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Role Mothers Reveal: the Secret to the Best Sports Bra for Running

When you think about essentials, you can't get around the necessity of a solid sports bra. The right one for your body and running style will let you leave any comfort issues behind and concentrate on a good run. Enter our Role Mothers. They come in all shapes and sizes and run at every intensity level, offering a wide range of experience, thoughts, and opinions on the matter. Find your sports-bra spirit runner below and absorb their sage advice to find the best sports bra for running.

 

image for Maureen 3

Nicole Blades, the Regular Runner:
I have 10 sports bras, but not all of them are in steady rotation. In fact, there's one from waaaay back that only comes out when all others are in the midst of the wash cycle. I typically wear five of them and the others serve as back-up.

I have an odd size that can be a challenge to find. I’m a 32E, so for me, the secret to a good sports bra is the right fit and also feel. It needs to have really good support and control to reduce the “bounce,” but it also needs to be comfortable—and by that I mean, a smooth shape with flat seams that all come together and rest softly against my skin.

My all-time favorite is either the Panache Ultimate Maximum Control Sports Bra or the Medium Control Wire-Free Sports Bra.

 

Melissa sports bra
Melissa explains on Instagram: "My first @Saucony sports bra selfie...do you know how much courage this took? GULP...Let's do this!"

 

Melissa Fenton, the Marathoner:
Because I'm in such a hot and humid climate, my sports bra needs to be made of a lightweight fabric, but still offer decent compression. I like wide straps that don’t dig into my shoulders. I don’t like any padding (too hot!) and don’t mind hooks, if it helps get a better fit—and they're also nice for certain times of the month when my breasts change in size and tenderness.

One of my favorites is the Saucony Athlete Avenger. No bounce! And breathable. It's practically neon, but actually I love that you can see the bra underneath a mesh-type top. And also, BONUS: It covers enough/is not see-through, so that I could wear it as-is, without a top, and run in it. (Again, hot as hell here so I lose my top a lot on runs.)

 

 

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            The very popular Saucony Curve Crusader

 

Ashley Hinze, the Beginner:
Motherhood did a whammy on my chest. Pre-baby = no boobs at all, immediately following baby = huge boobs needing serious control, returning to post-baby body = ending up somewhere in the middle and still needing support.

I always look for straps that cross in the back to hold those babies in! I prefer the no-movement type. This is crucial, as my bra is the last thing I want to worry about on a run.

My favorite is the Saucony Curved Crusader. It has just the right support, but comfortable enough to wear all day.

 

Tania, the Sputterer:
I probably own around 10 sports bras and wear about three of them on a regular basis. I wear the others if I need a specific color for a running costume.

For me, the secret to a good sports bra is fabric that doesn't chafe. Since I'm not well endowed, I also need some padding. But not funky shaped padding. Honestly, the best bras that I've found for me are from Old Navy.

 

Pam, the Grandmother:
I have more than a dozen, but I only wear about five of them on a regular basis.

The secret to a great sport bra is the fit and support. I really like the girls to stay put when running. I also like a sports bra with hook and eye closure, partly because they are easier to get on and off.

Our local running store carries Moving Comfort bras, and I really like those. But my new favorite is the Saucony Bounce Trouncer. It has a very comfortable band and fits great. No chafing!

 

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Sarah pushing through a six-mile treadmill tempo (10 minutes at 6:10!) and showing off her Saucony sports bra

 

Sarah Wassner Flynn, the Triathlete:
I currently own five sports bras, which I wear on a regular basis, plus another five tanks with built-in bras which are also on heavy rotation.

As a small-chested woman, I don't have much to support, so I focus mostly on comfort and color. I tend to skip bras with fussy details like padding and hooks, opting for softer, stretchy fabrics and surprising elements, like a strappy back or a keyhole racerback.

I love both the Saucony Athlete Avenger and Sweet Elite. The bold, bright colors are totally my vibe and the fit is on-point. I'm also a fan of C9 bras from Target. They're super-affordable and comfortable, too.

