The 4 Best Nursing Sports Bras for Runners

When you become a mother (runner), everything changes including (if you are nursing), your chest. And you suddenly become involved in two endurance activities—running and breastfeeding. Having the proper equipment (the best nursing sports bra) becomes paramount for you and your baby’s comfort.

After all, why make life harder as a breastfeeding mother runner than it has to be?

4-best-nursing-sports-bras-for-runners
Here are the 4 best nursing sports bras for runners. Pin these sports bras for runners for later!

Time is often of the essence and comfort is queen. You need ease of access to nurse and squeeze your run in between nursing sessions. You also need ease of access to nurse when your baby is breaking down because they want to nurse ASAP.

It’s been 4 years since I was a breastfeeding mother runner, so I asked other mother runners their opinions and have rounded up the most popular nursing sports bra for runners on the market today.

I also have the DIY method—how to make your own nursing sports bra.

Before I get into the review, please note that it is important to change out of your sweaty sports bra as soon as possible to avoid mastitis. Don’t come back from a run, nurse your baby, and forget to change!

Related: 8 Genius Breastfeeding Tips for Runners

Why invest in a nursing sports bra?

Nursing sports bras for runners are worth the investment because:

  • You don’t have to endure the hassle of removing your sports bra to nurse your baby
  • You can feed your baby quicker with easy access flaps and comfortable cups
  • Nursing sports bras are more comfortable than underwire bras so you can wear them all the time (not just when running)
  • BONUS: Many of these high impact sports bras are cute to wear under tank tops

How do you know if a nursing sports bra fits well?

If you want to find out if a nursing sports bra is going to fit well when running do jumping jacks and run in place when you try it on. If it does not slide, rub, or allow bouncing, then it’s a good candidate. Ensure your purchase has a good return policy (as all these do).

In sum, when trying on a nursing sports bra, you want to ensure 4 things:

1. It is easy to put on and take off. 
2. It is easy to whip those puppies out. 
3. You don’t bounce and the bra doesn’t slip or rub when running in place and jumping (in a try-on test). 
4. It has a good return policy!

Related: How to Start Running Postpartum

The 4 BEST Nursing Sports Bras for Runners

I asked around, did my research, and share which nursing sports bras are the best.

Caden Shae Smoothie Crop Bra — $55

Caden share nursing bra
The Caden Shae Smoothie Cup nursing sports bra is cute and functional.

Best for all-day wear

Who better to ask about nursing sports bras for runners than a pro runner? Neely Gracey, who had her second baby earlier this year, loves the Caden Shae Smoothie Crop Bra. And she wasn’t the only one in my unofficial survey.

Gracey says she loves it because “It has a typical sports bra back while lots of breastfeeding sports bras have clasps in the back which I find a bit annoying. The Caden Shae Smoothie Crop Bra is sturdy, supportive, and has a cute design.”

Related: An Interview with Pro Runner Neely Gracey

The Pros of the Caden Shae Smoothie Crop Bra are:

  • Silky soft fabric
  • Easy to put on
  • True to size
  • Seamless
  • Can wear in the water
  • Can wear to sleep
  • Attractive
  • Can be worn with regular clothes

The Cons of the Caden Shae Smoothie Crop Bra are:

  • Not as supportive for larger bra sizes
  • Not the best sports bra for high impact exercise

Buy the Caden Shae Smoothie Crop Bra.

Lululemon Enlite — $108

Lululemon Elite Bra
The Lululemon Enlite Sports Bra has a zipper front for easy breastfeeding access.

Best for high impact

The Lululemon Enlite bra wasn’t designed for nursing mamas but with its zipper front, it’s perfect for the task.

The Lululemon Enlite sports bra offers a lot of support up to a cup size E and a zip front for easy on/off. Each breast is supported individually, making it ideal for high-impact exercise such as running. Despite being so supportive and durable, the fabric is still soft and breathable.

As one mother runner said, “It’s silky and plush and feels good against the skin. The shaping and fabric in the bust area is somewhat thick, plus the coverage is relatively high, but overall it still breathes well.”

In my experience, Lululemon products are ultra-comfortable and last forever, no matter how many times you wear, sweat, stretch, and wash them.

