How to Find Your Sports Bra Size

Two women wearing sports bras.

In a 2022 study, 87% of participating women said they had at least one breast-related issue when getting active. Over 40% of those women were particularly inconvenienced by excessive breast movement due to a lack of proper support.

Wearing a sports bra is essential for women to have the best possible experiences and outcomes while doing their favorite activity. However, many women struggle to find the proper size and style for their breasts.

Learn about sports bra sizing and styles to find your perfect sports bra!


Are Sports Bras the Same Size as Regular Bras?

Sports bras typically have more generic sizing than regular bras. When shopping for a sports bra, you’ll typically only find alpha sizes such as XS-XL.

The exact size of the sports bra may differ from one brand or manufacturer to another. You can check the packaging, clothing tag, or manufacturer’s website and bra size chart to determine the exact size.

At ThirdLove, we provide optimal support by offering sports bras in regular cup-band bra sizes. If you struggle with finding a sports bra that fits you well and that provides enough support for your workouts, try exploring our collection of sports bras to find the perfect one.


How Do You Know Which Sports Bra Size to Get?

Wearing the correct sports bra size is crucial in keeping your breasts supported and comfortable during exercise. A well-fitting sports bra will feel comfortable and supportive while allowing flexibility of movement.

To determine your ideal sports bra size, you will need to become familiar with the different types of sports bras and learn how to measure your sports bra size.


Types of Sports Bras

  • Compression: Compression sports bras are recommended for women with smaller cup sizes from A-C. They work by pressing your breasts against your body, which keeps them from bouncing around during exercise.
  • Encapsulation: Encapsulation sports bras work for most breast sizes. They work by holding each breast in its own separate cup, thereby reducing movement.
  • Compression-Encapsulation: This type of sports bra combines elements of both compression and encapsulation bras. This means they contain your breasts in separate cups while also compressing them against your body. This type of sports bra provides the most support.


Types of Sports Bra Straps

There are several different types of sports bra straps and styles, each one best suited for different breast shapes and activities.

  • Pullover: The pullover style has no clasp, and it’s put on by pulling it over the head and adjusting it to fit your breasts.
  • Racerback: The straps meet each other between the shoulder blades, offering great support for high-intensity workouts.
  • Criss Cross: The straps cross over each at the back, providing extra support.
  • Back Clasp: This type of sports bra clasps together in the back just like a regular bra.
  • Adjustable: Some sports bras come with adjustable straps, perfect for getting the ideal bra fit.
  • Convertible: This style is the most versatile because it allows you to change the way you wear the straps. 

Woman wearing a sports bra and leggings.

How Do I Find My Sports Bra Size?

Each brand’s sports bra sizing is different, so make sure to check your measurements against their size chart before making a purchase. Sizing charts typically require you to know your cup size and your band size.

Band Size

To measure your band size, use a soft tape measure to calculate the circumference of your ribcage just beneath your bust.

Cup Size

To measure your bust size, use a soft tape measure to calculate the size of your bust at its widest point. For most people, the fullest point of the breast will be near the nipple. Your cup size will be based on the difference in inches between your band size and your cup size.

  • 0 = AA cup
  • 1 = A cup
  • 2 = B cup
  • 3 = C cup
  • 4 = D cup
  • and so forth…

Woman wearing a sports bra and cycling.

Choosing a Sports Bra by Activity

No two sports bras are alike, and different styles tend to be better suited for different types of sports. In the athletic world, there are three categories of sports: low impact, medium impact, and high impact.

Low Impact Sports

Low-impact sports are those that require minimal movement or energy to engage in. A lightweight sports bra will likely be enough to support you through these gentler movements. A few examples of low impact activities include:

  • Walking
  • Yoga
  • Golfing

Medium Impact Sports

Medium impact activities require a moderate amount of movement and energy. As such, it’s crucial to wear a more supportive sports bra when engaging in them. Common examples of medium impact sports include the following:

  • Hiking
  • Dancing
  • Pilates
  • Weight training 

High Impact Sports

High impact sports require a lot of movement and energy, which means you’ll need to wear a comfortable and highly supportive sports bra. Examples of high impact activities include:

  • HIIT
  • Kickboxing
  • Mountain biking
  • Running


Conquer Any Workout in a ThirdLove Sports Bra

Whether you’re taking a walk, chasing the kids around, or running in a marathon, our bestselling Kinetic Impact Sports Bra will provide you with the full support and comfort you need. Plus, at the end of the day, you won’t be struggling to pull it off thanks to its adjustable hook-and-eye back closure. So say goodbye to painful workouts and hello to sports bras you’ll forget to take off.