Protecting and supporting your chest is the most important thing for female runners—ya know, next to shoes and stuff.
Maybe it was your first or your favorite or you like how it looks, but chances are it’s not the right one for you. That’s right, according to some statistics, 80% of women wear the wrong size bra. (What did you think we were talking about?)
Luckily for female runners and their chests, Fleet Feet Sports has expanded their thorough shoe-fitting process standards to running bras. In addition to providing special training for staff (even the men), their franchise stores are committed to carrying a wide selection of bra options enabling women to truly find their best fit.
“Wearing the wrong size bra can be painful. Don’t get stuck in that rut,” says Jillian Wiederer, who handles franchise support and training programs for Fleet Feet Sports. “There are options to make running fun.”
Wearing the wrong size bra can also affect the intensity of your workout. According to a study performed by Moving Comfort, one in three women don’t work out as hard as they could because they aren’t properly supported. Many even wear multiple sports bras at once or even a traditional bra with a sports bra on top for additional support.
But there are solutions to help make running comfortable for women of every cup size. In addition to taking size into account, preferred styles and what a customer wants from a sports bra, the staff at Fleet Feet Sports want shoppers to consider comfort, breathability and support.
“Much like shopping for bathing suits and jeans, finding a sports bra that fits can take time,” Wiederer says. “Get in the right mindset and don’t be afraid to try on lots of bras.”
For those who like to know before they go, here are the five steps to the fitting process:
1. While female and male employees at Fleet Feet Sports are educated on sports bras, it’s only the female employees that help with the fit process. The first step includes taking rib cage and bust measurements to determine cup and band size.
2. Next is your opportunity to look at bra options. Share style preferences, any special considerations (e.g. needing a front clasp bra due to shoulder mobility issues), likes and dislikes.
3. Once selections are made, it’s time to see what fits. Your sales person will stay close to the dressing room to check for proper fit and make adjustments as needed. Keep in mind, straps shouldn’t be too loose or too tight, and the bottom band needs a snug fit—it’s the most supportive part of the bra. Also cups should have no spillage or puckering (indications of too small and too large).
4. Jump up and down, run in place, raise arms up in the air—test to ensure the fit is comfortable and functional.
5. After finding the best fit for you, the only thing left to do is enjoy pain-free running!
Was this helpful? Here’s some more info on sports bras: