It takes the the right sports bra to be comfortable, no matter if you work out, go running or whatever. Here is what you need to look out for when choosing one and what the best five models for A/B and C/D cups are.
Bad Bras, Good Bras
A bad sports bra can pose a lot of problems. For instance, one of my cycling instructors is always plagued by “headlights,” which are accentuated by the fact that she wears clingy light-colored spandex all the time. Possibly the only thing worse is the saggy, dysmorphic uni-boob that many bras give you. When you’re running, it can feel like you’ve got boulders banging around in your shirt if you don’t have the proper support.
Aside from just looking and feeling awful, bad sports bras can put added strain on your arms and shoulders. An overly tight band can actually restrict your breathing. Worst of all, a bad sports bra can lead to stretching of the Cooper’s ligament, which is the connective tissue responsible for holding your breasts in place. No one wants premature sagging or painful workouts! Plainly put: a woman needs a good sports bra.
What To Look For In A Sports Bra
- The right size: It may seem awkward, but the sales reps are there to help you. Suck it up. Get a measurement!
- Fabric: Avoid cotton and opt for polyester, spandex or nylon with special “moisture-wicking” capability.
- Seams: If you sweat a lot, go with a seamless bra to prevent chafing.
- Style: There’s the over-the-head compression bra, the encapsulated / shaping cup bra, or a combo of the two.
- Two Finger Rule: You should be able to fit two fingers under the straps to ensure breathing won’t be restricted.
- Cup Size: If the cups aren’t fitting smoothly, the bra is too big. If your breasts are popping out, the bra is too small.
- Special Features: If you’ve had a mastectomy or have another irregularity, there are special options for you.
- A new bra every 6-12 months. (After that, they stretch out and are no longer supporting you!)
Best Sports Bras For A/B Cups
- Moving Comfort Alexis Sports Bra: According to Consumer Search, the Moving Comfort Alexis Sports Bra works well for A cup women and B cup women looking for a comfy low-impact (walking/yoga) bra. This compression bra keeps the breasts close to the body, has thin racerback straps and slight padding. Some women say the bra runs a little small and has some problems with chafing during high intensity workouts. ($30)
- Champion Women’s Shape T-Back Sports Bra: Another favorite among fitness magazine editors is the Champion Shape T-Back Sports Bra, which is well-suited for high-intensity aerobics and running. This bra is considered a compression bra, but it has internal cups for added support — so you’re not bouncing around or looking down at the unified Frankenboob. A few reports said the moisture-wicking ability isn’t quite up to par and reviewers complain that the seams may show through workout shirts, but overall, the support is great. ($25)
- Lululemon Power Y Tank: Yoga fans rave about this bra, which is devoid of all painful hooks and closures, but provides subtle padding to prevent an eyeful. The adjustable straps and soft fabric makes this bra a good bet when you’re meditating and posing. ($52)
- Moving Comfort Vixen: This one is really nice for doing high-impact activities like running or tennis without chafing. An added plus is the subtle padding that gives you support and an attractive shape while avoiding the gruesome uni boob. You may want to order a size larger than your usual. ($28)
- ISIS Women’s Henna Sport Bra: Seamless compression, racerback straps, sweat-wicking weave, and flat seams make this an all-around stylish and comfortable bra — whether you’re hitting the mats, going for a run, or running errands. Even in hot, humid Virginia weather, you can count on adequate dryness and soft comfort. Also, the henna pattern is very cute. ($42)
Best Sports Bras for C/D Cups
- Moving Comfort Fiona Sports Bra: Some say D cups are a blessing, but they can definitely feel like a curse during a strenuous workout. Experts recommend the Moving Comfort Fiona Bra, which provides underwire-free encapsulation, internal cups and a traditional back hook enclosure. (No more pulling the bra over your head like a contortionist and stretching it out!) Reviewers say this bra is soft and stylish, good for high intensity for women who are less than a DD. A few women complained about back strap curling, but that’s about it. ($40)
- Champion Double Dry Underwire Support Bra: Not everyone enjoys working out with underwires, but they do add another level of support for larger breasted women. The Champion Double Dry Underwire Full Support Bra provides excellent support with adjustable straps and encapsulating cups. The nylon / spandex material is rated high for moisture-wicking ability and DDs say they find this bra to be a good choice.($30)
- Enell Sports Bra: If your size is in the DD or even DDD, the best bra for you is the Enell. It gets high marks for preventing bouncing and excess movement with its underwire-free encapsulation. The unique front closure makes the bra easy to get on and off. Reviewers say it’s a little lacking in style, breathability and straps that do not adjust, but overall it’s worth every penny if you need the utmost in support. ($65)
- Moving Comfort Luna Bra: Molded seamless cups with padding prevents any kind of distortion. Reviewers also like the moisture-wick material and the adjustable straps. The wider straps prevent moving or stretching mid-workout. One complaint is that the padding can be a bit much, depending on your shirts. ($52)
- Moving Comfort Maia Bra: The Moving Comfort Maia Bra is one of the top-reviewed sports bra on Amazon, with 4.5/5 stars and over 280 reviews. The seam-free molded cups and underwire support promise a smooth look and enhanced fit. You’ll have a back enclosure, along with adjustable straps. All in all, it’s a nice-looking bra for high-intensity activities. Some reviewers complained that this bra runs a bit big and that it’s not the sort of bra you’d wear on its own. ($25)
The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly
In the end, do not be discouraged or feel as though you have to “double-up” on sports bras. Finding the right bra is a bit like finding the right mate… you have to patiently sort through the good, the bad and the ugly, but nothing beats finding that one unconditional support, softness, and comfortable choice that has been eluding you all these years!