Best Sports Bras With Built-In Cups

November 18, 2020

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I have been searching high and low for the best sports bras for a very long time. Initially, I thought I had found one that I loved, but I ended up despising it because of its removable cups. They, honestly, just don’t hold up overtime, and I dread fishing the cups back in. This sent me on my search for the best sports bra with a built in cup.

For this quest, I was searching for a bra that had a built-in, molded cup for a little extra protection along with comfort and a fantastic price point. A tall order, I know. When I reached out to you all, you delivered some fantastic suggestions! I ended up with 27 sports bras to test and not a single one has removable cups!

I’m not going to give an in-depth review of all 27 sports bras because that would take forever, but rest assured that we covered all the bases and price points. We tested SHEFIT, Under Armor, Victoria’s Secret, Nike, and Lululemon along with box store brands like Walmart and Target – just to name a few. I tried them all on multiple times and have been wearing some of them for many, many months.

Stack of all contenders

Let me preface the results by reiterating that these are purely my opinions. Everyone has different body types, preferences, and activity levels. There are a lot of factors that go into this that make it pretty subjective. So what is perfect for me may not be the one you love, but I tried my best to be objective and take the variables into consideration so I’ve grouped them into categories. Regardless, let’s just vow to get rid of the removable cups – ok?

The 27 sports bra contenders laid out

Best Sports Bras with a Zipper Front

6 sports bras with front zip closures
From Left to Right, Top to Bottom: Lululemon, Target. Nike, SHEFIT, Under Armor, Victoria Secret

One of the huge benefits of these is the ability to easily remove the bra when you’re sweaty and sticky from a work out. They actually clasp first underneath the zipper so you don’t need to worry about having it pop open unexpectedly. There’s also a layer of protection underneath so the zipper isn’t right against your skin.

My Thoughts

The Lululemon Enlite Bra Zip Front High Support Sports Bra is really popular, and it IS a great bra. It’s great quality with awesome fabric, but I don’t think it better than the rest enough to justify the $100 price tag.

I felt like the All in Motion High Support Sculpt Zip-Front Sports Bra from Target was just as good as Lululemon for a fraction of the cost ($30). The straps are adjustable so you can get a really customized fit, plus the back has is mesh fabric. Overall, it was super comfortable.

I didn’t care for the Nike Alpha Sports Bra. The pads are really stiff – really the whole thing feels stiff – and there’s no way to adjust the straps.

SHEFIT was a brand that you guys really wanted me to try out. SHEFIT is pretty awesome. They sell two bras that are designed to be truly customizable to fit you perfectly. I bought the SHEFIT Flex Sports Bra because it doesn’t have removable cups like the The Ultimate Sports Bra does. As someone without a large chest though, I can’t speak to that. But from my experience, it provided fantastic support. It also has velcro straps both at the shoulders and under the bust. They are surprisingly comfortable because they are padded and don’t dig into the skin. This one didn’t necessarily have a lot of padding in the cup, but because the fabric is so thick and there are two layers of it, it still delivered great coverage and protection.

The Women’s Armour High Crossback Zip Sports Bra from Under Armor was good, but it wasn’t my top pick because it felt like others were slightly better.

The Victoria Secret Knockout Medium Support Long Line Front-Close Sports Bra came highly recommended, and the fabric is amazing but it wasn’t my favorite. It’s actually like two bras in one, and I personally don’t want to wear a regular bra when I’m working out. The clasp of the inner bra kept digging in.

MY PICKS: The Flex Sports Bra from SHEFIT for large-chested women who want high impact support. The All in Motion High Support Zip-Front bra from Target for small/medium-chested women who want high impact support.

Best Sports Bras with a Clasp

Sports Bras with Clasp
Top to Bottom by Columns: Target, Nike / Old Navy, Lululemon, Amazon / Walmart / Under Armor

The High Support Embossed Racerback Run Sports Bra by All in Motion from Target was one of my favorites in this style. The neoprene-like fabric is very comfortable and it has some cool details and adjustable straps.

The High Support Racerback Sports Bra from Old Navy had gaping in the front, so that’s a deal breaker for me.

I also tested the Enlite Weave-Back High Support Bra from Lululemon and my thoughts were the same as those I had with the first Lululemon bra: it’s a great bra, but I can’t seem to justify the price tag when it’s next to other great options for half the price.

I also tested the SYROKAN Women’s High Impact Seamless Racerback from Amazon, which is a lookalike for the Lululemon Enlite bra, and would choose it over the original based on price, but the truth is that neither option was my favorite. The cups on this one wrinkled over time, so if you don’t fill it out completely, it won’t hold its shape.

The RBX Active Women’s Supportive Cross Back Sports Bra from Walmart was actually a great pick. It is less that $15 with a really great fit. It’s a great bang for your buck, but the sizing is limited.

Under Armor has some great options. They all have one molded cup but there’s separation between the two so you don’t have a ‘uniboob thing’ going on. I thought the fit and support of all the Under Armor bras I tried in this category were similar. So my top choice of the three was the Women’s Armour® High Crossback Sports Bra.

MY PICKS: The High Support Embossed Racerback Run Sports Bra by All in Motion from Target and the Women’s Armour® High Crossback Sports Bra from Under Armor.

Best Sports Bras with Elastic Only

Sports Bras with Elastic Only

This is the category that is my personal favorite. It’s what you traditionally think of when you hear ‘sports bras’. I have a smaller chest (34B), so it’s really easy for me to pull on and off, but I totally understand that isn’t the case for those who may need more support or coverage. I love that there’s no hardware, so it’s extremely comfortable.

My Thoughts

The Medium Support Powersoft Adjustable-Strap Sports Bra from Old Navy one has been a long time favorite of mine. It is well loved and one of my go-tos. I love that it has adjustable straps and separate cups. This is probably best for small to medium chests, though.

The Puremove Sports Bra from Reebok and the Dare Crossback Run Bra from Brooks had great potential, but they both gaped a little under the arms.

I wanted to love the Avia Active Fashion Cross Back Sports Bra from Walmart, but I found that there wasn’t separation or the support I wanted.

The Lightweight Lightly-lined Long Line Sport Bra from Victoria’s Secret had potential but I didn’t like how the mesh cut in to my skin underneath.

The UA Infinity Low Sports Bra from Under Armor is great with a thick elastic at the base. It does have thin straps, though, so that may be a hit or miss for you.

The Dri-FIT Swoosh Luxe Sports Bra from Nike is my personal overall winner! It is interesting because it has a separate piece in front that makes it look like a tank. The fabric? Holy cow, it’s like butter. I can’t even put it into words. It is so soft yet provides so much support. I put this on and immediately tore off the tags because I knew I would be keeping it. It comes in a lot of fun colors and the back detail is just the cherry on top.

MY PICKS: the Dri-FIT Swoosh Luxe Sports Bra from Nike hands down with the Medium Support Powersoft Adjustable-Strap Sports Bra from Old Navy as a runner-up.

The winners from each category

I hope that was helpful and you found one that is the perfect fit for you! You can’t go wrong with any of these six winners. I will be keeping all of these and using them often! Did any results surprise you?

Shop the Winners

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  1. Adding that nike best overall one to my christmas list!!!

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