The Pros of the Lululemon Enlite Sports Bra are:

  • Silky soft fabric
  • Easy to put on
  • Goes up to a size E
  • Durable—lasts forever
  • Seamless
  • Attractive
  • Can be worn with regular clothes

The Cons of the Lululemon Enlite Sports Bra are:

  • Straps are long and not adjustable
  • Pricey

Buy the Lululemon Enlite Bra.

Cake Maternity Zest — $80

Best for larger sizes

Cake Maternity Zest Sports Bra
The Cake Maternity Zest Sports Bra is supportive with a large spectrum of sizes.

The Cake Maternity Zest sports bra is one of the most supportive nursing sports bras on the market. It has a flexible underwire and hook closures in the back to provide maximum support. And it goes up to cup size K.

The supportive cups are structured to support each breast individually to keep them in place and offer a snap clip for easy access for your babe. The sports bra offers spacer fabric in between two layers to allow moisture to evaporate and provides a cooling effect.

One mother runner says, “This bra is incredibly comfortable in addition to being very, very pretty! I am a 12DD so it’s hard to get good lift and separation, but this bra provides both. It’s not quite as supportive as others, however.”

The Pros of the Cake Maternity Zest Sports Bra are:

  • Supportive for bigger busts
  • Breathable and cool
  • Can be worn with regular clothes
  • Super soft fabric
  • Easy access for breastfeeding with flaps
  • Durable fabric ready to withstand frequent washing

The Cons of the Cake Maternity Zest Sports Bra are:

  • Straps are not adjustable
  • Underwire isn’t the most comfortable some mother runners say
  • Some report that the cup sizes aren’t big enough for larger breasts
  • Hooks in the back can be annoying to put on
  • Best for moderate-intensity activity, not high impact

Buy the Cake Maternity Zest sports bra.

Brooks Dare Racerback Run Bra–$75

Most adjustable

Brooks Dare Sports Bra
The Brooks Dare Racerback Sports Bra as adjustable straps and moldable cups.

Breastfeeding mother runners were huge fans of Brooks’ Juno sports bra with its adjustable straps and molded cups. However, Brooks took this model, along with the ever-popular Fiona model, off the market and replaced them with their Dare collection.

The Dare collection is a result of lab-tested research and collaboration with the company Moving Comfort.

And mother runners approve!

The Dare Racerback Run Bra is not a nursing sports bra. But because of its adjustable Velcro straps and clasps in the back, it can grow or shrink with breastfeeding mamas’ chest sizes—making it a fan favorite.

One mother runner says it is “durable and supportive with Velcro that makes it easy to put on and whip them out.” Another mother runner says she loves the lightweight moisture-wicking fabric.

The Pros of the Brooks Dare Racerback Run Bra are:

  • Soft, breathable fabric
  • Easy to put on
  • Adjustable straps
  • Durable design
  • Seamless
  • Molded cups

The Cons of the Brooks Dare Racerback Run Bra are:

  • No flaps for breastfeeding
  • Molded cups
  • Clasps can make it difficult to put on

Buy the Brooks Dare Racerback Sports Bra.

Honorable mention nursing sports bras

best-sports-bra-for-nursing-runners
Here are the 4 best nursing sports bras for runners. Pin these sports bras for runners for later!

The Senita Nursing Go With the Flow Nursing Sports Bra, coming in at $32, is a wonderful inexpensive option for breastfeeding moms. It boasts flaps, an array of colors, and goes up to a size XXL.

The Ingrid & Isabel Maternity and Postpartum Sports bra ($40) also offers an inexpensive nursing sports bra with support good for medium to low impact activity. Mother runners find its seamless design comfortable and the fabric stretches with growing breast size. There are no flaps with its design, however.

Nike also now offers a maternity and postpartum line ($55) making pumping and nursing easier with its medium impact models. However, mother runners had mixed reviews on the comfort and accessibility of the designs.

The best way to know what works best for you is to try them. All our bodies are different and so it’s key to try a bra, run in place, jump up and down, and return if necessary.

How to make a nursing sports bra

When all else fails, you can convert a regular bra into a nursing bra. I had a couple of nursing sports bras but found that simply pulling the bottom of my sports bra up was sufficient for easy access. In my experience, sports bras make wonderful nursing bras for nursing those hungry babies stat.

If you’re a postpartum runner, I’d love to help you with your goals. Check out my run coaching services, now offering three different tiers to fit your needs!

 

 

 

 

 

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