Dr. Fuhrman Dr. Fuhrman

How to choose a sports bra

sports bra

Yesterday, I was in a running store. It was a great store; they had a track where you could test the shoes, and even a video to analyze your stride. Personnel seemed competent until I asked for the bra's. This was not an incident. I often go to running stores, I often see and try new bra's (The geek in me likes new products and it took me a long time before I found good bra's in my size). I never received good advice from a male salesperson. "How does it fit" is all they ask. Most of the time, they do not even ask you to jump in it, I guess I understand why. Also, understandably, they do not touch you to enhance the fit of the bra. This is often necessary, though. It is essential that your bra fits well, and you need someone very experienced in bra fitting to help you with that.

On the internet, you'll find a lot of bra sizing charts. They say that if you measure 34 inch under your breasts, your size is 34. This is very often not correct and results in a bra that is too large and will not support your breasts properly. A sports bra should fit very snugly, maybe even a size smaller than your regular bra. The only way to know which bra size you have is to go to the store and fit the bra.

Some tips for buying a sports bra

  • Always try the bra on the loosest setting. Most of the time a bra stretches a little after wearing and washing, so it helps if you have some room to keep it fitting tightly.
  • Go to a specialized store with competent salespeople. In my country, that excludes all major chain stores. Have the salespeople look at how it fits. A bra should fit snugly. It should not ride up on your back and no part of the breast should stick out.
  • Like with running shoes, it is a good idea to go bra shopping near the end of the day, when your breasts are a little heavier. Also: keep an eye on your cycle: some women's breasts change significantly throughout their cycles.
  • It is time to buy a new bra when you notice your bra gives less support than before. It is definitely too late when you notice your breasts start to bounce.
  • Buy a bra that is made for the sport you do. When you bicycle, you do not need as much support as when you run.

A badly fitting bra can cause back and neck pain and saggy breasts. Buy a good one!

See this video from a sports bra manufacturer that demonstrates how a good sports bra minimizes bouncing, when compared to no bra or a normal bra

May 15, 2006