I feel like finding the best sports bra for running is kinda on par with the topic of using running shoes for running, and training shoes for training. People kinda know it’s important but we get distracted by pretty colours and even the hype sometimes. But one sports bra, does not fit all [sports]!
I don’t even know how many sports bras I own – I’ve lost count! But I do know, I have the right support whenever I need it. Be it something soft, cute and strappy for lounging around, or a medium support option for indoor / outdoor cycling and plenty of choice for the demands of running or HIIT workouts.
How many sports bras do you need to own is not a question I can answer though! If you have what you need, when you need it… you have enough.
Why Are Sports Bras Important?
Wearing a well fitting sports bra minimises movement of the breasts during running or other hit impact activities. It has been estimated that during high-energy, high-impact sports women’s breasts can move up to ten or more centimetres which means that anatomically there is not much natural support.
The first sports bra was invented in 1977 by Lisa Lindahl after trying the latest craze of jogging, but finding it painful without a supportive braUSA Today
Sports bras provide support but they also allow sweat to be wicked away from the body and reduce chaffing of sensitive skin or nipples.
For women who consistently run or jump these factors can go a long way towards avoiding or alleviating breast pain as well as fighting the sagging of the breasts (Breast Advice).
The Sports Bra Commandments
Here are the 5 simple sports bra commandments that I personally live by:
- Wear A Sports Bra
- Get Measured
- Choose A Bra Suited To Your Activity And Bust Size
- Your sports bra should be comfortable, supportive… and many more things
- Your Sports Bra Won’t Live Forever.
I think they’re self explanatory but we’re gonna dive a little deeper into the specifics for running especially when it comes to fit.
How Should Your Sports Bra Fit
If you’re asking yourself if your sports bra is supposed to be so tight, or why they’re so uncomfortable… well, the answer is yes and no, and they shouldn’t be uncomfortable.
How tight your sports bra is should be related to the sport or activity you’re doing. High impact activities like running or HIIT classes will need more support than say, yoga or barre.
Your sports bra should be so many more things than tight or uncomfortable; they should be comfortable, supportive and allow you to breathe and feel unrestricted.
They should also look good, make you feel good and be functional. We’re not asking for too much, huh?!
Best Sports Bras For Running
Do you even need a sports bra for running? Well, yes. I would hope by now we agree on that. Back in 2014, I was regularly running and also leading weekly run clubs. During these sessions we spoke a lot about sports bras, the support required from a sports bra when running and how no matter how small your chest is you do still require support.
“No matter how small your chest is, you still require support”elle
Encapsulation Sports Bras vs Compression
When it comes to running, you have two options. Either encapsulation sport bras which have two cups like a regular bra or compression which is like a crop top that you pull over your head, and works by compressing your breasts to your chest.
Compression bras are most suited to women with smaller chests; encapsulation offers a much higher level of support.
How should a running sports bra fit?
When it comes to fit, your sports bra should be snug but you shouldn’t be restricted. Make sure you get measured to find a good fit, but once you have the sports bras there are some simple movements you can do to ensure suitability.
“80% Of Women Are Wearing The Wrong Bra Size”
Test The Cup Size
1. SQUAT JUMP
If your breasts bounce significantly in the cups when you jump or land, the cup size is too large. If your breasts are squeezed at the top of the cups, the cup size is too small.
2. FORWARD BEND
You know the cup size is too big if you can see down the bra when you lean over. If your breasts are squeezed at the top of the cups, the cup size is too small.
Testing The Band Size
1. LUNGE with ROTATION
Test your band size with a simple rotation. If the band moves with you as you twist, it’s too big. If your breasts or back spill out near the underarms, the band is too small.
2. ARM RAISES
As you lift your arms, the band should stay in place. If the band moves up when you raise your arms, it’s too big. If your breasts or back spill out near the underarms, the band is too small.
I’m wearing the adidas FASTIMPACT LUXE RUN HIGH-SUPPORT BRA* in the above imagery.
To be frank, as put in Stylist, POOR BRA SUPPORT = POOR SPORTS PERFORMANCE.
Think about it… have you ever run in a low support bra?! You spend so much time and energy focusing on how uncomfortable you are, and ways to create less bounce, right?!
When you’ve got the best sports bra for running, with ample support, you can go all out.
So what’s the best sports bra for running that you’ve found? Alternatively, if you have a question, drop it in the comments below too!