We want to know: What do you love about your sports bra(s)? Tell us in the comments section below.

14 responses to “Role Mothers Reveal: the Secret to the Best Sports Bra for Running

  1. I just found the Panache maximum support. I love it! It’s so much nicer looking than the old battleship of support that I usually wear – the Enell. (love the support, hate the seams that show through my shirt like scary eyebrows and the full back panel that is SO hot in the summer)

  2. I wear the Athleta T-Bird sport bra when running. I’m a 36 DD and I prefer to have my breasts strapped down and not moving. The T-Bird has convertible straps, you can wear them straight or crisscrossed in the back. Boy did I feel silly when I realized that after running for a month or so and always having to pull the strap back up on my shoulder. Putting the bra on is harder than I prefer, but I haven’t found another bra that works so well.

  3. Hello er! The VS underwire you mentioned bites! I got one as a freebie and it was terrible. Between the underwire and the plastic zipper the whole thing curved in and actually cut my breastbone. I had to shove a piece of moss in my shirt and wedge it under that spot just to finish the run. It looked promising; front zip, encapsulated and the fabric had good strength. I believe it runs small though. I’m a full B and I had to go to a C.** Another note for you bra searchers; Title Nine has a great bra section, complete with description of each bra and they break it down into sizes and activity level. Some are exclusive to their line, others are name brand.

  4. I’ve got GIANT boobs (34 H-J, betcha didn’t know they made bras that big!) There aren’t too many choices in my size, but I’ve found that Freya Active makes a good one. Contains underwire which I worried about a lot but which ends up providing EXCELLENT support without any discomfort. I’ve got 5-6 of them in various colors.

  5. My go to sports bra was discontinued and in the last year I found the Victoria’s Secret Incredible from zip sports bra. No more trying to wrestle a sweaty bra over my head! Lots of support.

  6. I love my Moving Comfort JubraLee bras! The girls (and they are big) don’t move and I don’t get chafing. What else could you ask for? Oh yeah, sometimes fun colors!

  7. My favorite bra is the Moving comfort Rebound racer, since the straps are adjustable with velcro which you can also completely undo to allow for nursing. Which with a 6 month old is a requirement. I can sub out in the middle of a soccer game, quickly nurse her and sub right back in. Decent support (36DD), i hate any movement. I have had some chaffing on longer runs (greater than 10 miles) but for the tried off to be able to conveniently nurse, I put up with it.

  8. I really like zippered bras, too. After a nice, sweaty run, I really hate peeling a sticky, stinky bra off my arms and over my head. That goes doubly for when I had just run a 20+miler run. Zippers rule! I’ve only tried the Under Armour bras. They wear-out quickly and the sizes are very wacky (read: DD cup fits for my B-size??) Victoria Secret has just come out with a zippered-line, but they have UNDERWIRE in the cups! Has anybody tried this one? How far have you run in it? THX!

  9. I need encapsulated bras. I had a double mastectomy/reconstruction, so you can’t have anything moving. To me the one “uni” still leaves motion because there’s nothing between them to pack ’em in. My gals don’t touch, no cleavage just a lovely gap. Good storage space though. And with my chronic shoulder issues I have to have a front zip because I can’t pull those bras over my head. Champion used to have several high impact front zips, but they’re tricky to find. Under Armour makes them but the nylon zipper tends to give out after time, but they hold well. Athleta has one that, to my surprise, is excellent. It comes in sizes, is rock solid on the runs and the regular (in the back) bra fasteners work out well. Moving Comfort makes cup sizes also and they hold up very well. Just remember to let your gear hang to dry and it will last so much longer! When the weather gets nice out, I hang my stuff on the deck to dry which also gets is done much faster than dryer and smells better too!

  10. I found Handful bras a few years ago and have been converted. (I admit…I wear them even when I’m not running.) They are super comfortable, keep everything in place, and best of all, don’t make me look like a flat-chested twelve year old. Or a flat-chested forty year old either!

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