Sports bras, or fitness bras, are strongly recommended for women runners. They're specially designed to minimize bounce and discomfort during exercise. Take the time to look around, and you'll find a surprising assortment of styles. Start with our Sports Bra Finder if you know what you want.
Many can be worn as either an "outer layer" on warm days or under a top. There are lots of features to choose from, like padded straps, zip-front styling and molded cups. Some styles look more like conventional bras and are meant to be worn under a T-shirt. These are usually favored by larger-breasted women who need extra support.
One thing to be mindful of is that not all sports bras are created equal. If you're on the voluptuous side, look for styles that say things like "maximum support," or "for larger busts." Don't be afraid to wear two bras, one on top of the other, if that provides the additional support you need. Hey, who'll know? When you're shopping, try on several styles. Do a few vertical leaps in the dressing room. You won't regret spending the effort to get the bra that works just right for you.
As usual in running, fabrics are important. You'll find a lot of cotton/Lycra® blends out there. Beware! Cotton is naturally supportive, which is nice; but it does a terrible job of keeping you dry and comfortable. Supplex/Lycra feels and looks a lot like cotton but dries much more quickly. Nylon blends tend to be the least supportive. You'll find that most fitness bras have CoolMax® liners to help wisk moisture away from your skin.
To figure out your bra size, just follow this quick 2-step process.
You should be wearing a regular bra (no or minimal padding) and be sure to stand tall!
Find your bra band size by taking a snug measurement around your chest underneath the bust.
Use chart 1 to find the band size.
|CHART 1 |
|Under Bust ||Bra Band Size || |
|27" - 28" ||32 |
|29" - 30" ||34 |
|31" - 32" ||36 |
|33" - 34" ||38 |
|35" - 36" ||40 |
|37" - 38" ||42 |
|39" - 40" ||44 |
Find your cup size by measuring around the fullest part of the bust.
Subtract the second measurement from the bra band size.
Use chart 2 to find your cup size.
|CHART 2 |
|Across Bust ||Bra Cup Size || |
|Up to 1/2" ||AA |
|1/2" - 1" ||A |
|1" - 2" ||B |
|2" - 3" ||C |
|3" - 4" ||D |
|4" - 5" ||DD |
|5" - 6" ||DDD |
Now that you've got your size, visit our Sports Bras & Bra Tops section to find your perfect bra!