Most women think all sport bras are about the same.
This used to be true. When sport bras were first designed (not that long ago!), the front of the bra was designed to reduce breast motion by compressing breasts against the body. This is sort of the Ace-bandage approach to sport bras.
Besides limiting breast movement, straps couldn’t keep falling down and there couldn’t be hardware that would dig in. The over-the-head bra solved the bra strap and hardware issue at one swipe. It also made for a bra which could be made inexpensively in a zillion colors and with any fabric with a little stretch in it.
This bra was such an improvement over trying to run or exercise in a regular bra, that everyone loved the idea. Well, not everyone.
There were actually a lot of women sort of left out: those who breasts don’t flatten easily, those who are claustrophobic in an over-the-head bra, those who are breastfeeding who don’t want their milk to disappear, those whose breasts are tender all the time or in a monthly cycle, those who want to do really strenuous exercise, and those who are beyond a Small-Medium-Large size range. Some women have stuffed themselves into 2 or even 3 of these squish-and-flatten type of sport bras to try to keep their breast from moving.
Here’s the major change in bras that too many women don’t know about: there are now bras made that actually fit a woman’s shape, but have the engineering to keep breasts from moving excessively. These are encapsulation bras and come in band and cup sizes just like regular bras. They come in both wire-free and underwire styles, made with wicking/technical fabrics that handle heat and moisture.
These are bras for all kinds of exercise that actually make the process comfortable. Do yourself a favor and try one soon.
Next: 2nd sport bra myth: There is no sport bra that will fit me.
Sue Petracek, IBCLC