Support for all: why adidas re-engineered their entire sports bra portfolio

With women’s needs being historically underserved when it comes to sportswear designed for the female form, adidas has unveiled its extensive new sports bra collection after undergoing extensive research, development and multiple testing stages.

With studies showing breasts can undergo damaging skin stretch without the right bra, and widespread dissatisfaction amongst every day and elite athletes that is hindering performance and participation in sport, the collection comprises of 43 new styles across 18 product franchises.

adidas is committed to driving its innovation forward to better serve the needs of female athletes, making their impossible possible in sport. As part of this, adidas worked closely with leading breast biomechanics research institute, University of Portsmouth, who found that if breasts are not properly supported during running, they experience the same G force as an F1 driver and could undergo potentially damaging skin stretch. Meanwhile, unsupported breasts can move up to 19cm during star jumps and nearly half (46%) of schoolgirls who were surveyed reported their breasts affected their participation in sports.

Using these insights, adidas set out to redefine its current offering and create a range of sports bras that deliver added comfort and better fit, enabling more female athletes to participate in sport and experience the benefits it brings. Using the latest material and design innovations, the new collection features Everyday bras designed for lounging and gentle movement, Studio bras for yoga, Pilates and other low-to-mid intensity activity, Train bras designed to provide enhanced support during HIIT classes and more intense sport or training, and Run bras that offer the highest level of breast support in the collection. Available in an extensive and inclusive size range to help more athletes experience sports without restraint, key pieces include:

COREFLOW LUXE STUDIO MEDIUM SUPPORT BRA: Using new adidas adisoft fabric the sleek and bonded seam finish enables a comfort first fit and feel whilst in the studio. Inspired by ballet wear, the seams allow athletes to experience a full range of motion whilst also ensuring full coverage and support, moving wih the body through every twist and turn.

POWERIMPACT LUXE TRAINING MEDIUM SUPPORT BRA: With a high neck finish, the bra offers extra coverage and medium support through a wide range of movement. The innovative design includes a quick release front opening for instant relief as lungs expand during exercise. The subtle front opening also provides air flow in high sweat zones, whilst new adidas adiflex fabric ensures a smooth fit and feel with the clean edges also designed to help reduce chafing over long training sessions.

FAST IMPACT LUXE RUN HIGH SUPPORT BRA: Designed to provide high support whilst running, the bra includes 360° adjustability allowing athletes full control over required fit. The wrapped design helps distribute weight evenly for a secure feel, whilst the smooth flat seaming design along the interior and armholes help prevent chafing. adidas’ new absorbent adiform fabric also provides a cool to the touch finish, whilst AEROREADY technology helps manages moisture in a range of conditions.

Speaking about the collection, Amy Charlton, Senior Director Product at adidas, said: “There is a sizeable data gap when it comes to sports bra development, so we worked with experts in breast health, University of Portsmouth, to challenge ourselves and drive forward our innovation to better meet the needs of our female athletic community. The wrong sports bra can have a serious impact on performance and efficiency – for example, if you run a marathon, unsupported breasts travel an extra 4 miles on their own! It was a significant undertaking with an all-female team of designers, testers and experts, and we hope this collection will help more sports bra wearers experience the benefits of added support and a better fit, and not be held back when doing the sports they love.”

With the impact of breast movement in sport not regularly brought to the fore, adidas has partnered with Professor Joanna Wakefield-Scurr, head of the Research Group in Breast Health at the University of Portsmouth, to help shine a light on why sufficient breast support during exercise is crucial, and the damaging effects of not wearing the right sports bra.

Professor Joanna Wakefield-Scurr added: “Unknown to many, athletes may require the same amount of breast support during power walking as they do during sprinting, and a lack of support has the potential to cause irreversible damage. Breast movement in sport continues to be an area that is overlooked, so it’s great to have established a long-standing relationship with adidas. Not only have they invested in sports bra research and development and independent scientific testing, but they recognise the importance of raising awareness of this topic. This is great to see given the impact breasts can have on participation and performance in sport; and it’s vital that we continue to provide further education where we can.”

To further support the specific needs of its female athletic community, adidas worked with its roster of leading partners to understand what they’re looking for in a sports bra and the impact it has on their training and competition.

Speaking about the importance of the right fit, Olympic athlete Mikaela Shiffrin shared: “My sports bra is the first piece of kit I consider when I’m training because when it isn’t right, it throws me off and I lose focus. In the lead up to such a huge competition, it was so important for me to

stay in the zone and not having the right bra has a significant impact on my training and performance, both mentally and physically. Sports bras are a foundational piece of kit but it’s not one size fits all – my training is varied and involves cardio, yoga and strength training, so having the right performance product that is tailored for each of these is key.”

Mikaela, who stars in the campaign, will be wearing the new collection on the global sporting stage this year. Featuring alongside her is yoga teacher and body positivity advocate, Jessamyn Stanley, sprinter and European Championships medallist, Lisa-Marie Kwayie, British model, Ellie Goldstein and Japanese actress and TV personality, Rola.

With fit being critical to the efficacy of a sports bra, adidas has launched an online bra fitting service to ensure more women can shop for their correct size, in addition to extending its best-in-class in-store fitting service. For those unable to make it in-store, an online bra fitting tool offers a self-measurement tutorial, and the bra finder helps more shoppers find their perfect fit.

The SS22 Bra Collection is available worldwide from February 14 on the adidas website, in stores and via the adidas app, with early access available from February 9.

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