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Which is better, an underwired sports bra or a non-wired sports bra? Let's find out!

Which Gives More Support?

In terms of support, non-wired and wired sports bras are equal. We carry brands such as Anita and Shock Absorber that offer high impact support and are all wire free. In fact, the Shock Absorber Run Bra is ranked as one of the best sports bras in the UK and it is completely free of an underwire. What it comes down to when picking a wired or non-wired sports bra is fit and personal preference.


To make up for the absence of a wire, non-wired sports bras usually have a wider band. This is because most of the support you get from your sports bra comes from the band. So, the notion that underwired sports bras give more support is a myth! You can wear both styles and feel supported.

What About Fit?

Wired Sports Bras
Wired sports bras can be a bit trickier than non-wired. The underwire needs to fit flush to your chest and certain body shapes will find this hard to achieve. Don't be afraid if you have to try multiple styles and brands until you find the right fit. And don't worry! You will find one. Every brand fits differently, but there will be one out there for you.

Wire-free sports bras are easier to fit because they don't have the rigidity of the underwire. The cups can also better accommodate for changing breast shape. Though, like the underwired sports bras, you may still need to try multiple brands and styles in order to find the right one. Again, don't worry! You will find one, the key is to just keep trying. Our bodies are all different, so what works for your friend, may not work for you.

Wired sports bra pros and cons

Wired Pro's

Wired sports bras tend to give a nicer appearance. This is because the wire helps to lift the breasts higher and maintain their shape. It also acts to contour the natural shape of your breasts.

Wired Con's

Wired sports bras can be less comfortable, especially when worn all day. You'll find them particularly uncomfortable around the ribcage area. The wire can also eventually poke through the fabric after wear and tear, or become bent and misshapen.

Non wired sports bra pros and cons

Non-Wired Pro's

Comfort is a big one for wire-free.  Since there is no rigid underwire, you can wear a wire-free bra all day, any day. They may even last longer as there is no wire to bend or break.

Non-Wired Con's

Wire-free sports bras will not give the same lift or round shape that wired sports bras will give. Though they will give the same support, your overall appearance may not be as flattering as a wired sports bra.

Health Benefits

Wearing a bra is not bad for you! Wearing a poorly-fitted bra is. If you aren't wearing the right size, you're not getting the right support, which puts stress on the muscles and breast tissue. This can also cause back problems and shoulder pain.

Breast Cancer

The notion that wearing a bra causes breast cancer is also a myth. You'll read reports that argue both sides, but until there is sufficient evidence to back up these claims, don't believe it.


"It just really is not logical in terms of what would increase your risk of breast cancer," says Louise Brinton, chief of the hormonal and reproductive epidemiology branch of the National Cancer Institute. Brinton, who has been doing research in the field for 30 years, says commonly accepted breast cancer risk factors are generally things that affect endogenous hormone levels. - The Scientific American

Pregnancy/ Breastfeeding/ Young Girls

Wearing a non-wired sports bra/ bra during pregnancy and breastfeeding tends to be recommended. Breast tissue is very sensitive and breasts are constantly changing shape. Wearing a non-wired sports bra ensures there is no extra pressure on those sensitive areas and also gives a more forgiving fit. That being said, many women still do wear a wired sports bra, and as long as it fits properly, there is no harm in doing so.


It's also suggested that young girls going through puberty may prefer a non-wired design. This is for the same reasons mentioned above. Their breasts will be growing and changing shape, which can make breast tissue more sensitive. The rigidity of the wire may cause discomfort, but as long as the underwired sports bra fits properly, there's no harm in wearing one.


Still not sure? Get in touch with our fitting experts today and we'll help you find the right sports bra for you. 

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