Sports Bras: Fact and Fiction

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We’ve seen it all. Ladies who wear their normal lingerie bras while working out. Women who layer multiple sports bras on top of each other to get better support. And gals who get so frustrated when shopping for sports bras that they just end up sticking with their tried and true sports bra instead of searching for something better. But the worst comes when a sister forfeits her passion to exercise and run because she is so uncomfortable. So what can you do to get yourself into the right sports bra and effectively change your running life?


The breast offense is a good defense. (See what I did there? Sorry I’m not sorry.) Let’s get started by introducing some facts and some fiction regarding sports bras. This will build a good foundation of knowledge for you to use when searching for your next sports bra.

FACT: It’s the most important piece of running gear besides shoes. In fact, as a rule of thumb, you should be replacing your sports bra every time you replace your running shoes, if not sooner.

FACT: Never let a sports bra celebrate a birthday. But birthdays are fun! Right, but not for your sports bra. As sturdy and thoughtfully designed as your sports bra may be, and as absolutely perfect it may feel the day you take it home, it can’t last forever. Materials stretch and lose their integrity and elasticity over time, slowly providing you with less and less support. A year is too long to be wearing the same sports bra!

FACT: I should have 3 sports bras in rotation. One on, one in the wash, one clean and ready for my next run. This is a good rule of thumb and also extends the longevity of your sports bras. (It also gives you a good excuse to buy a few of your favorite bras in different, fun colors and patterns.)

FACT: Not having the proper support while I run will cause my boobs to sag. Yikes, nobody wants that! Not only uncomfortable, running unsupported (or not supported properly) stretches out your Cooper’s ligaments, which act as the springy coils that keep your ladies up and in place. Because breasts are made of soft tissue and not muscle, these Cooper’s ligaments are your only natural support system. And the bad news is, once they get stretched too much, they don’t rebound. AKA, sag city.

FICTION: All sports bras are basically the same. Well, I can tell you one thing for certain, all women’s breasts are not basically the same. So how in the world could we have a one-sports-bra-fits-all situation? With a population of women’s runners that have a wide variety of needs and personal preferences, you will find many different styles, structures, and features within the world of sports bras.

FICTION: When I run, my breasts move up and down. Well, okay, yes that is true. But that’s not the only way they move! They also move side to side, so really, in all directions. The movement creates a butterfly-like pattern as you run. But here’s the good news: a properly fitted sports bra can cut that movement in half!

FICTION: If it’s pretty, it isn’t supportive. While this may have been true in the past, one look at our inventory of high-support bras will show you that beauty is not always skin deep. It’s 2015, people! Sports bras are meant to be seen and shown off, if you so desire. Stylish, even sexy, highly supportive sports bras are available and ready for you to rock on your next run.

FICTION: Since I have large breasts, I’m out of luck. There are high-support sports bras ranging in sizes from A to DD and E. For larger cup sizes, features like thicker, adjustable straps and higher denier fabrics will give any lady a great option for ample support.

FICTION: Since I have small breasts, I don’t need a highly supportive sports bra. Au contraire, mon ami. And I say this as someone with personal experience. You may feel that you don’t have much moving around, but even the average A cup, if unsupported, travels about an inch and a half in each direction as you run. This does make a difference over time and to be honest, you won’t realize the difference until you try running in a high-support sports bra. You really don’t know what you’re missing!

Need more information?

  • Visit our Learning Center and watch a video on Selecting the Perfect Sports Bra, which includes tips for proper fitting.
  • More questions about Sports Bras? Our Learning Center also has a FAQ page full of sports bra questions and answers.

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