I’m a 34 DDD and I work out at least five days a week doing a combo of strength training, cardio (Zumba), pilates, and yoga as well as walking, jogging and bike riding. For years I’ve been on a quest for the best sports bras to support my “girls” and still be comfortable. And I’ve tried and purchased a LOT of sports bras. Today I’m sharing my candid sports bra review so YOU find the best sports bra for your needs.
Sports Bra Fitting Tips for Big Busts
- First rule of fighting sag: According to Fitness magazine, with each running stride, breasts move not only up and down but also side to side and in and out, tracing a butterfly pattern. Unsupported, the average A cup travels about an inch and a half in each direction, and a D cup bounces two to three inches. Ouch! No wonder it’s uncomfortable to run and jump around in an unsupportive bra. A good sports bra can cut that movement in half — by 59 percent for size D — which is key to sparing the support structures in your breast, says Joanna Scurr, PhD, a biomechanist at the University of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom who studies bounce. Because breasts are made of soft tissue — alas, not muscle — what holds them up is the surrounding skin and the internal Cooper’s ligaments, a web of springy coils that are built to rebound until jumping, genetics, and gravity catch up with them. “Any permanent stretching of these can cause the breasts to droop,” Scurr says.
- The biggest bra fitting mistake: The number-one mistake women make in choosing a sports bra is wearing a smaller cup and larger band than you need. Note that every manufacturer is different so don’t get hung up on the number. You need to try on several sizes to see what works best for you.
- Compression vs encapsulation? Shelf bra styles (compression) work for smaller cup sizes (A and B). But for larger busts, they are less than ideal, causing flattening (uni-boob) and sweating. If you’re larger than a C cup, encapsulation (which simply means sports bras with individual cups) are the way to go. I’m focusing on encapsulation bras in this review.
Sports Bra Review
I bought this bra about a year ago when it first came out. It was expensive but it fit so well that I thought it would become my “go to” and I would quickly justify the cost. It’s marketed specifically for runners as it has a very wide underband to minimize bounce. After trying on a couple of sizes, I ended up buying a 36 DDD. However I had the same problem with this bra that I had with the Tata Tamer; it’s very hard to hook it in back by yourself. And because of the strap design, you can’t really hook it in front and then flip it around. For this reason, I rarely wear it even though it fits really well.
Now I see that Lululemmon has come out with a front zip version. (Grrrrr!) So I’m guessing I’m not the only person who had trouble putting the original version on. If I had a time machine, I would definitely buy the front zip version rather than the one that I purchased.
After seeing the SheFit bra advertised online, it was the video below that convinced me to try it. I was intrigued that there were multiple ways to adjust the band and the straps without needing help from another person. I used the sizing chart on the web site and ordered a Luxe. It fit perfectly and performed exactly as advertised. It’s super easy to get on/off and it’s very supportive and comfortable to wear. In just a week it’s become my favorite sports bra and the only one I want to wear. And yes, I took the pads out. It currently only comes in four colors (white, black, royal blue and green) but I’ve seen other colors advertised in the past so they probably change seasonally.
Here’s the video that shows how to put it on and adjust it to get a custom fit. Note: I definitely have to use the front hooks in order to get it pulled in tight enough to zip up easily.
If you want to try the SheFit bra, here’s a link that will get you $10 off: http://i.refs.cc/kAUXyWGX
Let’s give Lululemmon some props for the name. This bra offers heavy duty support, separation, and coverage. It’s made with Luxtreme® fabric that is sweat-wicking and four-way stretch with a cool, smooth feel. It comes with removable pads (I always take them out) and the straps can be worn crossed or straight. You buy them just like a traditional bra (example 34 DDD) but you need to try them on. I ended up in a 36DDD.
I have two of these and they’re a decent affordable option with good support. However, I like to wear the straps crossed in the back and I have a VERY hard time putting this bra on by myself. I usually only wear it when Paul is around to help me hook it. Otherwise, it’s too difficult to get it on and adjusted with the straps crossed.
I swear I paid more than $58 so I think the price has come down since I purchased. Also the Lululemmon web site says that this bra is now only available online but I know I bought both of mine in a store.
Note: All of my comments and opinions are based on my own personal experience and are geared toward women with ample busts (C cup or larger.) Smaller busted women have their own share of challenges but I’m not qualified to speak to them.
What are your favorite (or least favorite) sports bras? Tell me in the comments.
Every Tuesday I try a new product and post a (brutally honest) review. This is not an ad. I have received no compensation for this post.