What’s the most important item of equipment for any female athlete? Her sports bra, of course. But for a sports bra to do its job well (i.e. provide comfort, support, and confidence) you’ll need to start with a proper fitting with a trained professional, advises Russ Kozar, owner of Fleet Feet in the Bell Tower Shops, Fort Myers. A perfect fit is in the DNA of this specialty running and walking shop, renowned for expertly measuring athletic shoe size.
“We interview each customer,” Kozar says. “You want to know what activities they’re going to be doing. Do they have any preferences? Do they like padding? Underwire? We get training through corporate [and have] a series of videos on bra fitting. Once you learn and constantly do it, it’s an easy process to do a couple of measurements. Then we talk about the levels of support.”
Sports bras fit differently than everyday bras because they are more compressive and used for a specific activity. “Many women wear a band that’s too big or a cup that’s too small,” adds Kozar. “If the band isn’t tight enough it’s not going to support. If the cup is too small it’s not going to contain. It can be difficult to do it on your own.”
Once you’ve made the selection, be sure to take good care of the sports bra so that it takes good care of you. Always wash it in cold water with a sport-wash detergent and air dry. Never let that bra have a birthday. When it becomes loose, it’s time for a new one—and your next expert fitting.