Sports Bra: Finding the Perfect One for YOU

Ahhhh the quest for finding the best sports bra. Finding a normal bra can be hard let alone finding a running bra that matches up to your intensity level, size, comfort and a multitude of other personal desires.

Not only that but today there are a number of different bras with so many characteristics coming a long way from the first pieces of stretchy fabric that were sewn together and named “the sports bra”.

Active bras are different than everyday bras as they are designed to help active, moving women instead of just being a fashion item. They are made to bring moisture away from the skin in order to be more breathable while given you the much needed support.



Why is Finding the Perfect Sports Bra so Important?

Two words: the Cooper's Ligament. These ligaments of connective tissue have the job of holding up our breasts and preventing them from sagging

With time and age though these ligaments become stretched, stressed, bounced and lengthened causing our breasts to sag and drop. Having an ill-fitting or non supportive active bra while exercising will only speed up the process.

And the easiest way to prevent this from happening is to find the best sports bra for YOUR body as it will decrease the movement of these Cooper's ligaments.

The whitish lines throughout the whole breast are the Cooper's Ligament. Picture Source: Principles of Anatomy & Physiology

Active bras aren’t just for exercising though:

  • Those with active lifestyles such as mothers of young children should welcome the added support and comfort a good active bra has to offer while keeping up with their children. 
  • Those with bigger breasts can also benefit from wearing sport bras as they help to reduce neck and back pain due to the extra support.

Now for the all time question...

How do you find the perfect exercise bra for YOU?

First of all there are two types of active bras that work better depending on your size:

  • The pullover the head bra that relies on compression to give you support.
  •  The other is the cupped bras (not your daily bra!) that will give you support through the cups. Generally if you are a size A or B compression bras (over the head) work very well while C and D sizes benefit more from cup exercise bras.

When thinking of buying a bra your first main concern should be support and comfort. Running is a high intensity sport with lots of vertical movement and so support comes first and foremost.

Look for these characteristics in your running bra:

  • Minimal bounce
  • Breathable material (usually the tag will say, however polyester is always a good sports pick whereas you should stay away from cotton which traps water and can cause chafing)
  • Wicking Characteristics
  • It is usually best to stay away from any underwire support in a sports bra as they can cause discomfort and other problems especially if you are are nursing mom. 
  • Snug fit - not too snug which can interfere with your breathing
  • Fashion should be your second consideration but it can be fun choosing between the many different styles and colors on the market.  Do you want a racer back? Seamless? Front closure? Back closure? So many choices to personalize!


Where to Shop for a Reliable Exercise Bra

A great place (my personal favorite) to find sport bras for YOUR body is at Road Runner Sports. They offer a variety of brands such as Moving Comfort icon(my fav!) and Nike.

Find your Right Sports Bra and Right Fit here at Road Runner Sports! icon

This website provides fit experts that will walk you through your size, intensity level, style you want, etc. making choosing your sports bra incredibly easy and fun with all the different styles to choose from.

If you are lucky enough to live near a Road Runner Sports store you can also get professionally fitted there! 

Either way I highly recommend getting a fitting before buying a bra. A well fitted bra makes all the difference and is a great investment in taking care of your breasts. 


Life Expectancy of an Active Bra and How to Increase It

Active bras can be delicate and their properties tend to wane after awhile. Some recommend getting a new active bra every 6 months. I believe that it depends on your intensity level, how often you wear them and the quality of the bra. Rule of thumb though is if it looks like the fabric is wearing down, threading, or splitting it is probably time to get a new one.

To increase the life of your bra don’t put it in the dryer. The heat tends to zap the fibers and stretch that make it a good sports bra. Also it is good to hand wash them as well if not always at least from time to time.

QUICK TIP: Some people have very sensitive skin around their bust area and especially with a bra on. If this is the case with you try rubbing some Vaseline on just as you would on your thighs to prevent chafing.


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