The Best High Impact Sports Bras for Hiking and Trail Running


Panache Bra

Panache Bra

If you are into trail running (also called fell running in the UK), mountain biking in rough terrain or perhaps just execute your hikes in a high tempo, you might be better off wearing a high-impact sports bra rather than a medium support sports bra. For each running stride you take without a supportive sports bra, your breasts will bounce in a horizontal 8-figure motion, moving as much as one inch for an A cup and up to three inches for a D cup. This might not only result in discomfort (and thus possibly a diminished performance), but also damages on the breast tissue which can cause drooping and sagging. A good sports bra will reduce the bounce of your breasts with 50-60% – as long as it fits you right and is appropriate for the activity you are performing, e.g. high support for high impact activities (running, jumping etc.), medium support for medium impact activities (hiking, skiing) and so forth. You can of course also wear a high impact bra for low and medium impact activities such as hiking, mountaineering and climbing – or even in your everyday life if you just prefer that extra support.

In the following we have found the five best high impact sports bras for trail running as well as hiking, climbing and mountaineering.

1. Buying a High Impact Sports Bra – What is important?

Support:

Unlike the majority of medium impact sport bras, high impact sport bras often provide encapsulation instead of – or in addition to compression of the chest. This means that rather than compressing the breasts against the chest wall, each breast is encapsulated in its own cup. Hereby you get a higher level of support while medium impact bras mainly rely on the wide elastic band beneath the breasts for support.

Material:

The material of the sports bra should be breathable, moisture-wicking and soft to the touch as the skin on the chest and around your armpits can be quite sensitive. However, it should be mentioned that the more supportive a sports bra is, the less likely it is to be completely effective at wicking sweat away due to the stronger and often thicker material and construction. A more secure sports bra is also likely to cover more skin on your front and back in order to provide the best support possible.

Fit:

It is very important that your bra fits you right – especially if it is a sports bra for high impact activities as you are otherwise more prone to issues like back pain, shoulder pain and general discomfort. When you are putting on your sports bra, pay attention to the following:

Signs that it is too small:

  • If you are spilling out of it (front, back or both). However, also make sure that the straps are not too short/tight; they should be secure, but comfortable.
  • It is severely digging into the flesh around your arm pits.
  • You cannot take a deep breath comfortably. A high impact sports bra should be tighter than your everyday bra, but not THAT tight.

Signs that it is too big:

  • If the (new) sports bra has a hook-and-eye closure in the back, it should feel secure at the most loose setting. As a sports bra loses elasticity with time and use, you will then move towards the tighter setting.
  • The cup material puckers or creases. It should lie smoothly over your breasts. The cups should hug (but not squeeze) your breast rather than feeling loose.
  • If the elastic band under the breasts travels up your ribcage, when you raise your arms above your head. It should stay in place.

For more information on how to make sure that your sports bra fits you beautifully and efficiently, we recommend watching the Panache sports bra video below.

Finally it should be mentioned that not all sports bras are suitable for all sizes of breasts. There is no reason to use a super supportive bra like the Enell sports bra below for a small- or medium- sized chest, while women with very large breasts will not get the desired high impact support from the Champion or Asics sports bras below, even if they can fit in them.

Care:

Three of the five sports bras below can be washed in a machine, but it should be noted that hand washing will prolong the life of all bras – not just those for sports. However, it can be annoying to wash by hand in the 21st century – and if your machine has a special gentle program, it might be okay to throw your bra in the washing machine once in a while. Just remember to put it in a special washing pouch (or closed pillow case), steer clear of softeners and keep the temperature low. Never tumble dry it, though!

2. The Best High Impact Sports Bras Review

Best High Impact Sports Bras for Hiking and Trail Running

Best High Impact Sports Bras for Hiking and Trail Running

  1. Champion Show-Off Sports Bra
  2. Panache Sports Bra
  3. Enell Sports Bra
  4. Triumph Triaction Endurance Sports Bra
  5. Asics Adjust Sports Bra

Comparison

Feature/Product Champion Show-Off Sports BraPanache Sports BraEnell Sports Bra
Triumph Triaction Endurance Sports BraAsics Adjust Sports Bra
Material76% Nylon, 24% Spandex49% Polyamide, 36% Polyester, 15% Elastane90% Nylon, 10% Lycra, Spandex82% Polyamide, 18% Elastane72% Polyester, 28% Spandex
SizesS-XL (4)34B-34J (65)00-8 (10)32B-38F (22)XS-XL (5)
Fits approx.32A-38DAll but smallest32C-52GMost32B-40C
CupsYesYesYesYesYes
Adjustable strapsYesYesNoYesYes
ClosurePull-on + hookHookHook (front)HookPull-on + hook
Care Machine washHandwashMachine washHandwashMachine wash
Champion Show-Off Sports Bra

Champion Show-Off Sports Bra

1. Champion Show-Off Sports Bra

Suitable for:

  • Trail running
  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Mountain biking

As mentioned in our review of the best medium support sports bras for hiking, Champion has a lot of good sports bras – categorized as providing either medium, high or maxium support. The Champion Show-off Sports Bra is classified as a Maximum support bra as the wide bottom band and smooth molded cups help to keep your curves in place and looking good at the same time! The sports bra has a classic, if somewhat bare racerback with a small keyhole detail and a hook-and-eye closure for tightening the band and easier access. The material is moisture-wicking mix of Spandex, nylon and polyester with panels of performance mesh in front and back for additional ventilation. The Champion Show-off Sports Bra is available in multiple color combinations, ranging from bright and funky to elegant and downplayed.

