Choosing The Correct Sports Bra To Run In

Women's Running

Choosing The Correct Sports Bra To Run In

A decent sports bra is important for any form of exercise, but particularly for running which is a high impact activity. Read on to find out how to get the right bra for you and your running.

A decent sports bra is important for any form of exercise, but particularly for running which is a high impact activity. Read on to find out how to get the right bra for you and your running.


Types of sports bras

There are two main types of sports bras:

1

Encapsulation bras

This type of sports bra has built-in cups to support each breast individually.  

2

Compression bras

This type of sports bra compresses the breasts against the chest to restrict movement.

How do I know what bra is the best fit?

A sports bra should be a snug fit but still allow unrestricted movement. It should not be so tight that it restricts your breathing. As a rule, you should only be able to insert one or two fingers under the band or into the cup.

The band that sits at the bottom of the sports bra (and on top of your ribs) should also be a snug fit. A good way to test the fit of your sports bra is to raise both arms above your head and jump up and down. The band at the bottom of the sports bra shouldn’t move during this test. If it does then that’s a sign it’s too big.

What size should I go for?

If you choose to run in an encapsulation bra, the sizing will be similar to normal bra sizes which can make it easier to choose the right one for you. Compression bras, on the other hand tend, to be sized as small, medium, large...etc. Remember that everyone’s bust is different and what works for one woman may not work for others. It’s important to ensure your bra fits as comfortably as your running shoes. Bras do not require ‘running in’ in the same way as trainers but don't wear a new bra on race day unless you've tested it beforehand.

Another important thing to bear in mind is that during your training, it’s possible that your weight will change and as a result, your bra size could also change. If you notice that the bra no longer fits then you will need to buy a new sports bra of the correct size.

What material should it be made from?

Like any of your running kit, the material is an important consideration when buying a sports bra. It should be made from a sweat-wicking material that will keep you cool and dry during your run.

The right material will remove sweat from the surface of your skin to avoid skin irritation, chafing and rashes.  

How can I tell when the sports bra needs replacing?

The clearest sign that your bra needs replacing is when it doesn't seem to perform as well as when you first bought it. This will be evident when there is increased movement of the bust, but this may be difficult to spot because the change in fit will be gradual. A clear sign that a bra needs replacing is when a previously comfortable bra starts to rub.

It is suggested by some manufacturers that a sports bra with moderate use will need replacing every three to four months. If you are of a larger cup size, the elastic may deteriorate faster which will mean that you need to replace your sports bra more frequently.