A good sports bra is among the most important pieces of exercise gear you will ever put onbut it isn't always easy to buy. "Everybody is unique in terms of the size, positioning and contours of her breasts," says LaJean Lawson, PhD, adjunct professor at Oregon State University and a research and design consultant to the sports bra industry. "Things that pinch, poke and squeeze in all the wrong places can be real workout killers." So Health staffers and readers put more than 100 bras to the test. Here are the 13 survivors.
2 of 13Lisa Shin
Especially Great for Larger Cups
Sports Bra by Panache ($68; herroom.com) Sizes 28-40, B-H
With barely noticeable underwire and full-coverage cups, this bra prevents high-impact jostling. "It kept me secure without the squish factor," noted Allison, a 36D.
"This felt amazing!" was the near-universal response to this top pick. Camille, a 32F, was skepticaluntil she tried it in spin class. "Sports bras without hooks and eyes make me nervous," she noted. "But I felt totally contained."
8 of 13Lisa Shin
Especially Great for Low-Impact
Nike Favorites Sports Bra ($40; nike.com) Sizes XS-XL
"This bra would go from sexy to scandalous on anyone bigger than a B cup," said Robin, a 34B, about this sleek V-neck number. "But for me, the minimal cut looked cool and got the job done.
Well-endowed testers were impressed with this mid-impact bra. As Mia, a 34DD, said, "It's so hard to find sports bras that feel good, provide real support and are cutethis was all three."
12 of 13Lisa Shin
Especially Great for Techie Runners
NuMetrex/Adidas MiCoach Seamless Sports Bra ($55; numetrex.com) Sizes S-L
Not only does this high-impact jog bra keep you contained, but it has a special spot underneath the rib band where you can snap in a heart monitor (not included). "I never use heart rate monitors because the chest strap always slips down when I sweat," said Leslie, a 32C. "But this bra solved that problem."
13 of 13Lisa Shin
Especially Great for Mid-Impact
Under Armour Still Gotta Have It Bra ($25; ua.com) Sizes XS-XL
Wearers were instantly sold on this classic pullover. "A perfect fit," said Crystal, a 36D. "And it stayed put during my circuitno riding up."