 

Pros:

  • Breathable material
  • Natural shaped cups
  • Straps adjust in front

Cons:

  • Limited range of sizes compared to other sports bras

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Video

Panache Sports Bra

Panache Sports Bra

2. Panache Sports Bra

Suitable for:

  • Trail running
  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Mountain biking

The Panache sports bra has several awards under its belt, such as the UK lingerie award in 2015, 2013 and 2012 and will fit most women with its whopping 65 available sizes, starting at 34B. Rather than compressing the chest, this sports bra encapsulates each breast which according to Panache’s own research reduces up to 83% bounce. The straps are broad, padded and adjustable, with a quick criss-crossing option to hook the straps together in the back. The bra is always available in black, grey and white, but also in several vibrant colors which change according to season. The Panache sports bra also comes in a non-wired version; however, it only goes up to H38 and thus covers slightly fewer sizes.

 

Pros:

  • Encapsulation design
  • Great breathability
  • Wide selection of sizes
  • Straps can easily be criss-crossed

Cons:

  • Handwash

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Video

Enell Sports Bra

Enell Sports Bra

3. Enell Sports Bra

Suitable for:

  • Trail running
  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Mountain biking
  • Everyday use

When it comes to holding in and supporting the largest chests during high-impact sports, nobody quite beats American Enell. The high-impact sports bra is actually patented due to its amazing ability to support C-cups and above. That being said, it might not be for everyone as the Enell sports bra has some very different features such as the 10 hooks which are closed in the front and a full back with stabilizing panels. However, users say that with a little practice you can actually get in and out of it pretty fast. Enell also has a slightly different sizing system than other lingerie manufacturers. Rather than relying on you knowing your cupsize (which may or may not be valid for particular brands and their models), the sizes (00-8) are based on the measurement of your chest at its widest and the width of your rib cage. Hereby the sizes can accommodate busts measuring from 32 inches (size 00) to 60 inches (size 8) – which should cover most well-endowed women. The shiny material might not look too modern, but is treated with Naturexxx  to wick away sweat. The Enell sports bra is available in several bright colors as well as black and white.

 

Pros:

  • Both encapsulates and compresses
  • Wide straps
  • Stabilizing criss-cross back panels

Cons:

  • Mediocre moisture-wicking

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Video

Triumph Triaction Endurance Sports Bra

Triumph Triaction Endurance Sports Bra

4. Triumph Triaction Endurance Sports Bra

Suitable for:

  • Trail running
  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Mountain biking
  • Everyday use

In 2016 Triumph celebrates its 130th anniversary as a lingerie manufacturer, but there is nothing old-fashioned about the Triumph Triaction Endurance sports bra. It is made of an advanced moisture management fabric which dries quickly and the hook-and-eye closure is made of microfiber to reduce rubbing and irritation. The inflexible top panels and double layer molded cups of the Triumph sports bra ensure superior support, while also giving a nice natural shape to your breasts – no mono boob here! The straps are quite wide and cushioned with gel pads over the shoulders. The Triumph Triaction Endurance sports bra comes in 22 different sizes, starting at 32B and ending at 38F and 40D.

 

Pros:

  • Natural shaped cups
  • Straps can be adjusted to run straight or criss-cross
  • Great moisture-wicking performance

Cons:

  • Handwash
  • Limited colors

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Asics Adjust Sports Bra

Asics Adjust Sports Bra

5. Asics Adjust Sports Bra

Suitable for:

  • Trail running
  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Mountain biking

Among the top-notch running underwear Asics offers, we had to choose the Asics Adjust sports bra for this list as it offers maximum support for medium-sized chests (approx. 32B-40C) and has a versatile fit with adjustable straps (which can also be crisscrossed) and a special hook for the bottom band, so it can be tightened further. Its interior is seam-free and the encapsulating molded cups both hold you in and provide coverage and shape. The soft material has good moisture-wicking properties and strategically placed mesh panels enhance breathability. The Asics Adjust bra is available in solid colors as well as more funky prints.

 

Pros:

  • Great breathability
  • Supersoft material
  • Straps can be adjusted to run straight or criss-cross

Cons:

  • Only offers support for medium-sized chests
  • Limited range of sizes

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