What Do Female Soccer Players Wear Under Their Shirts: Essential Upper Body Undergarments Guide

By Luís Miguel
Updated on

Women footballers equip themselves with the right attire to ensure they can play with confidence, focusing on the game rather than their gear.

One discussion that garners considerable attention in women's soccer is the kind of support female athletes have beneath their jerseys. Here's the straightforward scoop:

Female soccer players typically wear sports bras, compression tops, base layers, crop tops, or tank tops under their shirts during games and practices. The selection ranges from enhancing performance to providing protection, support, and comfort on the pitch.

This introductory piece sets the stage, but there's more to unfold in the layers of athletic apparel.

A variety of athletic upper body wear for female soccer players, including sports bras, compression shirts, and padded tops.

Key Takeaways

  • Female soccer players have a variety of athletic upper body wear options, like sports bras and base layers, which cater to their unique needs on the field.
  • These choices aren't just about comfort—they can significantly affect a player's overall performance and protection.
  • The right upper body gear is crucial for players to stay focused, maintain optimal body temperature, and protect against injuries.
  • Factors such as fit, material, and design are carefully considered to ensure that nothing distracts from the love of the game.

Different Types of Athletic Upper Body Wear for Female Soccer Players

For female soccer warriors taking the pitch, the game is as much about skill and strategy as it is about the proper gear. Here's what you might find underneath their jerseys, each serving unique purposes:

  • Sports Bras: A staple in any athlete's wardrobe, sports bras are about support and avoiding discomfort when you're dribbling past defenders. The designs cater to different intensity levels—so whether you’re sprinting down the field or jostling for position, there's one tailored to your needs.
  • Compression Shirts: More than just a second skin, these shirts embrace your muscles, mitigating fatigue and possibly hiking up your game performance. Additional padding shields you from the knocks and bumps of the beautiful game.
  • Compression Tops: Slip one on, and you could see better circulation and muscle recovery, shield yourself from injuries, and keep muscles primed and ready, warding off unwanted strains.
  • Armored Crop Tops: These aren't just a style statement; they're a functional fortress against the force of a speeding soccer ball. Their impact-absorbing material lessens the blow of those shots to the chest, turning a potential "ow" into a mere "oh!"
  • Tank Tops: When comfort is your game plan, a breezy tank top under the jersey can add that extra layer, keeping it cool and casual on the field.
  • Base Layers: The invisible protagonists for when the temperature drops or the heat rises, these long-sleeved guardians provide warmth or wick away sweat, adapting as your second layer of skin.

Beyond traditional wear, some less visible tools of the trade include:

  • Chest Protectors: Rare in soccer but crucial in higher-impact sports, chest protectors act as a safeguard for those unexpected collisions.
  • Heart Rate Monitors: They don’t adorn you but they inform you—strapped under the jersey for real-time data on your heart’s hustle during those match-winning moments.
  • GPS Vests: A coach's eye-in-the-sky, they're the training-side companions, mapping your moves and breaking down your performance stats to precision.

While the dressing room artillery may differ among players, the chosen gear hinges on personal comfort, the game's tempo, and the rule book's fine print. Each item has its role, crafted to ensure that when you're facing down an opponent, your only focus is the back of the net.

How Can the Right Upper Body Wear Affect Female Soccer Players on the Field?

Donning the right upper body armor is not just a nod to trendiness but a strategic move that can enhance the health and success of female soccer players. Whether you're juggling the ball or racing for a goal, the benefits of tailored gear are substantial and multifaceted.

1. Comfort

Imagine playing your best without giving a second thought to what you're wearing. That's the pivotal role of comfort. Superior upper body wear eliminates the nuisances of a poor fit, like shirts that act more like a straitjacket or fabrics that rub you the wrong way.

We're talking about apparel that's practically a second skin—flexible, form-fitting, and allowing you the freedom to sprint, jump, and twist with ease. Consider it your personal haven of coziness on the field.

2. Support

Soccer isn’t just a game; it's a high-octane workout demanding unyielding support. This is non-negotiable, especially for female athletes who must meld rigorous play with absolute bodily assurance.

