Maybe it鈥檚 just us, but we鈥檝e never really put much thought into picking out a sports bra 鈥 beyond going to Target and spending an hour deciding聽between two sizes (sometimes the line between comfortable and cleavage is too thin).聽Sure, we all want our聽sports bras to be cute,聽and we鈥檝e been tempted by some high-tech,聽smart bra versions, but a lot of us are pretty clueless on the most basic considerations we聽should be聽looking out for when it comes to fit and performance. Here are five tips to help you find the perfect sports bra, whether you鈥檙e working out at home, at the gym or鈥 just聽wearing your best athleisure聽to run errands and watch Netflix. (No judgment.)

run sports bra

1.聽Decide whether you聽want your breasts compressed or encapsulated.聽Weird question, but don鈥檛 worry, we鈥檙e not asking you to state a preference. The answer depends on the kind of activity you鈥檒l be doing. If your workout is low impact (like walking, yoga or strength training), you can probably go for an encapsulated style, with a shape more similar to a regular bra with separate cups. If you鈥檙e聽doing something a bit higher impact (like hiking or cycling), a compression style (cupless, the kind you pull over your head) is a good step up. If your workouts are really hardcore (like running or aerobics), or you have a larger chest, go for a style that combines compression and encapsulation for maximum support.

2. Check the band. Once you鈥檙e strapped into your sports bra of choice, the band should fit snugly and聽straight across your chest and back (parallel to the ground), and when you raise your arms above your head, it shouldn鈥檛 slide up. If there鈥檚 an underwire, it should lay flat against your rib cage, under your breasts, and shouldn鈥檛 feel like it鈥檚 poking or pinching you anywhere. And note that, generally, the wider the band, the greater the support.

3. Pull the straps.Not to snap them, because you鈥檙e not your own middle school bully. What you鈥檙e doing is checking that there鈥檚 not too much stretch that they鈥檒l slip off your shoulders during your workout, but also not enough that they鈥檒l dig into you. If the straps are criss-cross or tank top style, that probably means you can adjust them, but racerback straps often aren鈥檛 adjustable, so it鈥檚 especially important to get the fit right on that style. The same rule for bands follows for straps: The thicker they are, the more support they鈥檒l provide.

4. Pay attention to the fabric. Not just how it looks, but how it acts as you鈥檙e wearing it. If it鈥檚 puckered or wrinkled, the cup聽size might be too big for you. If it鈥檚 moisture-wicking or you can see your nipples through it, that might mean it鈥檚 a thinner fabric that won鈥檛 be supportive enough. And if it feels like it鈥檚 chafing when you鈥檙e just standing there in the dressing room, it鈥檚 definitely not going to be comfortable during your workout.

5. Jump up and down. Seriously. A good sports bra should fit tighter than a regular bra, but still be comfortable.聽If you can feel your boobs聽moving around a lot,聽something鈥檚 not right.

Show us your favorite sports bra and share your tips with us on聽Instagram!

(Photos via Getty)