Do I need underwire in my Sports Bra?

Do I need underwire in my Sports Bra?

One of the most common questions we get in store is centered around underwire… Is it better to have underwire or go wire-free?

Naturally, there is no short answer. But I’ll talk you through some of the facts, so that you can be well informed when buying your next Sports Bra. Then, we’ll hear from one of our customers and now She Science Ambassadors, Linda, on her experience going from an underwire to a non-underwire Sports Bra.

Firstly you should know that underwire is put in to a bra for shape, not support. The job of the underwire is to result in a round shaped breast. It is not built in to a bra to lift the breast or stop bounce, these two things will come from the materials and pattern cutting of the bra.

We believe that women are commonly advised in change rooms that underwire is more supportive, which is why there are so many misconceptions about it’s role.

Traditionally, many non-underwire bras have relied on the compression method to offer support or stability, which means they haven’t always been synonymous with a great shape. This has resulted in mainly the larger busted women not enjoying the product.

Nowdays many of the industry leading brands that are putting extensive research into the design and development of their Sports Bra products are not using underwire in their garments, and are producing highly supportive garments with great shape.

One short cut that we see many brands on the market taking is merely adding Sports fabric to their everyday underwire bras and marketing them as Sports Bras. So, like many women have been left underwhelmed by non-underwire Sports Bras, this too has led to much disappointment in many of the underwire Sports Bras on the market today.

We encourage our customers to have an open mind to trying both underwire and non-underwire bras in store. This will give them the opportunity to see which they prefer, and 9/10 their decision is then made on the fit and how they feel in the bra rather than whether it does or doesn’t have underwire.

When discussing the role of underwire it is also important for us to consider ‘security’. If someone has been in underwire all their adult life then there can be a certain security that comes with having it there. To remove underwire can feel so unusual that it is immediately unpleasant for the wearer. This is undeniable, and is a real factor for some women.

When we first met Linda in store we had an interaction that is common in store. Here is her story, in her words below:

Two years ago I found myself at She Science in Kew, the big boobed girls dream in support, every good brand, size and a diverse range of styles (including colours!). 2015-02-SheScience_Shoot-IMG_9370

This visit had me trying on every underwired bra in the shop, which was my initial choice.
If you’ve been to She Science you will know there are treadmills and cameras to assess the bras if you want to use the service. I was eventually encouraged to try some non-underwire options that the bra fitter may thought work best for me given my feedback on the first bras I had tried.  I was a bit apprehensive about this idea as I had always thought without underwire there would be no support. 


After trying a few different brands of non-wired bras I found that I felt super secure and each of them supported me. Plus, the video assessment backed up what I was feeling.  I had to try the wired ones back on to make sure. I then did the t-shirt test to ensure no mono boob and the girls still looked great and felt supported.

Now, for me, while I’ll definitely keep an open mind to new options, I won’t be going back to underwire Sports Bras unless they can provide the same support and comfort as the non-underwired bras I wear at the moment.

We love that Linda wanted to share this story, as it is quite a typical occurance for us in store. But it is important to understand that it can work the other way too!

By Tish Monahan

Customer experience by Linda Lewis, She Science Ambassador 2015


Best Bra Fitter Australia Melbourne


Tish is the co-founder and director of She Science, a Specialty Sports Bra and Sports Wear store in Melbourne. Tish has completed Advanced Bra Fitting training both locally and internationally as well as tertiary education in biomechanics. She follows the latest research on breast biomechanics and Sports Bra design religiously to ensure that She Science remains the most advanced Sports Bra shopping environment in the world. Tish views her Sports Bra business as a vehicle for her to inspire and enable women of all shapes and sizes to participate actively in life. Find Tish online via @SheScience.