When you’re shopping for new workout gear and shoes, add sports bras to the list, says Teri Taylor, brand manager and bra fit expert for Moving Comfort Canada sports bras. “People seem to forget that sports bras wear out and lose their support just like running and walking shoes do,” says Taylor.
But buying the right sports bra — which has to look and feel great, as well as provide support — can be even trickier than buying a lingerie bra.
Here are five common sports bra annoyances and how to avoid them.
1. You can’t breathe deeply in yoga class
The issue: The bra’s band is too small.
The fix: According to Taylor, many women wear too-small bras, mistakenly thinking that this will control their breasts better. She suggests professional assistance. “Fitting a sports bra is a bit different than fitting an everyday bra,” says Taylor, whose company trains salespeople to fit sports bras. Lingerie shops may have employees who are qualified to do this, but some of the most educated sports-bra fitting experts are in specialty running and athletic stores, she adds.
2. The straps cut into your shoulders
The issue: Regular straps sometimes don’t work for large-breasted women.
The fix: Look for bras with gel straps, padded straps or extra-wide straps that disperse the pressure over a larger area.
3. You dislike the “uni-boob” look
The issue: The stretchy, sporty, compression-style bra (one that pulls over your head) is the wrong choice for you.
The fix: Instead, choose an encapsulation-style sports bra, with hook closures, that supports each breast individually and creates some cleavage.
4. It’s hard to pull off over your head when it’s sweaty
The issue: This is a common problem with bras that don’t have hook closures.
The fix: If it’s a struggle to get out of your bra, move to a model with hook closures, suggests Taylor.
5. Logos and branding show through when you wear a white t-shirt
The issue: The bra is poorly designed.
The fix: Look for a one-colour bra with any coloured logos and branding hidden inside.
Barb Gormley is a certified personal trainer and a freelance health and fitness writer. You can contact her at www.barbgormley.com.