Imagine sports bras and compression tops as your trusty sidekicks, there to brace you for every volley and dive, while staving off discomfort or potential harm. Such unwavering support translates into an undisturbed focus on gameplay rather than gear gripes.

3. Protection

The gear beneath the jersey is an unsung heroine, safeguarding the player’s skin from UV onslaught or the abrasions that come from passionate plays. The right upper body wear is akin to a personal shield, offering that much-needed buffer from physical altercations with the ground or the ball.

Think of base layers as the discreet bodyguards, occasionally offering a soft pad to cushion blows or thermal features to keep the chill from muscles, warding off injuries from a body gone cold.

4. Flexibility

Flexibility is the art of unrestricted movement—key to finessing the soccer ball past a stout defense to find the net. Garments with high elasticity promise a full range of motion, bending and stretching with the player, ensuring that your only focus is on the game, not on your gear.

5. Breathability

Lastly, we can't overlook the powerhouse of perspiration management—breathability. This isn't just about wearing less to stay cool; it's spatial science that lets air circulate, wicking away sweat, and keeping the player dry and comfortable.

As you fight for possession and outpace competitors, breathable fabrics are your invisible allies, combating the buildup of heat and moisture.

What Should Women Goalkeepers Wear Under Their Jerseys?

Female soccer goalkeeper diving for a save, showcasing the specialized armored goalkeeper undershirt under her jersey.

Female goalkeepers under their jerseys should wear a reinforced, or armored, goalkeeper undershirt.

The guardians of the goalpost, women goalkeepers, stand as the last line of defense and consequently, face the brunt of the game's physicality.

What they wear beneath their jerseys should offer them a cocoon of protection against the occupational hazards of the role.

Imagine if every dive, every high-flying save, could come with an extra layer of security. That's where a reinforced goalkeeper undershirt steps in.

Not your standard gear, these armored undershirts are crafted for resilience—a fusion of technology and design that absorbs the shock of a soccer ball kicked with the ferocity of a thunderbolt.

They are the overlooked armor, equipped with cushioning to soften every impact from every angle—a goalie's trusted ally in the clash of the game.

The best goalkeeper undershirts boast elbow pads to thwart off the sting of impact, anti-abrasion panels as guards against the vicious grip of the turf, and impact-resistant materials to dampen forces more efficiently than a well-trained shock absorber.

And because a keeper needs to keep cool amidst the heat of the game, these garments integrate moisture-wicking technology and breathable panels. It's the synthesis of safety, comfort, and the freedom to leap and land without the linger of pain, letting goalkeepers keep their eyes on the ball, not on their bruises.

Are There Special Regulations for Upper Body Undergarments in Soccer?

The beautiful game isn't just about talent and teamwork; it's also framed by a set of rules that even extends to what players wear underneath.

FIFA isn't shy about diving into the details when it comes to gear regulations, ensuring that every aspect of the player's attire is game-day ready.

Understanding FIFA's Upper Body Undergarment Guideline

Yes, FIFA gives a green light to undergarments, but they're not without a playbook of their own. Here's the scoop on what their Equipment Regulations say about your under-jersey allies:

  • Brand Synchronicity: Your undershirt’s brand should match your kit, ensuring a uniform look from outer to inner layer.
  • Color Coordination: If your undergarment peeks through, it needs to play for the same team, color-wise, as your jersey.
  • Logo Limitation: Keep the branding low-key with no team, manufacturer, or sponsor logos showing off beneath your uniform.
  • Subtle Signage: A single small manufacturer's symbol is all that FIFA will allow on those sporty undergarments.
  • Personalization Prohibition: Steer clear from having your name, number, or any personal flair on those underlayers.
  • Detachment Rule: Your undergarments should stand alone – no attaching them to your jersey.

The essence of these regulations? FIFO – Fit In or Fade Out. FIFA's goal (pun intended) is to keep undergarments from stealing the spotlight, ensuring they remain subtle sidekicks to the main strip or match it seamlessly when they do step into the view.

This uniformity is key for presenting a polished, professional look that doesn't let advertising or personal expression disrupt the team's vibe.

Do Female Soccer Players Wear Sports Bras?

