If you’re one of the thousands of women stepping up (or starting) a January fitness regime after the excesses of December, a sports bra is one of the most important aspects of your workout. But picking the right one isn’t always simple, and seasoned exercisers will know that there are almost as many types of sports bras as workouts to wear them for. And new ones are being developed all the time.
While the choice is huge, there are a few things you need to take into account before you buy, such as your activity level and even cup size. Check out our handy guide to choosing the sports bra that’s right for you. In the meantime, to inspire you to get active, here’s our pick of the best new colours, styles and innovations in the world of sports bras.
And the good news is that right now you can pick up some great bargains in the January sales!
For ultimate comfort
Freya Active crop top sports bra
The newest sports bra on the block, this crop top style from Freya Active was six years in development and concentrates on minimising discomfort by not only reducing breast movement but also strain in three key areas of the breast (read more about the research behind this bra). The bra is designed for all impact levels and encapsulates your breasts for a natural shape, while attention to little details like wire casing, hook and eye fastenings and soft seams should eliminate pressure and friction.
Buy: £40, sizes 28 D-GG, 30-32 D-H, 34-36 B-H, 38 B-GG and 40 B-G, from Lace Lingerie.
For D plus cup sizes
Panache Sport sports bra
The Panache sports bra has been receiving rave reviews since its launch a couple of years ago, and is a favourite with fuller bust women because of its excellent bounce reduction. Another encapsulation bra, this sports bra will give you shape and separation while encasing you securely whatever your exercise level. It is available in a number of colours, and we love this bright and graphic new coral for spring/summer 2014. The Panache sports range now also includes a matching vest top.
Buy: £35 (£30 until end of January), sizes 28-40 D-H, from http://tidd.ly/ab3b8f5e” target=”_new”>Bravissimo.
For yoga and low impact exercise
Anita Active Wellness bustier
Another brand new bra this season, the light support Wellness bustier from Anita Active is specifically designed for activities such as yoga, pilates and walking. Made from a lovely and soft breathable microfibre, you won’t feel any irritation or discomfort wearing this bra to distract you from your workout. The moulded cups are double layered and the straps are wide and padded. However, if you need a bra for something a little more active, Anita’s Air Control sports bra (main image) is just out in a gorgeous zingy lime and is perfect for high impact activities like triathlon.
Buy: Wellness bustier launches this month in sizes 34-44 A-D for £44. Stockists to include Jolie Lingerie. The Air Control bra comes in sizes 32-42 A-E and 32-40 F-G and costs £51 from Figleaves.com (currently 15% off at £43.35).
For triathlon and swim/gym
Berlei Aqua Trek bra
While not brand new, the Berlei Aqua Trek bra is worth a mention because of its innovative proposition. Berlei is a brand that likes to specialise, and its sports bra range includes several styles designed for specific activities such as running, yoga and even tennis. The Aqua Trek is all about triathlons and other wet/dry exercises. It has all the support required for high impact activities such as running plus ‘ultrasonic circular ventilation zones’ for air and water flow – in other words, it dries out quickly. It also has a zip front opening so it’s really easy to get on and off.
Buy: £43, 32-38 B-DD, from Less Bounce.
For the gym
Shock Absorber Ultimate Gym Bra
Another specialised bra, this time from Shock Absorber, the Ultimate Gym Bra is, as the name suggest, designed for gym users and is therefore perfect for this time of year and the miserable weather we’ve been having. It has a cool, sporty look and works well as a crop top on its own or as a bra under your gym kit, and as well as the usual features such as moisture management fabrics and seamless cups the bra features a wire holder for your headphones, racer back straps and padded hook and eye fastenings.
Buy: £25, sizes 32-34A, 32-38 B-C, 30-38 D-H, from Less Bounce.
For new mums
Cake Lingerie maternity sports bra
Pregnant women and new mums who are still breastfeeding may have difficulty finding a sports bra that works for them. That is, until Cake Lingerie launched its first maternity sports bra towards the end of last year. This high impact structured bra includes Cake’s flexible underwire that is safe and comfortable during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and uses super lightweight spacer technology for comfort. It also features a secure feeding sling and drop down cups for nursing and a racer back conversion clip.
Buy: £44, sizes 32-40 D-H, from Cake Lingerie.
For post surgery
Anita Active Vivana pocketed sports bra
Just as there are special requirements for a maternity sports bra, women who have had a mastectomy have specific needs. Anita is a brand that knows all about these through its Care line, and its Vivana sports is designed for wear with breast forms. Both cups are pocketed to hold prostheses and the bra is cut high at the neckline for support and security. It is also made from light, soft and breathable fabric for comfort during exercise and has low elasticity adjustable straps.
Buy: £45, sizes 32-42 A-E, from Eloise Lingerie. (Price is ex-VAT as you may be eligible for a VAT exemption).