Shopping Cart
sports-crop-or-sports-bra-banner

Sports Crop or Sports Bra. Which is Better?

I apologise in advance if this post turns into a rant. But it is an issue that makes my blood boil (maybe a bit of a harsh description!). It is the debate of sports bra or sports crop, which one should you wear. The quick answer is ‘it depends’.

The trigger for this article was a phone call from a well-known running magazine (who shall remain nameless) trying to sell me advertising space. They are running their annual ‘Best sports bras for running’ article. Sounds good right? Wrong!

Why you ask? Simply because their list was not the best sports bras for running. Again why? The problem is brand sponsorship. Brands pay to have their sports bras on the list. As such, the list is bias towards deep pockets rather than what is best for the consumer.

It brought a tear to my eye going through the list. So many sports crops that were better suited to the yoga studio than the running track. Needless to say, I declined their invitation to advertise. If you want an unbiased ‘best sports bras for running’ go here.

The problem here is transparency and education. Unfortunately, not many media outlets are transparent. Disguising advertising in the form of education. My mission is to change this through my various media. It will take time, but my hope is that all women will one day become informed on what is the best sports bra or sports crop for them.

Sports Crops

Firstly, what is a sports crop? Quite simply, a sports crop is a bra that doesn’t have a noted cup size. They are sized according to band only. Small, medium, large, etc. Or 10, 12, 14 etc.

They are most commonly designed to fit A-D cup breasts. And therein lies the problem when it comes to high impact sports like running. The difference between an A and D cup is some 10cm! As such a bra that is designed to fit this range is not going to hold your breasts completely securely.

This may not be a problem for A or B cups as their smaller breasts do not bounce as much as a C or D cup. Bigger breasts are heavier and bounce more. Physics 101, what goes up must come down and the purpose of your sports crop is to stop that bounce.

So, if you see a sports crop advertised as a high impact running bra. Stop and ask yourself the following question: Will this support my ‘insert cup size here’ boobs. I would only be answering yes as an A or B cup and with caveats. How far will you be running? How fast will you be running? Further and faster = more bounce!

Sports crops do have their place. Gym – yes. Yoga class – yes. Bike riding – yes. At the end of the day, it is all about the intensity of the activity. Sports crop tops are perfect for less intense activities and the support they offer depends on your cup size.

Sports Bras

Next up sports bras. So, what is a sports bra? Unlike sports crop a sports bra is sized with both a back and a cup size. You may be familiar with 12D, 16FF or even 28E. All have a back and cup size designed to accurately fit that size.

The key here is ‘accurately fit’. Sports bras are designed to snugly fit their nominated size. No cup ‘range’. As such, they are more supportive as the breasts are held more securely.

As a rule of thumb high impact sports bras are perfect for high intensity sports like running. Once again with caveats. It must fit you well and be comfortable. No point wearing a high impact sports bra if it is the wrong size and is uncomfortable. Luck for you I have a blog for that! Sports Bra Fitting Essentials – Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. Hey what can I say I am comprehensive!

Sports bras also fill a much greater size range. You would be lucky to find a sports crop bigger than an 18 back and a select few fit a DD or E cup but they are rare. Sports bras rock the size range. 6 to 28 back and A to K cup and a huge number of combinations in between.

So, if you are outside the so called ‘normal’ size range or simply want the best in breast support then a sports bra is the perfect answer for you.

Final Thoughts

You should now be able to make an educated choice between a sports crop or sports bra. If you fall outside the so called ‘normal’ size range it is sports bras all the way. Otherwise, it comes down to exercise intent. Lower impact exercise + smaller cup size and a crop may be fine. Higher impact exercise + larger cup size and a sports bra may be best for you.

At the end of the day, it is what you feel most comfortable and supported in. If you are a 10C and love the gym, then a sports crop may be perfect for you. If you are a 14D and love running, then I would seriously consider a sports bra.

 Yours in support.

Amy x

Sports Bra Finder
$10 VOUCHER. Sign up now for $10 off you order*

Sports Bra Finder

Find your perfect sports bra in less than a minute

GET $10 OFFUse our Sports Bra Finder and get $10 off your personal recommendations.

Do you know your current bra size?

Please Select One
  • Yes
    I confidently know my size.

  • I'm not sure
    I think so but I would like to check.

  • I have no idea
    Don't worry. A couple of quick measurements and we'll find your size.

What is your back size?

How does the band of your current sports bra fit?

Please select one

  • Too small

    It feels uncomfortably tight and digs in.

  • Just right

    It fits just fine.

  • Too big

    It feels to loose and rides up over time.

What is your cup size?

How do the cups of your current sports bra fit?

Please select one

  • Too small

    There is overspill or I bulge out.

  • Just right

    They fit just fine.

  • Too big

    There is gaping or wrinkling.

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.

Select your measurement

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.

Select your measurement

What support level would you like?

Please select one

  • Low Support

    Yoga, Pilates, Walking.

  • Medium Support

    Gym, Cycling, Golf.

  • High Support

    Running, Equestrian, Aerobics.

Would you like Underwired or Wirefree?

Please select one

  • Underwired

    Contains shaped wire that sits under the breasts.

  • Wirefree

    Does not contain wire within the cup structure.

  • Don't mind

    Either is fine.

What features are you looking for?

Please select all that apply (leave blank if none apply).

  • Convertible / Racerback

    The straps anchor the sports bra closer to the body.

  • Regular Back

    Vertical straps just like an everyday bra.

  • Padded / Moulded

    Offer extra volume or elegant shaping to the breasts.

  • Non-Padded

    Lightweight cups for a natural fit and appearance.

  • Compression

    Compress the breasts close to the body.

  • Encapsulation

    Encapsulates and supports each breast individually.

  • Compression & Encapsulation

    Compresses and encapsulates each breast individually.

  • Maternity

    If you want a Maternity Sports Bra only select this option.

$10 OFF your personal recommendations

Enter your details and become a member of the Sports bras Direct community.
Receive a $10 discount for your first order over $75!

"*" indicates required fields

I don't want $10 off - just show me the results