I thought that might get your attention but get your heads out of the gutter, people, this post is about sports bras.
It has been a personal goal to find The Best running bra in order to avoid the inevitable low-hanging-boob effect from too much bouncing and not enough support. I read once that when you run, your breasts can move up to EIGHT inches in all different directions- up, down, all around, to the right, to the left, and out- so, as we female runners age, supporting the girls in order to avoid too much tissue damage from all that jostling is pretty important no matter what size you may be.
I have boobs- shocker- and they are an ample C cup so when it comes to choosing a good sports bra, my decision is not based on aesthetics (like all my other running gear) but on level of bounce. The more I bounce in the bra, the less likely I am to buy. I try them on then jump up and down, do some jumping jacks like a crazy person and make my decision from there.
When I first began exercising, I invested in the Nike Pro Victory Bra which is intended for medium-impact sports such as cycling. It suited my purpose for a couple years; however, when I began running longer, I found I needed more support so would wear 2 of them at the same time. Yes that works, but if you have ever done the bra-double-up you know that it isn’t ideal whereas just wearing one at a time *is*.
The first iterations of this bra did not include the hook-and-eye closure on the back, it was all one piece, so lifting one or sometimes two of these bras up and over your head after getting all sweaty is fairly difficult, essentially, another work out. (Sometimes I would be so amazingly sore from boot camp that when it came to removing this bra, I would just get one arm out, give up, then take a shower with the fricker still wrapped around my neck! I found that asking hubby to assist was a much better idea… for both of us!)
After about 2 years of that Nike bra, I took my need for more support as well as a hook-and-eye closure and stepped into a local women’s running store, See Jane Run, for help. I relied on the sales person’s advice, tried on about 20 different bras, completed my jumping quality assurance test and…
… found this winner: the Fiona bra by Moving Comfort. Boobs don’t move. Not at all. Not even on a super steep downhill. The other element I love about this bra is the straps- they are Velcro so completely adjustable. I wasn’t entirely sold on the Velcro as I figured it would start ripping apart while I ran but after wearing this bra for about 3 years, I can tell you that IT WORKS. You adjust and the straps do not move. Not even in the wash!
This bra met my needs in terms of boobie stability with a hook-and-eye-closure , however, this bra is also really good at completely squishing the girls. I don’t mind that so much, I mean, as long my boobs aren’t moving while I run, I don’t really think about them but as I have shed some pounds lately I now think I look like a flat-chested boy wearing this bra. Again, really not a big deal to me but enough to make me want to conduct more research… could I really get stability, ease, and cuteness all in one sports bra???
When you read the words “top-of-the-line-athletic-wear”, what company do you think of first? There are several, but I think of Lululemon- they’ve got to get it right! Luckily, Lulu is also a local store, so I walked in knowing exactly what I wanted:
Lululemon’s Ta Ta Tamer. While it looks hideous on (I mean have you ever seen anything so ugly?), under a shirt it really keeps your curves while providing awesome motion control. This bra has the hook-and-eye-closure as well and- added bonus- detachable straps that you can cross in the back for more support. The straps themselves are also adjustable (a la regular bras) but they do tend to slip from the weight of my boobs.
I really like this bra and on my long runs, the Ta Ta Tamer is my go-to. My boobs did move a little more in this one than in the Fiona bra but having the completely removable and adjustable straps made it very easy to adjust for more support, based on my heavy-duty-boobie-needs.
While canvassing sports companies for item donations to my Auction for a Cure, I found Handful. They were generous enough to not only donate 2 of their bras towards my auction, they also sent me one to try out (wish they could send me these abs too!).
And I love it! Similar to the Ta Ta Tamer, the Handful bra has removable cups that are very flattering in terms of keeping those nipples from protruding on those cold winter mornings. Ever since I had my second child, my breasts are very un-even, lopsided, crooked, whatever you want to call it- plainly, lefty is bigger than righty, so having the cups smooths everything out and creates the illusion that my rack is normal and evenly dispersed. That’s so nice!
Given that the Handful bra is an over-the-head type and the straps are not adjustable, it’s best suited for medium-impact sports akin to the Nike Pro Victory Bra. While those with an actual handful (A/B) could probably run with it, I have more than a handful (C/D) so I do not; but, I do choose it for everything else, mainly day-to-day wear, as it provides great support. I’ve never found a sports bra that’s as comfortable, pretty and as flattering as Handful. I also adore the fact that Handful is an approved mastectomy bra, supporting breast cancer survivors during treatment and their return to good health and fitness- and you know I’m all about supporting good causes.
Now that you know more about my boobs than you probably ever wanted to, answer me this: what do you look for in a sports bra? Are you loyal to one brand or do you experiment? What brands are your favorite?
And, if you want a chance to win a 2-pack of Handful bras or any other awesome running loot, please be sure to check out my Auction for a Cure and bid today! 100% of all proceeds benefit my fund raising efforts for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.