Choosing a sports bra made easy15 October, 2013 0 comments
Choosing a sports bra made easy
A sports bra is one of those things whose existence you forget about if they’re good enough. A lousy sports bra however…will be a constant reminder that you have a lousy sports bra! The thing is, a well-fitting sports bra is not only important for your comfort, but also for your health. So how do you find one that is good for you? Here are some things to consider when you go shopping!
Think about the kind of sport you do
Different kinds of sports have a different impact level on your body. Therefore you should think about the activities you plan on doing when you go to buy a new sports bra. What exactly does this mean? High-impact sports like running, aerobics, mountain biking and basketball require the strongest support. Thus, you should be especially picky when it comes to the level of support as a runner. For medium-impact sports like skiing, hiking, cycling and tennis you still need good support, but since there is less movement you can compromise a bit. Low-impact activities like yoga, pilates and walking require the least support.
Find your size
It is very important to wear the proper size. Remember that the sizing can be different for brands and individual styles. Also, your size may be different if your body has changed! Therefore, it can be a good idea to try on a few different sizes to be sure that you find one that fits. Also, it is suggested to take your measurements every time you buy a new bra to be really sure of the right sizing. According to the statistics, about 75% of women may be wearing the wrong size bra. Take the time to avoid this mistake!
Know the types – encapsulation vs compression
There are two main ways that sports bras work – through encapsulation or compression. Encapsulation bras look similar to everyday bras. By using individual molded cups, they provide support for each breast separately. Therefore they also offer a shape that is naturally curvy, without compression. Compression bras, however, work by hugging the breasts close to the chest. They are made of stretchy fabric, don’t have cups, and can be slipped on over your head. In general, compression bras work better with smaller cup sizes and lower-impact activities, while encapsulation bras are a good fit for bigger sizes and high-impact sports. There are also bras that combine compression and encapsulation – these provide more support than compression alone.
Make sure the fit is good
There is more to a good fit than the size of a bra. The shapes of individual styles are different – just like women’s bodies! Therefore, it is important to look at the fit more closely. What should you keep in mind? The band should sit firmly around your ribcage without riding up on the back. Note that a wide band provides more support than a narrow one. The straps should feel comfortable and strong – neither pressing into your shoulders nor falling off. Wider straps may be more comfortable, especially during high-impact activities. If the bra has underwires, these should surround your breast without poking anywhere, and should remain flat in the centre between the breasts. If it seems that you can’t find the correct size, trying a different shape is probably the answer.
Go for moisture-wicking material
Wicking material makes sure that you’re comfortable by moving moisture away from your body. This also becomes important when running outside in the colder months, as you will want your skin to remain dry and warm to avoid falling ill. What is more, wicking fabrics reduce the chance of chafing.
Need the extra support?
If you have a large cup, it will be especially important to have sports bras that provide the support that you need. Try to look for encapsulation styles that have an adjustable back clasp that allows to tighten the support. Additionally, wide straps and racerback style can be beneficial for providing extra support. A high cup ensures that you have support all over the front. Finally, a tight top over the sports bra can provide extra support if you feel that no bra is enough.
Worried about chafing?
If you are prone to suffer from chafing, look for a bra that has few seams or has seams that are well-covered and smooth. Deep armholes can also protect your arms from chafing. Moisture-wicking material is essential for avoiding chafing, since moist fabric irritates the skin more easily.
To make sure that you are comfortable with your chosen sports bra, try to get in a little movement in the dressing room. For example, you can try doing some jumping jacks or jogging in one place. This will give you an idea of the support your chosen bra provides.
Do you have any other tips on choosing a good sports bra for running or crosstraining? Any specific brands or styles you recommend? Share your thoguhts in the comments!