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7 Best Hiking Bras For All Breast Shapes

Woman hikes in a hiking bra next to the ocean on a sunny day.

I once read a story about a woman who hiked the entire Appalachian trail in a single hiking bra. Just. One. Why on God’s green Earth would someone do this, you ask? Mostly because she could only find one hiking bra that fit, plus was comfortable and effective. I hope she knew how to hand wash bras… because gross.

Ew-factor aside, it’s true that, all too often, it’s super hard to find hiking bras. It’s hard enough when hunting through all the different types of bras to find what you need, much less finding the best sports bra for hiking.

Thankfully, as more women demand comfortable bras for life in general, hiking bras have become better and better, too. While you may be wondering “exactly how many bras should I own,” I promise, you will not regret adding a hiking sports bra to your wardrobe. And luckily for you, I just happen to be your bra fairy godmother—and voila, here is why you need a hiking bra, what you should look for, and where to get one!

WHAT IS A HIKING BRA, AND WHY DO YOU NEED ONE?

Woman throws up a peace sign as she hikes in a forest, wearing one of the best hiking bras out there, a racerback bralette by WAMA underwear.

A hiking bra is a sports bra on steroids. A hiking sports bra, if you will. A hiking bra has all of the support and breathability of a sports bra, as well as special considerations in the construction to avoid things like your backpack digging into your bra straps. So not fun! In addition, some of the best hiking bras have antimicrobial properties, to prevent odor and bacteria, and are moisture-wicking and quick-drying.

Now, it may be tempting to be one of those girls going braless (although this may not be as common as Instagram would have us believe) on the trail, but your chest needs a little more support while you’re zooming up those switchbacks.

Not only are most women—as in 80%—wearing the wrong size of bra, many women also report breast pain or discomfort while exercising. According to a recent study, 56% of surveyed women reported breast pain during their workouts. In addition, women with larger breast sizes are also less likely to workout due to heightened breast pain.

Let me just say this loud and clear: unacceptable! Women of all breast shapes and sizes deserve to explore the great outdoors, and to be comfortable while doing it. Thankfully, studies also show that breast pain significantly reduces when you’re wearing the right bra. So whether you’re a 32AA east-west or a 44DDD teardrop shape, there’s a hiking sports bra for you. Here are a few things to consider when shopping for the best sports bra for hiking.  

BEST HIKING BRAS: PERFORMANCE

Pink-haired woman dances outside in her underwear and racerback bralette, the best hiking bra by WAMA Underwear. Image by Kaytee Stephens.

When choosing the best sports bra for hiking to add to your closet, you need to consider the overall performance of said bra. Here are the different aspects of performance to think about:

  • Padding. Most hiking bras have some sort of padding—the main difference is whether it’s removable or not.
  • Impact. Generally speaking, sports bras are split into three types of impact, depending on the level of exercise—low, medium, and high. For hiking, medium impact and above is best, as you’re mountain-goating around an uneven trail.
  • Compression. The level of compression will vary and give different levels of support, depending on your individual needs.
  • Encapsulation. When the bras are molded into two cups that separate your breasts, like most everyday bras, it's called encapsulation. Bigger cups and higher impact workouts benefit from this most.
  • Underwire. Not all hiking sports bras have underwire. For the bigger cups and more relaxed shapes, underwire might be beneficial, but it’s up to you when you’re considering an underwire bra vs no underwire hiking bra.
  • Construction. The small details of hiking bras are important, as hiking with a backpack increases your risk of chafe from hooks and straps.
  • Fit. Speaking of you, everyone and every boob is different—so what works for you may not work for someone else.
  • Style. You’ll see a lot of racerbacks when perusing styles, since they provide support without adding bulk. But there are other options out there—criss cross, crop, long line, and so forth.
  • Fabric. Certain fabrics make the best hiking bras—more below!

BEST HIKING BRAS: FABRIC

Woman enjoys the sun and forest in her racerback bralette, the best hiking bra from WAMA Underwear.

You all know that natural fabrics are best by now, right? This is a little bit of a harder task when you want breathable, moisture-wicking items of clothing like hiking bras. I mean, who doesn’t sweat an insane amount while hiking? Like, my boob sweat is beyond? No, just me? Well. Ahem.

Although it’s a tall order, there are companies out there finding the best natural materials for hiking bras, or using synthetic materials to make sustainable fabric. While natural materials, like hemp, make more breathable underwear, synthetic materials tend to make hiking bras that are better at moisture-wicking. Here’s a quick guide for the best fabric for hiking bras:

  • Hemp. Hemp is breathable, antibacterial, soft, stretchy and earth-friendly, and makes stellar workout underwear in general.
  • Merino wool. Merino wool is natural, antibacterial, temperature-regulating, moisture-wicking, and provides odor control.
  • Bamboo. Soft, supportive, cooling, often organically grown, as well as providing moisture-wicking, odor control, and breathability.
  • Recycled polyester. Quick-dry, moisture-wicking, non-chafing, can be antibacterial to help with odor. Make sure it’s recycled to stay green!


THE TOP 7 BEST HIKING BRAS FOR ALL BREAST SHAPE

1. WAMA UNDERWEAR RACERBACK BRALETTE

Woman in a hat ventures into the forest, wearing one of the best hiking bras by WAMA underwear—a racerback bralette.

