This post is dedicated to all the women out running who brave and live with chafing caused by one of the most essential pieces of running gear for women – Sports Bra! I used to think that I was an anomaly with insane chafing on the bra line on my chest but seeing so many women post on various Facebook groups, I am comfortably in the norm. Sports Bra Chafing is real and very much a nuisance for any woman who exercises regularly. 

Sports Bra Chafing

What causes Sports Bra Chafing?

Sports Bra Chafing is caused by … you guessed it, Sports Bra (or heart rate monitors for guys) rubbing tiny little bits on your skin. It is intensified due to sweat and salt, especially in the summer months. 

Sports Bra Chafinga

How to avoid Sports Bra Chafing?

1. Get a proper bra fit

It is surprising how much of a difference a bra can make! I always thought that the looser the bra strap was, the better it is to prevent chafing. Turns out that you need the perfect fitting so that the bra strap won’t budge when you are running. No/minimal movement = no/minimal Sports Bra Chafing. There are plenty of great bras out there (Lululemon, Enell, Moving Comfort, Champion, …) but they only work if you have the right size.

2. Replace your bras periodically

Just like running shoes, sports bra wear out. Don’t ask me to show you the wear on the bra though! I’ve never been able to figure out where exactly I need to look for that. But I do know that when I start the sports bra chafing even on super short runs or bike rides, it is time for me to start replacing them. 

3. Use an anti-chafe product

That chub rub between thighs where we so (un)delicately apply a blob of anti chafe product, slather that on the sports bra line as well. Body Glide, 2Toms Sports Shield, Tri Slide, Vaseline/Aquaphor are some popular anti-chafe products amongst athletes.  

4. Try Rock Tape on the bra line

Rock tape is my not-so-secret weapon against chafing. I tape my entire chest and haven’t had any issues since. The tape stays on almost a whole week on my body inspite of my heavy sweat. The con to this is that my heart rate monitor doesn’t seem to read through the rock tap. 

5. Get out of your wet bra ASAP

Sitting around in your soggy clothes doesn’t help. The wet sports bra traps moisture that is a breeding ground for bacteria, fungus, yeast, and other germs. In case you are not able to get into a shower immediately, wet wipes help minimize the festering of germs.

How to treat Sports Bra Chafing?

If you do chafe, treat it with diaper rash cream immediately after a shower and pat dry. The diaper rash cream (like Butt Paste or A&D ointment) is messy and sometimes stains clothes, but is amazingly quick at healing those sports bra chafing. 

And this goes without saying – wear lose, breathable clothes while it is healing.

What tips do you have to prevent Sports Bra or Heart Rate Monitor chafing?

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Smitha Barki, The "FauxRunner", is a runner, triathlete, vegetarian, User Experience Professional and a mom of 2 little minions. Slow and steady, she is passionate about her fitness journey and eager to share it and help others Redefine their Impossible.
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Tips to prevent Sports Bra Chafing
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  • I use Body Glide in those spots. Seems to work well.

  • Rachel

    Strangely enough, I never chafe on my bra line. I allllllways chafe where the shorts liner is, though — no matter how much I lube up!

  • Great idea to try the rock tape! I only get the chafing on super long runs but ouch it does hurt

  • SuzLyfe

    Oh girl. Yes. Body glide everywhere!

  • Kimberly

    I remember the first time I experience chafing. I was in the shower and holy moly!! Every since then I use Body Glide everywhere!

  • I’ve been incredibly lucky – for all the miles/races that I’ve run, I’ve only chafe from my running bra once or twice!

  • I have been lucky– not much chafing ever and ZERO on the bra line….I’d bet it depends on your cup size and a how much support you’re needing. If you’re not getting enough support, the “girls” are gonna be rocking & rolling too much and affecting how well the bra straps/bands stay in place. Like you said, the correct size is key and some styles will not fit as good as others.

  • I really struggled with this when I started running. A friend told me to buy a product called Trail Toes and I have never had a problem since!

  • Toni Church

    Great tips!! I am lucky enough to not have an issue with bra chafing.

  • I think proper fit is key — and replacing them when the elasticity is gone is important too.

  • Chafing always seems to strike me when I least expect it. I can have body glided within an inch of my life and will guarantee to chafe on the one spot I missed. Or I forget to body glide…..then get nothing! Very weird.

  • Kathryn Thayer

    I have been dealing with a lot of chafing recently, especially as my miles with marathon training have been increasing. I’ve been using a lot of body glide, but it doesn’t seem to always prevent it. The Rock Tape approach is an interesting idea. I’ll have to give it a try. Thanks for the suggestion!