Women's Sports Bras
A sports bra is a workout must-have whether you're training for a marathon or hitting the punching bags. While many different types exist to cover a variety of needs, each generally falls into one of the following three categories: high impact sports bra, medium impact sports bra and low impact sports bra.
As you might have guessed, high support sports bras are intended for intense activities that involve lots of movement, such as running, jumping and kicking. To help create more support, they feature compression sports bra technology. These might also include high neck sports bras or longline sports bras, which can help prevent bouncing.
Medium impact sports bras are less compressive but still provide plenty of support. This makes them ideal for activities such as brisk walking or light jogging, hiking and spin class. Low impact sports bras are perfect for workouts that don't involve rapid movements, such as stretching, yoga and barre. They're often made with softer, more giving materials—think cotton sports bras—are free of zippers and are less constrictive. This can lend to greater comfort and even improved flexibility during class.
All three types of sports bras can come in many silhouettes and styles, not limited to racerback sports bras, padded sports bras and beyond. Of course, they also come in a range of colors from black sports bras to white sports bras. Some of our favorite brands include Nike sports bras, Calvin Klein sports bras, Adidas, Brooks and Wacoal.
How Should a Sports Bra Fit?
A sports bra should fit snugly to your chest (slightly snugger than a typical bra) and contain both your breasts. There shouldn't be any part of your breasts that are “pushed out" of the bra itself (this can lead to poor support). The shoulder straps and band should neither dig into your skin nor feel too loose. Additionally, the band should wrap around your chest and back without rising up higher in the back. (this indicates the bra is too small and it will also lead to poor support). The cups should feel smooth and not have any gaps.
What is the Best Sports Bra?
The best sports bra is the one that makes you feel comfortable, confident and supported. For you, that might mean a padded sports bra that creates the silhouette you desire, or a front closure sports bra—such as a zip front sports bra—that allows you to put on and remove the bra more easily. An adjustable sports bra can also be helpful since it allows you to adjust as necessary for a more customized fit. Because different workouts require different levels of support, we recommend having at least one high, medium and low impact sports bra in your arsenal.