How Do You Find the Perfect Sports Bra?

How Do You Find the Perfect Sports Bra?

By Shannon Del Prince

Wearing a comfortable sports bra with a proper fit can be a game-changer for women who live an active lifestyle. Many women struggle with discomfort from wearing the wrong size sports bra, as many factors must be considered when choosing one. 

woman stretching in black sports bra and shorts
Photo Courtesy of Anastasia Hisel on Unsplash

Read on to learn the easiest way to find the perfect sports bra for your activewear needs!

Typically, people can choose from three different levels of support when choosing a sports bra: low, medium, and high.  

  • Low Support: Ideal for low-impact activities such as strength training, walking, golfing, and yoga. 
  • Medium Support: Ideal for medium-impact activities such as hiking, dancing, cycling, and skiing.
  • High Support: Ideal for high-impact activities such as running, mountain biking, aerobics, and lacrosse.

If you partake in various fitness activities, it is a good idea to have a sports bra with the right level of support for each different activity based on the impact level.

woman in baseball cap and sports bra looking at the view during a hike outdoors
Photo Courtesy of Antonio Rangel on Pexels

Once you have decided the level of support you want, there are several steps you can take to ensure you find the perfect sports bra for your workout needs. 

  1. Measure Rib Cage: Use a tape measure to measure your rib cage, right beneath your breasts, where the band of the sports bra will sit. Be sure to keep the measuring tape straight across your back and snug against your body. Make a note of this measurement.
  2. Measure Bust: Use a tape measure to measure around your body and the fullest part of your breasts. Be sure to keep the measuring tape straight across your back and snug against your body. Make a note of this measurement.
  3. Find Band Size: The rib cage measurement will help you determine the band size of your sports bra. If shopping in-person, it is helpful to try on the bra before purchasing. You should be able to fit no more than two fingers between the band and your body.
Rib Cage Measurement Band Size
25" - 27" 30
27" - 29" 32
29" - 31" 34
31" - 33" 36
33" - 35" 38
35" - 37" 40
37" - 39" 42
39" - 41" 44
  1. Find Cup Size: Subtract the rib cage size from the bust size to determine cup size. When trying on the bra, breasts should be fully contained and sit centered within the cups.
Bust Size Minus Rib Cage Size Your Cup Size
3" AA
4" A
5" B
6" C
7" D
8" DD
9" E
10" F
  1. Choose Features: Sports bras come with various features such as adjustable straps, underwire, sweat-wicking fabrics, and back closure. Choose a bra that has the features you prefer.
  2. Test Support and Comfort: Trying on a sports bra before purchasing is the best way to determine if it is adequate for your body's needs. When trying the bra on for size, run in place or jump up and down to test the support level and comfortability when moving.
woman facing a wall wearing a black shirt with a cutout in the back showing of sports bra
Malia Warren, owner of Lifting the Dream, wearing the Back It Up Tank

When in doubt, visiting an athletic clothing retailer near you is an excellent way to get in touch with an expert who can help you find the perfect sports bra. Having the right size sports bra to support your breasts when you are active will transform your exercise experience!

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