Things to Consider
Gone of the days when the only way you could get good sports bra support was to wear underwire. Modern wirefree sports are just as supportive as their underwired counterparts.
Modern designs and technical fabrics allow manufacturers to design both options equally. Underwire still has its place but don’t dismiss wirefree as the unsupportive little sister.
In the sports bra world comfort as equally important as support. And for many of us underwire immediately evokes images of wire poke and casing rub.
Once again, modern design to the rescue. Technology in the actual wire used in sports bras has advanced over the years and some sports bras now have ‘flexi wires’ which are designed to move with the body as you exercise to maximise comfort.
The channel which houses the underwire should be plush and soft with sufficient room at either end of the channel to ensure maximum comfort and prevent any painful ‘poke through’ of the wire.
For wirefree designs there is admittedly less to worry about. One less element is the comfort chain! That said being wirefree does not immediately ensure comfort. You still need to ensure your wirefree sports bra fits you like a glove. Soft, seamfree designs are a good starting point.
I am talking size of the wearer here not size of the sports bra. Those with a bit more up top have traditionally been biased towards underwired designs. In both their everyday bras and their sports bras.
Many women feel the underwire offers better shaping and support for their larger breasts. And for many women this may be true. That said, many modern wirefree designs also offer great shaping and support too.
As such, this does come down to personal preference. You need to feel comfortable and confident in your sports bra. If an underwired sports bra does this for you great. Also great if this is achieved in a wirefree sports bra.
Underwired bras hold each breast separately and securely in their cup. Hence, helping to separate the breasts. For larger cup sizes this separation is important. As it helps stop chafing between the breasts during longer or more intense exercise.
However, some wirefree sports bras achieve this same breast separation using technical fabrics. As well as clever moulding and advances in bra design.
Many wirefree sports bras combine both encapsulation and compression to optimise breast support. These wirefree bras can also be much lighter as they do not need to incorporate the wire into the bra structure.