It's more than a style choice; for female soccer players, sporting a sports bra beneath the jersey is a tactical decision for ultimate comfort and peak performance.

Sports bras are engineered to do more than simply reduce movement—they protect, support, and enhance the playing experience.

The Need for Sports Bras in Women's Soccer

Why are sports bras as crucial as cleats for a female soccer player? Here’s the game plan:

  • Support on the Sprint: They say defense is the best offense, and when it comes to sports bras, they’re defending against discomfort and minimizing breast movement, so you can go on the offensive worry-free.

  • Chafing No More: Who needs unnecessary friction? With sports bras, comfort zones are extended beyond passing drills into the 90-minute-long contests.

  • Focus Fuel: With reduced distraction from movement and a snug, protective fit, players can concentrate on rather than their attire.

  • Temperature Regulation: The right sports bra has the superpower of moisture management, keeping players cool and dry as they command the field. Excessive sweating is more than an inconvenience; it can lead to overheating and exhaustion, but that's a concern of the past with moisture-wicking materials at the helm.

  • Compression and Circulation: Some sports bras incorporate compression technology that’s all about embracing the muscles, enhancing blood flow, and scripting a saga of swift recovery and injury prevention. An increase in circulation aids in muscle recovery and reduces the risk of getting sidelined by an injury.

The sports bra doesn't just support; it performs. It's the hidden backbone in a player's kit, making sure discomfort doesn't make it onto the scoreboard. Whether it's a sprint, a slide, or a strategic play, the sports bra is a silent MVP, making sure that discomfort doesn't make it onto the scoreboard.

What Factors Should You Consider When Choosing Soccer Bras or Base Layers?

Every striker can tell you about their favorite goal, and every defender can recall a game-saving tackle.

But ask any female soccer player about their silent partner on the pitch, and they might just mention their sports bra or base layer. Selecting the right one is as crucial to your game as nailing that perfect corner kick.

Close-up view of a high-impact sports bra detailing moisture-wicking fabric and compression support for female soccer players.

To make sure you're never sidelined by discomfort, here’s a rundown of what to watch for when suiting up in your soccer undergarments.

Fit and Support

Seek out the right alliance between snugness and liberation. Your sports bra should be a gatekeeper, ensuring that everything stays in place during the game's theatrics without making you feel wrapped too tightly.

Encapsulation bras with molded cups are often a go-to for athletes—yes, you might spend a bit more, but your future self scoring that winning goal will thank you.


Envision gear that feels like a second skin. Opt for materials that caress rather than chafe, with seams that glide across your skin as smoothly as a well-placed pass. The right fabric makes all the difference between a bra that feels like a comfort layer and one that becomes a distraction.


Your sports bra or base layer should be like your favorite teammate—always there for you, enabling you to stretch, sprint, and slide without constraint. When testing out gear, try some soccer moves. If you notice any resistance, it’s not the right fit for the field.


Science in your kit can offer extra benefits. Garments woven with compression technology can hug your muscles just right, enhancing blood flow which may aid in performance, injury prevention, and speedy muscle recovery. It's your invisible support crew.


Moisture management is non-negotiable. Seek out technical fabrics that whip sweat away in a flash, keeping you dry so you can concentrate on the game, not on the sweat dripping down your back.


Durability is paramount. Cheap falls apart; quality endures. Investing in robust materials can save you the future hassle and discomfort, and let's face it, no one wants to shop for sports bras more than necessary.

Personal Preference

At the end of the day, the gear you choose should make you feel ready to conquer the pitch. Trust your gut—what makes you feel comfortable and confident is what will support your best game.

The Impact of the Right Soccer Bra or Base Layer

Imagine your sports bra as the midfield maestro of your kit—controlling the play so you can blaze down the wing unencumbered. It’s not just about convenience; it's about empowering your play.

The difference between a good and a great game could lie in the layers closest to you.

A Final Word from Experience

Here’s a little sideline story—if you'll indulge me.

I knew a top-notch player who was thrown off her game by an impish sports bra that just wouldn't sit still. Distraction ensued, performance dipped. Then she discovered a soccer-specific bra that checked all the right boxes—fit, comfort, support—and just like that, her play was back to top form.

