A Guide to Finding Your New Favorite Sports Bra
A great running bra is one you don’t have to constantly adjust during your race or training run. If you’ve found yours, you probably own that bra in eight different colors. If you haven’t, we’re here to help. We recently worked with our partners at New Balance to put together this guide to finding a sports bra that fits your body—and whatever workouts you’re about to tackle.
First, let’s talk fit. Sports bras should fit like your everyday bras, and you should purchase them in the same size you typically wear. As a refresher on how to find that size, follow these four steps:
1) Find your band size. Pull a tape measure tautly around your rib cage, directly under your bust. This measurement corresponds to your band size:
25-26” rib cage // 30 band
27-28” rib cage // 32 band
29-30” rib cage // 34 band
31-32” rib cage // 36 band
33-34” rib cage // 38 band
35-36” rib cage // 40 band
37-38” rib cage // 42 band
39-40” rib cage // 44 band
2) Measure your bust. Take a slightly looser measurement around the fullest part of your breasts without compressing them.
3) Calculate your cup size. Subtract your band size from your bust size, and find the difference:
1” difference // A cup
2” difference // B cup
3” difference // C cup
4” difference // D cup
5” difference // DD cup
4) Determine your sports bra size by combining your band size and cup size.
Now that you’re armed with that info, think about the type of workouts you’ll be doing.
- High impact: running, high-intensity training, cardio, sports
- Medium impact: running, spinning, cycling, kickboxing, cardio
- Low impact: yoga, Pilates, barre, weight training
When you’re buying a bra, the online product description—or tag, if you’re shopping in store—will probably note the impact level. Pick one that’s appropriate to your activity. In other words, don’t wear a sports bra meant for yoga to run a marathon.
Once you’ve zeroed in on the bra you need, hit the shops. While trying on running bras, take a deep breath to test how it will feel as your lungs fill with air during a workout. Here are five more things to check for when you’re in the fitting room. (Source: barenecessities.com)
- Cups: Your breasts should fill them without spilling out. If you're falling out or seeing a bumpy shape under your clothes, try going up a cup size. If there's a gap between you and the bra, try going down a cup size.
- Band: It should be straight and level around the body, not riding up in the back. The band—not the straps—should be doing the bulk of the supporting work.
- Straps: Make sure they stay in place without digging into or slipping off your shoulders.
- Center gore, if applicable: Check that it lays flat between your breasts and doesn’t lift off the chest.
- Underwire, if applicable: It should surround each breast and lay flat against you with no poking or pinching.
Beyond fit and function, think about what else you want from your workout gear, like eco-friendly fabric, sweat-fighting features, and added comfort. Here are four New Balance running bras we think you’ll love, all made with NB Dry moisture-wicking technology.
This bra means business. With sizes that range from 32A to 42DD, the NB Power Bra works for almost everybody. It’s got encapsulated cups that help reduce vertical and lateral movement and gel-infused straps for added comfort. Eco-friendly fabric—the bras are made with 44% recycled yarns—help you feel good about what you’re wearing while providing moisture-wicking and breathability.
The NB Hero Bra, available in sizes XS-XL, is another high-impact option but with thinner straps. It’s made with 44% recycled yarns plus lining that’s made from recycled coffee grounds for extra moisture-wicking.
The foil-printed NB logo gives the popular NB Pulse Bra a little shine, and looks great if you want to remove an outer layer. It’s available in sizes XS-XL and comes with removable pads for shaping and modesty.
The NB Pace Bra, available in sizes XS-XL, provides compression on top and a wide bottom band for comfort and support.