Finding the Best Sports Bra for Your Body Type

by jrlong

A guide for finding the best sports bras for your body type-full figure sports bras, sports bras for large breasts, sports bras for sensitive skin...

There are so many kinds of sports bras out there that women don't know which one is best for them. This how to guide highlights sports bra types and who they work the best for. There is a bra for every occasion, and definitely a sports bra for every specific sporting occasion. Let me help you find the right one for you and your girls.

The Sports Bra


Sports bras are an essential part of any active woman’s wardrobe.  However, they didn’t really become main stream until the mid 1970’s.  Today they are available in every style, color, and fabric imaginable.  The hard part is trying to find the one that fits your individual body type and workout intensity.  If you don’t know what you’re looking for specifically, you could get lost in a sea of different bras styles.  Before shopping for sports bras, you need to consider how much support you need, what your budget is, and what size bra you wear.  There are two main types of sports bras by design: compression sports bras and encapsulation sports bras.  While both are intended to keep your girls firmly in place, they do so in noticeably different ways. 

Compression Sports Bras

Compression sports bras are the classic type of sports bras, unchanged in design for over 35 years.  They can be made from a variety of different fabrics: cotton, cotton/poly blend, spandex, lycra, and many other stretchy fabric combinations. Compression bras have a solid strip of fabric that compresses both breasts down flat against the chest.  The classic compression bra is available in many different strap styles as well: racerback, double strap, classic straps, adjustable straps, and one-strap.  However, for women who have a cup size of C or larger, encapsulation bras are recommended for maximum comfort and optimum performance.


Encapsulated Sports bras

Encapsulated sports bras shape your breasts naturally and individually, not giving you a muffin chest like compression sports bras.  In addition, their designs tend to resemble traditional bra styling, so you are not forced to wear a racerback top when you work out.  These sports bras for large breasts are comfortable because they separate each breast, and hold them in place even through high impact workouts without compressing them awkwardly and painfully.

Comfort is Key

Other things to consider when shopping for sports bras is the width and material of both the straps and band.  Because workouts can get intense and your body will be moving a lot, you want to avoid straps too thin and bands made from rubbery material because both will chafe and irritate your skin. 

The Importance of Fabric

The most popular materials for sports bras include cotton (of course) and moisture wicking fabrics that keep you dry while you exercise.  Cotton sports bras are usually not as supportive as blended, synthetic fabrics because they lack the stretchy snap and stabilizing power of synthetic fabric blends.  Synthetic blends are often moisture wicking, keeping you dry and comfortable.

Sports Bra Sizing

Sports bras have come a long way in the last 35 years.  There are now so many styles and fabrics that it is absolutely imperative one does their homework before they embark on a sports bra shopping spree.  Make sure you take correct bra measurements or use a bra fit app to measure you correctly before you invest in any new sports bras. 

Updated: 08/29/2012, jrlong
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katiem2 on 08/30/2012

Very useful information. It pays to do some research before you buy the under garments available are overwhelming. It's easy to buy an ill fitting sports bra. My youngest daughter is starting track and field this spring and will be needing good running bras. Thanks :)K

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