Shopping for a sports bra is about more than finding the right fit. I recently found that I was looking for a sports bra that met very specific criteria, and not every bra worked for me. This provoked some in-depth research about what makes sports bras great, and what features are important when shopping for a sports bra.
What’s the Sports Bra’s Purpose?
When you’re shopping for a sports bra, you’ll see bras designed for low-impact activities like yoga in the same category as bras for high-impact activities like running or other cardio. While these may all be sports bras, they don’t all work for all activities.
If you’re shopping for a sports bra for a specific activity, look for a sports bra designed for that activity. The sports bra for running is going to have a much more rigorous support system than one designed for yoga. Not all sports bras are made alike, and matching the right sport bra with the right activity matters. Figure out what you want to do with your sport bra before you go shopping, and find the right bra for your exercise requirements.
Consider Moisture-Wicking Fabric
Moisture-wicking fabric makes a huge difference if you’re doing an activity where you’re going to sweat heavily. How often have you gone to run or do other intense cardio and been completely grossed out by your sports bra getting all sweaty, clammy and clingy? A sports bra with moisture-wicking fabric helps you avoid this unpleasantness. Moisture-wicking moves the sweat away from your skin, so even if you sweat heavily, you don’t have to feel gross. These bras typically dry faster and keep you more comfortable if you’re doing intense activities that are going to make you sweat.
Lift and Separate, or Hold Down?
Next is a style consideration. Not all sports bras lift and separate like a regular bra, but they do exist. The Elomi Energise Underwire Sports Bra is one bra that does lift and separate like other types of bras, as does the La Breeza Sport Bra and some of our other sports bras. These bras are great because you can wear them under your every-day clothes and it isn’t obvious that you’re wearing a sports bra. Unfortunately, without a rigorous support system built into the bra, this style of bra is more prone to bounce in high-impact activities.
The other popular bra design is the compression sports bra, like the Shock Absorber Level 2 Padded Pump Sports Bra. Compression bras work by holding your bust tightly against your chest. This is designed to reduce movement and bounce. Compression sports bras are great for low-impact activities and smaller bust sizes, but women with large busts or women who plan to undertake high-impact activities might find that compression bras don’t offer the support they need.
Look for a Sports Bra with the Features You need
The bottom line is that sports bras, like all other bra types, come in a variety of styles, shapes and sizes. What’s great for one woman might be horrible for another woman, so the key to finding the perfect sports bra is to match your bra to your lifestyle. Look for a bra with the features you need, and one that matches your activity level and workout style.