Australia’s Lingerie Blog for Women D Cup and Up

How to choose the best sports bra style for you

by Maxine Windram on October 17, 2015 in Sports Bras, Bra Fitting

Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Bra (D-F cup)

Your sports bra is the best training buddy you’ll ever have. No, really! Stay with us… it will give you confidence to reach your goals, support you like no other item of clothing, and help you to enjoy being active.

A recent study found that 88% of women wear a bra during sport that doesn’t fit them properly. Now that’s a lot of discomfort, bounce and chafing going on! It got us thinking about the many customers we’ve met who have put off exercising for months or years because they’ve never found the right sports bra for them. Bounce is uncomfortable. Let’s face it, it just plain hurts! But for many of these women it was embarrassment that led to them deciding that they “just weren’t a sporty person” and shying away from getting help with finding a sports bra.


“I was elated to discover that other women dread the idea of running on treadmills, and can be so self-conscious about their breasts in an unsupportive sports bra that they give up exercising… I had these problems in PE at school, and remember I decided to stop trying to join in the activities altogether because of the attention and discomfort it caused.” – Elissa

“I went to the gym this morning and could run on the treadmill for the first time without feeling embarrassed that my breasts were moving up and down.” – Rita

“I’m happy to report my boobs no longer smack me in the face when at the gym! I felt human again – for the first time in over 20 years I felt like I didn’t want to cut my breasts off!” – Amy

Just like us, sports bras come in various shapes and styles.

From encapsulation to compression, underwire to wirefree, and low to high impact… the jargon goes on! If you’re in need of a D+ cup size sports bra, it’s even more important that you get the support you need. So read on as we try to demystify the good, bad and the (yes, occasionally) ugly of the sports bra world for you.​

Freya Active Epic Sports Bra

Freya Active Epic Sports Bra (D-H cup)

Encapsulation Sports Bra

Usually a full coverage bra, encapsulation styles separate your bust. It doesn’t compress, so it’s particularly good for larger-breasted women. Many women find this style most comfortable, as each breast is encapsulated inside its own cup (rather than being compressed to your chest). Studies show that an encapsulation sports bra is more suited to D+ cup sized, usually because they are more comfortable and better at reducing breast movement.

Enell Sports Bra

Enell Sports Bra


Compression Sports Bra

Compression styles keep your breast motion to a minimum by pressing your breasts firmly to your chest. Although an encapsulation sports bra is generally better for reducing discomfort, many women prefer a compression sports bra as it minimises their projection. Compression styles also seem to be preferable for women with smaller cup sizes.

Panache Sports Bra

Panache Sports Bra (D-J cup)

Underwire Sports Bra

Just like an encapsulation sports bra, underwire sports bras are ideal for women who like to have each breast supported and separated. Underwired sports bras are suited for all bust sizes, but are recommended for D cup and up as most women in this category tend to find this style most supportive and comfortable.

Shock Absorber Active D+ Classic Sports Bra

Shock Absorber Active Multi D+ Sports Bra (D-H cup)

Wirefree Sports Bra

A big misconception is that wirefree bras don’t offer as much support as wired bras, but this isn’t necessarily the case. They are designed and structured differently to offer the best support without wires. A wirefree sports bra will generally compress the bust, as there are no wires to provide separation. Depending on your bust, wirefree sports bras can be the most ideal way to prevent bounce and give you the best support. We also recommend wirefree sports bras for pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Elomi Energise Multiway Sports Bra

Elomi Energise Multiway Sports Bra (D-K cup)


Racer Back Sports Bra

Provides sleek shape that hides your straps when wearing a sleeveless top. Most women prefer the racer back style for its comfort, and because it provides a greater range of arm motion without restriction from shoulder straps. Perfect for women who find that their sports bra straps tend to slip off their shoulders, and suitable for both high and low impact activities.

Anita Active Firm Support Front Closure Sports Bra

Anita Active Front Closing Sports Bra (D-DD cup)

Front Opening Sports Bra

It’s a fact that front-fastening sports bras are much easier to get on and off! This style usually lies completely flat, smooth and invisible under your clothing. Front fastening sports bras are also great for keeping your bra straps in place.

The clincher is this:

It can be hard to justify spending time and money on something that you’re just going to sweat in. But it can also be life-changing. No jokes. We recommend that you try on several types of sports bras and always do the bounce test in your change room. When you visit a Brava store, you can really put your sports bra to the test by using the in-store treadmill at Hampton & Melbourne to find the style that offers you the best support.

Got any questions? Want to tell us about your favourite sports bra? Leave a comment below – we’d love to hear from you.

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