Everybody wears them. Well, almost everybody, but what many female runners may not realize about sports bras is that some people put them right up there with running shoes in terms of importance. You see, while you could pull just any bra off the shelf and call yourself cinderella, it’s not going to do much good if it wasn’t meant for you. Like running shoes, it’s going to make everything a lot more enjoyable if you have the right fit and the right product that matches your need, shape, and activity. Today I’m laying out why it’s important to find a good sports bra, how to go about finding it, and giving you some of my favorite options for all types of #blessed.
Confession: I’m a cheapo at heart. My dad is a financial planner so I grew up with the mindset of save, save, save. This definitely carried over into high school and college where anything designer in my closet would feel fawkward and out of place and also in buying inexpensive athletic apparel and wearing my running shoes until they were completely falling apart.
Not much has changed with my everyday wear, but the more I get into running, the more I realize that investing in your gear will only pay off in the long run. It’s a well known fact that finding the right shoes is important, but once you get the right bra, you’ll realize that your chest needs just as much love as your feet.
There’s nothing worse than being out for a long run and feeling like your sports bra is too loose or too tight. Or when you get back race photos where your face and form look great, but your sports bra ruins the entire picture because the girls are looking too wide eyed or saggy.
Here are 4 important factors to think about when buying a sports bra for running:
You want your bra to be all parts supportive, comfortable, breathable, and snug. If one of these things is missing, it throws everything else off. If your bra is supportive and snug, but not comfortable and breathable, your girls may not be going anywhere, but your runs are going to be miserable and good luck breathing. Speciality running stores will actually fit you for sports bras just like they would at Victoria Secret and if you don’t already know your bra size, this can be really helpful to know where to begin with which bras to try on and which probably don’t apply to you.
There are many more features to bras these days than you might realize. They vary in materials, style, cut, and purpose to fit a lot of different needs. If you are picking out a bra for the summer, look for cut outs or breathable mesh. Depending on your bust size, pay attention to different styles like ones that compare to traditional bras, racerbacks, or crossover straps. Women with larger bust may want to look at all the bells and whistles like underwire, traditional clasps, and thick straps, while women who are less endowed may just focus on adjustability and functionality.
You shouldn’t have to be replacing your sports bra all the time. I’ve worked at a running store and in that experience, we always advised women to replace their bra after 6 months, but honestly if you have the right bra that really shouldn’t be the case. Don’t get me wrong, if you’re wearing the same one every day for a year and washing it all the time, it’s going to decondition, but if you have a handful of high quality bras on rotation, you should expect to have them and be in good shape for at least a year if not longer. Look for a bra that seems to be made with high quality material and don’t be afraid to splurge because it’s worth it in the end.
There are two types of female runners out there- women who run in just their sports bras and women who don’t. All vanity aside, it’s important to find a sports bra that fits well and looks good so you’re not spilling out, suffering from uniboob, or feeling self conscious. Regardless of your stance, you want to feel comfortable and confident in your sports bra as if you were to potentially rip off your top mid run out of hot and humid desperation.
Now that you now what to look for in a bra, here are my suggestion based on the top brands and different sizes in the categories of fit, functionality, and style. A “small” in this case would be an A/B cup. A “medium” would be a B/C and a large would be a D+.
Craft Sportswear Cool Seamless Bra
This bra is a clear winner to me in terms of fit in compressive, standard sports bras. It may look pretty ordinary, but the material used in this bra is top of the line. It’s comfortable, sweat wicking, and stabilizing. I suggest it for smaller chests just because there are so many bras out there that cater to larger busted women, but they do have sizes for everyone in this model.
Oiselle Hi-Ten Bra
Another more standard bra is the Oiselle Hi Ten. It’s pretty simple, but it works for every type of activity and is comfortable enough to wear even before and after your work out. I love this bra because it has inserts in the cups, which prevents from embarrassment while running in cold weather, if ya know what I’m sayin. It may look delicate, but in my experience it’s still very supportive without compromising breathability.
Moving Comfort Hot Shot
Moving Comfort is honestly my favorite brand when it comes to bras. They are now owned by Brooks and their high quality and reliability has continued. I love this bra because it’s sexy and stylish, but it still fits great and maintains functionality. I’ve had a couple of these bras and I love to wear it during anything from yoga in a backless top to a long run hidden under a bunch of layers in the winter. Unfortunately, I would not recommend this bra for anyone larger than a B cup.
This is another classic style bra that doesn’t changes because it works so well. There should probably be a 3 part book series on this called the Sisterhood of the Traveling Bra because it’s amazing how it can fit almost anyone.
This has to be the hands down most functional bra on the planet. Lululemon truly thinks of everything. I have a friend who works for them and calls this the “Blogger Bra” because she knows how we have to take our phones with us everywhere. This bra has all sorts of storage space that you can safely tuck in your phone, keys, nutrition, and all the other random crap that we obviously need to take on our runs.
Oiselle makes so many amazing bras, but this one is new and I think it is to die for. In this bra they give you extra coverage with a high neck line and thick straps. They use a very breathable material that feels great and doesn’t chafe.
These are the Rolls Royce of sports bras for women who have large bust. It may look a little intimidating, but Enell is the answer that many women have been looking for. This bra is full coverage with front clasps and breathable straps. I’ve fit countless women in these and it has so many fans and patrons, I would definitely suggest it for the women who’s tried everything and is about to give up running because she’s lost all faith in sports bras.
This bra is functional for the women who are a little more blessed than others who still like the feel of a more traditional bra. The Stabilyx has full coverage, maximum compression, and the girls would not be going anywhere on your long run.
This is one of the most popular bras on the planet. The Maia is the perfect blend of a traditional and sports bra all rolled into one with defined cups and a back clasp. Full chested women love this bra for a number of different reasons, but the main appeal is that it’s equal parts flattering and functional for race day.
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Do you have any bras to add to the list?
Are you a saver or a splurger?
What’s one thing you’ve learned to invest in?