When shopping for sports bras, you’ll frequently come across two terms: "breathable" and "moisture-wicking." It’s important to know that these are different things.
Breathable fabric is one that lets air (and moisture) flow through. In a sports bra context, mesh materials are popular for obvious reasons. Breathable fabrics keep you cool so that you sweat less. And if you do sweat, they stop that moisture from getting trapped against your skin.
Moisture-wicking fabric, on the other hand, doesn't just allow sweat through. It actively moves it away from your skin. These are modern, technical fabrics. They’re woven to have small holes on the inside and larger holes on the outer side. This pulls the moisture outwards, moving it rapidly away from the body.
Moisture-wicking fabrics, at least on the inside, are also made from non-absorbent fibers. Ones we typically think of as being unbreathable, such as polyester. It prevents sweat from hanging around in the fabric and making it feel damp. Instead, the moisture flows on through and evaporates into the air. So, just because a sports bra is polyester doesn’t mean it is going to leave you hot and bothered! Not if it’s a wicking one.
All good sports bras are designed to be breathable. But not all of them are moisture-wicking. During a high-intensity workout or in a hot environment (Bikram yoga, anyone?), no amount of mesh paneling will stop you sweating. But if you choose a moisture-wicking sports bra, at least you won’t notice it as much. Chafing brought on by soggy fabrics shouldn’t a problem. And when you’re through, you’ll dry off nice and quickly.
Here are 15 moisture-wicking sports bras, for different activities and a range of sizes:
For workouts such as yoga, Pilates, or tai chi. Best suited to those with smaller cup sizes.
For sports such as cycling and skiing. Or, to provide a little extra support for full-busted people doing low-impact activities.
For maximum support and minimum bounce. Ideal for any intense, energetic sport such as running, dancing, or kickboxing.
If you’ve tried sports bras that are moisture-wicking and ones that aren’t, have you noticed a difference?