There’s so much happening in the sports bra industry right now. So many numbers, figures, and facts that it can be hard to wrap your head around all of it.
That’s why we’ve put together this handy dandy list of sports bra statistics, so you can see exactly what’s going on with your favorite brands and product types right now. we’ve got everything from sales figures to the average number of sports bras per woman — and we’ll be updating this list as more data rolls in (because let’s face it: things are changing fast!).
So check out our list below and get ready to dive into some seriously fascinating numbers!
General Sports Bra Statistics
1. 44% of women who exercise regularly don’t wear a sports bra
University of Wollongong’s proprietary research found that around 44% of women don’t wear a sports bra, despite exercising regularly. While studies show that a good sports bra can minimize movement by around 53% regardless of the breast size.
That said, the number of sports bra owners has been increasing in recent years.
2. 8 out of 10 women wear the wrong-sized sports bra
According to a report published by GH training, around 68% of women don’t wear a sports bra during training, despite the benefits of support and comfort.
The same report also reveals that 8 out of the 10 women who do wear sports bras during physical activity are either wearing the incorrect size of bra, or they’re wearing a bra that needs to be replaced.
The researchers behind the report suggest the lack of wiring in the bra might leave ladies believing they don’t need to get a fitting for a sports bra. However, choosing the right size is crucial to ensuring the right level of comfort and protection.
3. The sports bra industry accounts for around 25% of the total bra market
According to a review published on NCBI, since its initial introduction, the sports bra industry has grown significantly, accounting for around 25% of the total bra market today. By 2026, the experts behind the study predict the industry will be worth a minimum of $38.4 billion.
The biggest focus points for women choosing a sports bra were comfort, good support, moisture absorption, comfortable fabric, padding, and supportive straps. These factors are likely to be major focus points for sports bra manufacturers in the future.
4. 40% of women have more than 5 sports bras
(Women Sport Report)
LessBounce.com and the Women’s Sports Report found around 40% of their respondents had five or more sports bras, while around 64% said they had different sports bras for different kinds of activity. The company also said that today’s women may not be replacing their sports bras as often as they should be.
The research revealed around 26% of respondents only changed their sports bra once every one to two years. However, the technical nature of a sports bra means it can only last for approximately 30-40 washes in most cases.
5. Wearing a sports bra can reduce the activities of your pectoral muscles by 55%
(Women’s Health and Under Armour)
A study into the benefits of sports bras by Women’s Health and Under Armour found that wearing the correct sports bra for your activity level can reduce the activity of the pectoral muscles by up to 55%.
This can have a direct impact on comfort and the reduction of injury. According to the report, the result can be less muscular fatigue.
Aside from improving comfort, the report also suggested wearing a sports bra could also improve the confidence of women engaging in athletic activities.
6. 75% of women have problems with the fit of their sports bra
(Journal of Sports Sciences)
A study conducted and published in the Journal of Sports Sciences found around 75% of women have issues with how their sports bras fit, including chafing and shoulder straps digging in.
The report also found that a third of respondents suffered from breast pain, with 17% of marathon runners reducing their training as a result.
The report built on a previous study which found in breast pain is still high in marathon runners, despite 91% of them regularly running in a sports bra. According to the people behind the study, this could be due to a restriction in the number of shape and construction options available for women wearing sports bras.
7. One-fifth of women don’t work out because they don’t have the right sports bra
(University of Portsmouth)
If you’re one of them, you know that there’s nothing worse than an uncomfortable sports bra. You can try to adjust it, but it’ll never be quite right.
It’s not just about comfort, though. A good sports bra can help you with your performance, too. For example, if you’re doing a high-impact activity like running or jogging, a supportive bra can reduce bounce by up to 53%. This means that you’ll be able to run faster and longer without getting tired or hurting yourself.
And it’s not just for people who are into sports! If you’re an active woman who needs to wear a regular bra all day long as well as when exercising, then getting a great sports bra will make your life so much easier. It’ll reduce chafing and irritation from regular bras and prevent pain caused by straps digging into the shoulders or backsides.
Sports Bra Industry Growth Statistics
8. The global sports bra market is growing at a CAGR of 11.97%
(Brand Essence Research)
A Brand Essence Research report on the state of the sports bra market found the landscape is going through a rapid period of growth.
According to the report, the revenue of the industry reached $43.72 billion in 2020 and is expected to increase to around $93.67 billion by 2027. This represents a CAGR of around 11.97% in the reported period.
The study also revealed padded sports bras are growing more popular than non-padded alternatives. Padded bras accounted for around 67.68% of the market share in 2020.
9. Sports bra price points have increased by 5%
(Brand Essence Research)
Research into the sports bra market and its growing impact on the clothing industry by brand Essence Research found the average price point of sports bras is increasing. In the USA, the average price has increased by 5% to around $47.37.
According to the researchers conducting the report, the increasing price is a result of rising demand for sports bras, as well as an increase in the number of women participating in sports. Around 40% of sports participants in 2020 were female.
10. 22% of women wear sports bras several times per week
A report conducted by Statista in 2017 found the number of people wearing sports bras on a regular basis was increasing. The statistics found that around 22% of women in the US wear sports bras several times a week.
Notably, these bras aren’t always worn for periods of physical activity, as the customers are wearing athletic wear as leisure clothing more often.
11. The number of sports bras sold in Britain grew to 7.1 million in 2022
According to the Guardian and the Office of National Statistics, the sports bra has grown to be an increasingly important piece of the female wardrobe. In the 12 months leading up to the report being published in 2022, the number of sports bras purchased throughout Britain jumped by a third to approximately 7.1 million.
