When it comes to the sports bra, an S-M-L size chart just doesn’t cut it. Sports bras should be as diverse as the people wearing them, and the activities they’re wearing them for — whether that be training for a marathon, a light yoga session, or a trip to the grocery store. Thankfully, Nike has heard our pleas for more, and has made it their mission to make their sports bras available to a wider range of individual needs, all without compromising on the tech, innovation, and comfort they’re known for.
At a recent press event in Paris, Nike reps unveiled all of the new designs they have in the pipeline for summer 2019, including plans to increase the brand’s range of sizes for sports bras. Since 2014, the brand has stocked 25 sizes of sports bras, ranging from 30B to 38E, but that is about to change. Starting this summer, sports bra styles —including the Bold Bra and the newly released FlyKnit Indy — will be offered in sizing up to 44G. This, brand reps tell Bustle, is all in a companywide effort to accommodate the diverse bodies of people who wear sports bras, their varied needs, and their varying fitness levels.
Bustle caught up with Nicole Rendone, design director of bras and innovation at Nike, who discussed the brand’s commitment to working with customers to expand sizing needs. "[…] We fit on women of every size and we like [to create products for] women of different shapes, even at each size level, so that we’re really seeing the differences and making sure that the improvements we make in the fit work for all women," she tells Bustle.
And, in the process of expanding their sizing options, Nike relied on some of their most advanced tech to create styles that not only suit different bodies, but address the issues women confront with their sports bras the most. Case in point: the Flyknit Indy, the latest in Nike’s Flyknit sports bra series. Transferring the Flyknit technology that was previously used on shoes to help them be more lightweight and form fitting, Nike designers created an ultra-soft nylon-spandex yarn to help achieve the same level of comfort and support in their bras.
"[…]With the Flyknit technology, we’re able to engineer in [medium-level] support with the feeling of an underwire, the shaping of the cup, in the look of a light support bra," Rendone says.
This means less pinching, overheating, irritation, and chafing, Rendone says. Unlike the Flyknit FE/NOM, which offers more medium to high support, the Flyknit Indy is a lower support bra featuring a lower neckline, which makes it perfect for low-impact activities like yoga, cycling, Barre, or Pilates.
According to Rendone, paying attention to women and learning what they want in their sports bra to feel better and more confident during physical activity is a top priority for Nike. Rendone and her team not only read all the comments left on the site, they visit stores and ask consumers their opinions on the products. When asked what’s on the horizon for Nike sports bras, Rendone says you can expect more consumer-centric innovation addressing these needs further.
"I think in the space of women’s apparel right now, I’m trying to challenge and disrupt, not just for the sake of innovation, but for the sake of what women need in their lives every day," Rendone says. "So I think you’ll see a lot of practical innovations coming from Nike bras, [centered on] things that have bothered you forever about your bra. We’re really working on changing the small things that I think are going to make a huge difference in the lives of women."
And making it easier to find your size is definitely a start.
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