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January 08, 2018

Adaptive Technology Comes to Bras

You may start a workout with some yoga poses, and then transition into strength exercises that mix in intervals of running or jumping. The comfort of a low-support bra would be ideal for the first portion, but you’d need increasing support for the rest. Really, you could benefit by wearing three different bras for that single training session — but that would be ridiculous.

Understanding that training and athletes’ needs are more diverse and demanding than ever, Nike’s hyper-adaptive bra adjusts to the support an athlete needs, when she needs it — while being super comfortable. In other words: It’s one bra that works for every workout.

It’s called the Nike Motion Adapt Bra, and, at a glance, it may look like a basic sports bra. But inside, a hidden technology is at play: The interior of the bra features a brand new adaptive material composed of a unique foam and polymer hybrid that stretches at rest to form to your body and locks out when it senses impact. 

“This unique, soft material molds to your shape and is very flexible, moving with you while you do low-impact activity,” explains Nicole Rendone, Design Director for Nike Bras and Innovation. Once you move rapidly, the material becomes more supportive, helping to keep you locked down. Then, when you slow or reduce the velocity of your movement, the material will relax again. (You could compare it to the way a seatbelt works.)

One simple way to fully understand how the technology functions is to mimic these types of movements with your hands on the bra. “If you pull the front of the bra very slowly, you will feel the adaptive fabric moving with your hands,” says Rendone. “But if you pull it very quickly and with force, the fabric will resist movement by locking out, feeling almost hard. And that quality — that it doesn’t move during high-velocity movement —is the major benefit when it comes to support.”

But that level of support isn’t necessary all over the bra. So, designers determined to keep the high-support material innovation across the entire chest and put a mesh panel up the racerback and perforation in the front in key sweat zones for ventilation and breathability.

In order to confirm that the Motion Adapt Bra provides support during real workout scenarios, designers put the bra through high-velocity biometric testing in the Nike Sports Research Lab on elite and everyday runners. “We wanted to make sure it was in fact testing as a high-support bra and that it was providing the same range of support that our Nike FE/NOM Flyknit and Nike Pro Rival bras [Nike’s most supportive bras] do,” says Rendone.

On top of getting excellent support marks, testers dubbed the Nike Motion Adapt Bra “the most comfortable bra ever” — a compliment rarely given to high-support bras. “The bra’s ability to ‘relax’ gives wearers the sensation that it’s not going to lock them down during high-intensity movements, but once she starts jumping or running, she realizes she’s not moving as much as she would in another bra — plus she’s actually really comfortable,” says Rendone.

In addition to the new Nike Motion Adapt Bra, there are 15 more styles in Nike's spring bra collection, nine of which are brand new, providing a range of fit, support and style in order to meet the needs of every athlete.

Highlights from Nike's Spring 2018 Bra Collection

Nike’s Spring 2018 bra collection is available now on nike.com and at select retailers.