7 of the best zip-front sports bras for running, tested by RW (2024)

7 of the best zip-front sports bras for running, tested by RW (1)

Getting in and out of a sports bra can be a workout in itself – especially if you’ve just finished a particularly sweaty session. And if you're someone with a limited range of motion, then getting ready for your training session is something that should be as accessible and seamless as possible. So, what’s the solution? We present to you - the zip-front sports bra.

Our pick of the best zip-front sports bras

In a rush? These are our favourite editor-approved zip front bras, at a glance. Keep scrolling to read more.

Who is a zip-front sports bra good for?

Zip-front sports bras work in a very similar way to back-fastening bras, says Charly Rhodes, brand manager for sports bra brand boobydoo, with 80% of the support coming from the under band. The key difference is – naturally – how you get in and out of it.

'Front-zip sports bras tend to be of hybrid or compression design, since encapsulation bras have a more rigid cup structure that can't be interrupted by a zip or front-fastening,' she says.

As well as preventing bouncing, sliding and chafing, the main benefit of these bras is the ease of getting them on and off, making them ideal for a number of people. This includes those with limited shoulder mobility, those who have undergone surgery to the breasts or upper body, people breastfeeding or those who simply prefer to see what they're doing, Rhodes says.

And while the best sports bra for you ultimately comes down to your personal preference and individual needs, people with a fuller bust (D cup and above) can benefit from a front-fastening design because it allows for a much wider and robust back support system, helping distribute the weight of your breasts more evenly and, in turn, reducing back and neck pain and improving posture.

What to look for in a zip-front sports bra

If you're not used to wearing a zip-front sports bra, it can – somewhat ironically – be a bit finicky to get on at first. For this reason, Rhodes says people often make the mistake of sizing up to make things easier. 'But you still need to make sure the under band is firm and secure, giving you about 1-2 inches of give,' she says.

'It takes a bit of time to get the technique right, but I would always suggest getting some fitting advice by booking a virtual or in-person fitting appointment so you can be sure it is the right style and fit for you.'

Also, be sure your zip-front bra has good zip covers to protect your skin from the metalwork.

The best zip-front sports bras: Tried and tested

7 of the best zip-front sports bras for running, tested by RW (9)


Nike Alpha High-Support Padded Zip-Front Sports Bra

7 of the best zip-front sports bras for running, tested by RW (10)


Nike Alpha High-Support Padded Zip-Front Sports Bra

This high-support bra has all the quality we've come to know and love from Nike, but with the addition of a zip to make it easier to get on and off. It offers Nike's highest level of support, thanks to the encapsulation support, which individually supports each boob. It's in a racerback style with wide, adjustable straps. There's a hook-eye closure which allows you to get the fit just right and the sweat-wicking fabric features mesh inserts in key cooling places, to keep you dry.



Lululemon Enlite Front-Zip Bra High Support

7 of the best zip-front sports bras for running, tested by RW (11)


Lululemon Enlite Front-Zip Bra High Support

This sports bra really is a dream come true. It's easy to get on and off, thanks to the front-zip fastening, it's buttery soft against the skin and the zip has never rubbed, even over a marathon distance. It's an investment, but if you can afford it, it's one of the most comfortable running bras we've ever worn.

Sizes30-40 A-E

Advertisem*nt - Continue Reading Below


Brooks Dare Zip Run Bra 2.0

7 of the best zip-front sports bras for running, tested by RW (12)


Brooks Dare Zip Run Bra 2.0

A fantastic mid-range option, the seamless design of the Brooks Dare Zip Run Bra helps to minimise chafing, while the Neopreme material sits comfortably against the skin without feeling all hot and sticky. In fact, we’d say this is one of the best sweat-wicking bras we’ve tested overall.

Testers found the bra ran true to size, with an ideal amount of compression from the under band to keep the breasts secure and bounce-free. The straps aren’t adjustable, but this doesn’t detract from the level of support. Testers also liked that the cups are moulded, which creates a natural silhouette underneath your top and means you don’t have to faff around with removable pads when it comes to washing it.

