6 supportive sports bras for everyday wear at the yard and in the saddle

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  • If you’re looking for the best sports bras for horse riding you’ve come to the right place. Studies have shown that less than 35% of female horse riders in the UK wear a sports bra compared with the vast majority of runners, despite the impact not being all that different. Three in four riders also reported that they wanted an improvement in bra support, style and fit for riding and breast pain was found to be the fourth-greatest barrier to riding for women.

    Wearing a sports bra can reduce breast movement by 80%, while a normal bra only achieves a 38% reduction. Reducing movement prevents breast pain and damage to the breast tissues, so a good sports bra should be an essential part of your riding kit.

    The good news is that as well as being practical, lots of equestrian brands have designed sports bras that look great – and don’t show through competition shirts, either.

    Choosing the best sports bras for horse riding

    Firstly you need to decide on what style bra is best for you. The general rule is that encapsulating sports bras (where each breast is encapsulated separately, such as the Pure Lime high impact bra) are better for larger breasts, whereas compression bras (that squash the breast tissue into the chest, such as the Shires Aubrion Dagenham sports bra) is preferable for smaller breasts.

    It’s important that your new sports bra fits correctly – follow these steps for a good fit…

    1. Straps – the shoulder straps should not be too tight or dig into the skin. Adjustable straps are ideal.
    2. Cups – there should be no bulging or gaping and the top or sides.
    3. Underband – this shouldn’t slide around your chest, but neither be too tight, uncomfortable or cause flesh to bulge at the edges.
    4. Front – this is the lower edge under the breasts (and sometimes between the cups) and should sit flat against the body.
    5. Underwire – if the bra is wired, it shouldn’t rest on any of the tissue (including in the centre, under the breast or arms)

    When it comes to colour, if you’re worried about it showing through a white competition shirt you’re best to choose a nude or white. Otherwise the world’s your oyster when it comes to fun colours and prints. Finally, to check that the bra is offering you enough support for the level of impact you need, try jumping up and down in it to assess how it might stand up to the job.

    Best sports bras for horse riding

    Shires Aubrion Dagenham Sports Bra for horse riding

    Shires Aubrion Dagenham Sports Bra

    Colours: Black, dark green or patterened | Sizes: XXS–XXL | RRP: £22.99 | H&H Review: 7/10 |

    This medium-support sports bra from Shires has removable padding and a cross back design. It’s made of quick-dry fabric and has a fun look.

    This Shires sports bra was reviewed as part of our independent testing scheme – read the full Aubrion Dagenham Sports Bra review.

    In the UK? View now at gsequestrian.co.uk or naylors.com

    Pure Lime high impact compression bra

    Pure Lime High Impact Compression Bra

    Colours: Black, white or dress blue | Sizes: 28B–44GG | RRP: £50 |

    Made of a moisture-wicking, breathable fabric, this compression bra has isolating and encapsulating cups so offers all-round support. It has a soft and wide elastic underband as well as wide, padded and adjustable shoulder straps that feature a slider hook for a cross-back option.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk

    Derriere Equestrian Sportief bra for horse riding

    Derriere Equestrian Sportief Bra

    Colours: White | Sizes: 7 sizes, covering 32B–38E | RRP: £54.99 |

    This bra from Derriere Equestrian is designed deliver superior support with both compression and encapsulation. It has a low, wide torso band that sits deeper than the average sports bra to give thoracic core support, while the angled padded straps are designed to alleviate neck and shoulder pain. It has completely seamless areas to minimise rubbing, and it offers full zipped entry, which makes it easy to get on and off, and the racer back style prevents straps falling down.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk or gsequestrian.co.uk

    Domyos 960 High-Support Fitness Bra

    Domyos 960 High-Support Fitness Bra

    Colours: Black or pink | Sizes: M C/D – 3XL E/F | RRP: £24.99 |

    This high-support bra is designed for C–F cups and high-impact cardio sports. It has multiple adjustment points – at the straps, front zip and hooks – to help aid fit. It’s made of a breathable, quick-drying fabric to keep you dry as you exercise.

    In the UK? View now at decathlon.co.uk

    Dare2B Hi Impact Sports Bra

    Dare2B Hi Impact Sports Bra

    Colours: Black | Sizes: XS–XL | RRP: £16.49 |

    This pull-over racerback bra is made of a moisture-wicking quick-dry fabric and has a mesh back for additional ventilation.

    In the UK? View now at decathlon.co.uk

    LeMieux Activewear Sports Bra for horse riding

    LeMieux Activewear Sports Bra

    Colours: Papaya, watermelon or bluebell | Sizes: XS–XL | RRP: £24.95 |

    Made from a soft, seamless fabric this LeMieux sports bra offer gentle support for lower impact sessions while letting you move freely. The wicking material help you stay dry and feel fresh.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk 

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