A true testament to the power of the perfect upper body undergarments: it can lift your game from good to unstoppable.

Gear Up for Greatness On the Soccer Field

For female soccer players, the game is about lightning reflexes, relentless endurance, and the sheer joy of competition.

But underneath it all, literally, is the foundational gear that can make or break the match day experience.

From the staunch support of a well-fitted sports bra to the strategic layering of breathable base wear, the choices you make directly influence your comfort, your confidence, and yes—your performance.

Take Action!

It’s time to step up your game beyond strategy and skills—starting with what lies beneath your jersey. Don't let the search for the perfect upper body undergarments be an afterthought. Make it a mission.

Silhouette of a female soccer player geared up with performance-supportive undergarments, ready to take on the match.

? Start exploring. Visit trusted sports apparel shops, start threading through online reviews, and don't be shy about polling your teammates for their go-to gear.

? Be as discerning with your upper body athletic supports as you are with your cleats. Look for snug but stretchy fits, moisture-wicking magic, and durable fabrics that can endure slide tackles and victory dances alike.

? Remember, the right fit should feel like a victory before the game even begins.

When you find that ideal piece that feels like a second skin, you'll know. It’s going to be your silent cheerleader, your invisible but crucial ally as you dominate the field.

And remember, victory starts with preparation. So, gear up, get out there, and play your heart out, knowing you're fully equipped from the outside in. ?⚽?

Let the game begin!

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

Why do female soccer players prefer moisture-wicking fabrics for undershirts?

Moisture-wicking materials are a game-changer for players—they pull sweat away from the skin for speedy evaporation. This keeps players dry, cool, and free from the discomfort of damp fabric clinging to their bodies.

How beneficial are compression tops for female soccer players?

Compression tops are incredibly valuable in a female athlete's kit. They bolster muscle support, manage body temperature, cut down muscle fatigue, and can even ease post-game soreness. By promoting circulation and muscle efficiency, they're a top draft pick for performance wear.

What functionality do chest vests have in women's soccer?

Chest vests act as lightweight, breathable shields. They're tailored to mitigate the impact on a player's chest, thus diminishing injury risks in the sport’s many collisions and tackles.

What do female soccer players wear under their uniforms for warmth?

In chilly conditions, long-sleeved compression shirts or thermal layers are the usual go-to. Made from materials that retain warmth yet wick away moisture, they serve as a player’s personal climate control.

What types of sports bras do female soccer players typically wear?

High-impact sports bras reign supreme on the soccer field, offering robust support and maximum comfort during vigorous play. Players also favor options with moisture-wicking features for that fresh, dry feeling.

How do compression tops benefit female soccer players?

Compression tops enhance performance by supporting muscles, reducing the risk of fatigue, and boosting circulation, which is crucial for maintaining muscle warmth and efficiency—especially in cooler game environments.

What advantages does wearing a soccer chest vest offer?

Chest vests grant added security by protecting the chest and rib region with impact-absorbing materials. This protective gear instills confidence in players, knowing they're safeguarded against the physical demands of the game.

What factors influence the cost of protective gear like soccer chest vests?

Consider brand reputation, protective features, the technologies used, and material quality. Durability and enhanced features, such as moisture-wicking, may also reflect a higher price point but typically equate to better performance and durability. Balancing cost with your specific needs is key to making the right investment.

What undergarments do female soccer players prefer for lower body support?

Compression shorts, slip shorts, or spandex briefs are popular choices for providing snug, yet comfy support that moves with the player, enhancing both performance and protection.

Curious about the full array of undergarment choices for female soccer players? Dive into our article on What Do Female Soccer Players Wear Under Their Shorts for a detailed exploration of lower body undergarment options, benefits, and what professional players are choosing.

What is the purpose of sliding shorts in women's soccer?

These form-fitting shorts offer specialized protection with padding around high-impact areas. They help absorb shocks from slides and falls, reducing the chance of bruising and injury.

Guy wearing an SL Benfica jersey holding soccer ball over his head

Article by:

Luís Miguel

As a true soccer enthusiast, I’m Soccermodo’s team captain. My job is to make sure the site’s content is top-notch so that you, our reader, can focus solely on improving your game and reach new heights.