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Nike Thinks it Can Build a Better Sports Bra

Nike believes that “going without a good bra means going without sport.”

That’s why the brand is releasing two new sports bras, packed with innovations designed to combat two of the most common problems women encounter with the workout wear staple every day: lack of effective padding and coarse, skin-suffocating fabrics.

“Women already face enough complications in their daily lives,” Nike’s senior creative director for women’s bras and innovation, Nicole Rendone said in a statement. “A sports bra shouldn’t be one of them.”

The Nike Swoosh One Piece Pad Sports Bra, slated for a New Year’s Day release, was designed to improve the quality of padding in sports bras. The Swoosh One Piece Pad foregoes the traditional sports bra structure of two, separate padded inserts.

Nike introduces the Nike Swoosh One Piece Pad Sports Bra and the Nike Ultrabreathe Sports Bra
Nike said the single pad design has never been done before in sports bras. Nike

“Let’s face it: Pad problems are real in women’s sports bras,” Nike said. “They’re hard to insert and sometimes even harder to smooth once they’re finally put in correctly. They can lead to misshapen boobs, or they fall out in the wash, never to be seen or paired correctly together again.”

The one-piece design works to solve those issues with a single pad that can be “seamlessly inserted” and provides more padding and support than previous Swoosh bras, Nike said.

In order to come to these design conclusions, Rendone worked with her team to determine how sizing changes across demographics. The foam in the Swoosh One Piece Bra is molded depending on the specific size, Nike said, and even the composition of the fabric changes at a certain size range to increase support for those that need it.

“We’re solving this problem that women have just put up with and dealt with, thinking it was something that they didn’t have a choice about,” Rendone said. “The Nike Swoosh One Piece Pad really underscores how we’re committed to providing a better sports bra for women based on feedback and research directly from them.”

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Nike introduces the Nike Swoosh One Piece Pad Sports Bra and the Nike Ultrabreathe Sports Bra
The Nike Ultrabreathe Sports Bra features mesh where “heat zones” are located and support where they are not. Nike

The next problem Nike wants to solve was actually inspired by Rendone’s own experience with sports bras. After a long work out, Rendone leaped into a pool to cool off. Hours later, the bra was still wet and soggy and would be completely useless until it was dry.

With the Ultrabreathe undergarment, Rendone’s team set out to create light, medium and strong versions of a bra that incorporates mesh or cutouts in specific “sweat” or “heat” zones.

Nike mapped out these zones, keeping support where heat was not an issue and placing a newly-engineered mesh where both support and air permeability were required.

The Ultrabreathe will first release in medium support in Europe, the Middle East and Africa on Jan. 30. It will be released globally on Feb. 6.