When we feel our best, we perform our best. So, finding a sports bra that provides support and makes us feel our most confident is paramount.
Wearing an ill-fitting or poorly supportive design can cause breast damage and discomfort, which is why you need one that offers superior support and minimises bounce, says sports physiotherapist Dr Deirdre McGhee from Breast Research Australia.
"The type of sports bra you need depends on your age, breast size and the activity you're doing," she says. So look at increasing the level of support as you age, if your breast size increases or if you up the intensity of your exercise.
Not all sports bras are created equal, which is why we've rounded up the best sports bras available in New Zealand for various bust shapes, cup sizes, body shapes and workout routines.
Best for: Active exercisers wanting to minimise bounce
$100, at Puma
Upgrade your running and high impact workouts with this sports bra from Puma, designed to offer compressive support. Crafted from breathable fabric, it efficiently wicks away moisture, keeping sweat at bay. Its flattering design complements your natural curves, making it an ideal addition to your activewear wardrobe.
Best for: Those seeking an affordable, everyday sports bra
$29.99 at Cotton On
This wallet-friendly workout crop provides moisture-wicking comfort for your gym sessions. A stylish cross-back strap design makes it perfect to wear under singlets. The sports bra comes in 10 fashionable colours, and you can snag two for just $40.
Best for: Hot yoga enthusiasts
$99, from Lululemon
This Lululemon sports bra is your hot yoga class staple. It boasts sweat-wicking and quick-drying fabric, while its moulded foam cups provide comfort and support. It's suitable for everyday wear, and you can choose from various colours in the bra's supple, rib-textured fabric.
Best for: Weightlifters desiring a flattering, bold style
$71, from Bambine Body
This halter bra is just as perfect for weightlifting or going out for brunch. It offers excellent support with its thick, elasticated underbust band and straps. Double-lined with removable padding, you'll look and feel fabulous no matter the activity.
Best for: Fitness enthusiasts seeking a secure fit and mould
$45 (usually $70), from New Balance
Achieve the perfect balance of modesty and performance with this classic sports bra. It offers compression support for a no-bounce fit and is a great sports bra for bigger busts. It'll ensure comfort during your cycling and boxing sessions, and its cross-back style, clean seams, and smooth fabric make it the ideal foundation for your workout attire.
Best for: Those after a classic all-rounder with a chic twist
$105, from Lorna Jane
This buttery-soft corset-panelled sports bra is a must-have for fashion-conscious gym-goers. Its interchangeable straps mean it'll look great under various singlets and t-shirts, and its mid-level support ensures it's comfortable for all-day wear or gym sessions.
Best for: Those desiring all-day comfort
$65, from Aimn
This ribbed seamless bra, a signature Aimn style, is available in 14 stunning colours. Designed for medium-impact workouts, you'll want to wear this bra all day thanks to its blend of comfort and support. Pair it with Aimn ribbed seamless tights for a coordinated look.
The best quality sports bras typically offer a combination of comfort, support, breathability, and durability. If you sweat easily, check the fabric is moisture-wicking and quick drying, and those with a bigger bust should look to well-constructed compression bras for added support.
These days, most sports bras are made from long-wearing, high-performance materials designed for sport. You'll find they last longer if you wash them on a hand cycle in the washing machine.
Yes, sports bras are designed to provide optimal support and minimise movement during physical activity, which can help prevent damage to breast tissue. According to studies, wearing a sports bra reduces breast pain for women during exercise, regardless of breast size.
While sports bras are designed for physical activity, wearing them for everyday use is generally okay if they are comfortable fit for all-day use without compromising circulation.
You do not need to wear a normal bra under a sports bra. Sports bras are designed to provide adequate support and comfort during physical activity. Wearing a regular bra underneath could cause discomfort or chaffing.
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