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Choosing a Sports Bra

So you are looking for a new sports bra, but where do you start? Choosing a sports bra is a minefield, there are a myriad of brands and styles out there all offering something different. Combine this with the fact that we women are all different, do different activities and have different fashion styles. OMG!

Luckily Sports Bras Direct is here to help. Have a read of the info below and then check out our wide range of sports bras and you’ll soon be bouncing around with a comfortable and supported chest.

Start With Impact

Sports bras are usually labelled as suitable for low, medium or high impact. We have found this can cause confusion with some wearers. The language speaks directly to the level of exercise you plan to undertake. The levels of ‘impact’ relate to the intensity of the exercise and the breasts movement during that activity. Basically high impact activities require a high level of support and so on.

Examples of exercises that are high, medium and low impact include:

High – Running, Court Sports & Horse Riding.

Medium – Cycling, Walking & Golf.

Low – Thai Chi, Pilates & Yoga.

In more recent times brands have differentiated their products further by advertising them as extreme impact. These bras generally offer the best possible support for the highest impact activities.

Start With Impact

What About Cup Size?

Choosing your level of support has nothing to do with your cup size. For instance the idea that ladies with a smaller bust can get away with low impact bras for every kind of sport is simply not true. Similarly the idea that a larger cup size lady shouldn’t use a low impact sports bra is also inaccurate.

This is because breast damage is caused by breast movement, not size. If the body is moving up and down then so is the breast – with a delay. All good bra manufacturers construct bras for smaller or larger sizes in a different way, for larger sizes there will be features such as extra lining in the cup, side supports, reinforced wider straps etc.

If the bra is well constructed with the right fabrics they will still have the choice of impact level. Some full breasted ladies are self conscious and prefer to wear the highest level of support for confidence and if they are more comfortable doing this, that’s fine.

What About Padded Bras?

Generally speaking non padded bras are more supportive than padded ones – a pad is pre formed and unless the breast fits perfectly within it, the breast will move around inside it. The pad also creates a barrier between the breast and compression fabric on the exterior which reduces support.

However new innovations such as the patented Anita Active Delta Pad are designed in a triangular form to ensure the benefit of padding for preventing nipple show and giving shape, but removing the ability for the breast to move in the pad. This means support is not reduced as compression can still be applied all over the breast.

What Else Do I Need to Know?

Perspiration affects a bras comfort; therefore sports bras should have a sweat management system.  Cups lined with soft, absorbent fabrics to wick moisture away from the breast, if there is no cup lining you risk exposed seams rubbing on a sweaty breast which can lead to soreness and discomfort.

It can be worth buying a second bra in a larger size to accommodate for fluctuation in breast size caused by hormonal cycle. As sports bras are made of strong fabrics with minimal stretch it can be very uncomfortable to force swollen, tender breasts into a bra made of a rigid fabric.

Since sports bras are designed for performance – aesthetics are a secondary consideration however some bras suit different body shapes by design. Smaller shoulders often prefer racer backs, fuller busts – regular straps. The best advice is to try it on, jump around and make sure you feel comfortable and confident.

So there you go. All the info you need to know to help you find the best possible sports bra. At the end of the day comfort and support are everything. Without these you won’t enjoy your activity to its fullest. So get jumping!

Yours in support.

Amy x

Amy Jaffers

Amy is the face behind Sports Bras Direct, Australia’s largest sports bra website. She's a mother of two, outdoors lover and sports bra expert. Her life mission is to help active women get the support they need as well as assisting women in need through her charitable donations.

Sports Bra Finder

Sports Bra Finder

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Do you know your bra size?

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What is your back size?

How does the band of your current sports bra fit?

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What is your cup size?

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How do the cups of your current sports bra fit?

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Step 1: Measure your back size

With a non-padded bra on measure around your chest, directly below your bust.
The tape measure should be horizontal around your body and should not drop in the back.

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Step 2: Measure your cup size

With a non-padded bra on measure around the fullest part of your bust (about where your nipples are).
Make sure the tape is taut and horizontal.

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