Her gear: Support system

We've come a long way in thirty years, when the first Jog Bra (cleverly crafted with stitched-together jock straps) made its debut in 1977. Today sports bras rank as some of the most technical running gear available, with bounce-banning, sweat-wicking, stink-stopping technologies straight from the lab. And choice? There's enough structure, fit and style options to accommodate women of all shapes, sizes and tastes. Here we help you sort through some of the selections.

All offer high-impact support for cups A through C, except when noted.

New Balance Tonic 2.0 Crop, $30

Sleek racer-back design, Lightening Dry fabric and stretch mesh liner provide breathable, moisture-wicking comfort. Available in 11 colors, this bra's compression support system with stabilizing panels suits women with small- to medium-sized busts. newbalance.com.


Adidas TechFit Crop Top, $45

Molded cups and anatomical banding boost comfort and support in this hybrid bra-tank. Multiple variations of ClimaCool help move moisture away from your skin despite the added coverage. adidas.com.


Champion Vapor Sports Bra, $40

Compression support and bust-surrounding panels create extra motion control. Cocona fabric naturally encourages moisture management, odor control (adsorptive pores in the yarn work like an air filter) and UV protection thanks to activated carbon derived from coconut shells. championusa.com.


Moving Comfort Cameo Printed Bra, $38

Made to break free from under a tee, three swirly prints distinguish this racer-back bra. Seamed interior cups encapsulate breasts and strap stabilizers offer high-impact support for A and B sizes. movingcomfort.com.



The right fit

Studies indicate that about 80 percent of American women wear the wrong bra size, potentially damaging breast tissue. Lara Dittoe, women's global product manager at Brooks, offers the following tips for finding a sports bra that's right for you.

  • Always try on at least three sizes.
  • For bras with hook closures, use the middle set to test the fit.
  • If the band rides up in the back, the bra is too wide or the straps need adjusting.
  • The band should be snug but not tight. You should be able to fit one finger under it in the front and back.
  • You should be able to fit two fingers under each strap.
  • The center of the bra should lie flat against the chest between the breasts without gapping.
  • Underarm construction should allow free range of arm motion.
  • Cups should keep breasts centered, not forced up, out or in.
  • Jump up and down or run in the bra to be sure it holds comfortably and stays in place.

Based at the foot of four Fourteeners in Crestone, Colo., Jenn Weede has covered gear and the great outdoors for publications including Outside, Shape, Skiing and Ski Press.


By Jenn Weede

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