According to the report, the reason for this jump is more women replacing underwired cups for stretching and comfort. Spending on sports bras also increased significantly, to around £72.3 million, representing an almost 25% growth. As of the report, sports bras accounted for about 10% of all bra sales in the region.
12. The shipment value of sports bras will reach around 21.7 billion by 2024
According to Statista, the number of sports bra shipments worldwide has increased significantly in recent years, as the popularity of the garment continues to grow.
In 2017, the market had shipments valuing around $6.49 billion dollars. However, by 2024, the same study products the shipments will reach around $21.7 billion in value.
Benefits of Sports Bra Statistics
13. 32% of marathon runners say they experience breast pain
A research report created by the British Journal of Sports Medicine and published by Science Daily found in 1300 female marathon runners, around 32% are experiencing breast pain during their workout. This problem increased significantly with cup size.
Half of those with a cup size of F or larger said they felt breast pain, while around 1 in 4 felt the same way with an A cup. Around half the women studied said they experienced exercise during moderate exercise, while 64% felt the pain during moderate exercise.
The most popular way to relieve symptoms of breast pain was to wear a sports bra, with 1 in 5 people suggesting this option. Approximately 9 out of 10 women said they wore a sports bra when running.
14. Running in a bra with poor support can shorten your stride by 4 cm
A research report by Brooks Running, led by the University of Portsmouth, found that excessive breast movement can shorten a woman’s stride. The reporters revealed women running in a bra with limited support could see a reduction in their stride of around 4cm.
This research builds on previous studies conducted by the University of Portsmouth, looking at bra size and time to finish a marathon. The report found women with larger breasts could finish up to 18 minutes later than women with smaller breasts, despite similar fitness levels.
15. 72% of all women report discomfort while exercising
(The Breast Journal)
According to a study published in the Breast J. around 72% of all women report breast discomfort while exercising. The experts believe this has something to do with the lack of muscle in the chest.
When exercising, skin and Coopers’ ligaments are the only factors supporting breast tissue, and they can be placed under significant strain.
Sports bras, however, have a direct impact on exercise enjoyment. 85% of women who wear a sports bra for athletic reasons agree the support helps them to enjoy their exercise experience.
The same report also found sports bras can help to give women more confidence and peace of mind when exercising, due to a lack of bouncing.
16. 39.2% of young women say lack of breast support reduces their activity levels
A report on Sports Bra Preferences by the International Journal of Environmental Research found that adolescents between the ages of 15-18 years old (28.6%), as well as young women between the ages of 19 and 29 (39.2%) frequently reported breast discomfort and lack of support as a factor preventing them from engaging in regular activity.
Younger women were more likely to complain about lack of breast support as an issue preventing their regular exercise routines than women over the age of 30. Interestingly, to tackle this discomfort, the report revealed around 6% of users wore more than one sports bra at a time for extra support.
Latest Sports Bra Industry Trends
17. Black is the most popular color of sports bras
A review conducted by Edited.com into the style trends of sports bras found between 2021 and 2022, black remained the most popular color for sports bras. However, the number of colored options in the market is increasing, with the percentage of black sports bras available dropping from 30% to 25% between 2020 and 2022.
The report also found green colors and tones are taking over as a particularly popular choice among women. There are 99% more green products in stock compared to 2021, accounting for around 9% of the product mix in 2022. Pink has remained the fourth most-stocked color in 2022, though green is quickly catching up.
18. Seamless style sports bras are the most trending
The Edited.com study into popular sports bra trends throughout 2021 and 2022 found that 53% and 48% of sports bras at popular retailers like Boohoo and PrettyLittleThing were described as seamless.
Another major trend emerging in the landscape is the popularity of recycled materials for sports bras. Around 29% of the sports bra options evaluated by the study were listed as using “recycled materials” in 2022, compared to 28% in 2021. The recycled products offered by certain retailers like Adidas have grown significantly, at a rate of 27% in the US.
Additionally, the report suggests that sustainable keywords used in sports bra descriptions have seen an uplift of around 190% in the mass market, highlighting the growing demand for sustainable products.
19. Support is the most important consideration when choosing a sports bra
A report on Sports Bra preferences by age and breast size found more than a third of women have reported being fitted professionally for a regular non-sports bra in the past (34.9%), while only 3.7% have been fitted for a sports bra.
The report also found the most important factor influencing sports bra selection for the respondents was support (46%). However, the second most common factor to influence purchasing decisions was “brand name” (12.6%). Previous experience with the company or type of bra was also influential (12.1%).
20. 45.5% of women prefer to choose compression sports bras
The International Journal of Environmental Research report on Sports Bra Preferences found that compression-type bras were the most popular option for 45.5% of women. Only 10.4% of women said they preferred an encapsulation-style bra, and 34.1% said they liked a combination of both.
When it came to strap orientation, 61.1% said they would rather have a racerback strap on their bra, while 14.5% chose cross-back options, and around 6.9% chose vertical straps.
We’ve seen that the sports bra industry is growing at a steady rate. This growth has been spurred on by increasing demand as more and more women are starting to realize the importance of wearing a supportive sports bra during activities such as running, cycling, and aerobics.
There are now a variety of sports bras on the market, catering to every budget. Some bras are made from natural materials such as cotton, while others are made from synthetic materials that offer better support. There are also sports bras available in a range of sizes, from extra small to plus size.
So whether you’re just starting out in the world of sportswear or you’re an experienced wearer, there’s a sports bra perfect for you.
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