Why Pick the Right Sports Bra?
Sports bras are designed for varying levels of impact, and understanding the exact purpose of sports bras will ensure appropriate support. Sports bras offer low, medium, and high support/impact:
- Low support: Bras best used for activities such as walking. Yoga, and strength training
- Medium support Bras: best used for activities such as for moderate hiking and road cycling
- Maximum support Bras: best used for activities such as running, mountain biking and aerobics
Compression or Encapsulation: Sports bras are categorized as either encapsulation or compression sports bras.
Encapsulation sports bras offer individual and supportive cups (similar to regular bras), and are best for low impact activities.
Compression sports bras, as the name indicates, compresses the chest to heavily restrict movement and work best for medium and high impact activities.
The Band: As with any regular bra, the majority of support comes from the band. It should fit flat against your chest and ribcage to minimize movement. Test out your sports bra by taking in a deep breath; if it still fits comfortably, you’re on your way to picking the right sports bra. Remember, sports bras should fit more firmly than regular bras.
The Straps: Sports bra straps should not be creasing your shoulders. If it does, then the ill-fitted bra will provide support from the straps as opposed to the band. .Look for straps with minimal stretch to ensure comfort and marginal motion. Adjustable straps also allow for customizable fit and can be often attuned to accommodate body fluctuations.
What to Look For:
Hooks and Closures: Sports bras also offer either hook closures at the back or a simply pull on form for fit. The pullover style, while providing the same fit, might be more tedious to remove. Back closure hooks provide ease for the wearer, especially for high impact bras. Depending on the activity and the type of required support, an appropriate style should be selected.
The Material: Features of sports bras are just as essential as the fit itself. Moisture-wicking material (e.g. synthetic) allows for quick evaporation to optimize your comfort to keep moisture away from the skin. Cup padding should also provide stability along with the band and strap.