Apparel & Accessories

How To Find Your Perfect Sports Bra Fit

Tame Your Tatas

Boobs, melons, cha-chas, jugs, knockers. We’ve got nicknames aplenty for our breasts, but we still don’t like talking about them. Truth is, your girls matter—and we’re here to get them the support they need. No matter your cup size, use our tips to find your best sports bra fit.

Boob Blunders

Is your bosom bouncing on the run? You’re not alone. “We hear women say, ‘I’m not running because it hurts. I wear two bras and it’s not enough,’” says Debbie Perry, co-owner of Salt Lake Running Company. “But if you find the right bra, you’ll only need one, and it will give you the support you need.”

The right sports bra can transform your running, but Perry believes three fit mistakes keep women from loving theirs:

  1. It doesn’t fit. Your workout bra size may differ from your everyday one, so try on in store—with the help of an associate—to find your true size.
  2. It’s too old. Bras shouldn’t have birthdays, according to Perry. If you’re wearing yours regularly, replace it every year.
  3. It’s low quality. A good sports bra is an investment. “People categorize bras as apparel, but I see them as equipment,” Perry says. “Treat your sports bra like your running shoes.” Don’t sell yourself short on a cheap bra that doesn’t work.

Find Your Type

Choose from two bra support systems: compression and encapsulation. Some women love the battened-down feel of compression while others prefer the natural shape of encapsulation. So what’s best for your breasts?

Compression: Locks in the ladies by holding tissue in place, but doesn’t limit vertical or horizontal breast movement. Best for A–B cups. Creates a “uniboob” look that some women dislike.

Encapsulation: Separates breasts into cups to limit crossover motion and protect delicate ligaments. Beneficial for all cup sizes, especially C cup and up. Choose compression plus encapsulation for best support.

Pick Your Impact Level

A light- to medium-impact bra may do the trick for yoga or small cup sizes, but bustier runners need a high-impact style to prevent bouncing and sagging. Don’t skimp on materials—high-quality, moisture-wicking fabric matters more than style or color.

The Right Fit

Once you’ve been measured and tried on a bra, check the fit. Is your cleavage showing or tissue spilling out? Switch sizes or style; more coverage equals more support.

Straps: Check the spacing. Two fingers between the straps and your shoulders is ideal.

Band: Raise your arms over your head. If the band rides up or pulls away, it’s too big, “It shouldn’t move, but shouldn’t be so tight that it’s leaving marks on skin,” Perry says.

Cup: Scoop your breasts and center them in the cups. If the fabric wrinkles, the cup’s too big. If tissue spills out, the cup’s too small.

Finally, test it like you mean it. “Lots of ladies will be in the dressing room jumping,” Perry says. Do jumping jacks in the mirror to see if the bra has enough support.

Pregnancy Fit Tips

Running through your pregnancy? You’ll need a new bra. Women can gain up to two cup sizes when pregnant or nursing. Opt for a slightly-too-big style—you’ll grow into it.

For nursing, choose front adjustability. “You can undo the straps and quickly feed your baby before exercise,” Perry says.

Bra Recommendations Based On Cup Size

A Cup

Icebreaker Cool-Lite Meld Zone Long Sports Bra, $75

Run sans tank in this crop-top bra made of quick-wicking, cooling Merino wool fabric.

B Cup

Brooks FastForward Crossback, $34

With minimal back coverage and full adjustability, this compression bra makes movement easy.

C Cup

FALKE Versatility Maximum Support, $85

Get a secure fit with this double-layer, front-closure bra built for runners seeking high-impact support.

D Cup

Lululemon Enlite Bra, $98

If your cups runneth over, choose this groundbreaking bra. Its revolutionary fabric is soft enough to sleep in, supportive enough for long runs and holds in the girls without flattening them.

Maternity & Nursing

SkirtSports Carrie C/D Bra, $66

A must for post-baby runs, nursing-friendly front Velcro straps make feeding easy, and encapsulation supports heavy, milk-filled breasts.