Sizes30-40 AB/CD/DDE


Under Armour Infinity High Zip Sports Bra

7 of the best zip-front sports bras for running, tested by RW (13)

Under Armour's Infinity High Zip Bra works in a very similar way to its standard Infinity High Bra, which is one of our favourite sports bras for bigger busts. It's designed to work with the natural shape of your breasts and features a moulded, PU injected one-piece padding, rather than two separate cups (although it's obviously separated by the zip).

The zip is one of the easiest to do up and the bra feels comfortable on the run, although it would be good if there was a slightly wider range of sizes. Our tester wore the M and said that while the cups were a good size, the under band could have done with being a tad tighter. It's also cut fairly high under the arms, which might not be to everyone's liking. However, these are just small gripes.



Enell Sports Bra

7 of the best zip-front sports bras for running, tested by RW (14)


Enell Sports Bra

If there’s one word to describe the Enell bra, it’s comfort. Specifically designed for C cups and above, it provides full back coverage with wide non-stretch straps helping to distribute the weight of your breasts evenly. We’ll admit, we were a little surprised by the shiny, silk-like material of the bra at first, but after several runs, testers found it to be nicely sweat-wicking and soft against the skin.

While the Enell is a front-fastening sports bra, it actually uses hook and eye closures rather than a zip. Again, we thought this was going to be fiddly and time-consuming to do up, but our tester almost found it more comfortable than a traditional zip-closure and reported their breasts feeling ‘supported without the squish’. Enell offer some of the most generous size ranges we've ever seen too, although make sure you check the size guide because it works slightly differently.

Sizes32 inch to 60 inch bust (see sizing chart)

Advertisem*nt - Continue Reading Below


Marks and Spencer Goodmove Ultimate Support Zip Front Sports Bra

7 of the best zip-front sports bras for running, tested by RW (15)


Marks and Spencer Goodmove Ultimate Support Zip Front Sports Bra

This Ultimate Support bra from M&S comes in at an affordable price of £26. Our testers found the zip slightly more fiddly and temperamental than others, but once you’ve got the knack of it, the under band and straps provide an impressive level of support. The fabric feels soft against the skin too. We would recommend sizing up on the band though, as it runs on the small side.

Sizes32-42 F-H


Sportjock D3 Sports Bra

7 of the best zip-front sports bras for running, tested by RW (16)


Sportjock D3 Sports Bra

Elegant yet understated, the SportJock D3 Sports Bra is one of the most flattering zip front bras we've tested, and while the wide back design may be too much for some, our tester liked that it could be warm as a crop top style bra in the gym or during the summer months.

The bra secures via three metal hook-and-eye closures and a zip, with no tugging or pulling of the zip required. The material is almost T-shirt-like, sitting comfortably against the skin and keeping you chafe-free. If this sounds like it's going to be stuffy and uncomfortable, though, don't worry – one of our testers wore the bra for a particularly sweaty interval session on the treadmill and found it wicked away moisture well.

It's definitely one for fuller busts, though. Sizing is slightly unusual in that it's based purely on under band size, with cup sizes DD-G lumped under each size. One of our testers, a DD cup, found the under band nice and snug, but there was a tiny bit of extra 'space' in the top of the cup. A wider size range would be beneficial.

7 of the best zip-front sports bras for running, tested by RW (2024)


Are front zip bras good? ›

And the easy-on/easy-off front-zip design has benefits that go beyond not having to wrestle the bra overhead just in time for a gaggle of girls to walk into the locker room. It's also said to be a better solution for breast cancer survivors and women who have shoulder, back, or neck problems.

What bra should I wear when running? ›

Runners with denser tissue will likely prefer encapsulation (think underwire or molded cups) over compression. “If you have fattier and less dense breasts, tissue compression will typically feel better because softer breasts compress more easily against the chest wall,” says Ruckman.

Is it OK to jog in a sports bra? ›

This makes a sports bra vital during exercise as it prevents damage to the breast by not allowing the breasts to move as independently as they would without a sports bra. It has been suggested that not wearing a sports bra can have an effect on your performance.

Who makes the best high impact sports bra? ›

The Brooks Crossback Run Bra 2.0 offers a seamless, compressive fit, and provides excellent support, thanks to its sewn-in molded cups. This bra features non-adjustable, wide crossback straps that won't dig in, plus, laser-cut ventilation around the band to help keep the wearer cool.

Why are zip sports bras better? ›

A sports bra with a front zip is much more comfortable, convenient and functional than a regular bra. A sports bra with a front zip provides support, prevents chafing and offers easy access to your breasts. A front zipper sports bra can be worn by any woman who wants to feel comfortable during her workout.

What bra to wear if I hate bras? ›

If you hate wearing bras, then there are many alternatives available to you. The most popular alternatives includegoing braless, underwire bras, comfy bras, t-shirt bras, or opting for a seamless bra. These all offer different levels of support and coverage depending on your needs.

How many sports bras should a runner have? ›

Having more than one sports bra makes it easier to rotate between activities and workouts. If you are active three days a week or more, for example, it's ideal to have three sports bras: one that you use, one in the laundry and one in the drawer ready to go for the next workout.

Is it bad to Run Braless? ›

No. It is not bad. If you have larger sized breasts, certain exercises can cause you soem discomfort without the added support, but you aren't going to cause any damage or hurt yourself or anything like that.

Does running braless hurt? ›

"Whether that something different is a different activity or different clothing, it's important to know." Some high-intensity workouts, like running, bootcamp classes, or dance, do require that you wear a bra, because the gravity and movement can cause breast pain, Dr. Moore says.

How do I stop my breasts from bouncing when I run? ›

Not just any sports bra will do – opt for high-impact bras specifically designed to minimize bounce during vigorous activities. Look for features such as adjustable straps, a snug underband, and encapsulation or compression technology to provide maximum support and minimize movement.

Are 36D breasts large? ›

A 36D bra is considered a large bra. Bra sizes can vary between brands and styles, but generally, a 36D is considered a larger size. Band size 36 is considered a medium to large band size, and cup size D is considered a larger cup size.

What is considered a large breast cup size? ›

With standard sizing, you can expect a 32C and a 32D to be bracketed together as a Small, a 34C and a 34D to both be Medium, a 36C and 36D to equate a Large, and so on, up through the fit range.

What impact sports bra do I need for running? ›

Medium-impact sports bras are suitable for most runners who don't want a highly compressive fit. Smaller chested runners usually find that medium-impact bras provide sufficient support for running due to the compressive design that presses the breasts against the chest to minimize movement.

Is it OK to wear a sports bra 24 7? ›

Wearing a tightly-fitted bra for extended periods could impede proper circulation and lymphatic drainage, potentially contributing to breast pain or discomfort. Additionally, there's the issue of moisture and heat retention.

What is the difference between a sports bra and an active bra? ›

Bras are all about giving you the best fit and comfort no matter what you're doing. Both sports bras and regular bras have specific purposes. As the name states, sports bras are more for sport-related activities and regular bras; well, yes, they're for everyday day-to-day activities.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Greg O'Connell

Last Updated:

Views: 6229

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (62 voted)

Reviews: 85% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Greg O'Connell

Birthday: 1992-01-10

Address: Suite 517 2436 Jefferey Pass, Shanitaside, UT 27519

Phone: +2614651609714

Job: Education Developer

Hobby: Cooking, Gambling, Pottery, Shooting, Baseball, Singing, Snowboarding

Introduction: My name is Greg O'Connell, I am a delightful, colorful, talented, kind, lively, modern, tender person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.