Sport and boobs are not the best of friends. ESPN recently covered the issue and I must admit it’s an area I’m always surprised isn’t looked at in more depth.
Most running magazines always spout the old mantra that all you need to run are a pair of good trainers and the great outdoors. I sit there thinking ‘Er, hello, and a sports bra for your female readers’. Somehow this vital bit of equipment is often missed off the list and in an industry that is always releasing the latest running shoe with ‘ultra lite’ this and ‘energy cell’ that or new fandangled sports watches that can make your dinner and track your mileage, the lack of adequate support for the ladies is one the rankles for me (don’t even get me started on tri-suits and the tens of thousands of women who have to swim in their sports bra under their suit…oh the indignity).
Sports bras always seem to come last on the kit list. They tend to be pretty pricey and as a result many women plump for cheap high street alternatives from the likes of Primark, especially when they take up sports. I know this all too well because when I first started exercising I also wore these £4 bras and they didn’t work properly. I see women with their boobs bouncing all over the shop when I go out for a run and wince in pain as I pass them. I want to chase them and give them my hard won knowledge but that’s socially unacceptable so I will do so here.
I have tried many brands over the years. Some chaffed me to pieces, others looked nice but did precious little to keep me in one place, one particular brand almost killed me it took compression to the extreme. I will not talk about these. In five years of running, triathlons and crossfit these are the best bras for a C/D cup as far as I’m concerned:
1) Moving Comfort Fiona – by far the most comfortable of any sports bra I’ve ever worn, it’s also the easiest to get on and off. It won’t win awards for beauty but it’s not terrifying looking either.
2) Moving Comfort Juno – a great bra for the fuller bust but be warned – you need to be a contortionist to get it on and off. I swear sometimes I feel like I’ve had a full workout just getting this thing on in the morning. You could wear this all day which is just as well because you might need a rescue team to get undressed.
3) Shock Absorber Run Bra – this is the market leader in Britain I believe and with good reason. It’s not the most comfortable bra but it does stop those bad boys moving and you can buy them in pretty much every major sporting outlet. You do feel very gussied up however which is why I don’t list it as my favourite – the first thing you want to do when you get home from a run after wearing this is to take the bloody thing off. Now. I also don’t like the way they are done up. If you are not very flexible clipping the darn thing up above the shoulder blades could be near impossible to achieve by yourself – I can do it no problem but I think my 60 year old Mum would be in A&E before you could say ‘boobies’. I have also had a problem with the adjustable shoulder strap clips coming undone during a run and having to take my bra off under my top in doorways to readjust. About the most humiliating thing ever. Especially in rush hour London. For this reason I only ever wear these bras when I know someone is with me that can help me reclip it if this happens.
So, there you go. My top three sports bras. I have others in my collection but I would never run in them. Crossfit perhaps, cross-trainer yes, cycling by all means. But running and jumping? No way.
Oh, and final tip – don’t buy white sports bras. Ever. Stick with black or darker colours, they wash better and look fresher for longer.