- Compression Sports Bras (the one piece style that you pull on over your head) are the most popular style. This bra compresses against your chest allowing for minimal or no-bounce movement. This style is most suited for women with small to medium sized breasts (A-B cups). These tend to come in general sizes, such as small, medium, large vs. band/cup sizes.
- Encapsulated or Natural-Shaping Sports Bras are best suited for larger busted women, usually a C-cup or higher. These look more like a normal bra with fasteners in the front or back and may have underwire. This style encapsulates each breast in an individual cup. The encapsulated sports bra is the best choice for larger-breasted women (C-cup and up) or plus sized women.
- Compression/Encapsulation Sports Bras are a combination of the previous two bras. They encapsulate and compress the breast tissue against the chest. They can be pulled over the head or closed with fasteners. This style is ideal for women with medium to large breasts, usually C through DD cups.
Finding the Right Fit:
- The straps fit snug against the skin, but aren’t so tight that they dig in. You should be able to slide two fingers underneath—from the front to the back of the straps with ease.
- The band lies snug and flat against around the front, sides, and back of your ribcage. It should not ride up. You should be able to slide one finger easily under the band.
- Your breasts fit within the cups. In other words, any bulging from the top or sides is an indication that the cup size is too small.
- The fabric does not gather or bunch in the cup, especially on top. Excess fabric is an indication that the cup is too big and will not provide adequate support. This can also cause chafing during activity.
A few more construction details to consider:
- Moisture-wicking fabrics, such as Dri-FIT and CoolMax, pull sweat away from the body to keep you dry and minimize chafing. Minimal seams or covered seams, especially in the cups also prevent irritation.
- Deep armholes allow for range of motion and minimal chafing.
You’ve found a bra that fits your requirements, but you’re not done yet. Test it out in the fitting room. Do jumping jacks or jog in place to make certain the bra provides control, support, and comfort without rubbing you the wrong way.
The sports bra should be an integral part of every woman’s workout wardrobe. While finding the right one can take time, you’ll be amazed how much better you will feel while exercising once you do!