By Karen Kwan
Yes, you want your sports bra to help support your breasts and keep them from bouncing around too much but there’s more to consider than just that, says Liliana Mann. “You should buy a sports bra according to the intensity of your sport—much like how you wear different sport shoes for your different activities,” she says.
So why not get the most supportive bra and wear that for all your sports to have maximum control over bounce? Because you want your bra to control motion but not cause discomfort, explains Liliana, who is the owner of Linea Intima lingerie shops in Toronto. In general, strong control generally means the bra is less comfortable, “so if you don’t need the extra control, why wear it?” she says. “You wouldn’t wear a more supportive shoe for a light activity, the same goes for sports bras.”
More sports bra know-how:
• Look for bras made of technical fabrics that wick perspiration away from your skin to help keep you cooler and more comfortable.
• Jump or move around in the bra as you would in your chosen activity for this particular bra.
• Sweat can break down the Lycra in a sports bra, plus the acidic nature of this type of sweat can develop into odours in the fabric, says Liliana, so it’s essential to wash your sports bras immediately (ie. no tossing it into the laundry basket once you get home from the gym—launder it immediately).
• Much like how you’d replace your running shoes every 500 kilometres or so, your sports bras need replacing regularly as well. One should last you approximately six months (depending on your level of activity).
• Look for bras with cup and chest sizes (like a conventional bra) with hook and eye closures, rather than the ones merely sized small, medium and large. The type that you pull on over your head? Think about it: if you’re able to stretch it over your head and shoulders to get it on, it’s too stretchy (and will become even more stretched out with repeated wearings) and won’t offer your bosom the support it needs.
• Don’t assume your sports bra size is equal to your everyday bra size, says Liliana. With a sports bra, you really do need to try it on, jump and move around.
• Sports bras make great bras for traveling in. “They’re not constrictive so they’re great for long flights or road trips,” she says.
Image: Shock Absorber Max Support Bra Top