Bra shopping can be a bit of nightmare on its own but shopping for a sports bra, now that’s a whole other kind of battle! Unfortunately it’s a necessary evil, no matter how big or small your bust is. Luckily for you we’ve got the low-down on exactly what you need to look for when shopping for your next sports bra. Here are some tips and tricks you need to consider next time you’re shopping for that all-important sports bra.

1. Fabric is key!

Look for durable and high-performance fabrics that won’t stretch or buckle under pressure. Fabrics that combat sweat are also a must for ladies with a bigger bust as it will help avoid chaffing.

2. Separate but equal

If you’ve got a big bust then look for sports bras that hold each breast in a separate cup or ‘chamber’. This help reduce bouncing and gives better support. A good ‘shelf-style’ bra can also provide great support for ladies with a smaller bust (A and B) but make sure you test the bra with a bounce test first.

3. Bounce it out

Before you leave the store try the bra on and jump around in the change room. Swing your arms, rotate your body and move around like you would when exercising to make sure that the bra doesn’t rub, slip or poke in the wrong places. Test the straps by holding the top of one strap and the center of the corresponding cup and pulling. The less stretchy the front straps, the more motion control they’ll provide. Test the cups by tugging the top and bottom of each cup; the less give, the more motion control.

4. Size is everything

Wherever possible try and buy a sports bra that comes in a specific cup size rather than just small, medium or large. These will fit better and give you more support. If you’re not sure if the size is correct then head to the fitting room to try it on and while you’re there lift your hands up over your head, if the bra slides up it is too small.

5. Don’t limit your options

Buying the right sports bra is all about the type of exercise you are doing. If you do a range of different types of exercise then make sure you buy a variety of different sports bras. High-intensity sports and running will require a bra with more support where as with low-intensity exercises like yoga or Pilates you can get away with a shelf bra.

6. Get Strappy

Bras usually come with two straps styles – racerback and wide straps. Make sure you choose the right one for you and the types of exercise you are doing. Racerbacks cinch in at the back and allow the straps to anchor the bra closer to the body, providing more support whereas wide straps help distribute weight better and are more likely to be adjustable. As for the clasp at the back choose a bra with a back clasp if you have larger breasts – the clasp lets you tighten the bra and get more support. A pullover bra is fine for ladies with a smaller bust.