Like any other type of bra, there’s no magic formula to determine sports bra fit. There are certain elements of a sports bra that can make the bra feel uncomfortable, particularly if the sizing is off. Also, just like other bras, not all sports bras work for all body types and bust sizes. You may need to experiment a bit to find the right sports bra for you, but here are some more fit tips that can help you match the sports bra to your activity and lifestyle:
When Fitting a Sports Bra
When you’re fitting a sports bra, there are a few elements of fit you should look for. As we mentioned in yesterday’s post, sports bras should fit tighter than your other bras because of how they’re designed and what they’re designed to do. But they shouldn’t be so tight that they’re uncomfortable. So when you’re trying on a sports bra, look for these fit elements:
- Make sure that the elastic band on your sports bra fits snugly around the ribcage. However, the elastic band on the bottom of the sports bra shouldn’t be so tight that you can’t breathe, and it shouldn’t cause physical discomfort.
- Wider shoulder straps offer increased support, and they won’t dig into your shoulders when your bust is bouncing during a medium or high-impact activity.
- Some sports bras are designed with built-in “shock absorbers” that are designed to minimize bounce and offer support to your bust. However, if the sports bra isn’t the right size, or the design doesn’t work for your body, these shock absorbers can be extremely uncomfortable. Try a different size or design if this feature causes discomfort while you’re wearing your sports bra.
Determining Impact Levels
Many times, we’ve talked about impact levels when you’re buying a sports bra. In fact, many of our sports bras list impact levels in the description. But that does you no good at all if you don’t know what activities fall into which impact levels. So when you’re selecting a sports bra, here’s a good general guide to help you figure out what impact level you need based on the activities you do:
Activities such as walking, yoga, bicycling, weight training and low-impact aerobics are all low-impact activities. Low-impact activities tend to be less vigorous and involve less “jumping around” than higher-impact activities.
Medium impact activities and sports involve a higher activity level and an increased need for support and range of motion. Medium-impact activities include things like skiing, skating, tennis and golf; activities where you have intermittent bursts of activity or some continual movement that’s a bit more vigorous than walking.
High impact activities are the most active sports and activities, and include a high potential for bouncing and require support for a broad range of motions. High impact activities include things like aerobics, running, softball, soccer, mountain biking, basketball, horseback riding, kickboxing or boxing. Ask yourself how much “bouncing” you’ll be doing, what sort of movement you’ll be doing and how much support you need when you’re deciding whether you need a high-impact sports bra.