New Balance NB Fuel Bra Review

An in-depth review of the New Balance NB Fuel Bra.

By on August 4, 2022 | Comments

After months of testing dozens of sports bras, iRunFar recently published our best sports bras for running guide. From simple to complex straps, from padded to unpadded cups, and from multi-clasp to pullover, we tested a huge variety of sports bras to keep you in place while you run. While we found a number of excellent sports bras, the one that rose to the top of our rankings was the New Balance NB Fuel Bra ($45). Our testers loved this sleek bra with sufficient support, simple sizing, and open-back breathability. One of their friends even described it as “sexy.” And if it makes you feel good, why not?

Shop the New Balance NB Fuel Bra
New Balance NB Fuel Bra - front view 2

The New Balance NB Fuel Bra. All photos: iRunFar/Kristin Zosel

New Balance NB Fuel Bra General Features

At first glance, the New Balance NB Fuel Bra isn’t flashy — unless you take advantage of the neon colors available. It is a simple, pullover, compression-style bra with minimal padding up front, thick crossed straps in the back, and clean seams. One of the biggest problems in finding a sports bra, other than the proper level of support, is avoiding the dreaded chafe, and this bra’s seams are overlaid in such a way that chafing is never an issue.

Some women with larger busts might want to go with something more supportive — read our Runderwear Easy-On Running Bra review, which is made for size C cups and up and won our award for the best sports bra for larger chests in our best sports bras for running guide. But for runners with AA to C cups, the New Balance NB Fuel Bra is sufficient for your up-and-down road running and trail running adventures.

New Balance NB Fuel Bra Details

The fabric of the New Balance NB Fuel Bra is the proprietary NB DRYx, a fast-drying and wicking material made of 77% polyester and 23% spandex, a combination that is so smooth, that it’s easy to forget you’re even wearing it. For the environmentally conscious, it is good to know that this bra meets the New Balance “green leaf standard.” At least 50% of the materials used are environmentally preferred — a combination of bio-based and recycled materials. That can be a tricky combination to get right when it comes to comfort, but this bra is completely chafe-free, so New Balance hit it out of the park. We found that the fabric becomes even softer and more comfortable after a wash or two.

New Balance NB Fuel Bra - front view 1

A front view of the New Balance NB Fuel Bra.

There are removable pads in this bra, meaning that those who despise them like me can easily remove them, but that they are easily replaced for those who want a little more coverage. We found that the pads are quite thin, so true full nipple coverage isn’t exactly attainable, but if you’re wearing a darker color, it’s unlikely to be an issue.

Simplicity is the name of the game with this bra, and the only adornment is a small reflective New Balance logo at the middle back on the band strap. So, for those who don’t like to flaunt brand names, this is also a plus.

The simple compression style and the fact that this bra is not overbuilt also means that finding the right level of support is also easy: the band is not so restrictive that it impedes breathing, and the bust is also well-supported. Sizing is also simple: XS to XL, and should fit band sizes 25 to 40 inches, meaning U.S. sizes 30A to 40DD.

For those who run a bit warmer, or are running in warmer weather, the open-back style is particularly advantageous. While the cross-style straps are thick, there is virtually no other fabric covering the runner’s back other than the straps themselves, leaving your skin free to breathe. The straps also fall at a perfect place on the shoulders: not so narrow that it feels like they’re creeping up your neck, and not so wide that they risk falling off your shoulders.

New Balance NB Fuel Bra - back view

A back view of the New Balance NB Fuel Bra.

New Balance NB Fuel Bra Overall Impressions

The New Balance NB Fuel Bra is the sports bra version of a daily driver. The sleek silhouette, soft material, flat seams, open back, and minimal material make it the perfect sports bra for small- to medium-chested runners. Worn in temperatures from 15 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, the bra effectively wicks sweat, has space for breathability, and dries quickly, so it’s not a wrestling match to take off.

All this and more is why we named it the best overall sports bra for running in our best sports bras for running guide. If you’re looking for a sports bra that makes you forget you’re even wearing one, the New Balance NB Fuel Bra is the one for you!

Shop the New Balance NB Fuel Bra

Call for Comments

  • Have you tried the New Balance NB Fuel Bra? What are your thoughts?
  • What other sports bras do you love for running?

[Editor’s Note: If you’re affiliated (i.e., an employee, ambassador, etc.) with a shoe brand, please share your relation in each of your comments on this article. Thanks!]

Alex Potter
Alex Potter is a contributor and former editor at iRunFar. Following a nearly decade-long hiatus from running after college, she has found a new love in trail running. As a photojournalist, Alex has reported throughout the Middle East and East Africa for publications like 'National Geographic,' 'The New York Times,' and 'The Washington Post.'