“During a workout, breast tissue will tear a little bit no matter what you do” – Sharon Hayles, President of Diane’s Lingerie

When Sharon Hayles told me this during a recent interview, she instantly got my attention. Sports bra shopping has always been a necessary evil for me, so I usually choose the first one that works for me (and has a fun print or style).  As it turns out, that’s not exactly the best way to do it.  Similar to everyday bras, it’s worth putting in a little extra effort when you’re selecting a sports bra.  

  • Overall Proper Fit.  The bra fits perfectly if the bust is completely covered and supported; the whole breast should be encompassed by the bra and it should not cut into your chest, neckline, or back.  When you lift your arms, the lower part of the bust should stay safely covered and the bra should not shift.
  • Strap Position.  The straps on a sports bra should be positioned closer to the neck to prevent them from slipping over the shoulder; this is why all sports bras generally have straps positioned closer to the centre.
  • Band Width.  Contrary to popular belief, the band is where most of the support in a sports bra comes from.  As a result, it’s important to choose the right band size: the band of the bra should fit snug against your skin without pinching you.

Hayles also suggests considering the type of fitness activities you normally do; a dedicated yogi will require different support, fit, and function than a marathon runner.

Running, Soccer, Equestrian Sports
Look for a sports bra with a maximum support level and thick straps.  Running, soccer, and equestrian sports include a lot of movement and repeated impact, so a supportive sports bra that reduces bounce is the most important factor.
Try: Extreme Control Maximum Support Sports Bra or Momentum Maximum Support Sports Bra.

Cross Fit, Marathon Running, Hockey, Rugby
For endurance-intensive sports, look for a bra that has maximum support and maximum movement.  The key here is to find a bra that allows you to move freely without the bra chafing, digging, or pinching you.  If you have the opportunity to try the bra on, move, stretch, and even jump in it to see how it feels.
Try: Air Control Firm Support Wire-Free.

Tennis, Volleyball, Baseball/Softball, Rowing
Look for a bra that has medium to high support, but allows plenty of freedom and movement for the arms and shoulders.  X-back bras are perfect for these sports, as the cut and design provide full bust support without restricting the arms and shoulders.
Try: DynamiXstar Maximum Support Wire-free Sports Bra.

Yoga, Pilates, Spin
For lower impact sports, look for a bra with light to medium support, depending on your preference.  A lighter sports bra will not restrict or restrain you and will offer both flexibility and support.
Try: Light & Firm Sports Bra.

Once you find your perfect sports bra, be sure to take care of it.  Hand-wash it in cold water, hang to dry, and always skip the fabric softener – it will ruin the elasticity of the fabric.  Take care of your sports bra and it will take care of you.

For more information or to schedule a fitting, contact Diane’s Lingerie.  Anita Camouflage Extreme Control Sports Bra c/o Diane’s Lingerie and Anita.