Sports bras are a woman’s best friend to help her feel comfortable and supported while engaging in physical activity. There are dozens of shapes and styles on the market and finding your perfect one can take a little bit of trial and error.
Let’s take a look at the 5 essentials that you should be looking for when choosing the perfect bra for sports:
1. Compression vs. Encapsulation
There are two main variations when it comes to sports bras: compression and encapsulation. Compression sports bras are designed to flatten the breasts to the chest. Encapsulation sports bras are designed to separate and lift each breast.
Most compression sports bras are a one piece stretchy bra that slips on over the head. They are usually best for light impact activities. Encapsulation bras are designed to be similar to traditional underwire bras. They may or may not have an underwire feature, but they often have wider bands and are constructed of sturdier fabric than compression sports bras.
2. Moisture Wicking Fabric
Choosing a sports bra with moisture wicking fabric is essential to keep you feeling cool and comfortable. While cotton bras may be comfortable for lounging around the house, they will trap moisture and create chafing and redness.
Many bras for sports on the market today are made with the wearer’s comfort in mind. Be sure to look for one that has a wicking band and sides to keep you dry even when working up a sweat.
3. Closure Options
Closure options are a personal preference, so it is recommended to try a variety of sports bras on to see what you are most comfortable wearing. Generally speaking, sports bras come in 3 closure options: pull on (no closures at all), front closures and back closures.
Closures can be zippers or hook and eye style fasteners. Depending on your mobility, range of motion, and overall preference, steer yourself towards bras that only have the closure style that you prefer. Choosing one that has a closure that is awkward or uncomfortable for you to wear will only result in the bra being pushed to the back of your drawer and rarely getting worn.
4. Level of Activity
The level of activity will directly impact the kind of sports bra that you will need. Activities such as gentle yoga, pilates and walking may only require a low impact sports bra. However, if you will be running, doing aerobics or kickboxing, a higher impact sports bra will be essential in keeping you comfortable.
The higher impact rated sports bras work to reduce the amount of bounce that you will feel when engaging in your chosen activity. Take the time to read the tags or the online description of each sports bra to determine which one will be the best for you. Online reviews can be very helpful when shopping!
Sports bras can definitely be an investment. Oftentimes, they cost more than a traditional daily use bra. While it is important to think about the cost of a quality sports bra as an investment in your health, there are also ways to save money when purchasing your next sports bra.
Check local stores in your area first to see which styles you like and hope to purchase. Once you have found the one that you want, sign up for sales and promotional email lists at the stores that carry your favorite sports bra brand. Sign up for notifications from both brick and mortar and online shops, then you can wait for a great sale before purchasing.
Taking these tips into consideration when shopping for your next sports bra will save you time, money and frustration. Know that you’re not alone if you have to try on many different brands, styles and sizes to find the perfect sports bra for your needs. Once you have found the ideal match, consider purchasing a few so you have multiple sports bras to rotate through. Having several at the ready will result in them being worn and needing to be washed less, thus extending their lives.