It’s pretty obvious when it’s time to toss a pair of running shoes. The grip on the sole of the shoe wears down, the once-cushiony sock liner feels stiff and hard, and well, they just look old and beat up.
But it’s not the same with other fitness gear. Case in point: Your favorite sports bra. Bad news, guys. The odds are very good that if you’ve used and abused it for more than six months, it’s time to toss the sucker. In fact, continual use of unsupportive sports bras can result in breast tissue sagging.
Your girls need to well-supported at all times—especially during extra-bouncy cardio or workouts. As you exercise, the elastic fibers in activewear begin to loosen and cause the material to lose its shape. If you’re not regularly alternating between bras, the slow decline in support might not even be noticeable; test to see if your bra is still good by stretching it out and seeing if it bounces back to its original form. If it doesn’t respond and recover, it’s time to go shopping!
Look for sports bras that are supportive (that means no bouncing in the chest region) and have a snug band that doesn’t ride up. For sports bras with hook enclosures, start wearing it on the loosest hook so you can adjust it to fit more snugly as it inevitably stretches out over time.
On the lookout for a new favorite sports bra? We’ve got you covered:
In the past few years, Nike has seriously broadened their bra offerings. Now they offer tons of styles that range from light to support with adjustable straps to highly supportive with hook and eye closures at the bust band. The Pro Hyper is a classic for a reason—it’s got a higher neckline that offers a little extra modesty when you’re forward-bending, and holds everything in place without being restrictive.
Make sure the fit is perfect by grabbing a sports bra that has actual cup sizes—Under Armour’s Protegèe bra goes all the way up to a DD cup. Plus, the front closures make life a whole lot easier … No more wrestling to take off your sweaty bra after your workout!
Lululemon Energy Bra
When you find a sports bra that just works, you gotta stick with it. The Energy Bra is just that—supportive for every type of workout, fashionable (check out that strappy back!), and comfortable.
A small athletic wear company started by a female runner, Oiselle gear was all over the female track athletes at the Olympic trials. Serious runners love the company’s offerings because they’re feminine without being too girly, and everything from their shorts to their tops can hold up to lots of sweat and mileage. The Verrazano bra is no exception—we love the unique strappy detailing.
Photo credit: Nike, lululemon, Oiselle, Under Armour, iStock