At Title Nine, we believe that there are no bad boobs, just bad bras! It's easier than most people realize to find a great fitting sports bra given the right knowledge. We've bundled everything you need to know in our Sports Bra FAQ - so you can find the right bra and amount of support to get you in the game and keep you there.
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Sports bras are not the same as everyday bras and we can't put up our best performance if we're distracted by the wrong bra! A sports bra is specifically designed to deliver proper support and comfort during everything from high-impact activities like trail running and mountain biking, to low-impact activities like yoga and hiking. Made of performance fabrics, they wick away moisture, which prevents chafing during workouts. It's important to invest in a quality sports bra so that our Cooper's ligaments (connective tissue in the breast that helps maintain support, i.e. where the perk comes from) are not permanently stretched.
Too many of us won't think twice about dropping $5 every weekday on a latte, or $100 plus on a pair of running shoes, but balk when it comes to buying a bra that costs more than a to-go pizza. We believe a sports bra is an investment not just in good Cooper's ligament health, but in our overall health and fitness. Why double up on two mediocre bras to get support when you can have one great one? Our most supportive, silent training partner—a great, well-engineered sports bra—can make or break our workout.
Yep, you can buy a "sports bra" from Victoria's Secret or you can buy one from Nike or Target or even Dick's Sporting Goods, but only at Title Nine will you get the expertise that comes from decades of selling, testing, and designing bras. Only at Title Nine will you find sports bras from dozens of manufacturers. Only at Title Nine will you get expert fit advice from women who actually wear and test each and every sports bra, and only at Title Nine do you get the take-it-for-a-test-drive, 360 Guarantee.
Here at Title Nine we don't just sell sports bras: we try them on and test them ourselves by the hundreds. The bras we reach for time and time again are the ones you'll find in our selection: bravangelist-tested and approved.
In short, the larger the cup size and higher the impact level of the activity, the more support you'll likely need—so don't send a low-impact A cup bra to do a high-impact job for a D! Use our handy barbell Barbell Rating System to help you find the right support for your impact level.
There are three main types of impact levels: high, medium, and low. As noted under "How do I know how much support I need?" the wearer's cup size is an important factor. A B cup doing a high impact activity may not need as much support as a DD cup doing the same activity. The following are some examples of each type of impact level:
Use our handy Barbell Rating System to help you find the right support for your impact level.
The girls don't just move up and down but in a figure-eight movement: it's not just bounce we need to renounce, but multi-directional movement. That's why it's important to get the right bra style for your size and activity. Sports bras sometimes say that they offer compression and encapsulation. Here are some basic definitions.
Compression: the sports bra has firm yet stretchy fabric that presses the breasts against the body kind of like a hug while you run, jump, or hike. This is usually found in 'classic' pullover racerback styles.
Encapsulation: supports each breast individually and gives you better support from underneath. These may look more like everyday bras.
Bras that offer both encapsulation and compression are often used by high-impact activity lovers and those with larger breasts. (Use our handy Barbell Rating System to help you find the right support level for your impact level.) Sports bras offered by Title Nine use both encapsulation and compression, some using more compression, others relying more on encapsulation.
No longer are we restricted to just "small, medium, large" when it comes to sports bras. In most cases, your sports bra size will be the same cup and band size as your everyday bra. Sports bras are designed to fit a bit firmer/snugger than your everyday bra, eliminating the need to downsize for more support or compression. (That could be doing more harm than good!) While most of our sports bras come in specific band-cup size combinations, some do come in size ranges. For these bras, we will always give the equivalents. For example: S(32BC-34B), M(34BC-36B), etc. If you need help figuring out your sports bra size, try our Sports Bra Fit Calculator. Our bravangelists are also happy to help!
The short answer: yes. A cups may not need as much support and construction as C and D cup gals, but some lightweight support helps keep the A cups perky and those Cooper's ligaments healthy for a good long time. Plus, a sports bra can provide us with nipple coverage while eliminating that long-run, chafing problem.
The very general guideline is never let a sports bra celebrate a birthday. But if you are a C, D or double D who runs then we recommend replacing your sports bra every time you replace your running/sports shoes. If you're wearing out your running shoes, you're also unknowingly wearing out your sports bra at the same time. No matter how often you wear it - and no matter how much you love cake and candles - a sports bra should never celebrate a birthday. If you are exercising more than four times a week, you'll need to replace it before the year is up. For more information on when it's time to replace a sports bra and how to take care of it, check out our sports bra care tips.
Say goodbye to the old-school methodology of doubling-up: sports bra advancements mean gals can be one-and-done at any size (yes, even you, DD+ gals)! Advanced technology and engineering means that sports bras can give all chest sizes the support they need in a single bra.
One well-fitted sports bra should do the job, period. Regardless of cup size, doubling up lesser sports bras will not deliver the same support that one properly sized, impact-level appropriate sports bra can give. So, no more wearing a sports bra over an everyday bra, or wrapping oneself in bandages or tape. Getting in and out of all that is a workout unto itself! Try out our Bra Genie to find one bra to rule them all.
Absolutely! We often hear from larger cup gals that it is difficult to find a sports bra with enough support for high-impact activities like running and horseback riding. For this reason, we carry the largest selection of DD-DDD+ high-impact level sports bras on the market.
Our top picks for horseback D-cup gals riders are our Trade-Up Sports Bra (which is great for wire-free bra fans) and our Intrepid Underwire Sports Bra (for underwire fans who prefer to stay away from the uniboob look.) Those who are DDD+ may instead consider our The Last Resort Sports Bra.