Material | Hemp & organic cotton blend

Impact | Low to medium

Sizes | XS-3XL

Price | $44

Hemp makes the best antibacterial underwear—and the same applies to a hemp bra for hiking. The racerback bralette from WAMA gives you all the antibacterial benefits of hemp, in a sleek, supportive silhouette. With breathable fabric, well-designed support, and natural odor-fighting properties, this bralette is guaranteed to get you up that mountain. Or wherever else you want to go.

WEBSITE


2. SMARTWOOL SEAMLESS RACERBACK BRA

A woman does a cartwheel in the desert while wearing the best hiking bra by Smartwool.

Material | Merino wool inner layer

Impact | Low to medium

Sizes | XS-XL

Price | $60

Merino wool is one of the heroes in the sustainable fabrics world, even though it comes from animals. Smartwool is transparent about their ethical treatment of sheep needed to make their merino wool, which is handy for us, ‘cause the Smartwool Seamless Racerback is good. The soft, stretchy merino, super supportive, and even moisture-wicking? Slow clap.

WEBSITE


3. IBEX BALANCE CROP BRA

A woman is shadowed by the setting sun, and stands near a rock wall, while wearing one of the hiking bras from Ibex.

Material | Merino wool

Impact | Medium

Sizes | XS-XL

Price | $70

Merino wool is a deservedly popular choice when it comes to workout wear and hiking bras, but it’s not always easy to make eco-friendly. Luckily a brand like Ibex exists, ‘cause they care about their sheep, their people, and the planet! Ibex’s merino wool bra, the Balance Crop Bra, is designed for adventurous women everywhere. This seamless bra moves with you, so you can be comfortable while you run, jump, hike, climb, ski, or whatever else your little heart desires.

WEBSITE


4. BOODY RACERBACK SPORTS BRA

A woman overlooks a cove, sheltered by green mountains, while wearing the best hiking bra by Boody.

Material | Bamboo

Impact | Medium

Sizes | XS-XL

Price | $40

Boody uses bamboo viscose to make their Racerback Sports Bra, and it works! Bamboo is naturally non-chafing thanks to the shape of its fibers (who knew fiber shapes mattered so much?), as well as being breathable, stretchy, antimicrobial, and, in Boody’s case, organic. Although when it comes to hemp vs bamboo, hemp will always win—and the viscose process is unfortunately not the most eco-friendly—this is still a great little hiking bra by Boody. (They also make maternity bras, FYI).

WEBSITE


5. GIRLFRIEND COLLECTIVE FLOAT LONGLINE RACERBACK BRA

A woman hikes in a slot canyon wearing the best hiking bra by the Girlfriend Collective.

Material | Polyester made from recycled plastic water bottles

Impact | Medium

Sizes | XXS-6XL

Prices | $42

The Girlfriend Collective Float Longline Racerback Bra is made to be both lightweight and supportive. Not sure what kind of hocus pocus is happening with this bra, but it works! And it works for you on your outdoor explorations—no matter your size, as this bra starts at XXS and goes up to 6XL. Oh, and did I mention that this bra is vegan, and that the Girlfriend Collective made our vegan clothing brands list? And that the longline aspect makes it suitable as a top, too? Heart eyes!

WEBSITE


6. PATAGONIA WILD TRAILS SPORTS BRA

A woman carefully traverses a mountain above a village, while wearing a tank top and the best hiking bra from Patagonia.

Material | Recycled polyester

Impact | Medium to high impact, depending on bra size

Sizes | XS-XL

Price | $65

Patagonia, or, um, Patagucci (thanks to the sometimes high prices), knows their stuff when it comes to the outdoors. And hey, their prices may be higher, but they are well on the way to becoming a sustainable, fair-trade company at all levels—so, might just be worth it!

Patagonia’s Wild Trails Sports Bra is made out of recycled polyester, one of the most effective moisture-wicking and quick-drying fabrics out there. Although synthetic fibers tend to trap bacteria, Patagonia has invented their own fabric to help combat this. Thanks, Patagucc!

WEBSITE


7. HANDFUL SPORT-READY GAMETIME BRA

Seven women of all shapes, sizes and colors stand on a hilltop, all wearing different hiking bras from Handful.

Material | Recycled polyester

Impact | Medium to high

Sizes | XS-XL, designed to be inclusive, so check the size guide!

Price | $62

Handful is one of those companies I just love to see. Their bras are designed to be size inclusive, and the company also supports breast cancer research, survivors, and victims in a variety of ways. Their Sport-Ready Gametime Bra is made out of recycled water bottles—made into polyester, and is great for any high-impact activity—as well as larger bust sizes. This bra also has ruching in the middle to prevent that dreaded uni-boob, as if there weren’t enough reasons to love this bra.

WEBSITE


IN CONCLUSION: THE BEST HIKING BRAS

A woman standing topless in the forest, likely wishing she was wearing a hiking bra.

The outdoors are for everyone—and your bra shouldn’t get in the way of you exploring. So, go forth and hike, my lovelies, be it in your own backyard, to the top of that mountain, or on a beachside path to a brewery. And be secure that, in one of these hiking bras, your boobs won’t hate you along the way.

Would you try any of these bras on a hike? Do you have a favorite hiking bra? Share in the comments!



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