Shopping for sports bras is much different from shopping for regular everyday bras. Nike, in particular, has a sizing system of their own using letters that's specific to their products. Sure, XS, S, M, L, and XL stand for extra small, small, medium, large, and extra-large respectively.
The question is, what do those letters mean when you're a size 36A, a 32C, or whatever size you wear in the standard means of measurement? Fret not! This guide will walk you through and break down Nike's size chart.
It's not easy to navigate through Nike's sports bra sizes, or any brand's sports bra sizes for that matter, without prior knowledge. Instead of using the standard measurement which is a combination of your band size and cup size, sports bras are usually sized as extra small to extra-large.
Before knowing your size according to Nike, you first need to know your actual bra size (the number and letter). You can do the standard method of measuring your bra size, which is what fitters do.
For a more accurate measurement that adheres to Nike's sizes, you can use their online Bra Fit Finder found on their website. This converts your measurement to the exact size and support you need.
An extra small comprises A to DD cup sizes for those who have a band size of 30, but it also includes 32A and 32B.
Those who have a band size of 30, no matter what cup size, would fit the extra small. Anything bigger will be loose around the ribs.
Those who are sized 32, but are on the smaller side when it comes to boobage, can still fit into an extra small and may find it more secure than a bigger size.
Following where the extra small ended, the small size fits those who range from 32C to 32E and 34A to 34C.
This is for thinner women who may have a little more breast to work with. Small sports bras carry E cup sizes whereas the extra small does not.
The range of cup sizes also starts and ends in the middle of two band sizes (32 and 34), so it includes majority of the sizes most women who have petite to average bodies go for.
A medium ranges from 34D to 34E and 36A to 36C. This size sits in the middle of the options, making medium Nike sports bras one of the most sought-out sizes. They're made for those who lie in the middle of small and big bust sizes. There's no issue of awkward half cup sizes like with traditional padded bras.
Tip: If your bra size is considered a size “small” but you prefer a little more breathing room in your bra, move up to a medium! You'll know it's too tight when there are bulges forming around your back!
Nike's large sports bras are a fit for women whose standard measurement falls on or in between 36D to 36E and 38A to 38C. This size is for those who are on the bigger side of the bust spectrum, whether in the breast area or in the underside of the boobs.
Extra-large is reserved for those who are very blessed in the boob department, usually women who sport top rated push up bras for plus sizes. It includes 3 standard measurements: 38D, 38DD, 38E. Plus size women may also benefit from this option, along with women who are pregnant or nursing.
In shopping for Nike sports bras, standard measurements and Nike sizes are not the only things you need to be aware of. They also differentiate their selection based on the level of support their bras offer, and you can try this with your best rated push up bras that is lined.
Light support means sports bras labeled as such are fit for mild exercises such as yoga, barre, and Pilates. It's also the option for fashion-related purposes like sporty-themed outfits. These sports bras are made for walking your dog or hanging out with gym buddies after a workout session.
Some are made with soft fabrics like cotton and can get away with ditching the padding. If your choice of activity requires a little more, you can still opt for padded ones in the same light support category.
Those who wear an extra small can get away with wearing light support even for slightly more taxing activities. Since they don't have much boob weight to hold up or in, light support sports bras are enough. Those who wear a small can opt for this kind for walks and casual sporty outfits with some workout leggings.
Medium support is where light and high support meet halfway. Nike incorporates style features from the first and functionality of the latter.
Sports bras under this type of support have thicker adjustable straps, moisture-wicking fabric to keep you dry throughout, and racerback or cut-outs for breathability and to allow a wide range of movement.
Medium support is good for more strenuous activities than those previously mentioned. This could be for most types of trainings, dance classes, or gym workout sessions.
It prioritizes versatility in comfort and support to be compatible with most activities people participate in. Strength trainings, spinning classes, and running are all good times to wear a bra with medium support.
Women who usually are between small and medium sizes might have to require medium support bras. These bras are sufficient enough even for HIIT exercises.
Some bras under medium support have additional features like a chest lock and extra straps that go across the chest area. It takes into consideration women who may have larger breasts but still fall under the medium category.
High support is recommended for certified professionals and athletes who work mostly in an active environment. Sports bras with high support are good to use for endurance trainings, cheer, and almost all ball sports. The purpose of high support sports bras is to take pressure off of your shoulders and to keep your assets secure.
Comfort is provided by way of keeping your breasts in place and refraining its movement from distracting you in your game and grind. Bouncy breasts are annoying, not to mention painful.
High support bras have higher necklines or are bandeau-like in the front. Straps, even racerbacks, are adjustable and some bras are equipped with structured cups.
Those whose bra sizes are large and extra-large in Nike's size chart might just opt for their high support bras. It ensures that you have ample amount of assistance in the adjustable straps, thick bands, and padding.
Whether you're playing for a sports team or taking a morning walk, it's better to be sure about protection and support for your breasts.
Nike is one of the biggest names when it comes to activewear and for good reason. They've delivered on quality clothing and shoes for a long time. Sports bras are just one of the products of their expertise.
More than their varied and wide-ranging bra sizes, the different levels of support take into consideration the different purposes you're looking for, so they can deliver on both style and function.