Is your bra a pain in the…girls? Let us be your bra whisperer and help troubleshoot what ails you—poking, slippage, close-but-not-quite and other common bra fit problems. And remember, there’s always extra help if you need it: our bravangelists are ready to coach you through tackling even the biggest bra challenges.
Solution: Straps should only be doing about 10 percent of the support work, with the other 90 percent going to the band. If they’re digging into your shoulders they’re working too hard! If loosening the straps doesn’t fix the problem, it’s possible that the band is simply too big. A loose band is a band that is slacking in the support department, making the straps shoulder the load. Try sizing down one band size to see if this fixes the issue (Sadly it won’t fix our love for bad bra jokes). Don’t forget that the band should be low across the back and perpendicular with the floor — no rainbow arches. Bras with wider straps or padded straps may also help.
Solution: Does your cup overfloweth?! Try going up one cup size or going up one band size - this is called Sister Sizing (Check out Bra Wear Tips for more on this). If that doesn’t do the trick, it may be that you need a bra that offers better coverage. Our bodies are all different and some bra styles just won’t work as well as others. Try a full coverage style like the wirefree Tech Athena Bra or the Seismic Underwire Bra.
Solution: Do your breasts have so much room in the cup that they could throw a dance party? Make sure the bra is properly adjusted (it’s a good practice to always check and re-adjust a bra after washing). If that doesn’t do the trick, try going down one cup size. A bra style that doesn’t have as much coverage might help too, such as going from a full-coverage every day bra to a demi-cup style everyday bra.
Solution: We know how annoying this can be—we all want the strap to be supportive, but it can become a problem when it creates unflattering bulges in the back. Counter-intuitive as it may be, try going down band size, which should sit snugly and lower on the back, or choose a bra that has wider wings.
Solution: You’re smaller than you think! The band size is likely too big for you, so the straps have to do more than their standard 10 percent of the lifting. If it wasn’t like this when you bought the bra, it could possibly be stretched out and that it’s time to replace it. Is the bra new? If you are wearing a 34D and have the issue of the band riding up, try sizing down in the band to 32, while going up in the cup for the equivalent amount of coverage. Instead of your measured 34D, try a 32DD. This is called Sister Sizing (see Wear Tips for more on this).
Solution: The band does 90 percent of the support work, so it’s important to have one that is working well. The standard three sets of hooks on a bra actually correspond with sizes. On a size 38 bra, the hook that makes it the largest is a ‘39,’ the center hook is a ‘38’ and the smallest hook is a ‘37.’ If you fit best into a size where you’re on the smallest hook when the bra is new, try sizing down a band size and starting on the largest hook. This way when you buy a new bra, you can be sure that it is still fairly snug on the farthest hook so that you can tighten it as it begins to stretch.
Solution: Many women tell us they don’t like the look when their nipples show through their bra. If your headlights are always on, try finding bras that have extra lining in them, or a bra with a contour cup (a shaped cup made of spacer fabric). Some bras offer double and triple-lining to prevent this. A contour cup is not the same as a molded cup. While a molded cup has been molded to have a predefined shape, this does not necessarily mean that it has spacer fabric for modesty. One example of a molded cup bra is our 24-7 Bra. Our bras that offer modesty can be found here.
Solution: Even if your girls naturally live in separate zip codes, the center yoke (the piece in the center where the cups connect) on a well-fitted and adjusted bra should sit flush against the body. There are a few things that may cause a yoke to not lay flat. One possibility is that your cup size is too small and thus the cups are too shallow. It could also be that the band is too large. Try going up one cup size OR down one band size, and don’t forget to adjust!
Solution: A too-small cup may cause the wire to lay against a sensitive area, which is not only distracting, but means we’re likely not getting the best possible fit. If going up a cup size doesn’t do the trick, try a style that has fuller cup coverage and/or wider wings, which will help to push the breasts away from the arms.
Solution: Chafe-free bras are the Holy Grail of sports bra design. There are three components to a chafe-free bra. Choose silky polyester/spandex for best results and avoid cotton at all costs. Seam-free styles also help minimize chafing. Finally, careful design and placement of seams can eliminate chafing. When all else fails, and on a long runs it often does, we rely on Body Glide.
Solution: In the cup-band support arena, bands do about 90 percent of the work with the other 10 percent going to the straps. If tightening the bra strap didn’t work, try finding a style of bra that has the straps located closer to each other in the back. It could be that your shoulders slope in a way that makes straps slip easily. One example of a bra with inset straps is our Super Lace Bra.
When we find the perfect bra, we want it to last as long as possible. While no one bra will last a lifetime, you can extend the life of your bra by taking proper care of it. We’ll also tell you when it’s time to give your bra the boot.
It’s a good idea to have three sports bras that you rotate: think one on your body, one in the drawer, one in the wash. This will extend the life of your bras, as will having a variety in your drawer (varying impact levels call for different types of bras). If you are very active, you’ll likely need more sports bras, so there is always one ready to go while the others are in the laundry. Here are some key tips to prolong the use of all your bras.
All good things must come to an end. Many of us have that favorite bra that we don’t want to part with, but it’s important that no sports bra celebrate a birthday. Our Cooper’s ligaments (the ones that keep our breast tissue in place, the home of perk) can be stretched permanently without proper support.
To keep your girls happy and healthy, look for these signs that it’s time to send your bra to the big laundry pile in the sky:
Filed under “things Mom didn’t sit us down on the bed and teach us,” here are some of our bravangelist-approved tried and true wear tips: