Support itself hasn’t typically been an issue, but I’ve still had a hard time finding sports bras that fit comfortably and correctly. Whether it was during my time as a college volleyball player with noticeable traps and a full B cup or when some health issues caused dramatic weight loss, resulting in me merely having nipples on my rib cage, the standard bra measurements—band size and cup size—have never accounted for the shoulders on my six-foot frame. Often, I'm left with a bra that is either too short or too loose in the chest.
So when I was invited to check out the new sports bra fitting experience at the recently opened Nike Rise location in Aventura, Florida (the free service is also available at Nike’s House of Innovation in New York City), it felt like an opportunity to finally find a bra that fit. It's the first Nike Rise store in North America and has the largest selection of the brand's bras on the continent.
In the past, Nike's bras were typically developed with running in mind, but now the brand tests different activities to ensure they're designing sports bras that can accommodate a wider range of movements. So if you play a sport like volleyball in which there's a lot of side-to-side action, or golf, which requires rotation, those types of movement patterns are now being taken into account in a more impactful way.
What Nike's sports bra fitting experience entails
My fitting began with one of their experts asking me what size sports bra I normally wear and what type of activity I’d be wearing the new bras for. I shared that I typically wear a medium, but sometimes a large, and that I’m currently doing HIIT, strength training, and lower impact things like yoga and lots of stretching. She recorded my activities and then took two measurements: one around my rib cage where the bottom band of the bra would fit and for the other, she made an upside-down U-shape around my neck that followed where a halter top strap might go.
All this info was put into an app, which recommended I wear an XS! In my mind, there was simply not any way this could be possible, but I decided to try it anyways. We selected a few different styles of bras in sizes extra-small, small, and medium—Nike suggests taking in at least two sizes to try on. The most important feature to me was adjustable straps since they solve my consistent problem of bras feeling too short from the shoulders to the bottom band.
First, I tried on the Nike Indy ($38) with a zip-up front in the size XS in an A to C cup that the app recommended. Their bra sizes run from XS to 3X with cup size options of A to C, D to E, and F to G. Shockingly, the straps were long enough for a comfortable length when let all the way out. However, it was a little challenging to get over my head, and once it was on, I noticed unnecessary side-boob spilling out.
I moved on to the size small in the same silhouette and low and behold, it fit! At this point, my bra fitting expert suggested I move in a way that mimics the activities I would be doing while wearing the bra. I had none of the issues I normally have with my sports bras.
Finally, I tried the Nike Alate Minimalist ($48) in a size small, which looks a little more like a traditional, full coverage, nude bra but made from moisture-wicking materials. It fits me best with the straps fully let out. The largest setting on the band allows for the right cup size for me, and it feels great. I could easily wear this as an everyday bra or for yoga, no questions asked.
Once I’d settled on the two bras I’d be taking home, my expert added that info to my Nike membership account, so that I can look for (and save) similar styles through its app if I decide to buy more bras in the future, and if I walk into a Nike store, the app will let me know if the items I’ve saved are available to try on and purchase.
At checkout, I was informed I had up to 60 days to test the bras and return them, and shoppers can book multiple bra fittings, so whether there’s weight gain or weight loss, a pregnancy, or simply different needs as activities levels and lifestyles change through the seasons, you can come back and get new measurements taken as need be.
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