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Sports Bra Buying Guide

For women, the value of a well-fitting sports bra cannot be underestimated. Here’s everything you need to know about picking the right sports bra for your needs.


As breasts are made of soft tissue (not muscle) and are not connected to any muscles in the body (breasts are supported by skin and ligaments named ‘Cooper’s ligaments,’) they move independently from the rest of the body.

No matter what size your breasts are, physical activity will cause them to bounce and move and once the Cooper’s ligaments are stretched, they won’t return back to normal. Wearing a sports bra will give your breasts the support they need and prevent pain, chafing and sagging that could occur over time.

The level of support in sports bras is sometimes graded as: low, medium and high impact. The activities you plan on doing will determine which level of support you need from your sports bra. For example, a high impact sports bra would be needed for activities where there is a lot of movement, such as running and dancing. Whereas a low impact sports bra would better suit activities such as yoga and weight training.


Sports bras are generally divided into two main types - compression bras and encapsulation bras. Compression bras look like crop tops and flatten your breasts against your chest, whereas encapsulation bras look much similar to normal bras with built-in cups.

Encapsulation bras are sized like normal bras with band and cup sizes, which can make picking a size a little easier. Compression bras tend to be sized as S, M, L, XL.

Compression bras won’t restrict movement as well as encapsulation bras, so for high impact activities, opt for the latter option as this will give you better support.

Introducing a brand new silhouette to the Brooks Sports Bra collection. The Embody offers unparalleled comfort and control for fuller-cupped women thanks to a blend of encapsulation and compression support, padded convertible straps, and a soft, brushed bottom band.

Regular Price: £45.00

Special Price £27.00


Your sports bra will feel tighter than your normal bra and should feel snug - but not too restricting. It certainly shouldn’t be hard to breathe in your sports bra. A good fitting sports bra will allow you to fit two fingers between the band around your rib cage and your body.

However, this band shouldn’t move when you stretch - a good way to test this is to jump up and down with both arms raised above your head. The elastic band at the bottom of the bra shouldn’t move. If it does, it’s too big. Another thing to look out for is if there are a lot of creases in the material when the bra is on, that’s a sign that it’s too big.

It’s important that your sports bra allows unrestricted movement. The last thing you want to be worrying about is your strap falling down or the hook coming undone while you’re trying to perform at your best.

Depending on the style of the bra, the straps might also be different. Some sports bras are racerback - which will allow full movement of the arms. Others have thinner straps, which are generally better suited to low impact activities.


Your sports bra should be made from a sweat-wicking material that will keep you cool and dry while working out. When you exercise you sweat, and without the right material, this excess moisture will be trapped close to your skin and could cause a rash or skin irritation.

Some sports bras also include mesh ventilation sections that allow better airflow while you train. Also look out for flat locked seams to prevent unnecessary chafing. Some sports bras will also have cushioned straps that allow better comfort and support.

Washing and care

A good sports bra can be a pricey investment, and while this expenditure will be worth every penny, you’ll also want to look after the garment to make it last as long as possible. Ensure you follow the specific washing and care instructions given on the label for best results.

Depending on how often you wear your sports bra, you should replace it every six to 12 months. If possible, try to rotate the sports bras you use too so that they don’t wear out as quickly.

Check out the wide selection of sports bras in our store.


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