There is a basic list of necessary gear for most runners. A good pair of properly fitted shoes is a must. Moisture wicking socks are important. Maybe a hat or visor. But for women, right up there with the shoes is the mother of all running accessories: the running bra. Note that I didn’t write “sports bra,” because in my opinion there is a difference. In today’s Tuesdays on the Run we are talking running bras. Check out link up hosts April at Run the Great Wide Somewhere, Patty at My No-Guilt Life, and Erika at MCM Mama Runs for their takes on the perfect running bras.
One of the first pieces of advice I received as a new runner was to purchase a good running bra. But that was advice I didn’t necessarily follow for many years. Let me just put this out there. I have a very difficult time finding regular bras that fit me properly, let alone a running or sports bra. Oh, I’ve been measured and fitted several times. The nice salesperson usually suggests a size that is either too large in the cups or too tight around my chest.
So for years while running I usually wore the basic stretchy C9 Seamless Layer Bra from Target. The positive: relatively inexpensive and comfortable. The negative: a pain in the you know what from too much bouncing. And I sometimes showed a little too much perkiness, ahem, if you know what I mean (especially after long runs). I consider this bra to be a general “sports bra.” I still wear my C9 to the gym if I’m doing the elliptical or if I’m riding a bike. I also just wear them on the weekends because they are comfy.
One day while outlet mall shopping I stopped by a Hanes/Champion store and decided to give their maximum support running bras a try. That’s when I found the Champion Show-Off Bra and I was pleasantly surprised. It fit like a glove. Was this the long, lost bra I had been searching for my entire (running) life? It not only fits well, it really holds them down with little to no bouncing. And, the feature that really sold me, it has small little “flower” shaped modesty pads inside each cup to avoid, as Champion calls it, “embarrassing show through.” (Been there, done that, after one cold, rainy Country Music Half Marathon. Not pretty!) I now own two of these bras, and I really need at least one more.
A few weeks ago, during Tennessee’s tax-free weekend, I scored a huge deal too great to pass up. I snatched up a Moving Comfort Urban X-Over running bra on the clearance rack at my local Feet Fleet store. Clearance price + no tax + $15 in store rewards credit = $7 bra. (Originally priced at $44!) It fits pretty well. Well enough for $7. (Heck, I spend that much at Starbucks on a latte and a biscotti!) I think Moving Comfort/Brooks has discontinued this bra, as it has moved to the sale page on the website.
I plan on purchasing another bra in the near future. I am signing up for the Skirt Sports Virtual Boobie Run on September 12. This race is an early kick-off to Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October) and also a way for Skirt Sports (my favorite running skirts) to celebrate its 11th birthday. All entrants receive a $70 voucher to use to purchase a Skirt Sports bra. Sounds like a win-win to me.
So there you have it. My take on running bras. What works, and doesn’t work for me. Which are your favorite running bras and why? Let me know in the comments below.