Sports Bra
Buying Guide

Did you know that when you exercise, your breasts can move by 3 inches or more in all directions? This is why it is so important to ensure you have a supportive, well-fitting sports bra for bigger boobs. Without one, you’ll be subjecting your bust to unnecessary strain on the delicate tissues and ligaments that are key for support, resulting in a loss of firmness.

Our breasts do not contain any muscle, so once the damage is done to these soft tissues and ligaments there’s no going back! Not to mention the discomfort that can come with high impact exercise when your chest is bouncing around without the right support.

There’s no need to cancel your gym membership just yet though – check out our sports bra buying guide below to help you find the right fuller bust sports bra for your needs. It’s one of the best investments you can make for your chest, and with the right fit you won’t need to squeeze yourself into two sports bras at once!

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Sports Bra Types

It’s good to know what types of sports bra on offer before you try to decide which one you need for your chosen activity. The two main types of sports bra are compression sports bras and encapsulation sports bras.

Compression sports bras are closer to the typical sports bra styles you’ll find on the high street, generally with more of a crop-top design than a cupped bra, although some fuller bust compression sports bras do have seamed cups to ensure you get the right support. They work by holding, or compressing, your breast tissue as close to your chest as possible to reduce movement and can give a ‘uni-boob’ shape with no separation at your cleavage. Compression sports bras are usually non-wired and best for lower to medium impact activities like yoga, walking, and hiking.

Encapsulation sports bras are the holy grail of D+ sports bras, fitting very much like a traditional bra with defined, separate cups to hold each breast comfortably and securely. More often than not they are underwired, with a thick underband to add even more support. An encapsulation sports bra reduces chaffing and can be more comfortable for some people, as it keeps your breasts separated so there’s no rubbing at your cleavage. They’re typically geared towards higher impact activities, like running and HIIT workouts due to the impressive support they can offer.

There are some sports bra styles out there that offer a hybrid of compression and encapsulation style fitting, combining elements from both styles to offer support and hold for D+ cups, like Shock Absorber’s Multi Sports Support bra. This kind of sports bra has more of a compression sports bra style, but uses seams and structure within the bra to give more defined cups that encapsulate each breast.

Sports Bra Sizing Rules

Figuring out the size you need for a sports bra can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. We aim stock a range of top rated, cup sized sports bra styles from leading brands like Shock Absorber, Royce and Panache so you can be sure to find a reliable fit. We recommend that you start by trying your usual bra size – don’t be tempted by going down a cup size or two thinking that will improve the support, because all it will do is cause discomfort and do more harm than good to your breast tissue.

Sports bras can feel much firmer in the band than regular bras, because they have so much more work to do when it comes to supporting and holding D+ cup breasts in place, and 80% of the support comes from your bra’s back band. Depending how you like your regular everyday bras to fit, you might find you need to sister size up or down in a sports bra to get the best fit, for example if you like your everyday bras to fit much firmer than average, then you might find yourself needing to sister size up (up a back and down a cup, e.g. 34G to 36FF) to get a comfortable sports bra fit.

Just remember – sports bras have a big job to do, especially when you have a larger cup size. They do need to fit a little firmer than usual to ensure they can do this! Make sure your new sports bra is fitting firm and snug all-around with minimal movement, so your breasts are securely held in place to minimise bounce and in turn reduce the risk of damage to your breast tissue.

Sports Bra Fitting Tips and Tricks

As a general rule, we tend to advise against choosing a sports bra that you pull-on over your head and comes in S/M/L sizing – these unfortunately are just not made with D+ cup support in mind and while they can be okay for lower impact activities like yoga, we definitely would not recommend going for a run or doing a HIIT class in them.

Check the band size of your sports bra by putting a finger underneath the band and pulling it away. For regular bras you should be able to pull this by an inch or so, but for sports bras we recommend this should only pull away by around half an inch. Of course your comfort is top priority here, and will vary from person to person as we are all built differently, so don’t worry if it’s a little less or more as long as it is securely in place and not riding up your back!

When trying on a new sports bra, try doing a couple of star jumps – get your arms right up in the air and check to see if the cups or band lift up when you do this. If they do, reassess the fit as this suggests you need a smaller band size to get a firmer fit. This is also a great way to test the cups and see if you need to go up or down a cup size. There should be little to no movement when you do this test! If you feel like your bust is bouncing around inside the cup when you move, then try a cup size down if you can, or an alternative style.

Key features to look out for in a sports bra include cushioned shoulder straps, which help to disperse the pressure on your shoulders and keep you feeling comfortable, as well as extra rows of hooks and eyes to give a deeper back band and ensure total support. Many reputable D+ sports bra brands make their fuller bust sports bras out of high performance sports fabrics, that are designed to be breathable and wick away moisture and sweat to keep you feeling comfortable and dry throughout your workout. If you feel like you need even more support, look out for a style that features a j-hook on the straps which you can clip together to bring the straps into a racerback position!

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