of use,” says Chamberlain.

Adjustable bras

wacoal underwire sports bra
Wacoal Simone Sport Underwire Bra — $76.00

“This style is a tried-and-true workhorse for full-busted women. It offers the highest level of support and comfort and can double as a T-shirt bra,” says Carlson. Its underwire is cushioned to support your tatas without poking or jabbing.

vitality cloud bra
Vitality Cloud II Scoop Bra — $56.00

– Midnight—$56

“This bra is designed to be comfortable for all activities in our best-selling fabric, Cloud II,” says Chamberlain.“Bras with sweat-wicking properties help the garment dry faster. This feature not only keeps you comfortable during workouts but also makes the bra easier to remove when damp.”

PINK seamless air bra
PINK Seamless Air Medium-Impact Sports Bra — $35.00

This is another bra in my regular rotation for my medium-impact workouts. Bras that have a closure in the back can easily be unsnapped and pulled over your head…without being trapped. Bonus, the adjustable criss-cross straps in the back give this bra style AND function.

Well+Good articles reference scientific, reliable, recent, robust studies to back up the information we share. You can trust us along your wellness journey.
  1. Haworth L, Aitkenhead R, Grecic D, Chohan A. Understanding experience, knowledge and perceived challenges related to bra fit for sports participation: a scoping review. Res Sports Med. 2024;32(2):302-315. doi:10.1080/15438627.2022.2102922

Loading More Posts...