man running near the ocean

Nipple chafing when running is very painful, but it can be prevented easily. I’m going to share three different types of nipple protection for runners. You might even have some of these in your medicine cabinet already.

How to Prevent Nipple Chafing

All you runners out there (especially those of you who do not wear sports bras), this is for you!

Ever go out on a long run but your nipples get chafed on your shirt?

When I first started distance running, I never even considered nipple chafing. Then my chest starting aching and I realized my shirts and singlets were rubbing my nipples raw!

Luckily I figured this out early, because I’ve seen plenty of marathon runners finishing with blood dripping down the front of their shirt. That can’t be comfortable!

But by using the three tips below, you can save your nipples, and you don’t even need messy lubricants like Vaseline!

1. 3M Transpore Medical Tape

My lack of nipple “issues” during my long runs can be attributed to one thing – Transpore medical tape by 3M. It is by far the best nipple tape for running!

3m transpore medical tape

This stuff works like magic. You just apply a small piece of this tape over each nipple before your run.

It solves the chafing issue, it doesn’t hurt when removed (unless you put it over chest hair), and it doesn’t come off unless you want it to (you could leave it on for a week if you wanted).

It’s simple to use, cheap, and super effective. Easy to carry, too.

Note: Duct tape is not a worthy substitute for Transpore! Even other medical tapes made by 3M are less than ideal. So make sure you choose Transpore.

You can buy 3M Transpore medical tape online. Just head straight to because they have it real cheap, with free Prime shipping.

(Years ago, I would have to seek this out from medical supply stores. But now it’s super easy to find.)

2. Band-aids and wart cushions

Another nifty idea I’ve seen is using Band-aids. One Band-aid over each nipple will protect the nipple from chafing.

corn cushions that could be used as nipple protectors

Something else that falls into this category are those little corn cushions. They are sticky pads with a little hole in the middle, and they look like they’d go right on your nipple.

Neither of these products will work as well as Transpore tape, but you might already have this stuff in your medicine cabinet. Or you can find it at any nearby store. So it will work in a pinch if you don’t have anything better.

3. NipGuards or NipEaze

nipeaze nipple protectors

If you prefer specialty products with cute names, there’s something for you, too! They’re called NipGuards and they are like little cushions that stick over your nipples. They are made specifically for endurance athletes like runners and cyclists.

Using tape is going to be cheaper, but these aren’t expensive – about $0.50 per pair.

The idea is that these provide full nipple coverage, and stay on even if you’re sweating like crazy, yet don’t stick so much that it hurts to remove them.

I haven’t used them but it seems they are very well-liked by runners with nipple chafing issues.

Read more about NipGuards and NipEaze.


Summary: If you experience nipple chafing or irritation while running, get something to put over your nipples, and that should solve the problem.

*Though I should point out, if you’re not wearing the correct sports bra, you could end up with more than nipple chafing!


This article was originally published on April 23, 2009. It was revised and updated (thanks to much more race experience) and re-published on June 18, 2018.

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  1. I got another interesting tip from Martha (of She mentioned something called breast petals, which are used in Hollywood red carpet settings.

    Here’s an example where you can figure out all the details:

    Not cheap, and probably not something a guy would be willing to purchase, but they might just work! LOL!

  2. One word: bodyglide

  3. BodyGlide doesn’t work in all cases. I use BodyGlide on my feet and around my chest under the heart rate monitor strap, but it wears down too quick on the teets. Gonna try the NipGuards, and look for the tape mentioned above.

  4. @Andy

    Yep, I can see that BodyGlide could be too thin in this situation. It’s not so much the friction, it’s that your nipples are basically drilling into your shirt!

    The tape should withstand an ultramarathon!

  5. Finally a solution to chafing. they are body wraps, peel and stick on the skin and run run run some more. no more chafing. You can cut them to fit any part of the body. They are sold cheaper on ebay than on their web site. Check it out and stop the painful chafing.

  6. Are you saying a sports bra would also solve the problem?

    • @Leigh

      Most of the time, yes. With a sports bra, the friction is against the shirt and the bra, instead of against the nipple. So most nipple bleeding and chafing complaints I hear are from men.

      That’s not to say that sports bras can’t cause chafing. I’ve heard that for sure!

  7. 3M Transpore tape works like a charm. Its also the least expensive and most effective option. Thank you very much.

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