I’ve always found searching for a decent sports bra a hassle and mainly because the ones that I have tried on are so damn uncomfortable and it seems that I am not alone. According to recent research carried out by the University of Bristol millions of women are put off by sport because they cannot find the right bra, and to add to that, one in five British women suffer pain or embarrassment caused by their breasts when exercising.
As alarming as those stats are I am not surprised because although a sports bra is one of the most important bits of kit an active woman can have, it is often the most neglected, with women either wearing the wrong size or, like the reports says, not even bothering to wear one at all. I’ve lost count of the amount of women that I’ve seen pounding the pavements or working out in a high-impact class all too happy to let the ‘girls’ roam free. Not a pretty sight for observers and even worse, potentially, for your breast tissue. I know it can be a pain trawling through the shops deciding what bra is suitable for you but worry not as I’ve done all the hard work for you with my ultimate, tried and tested guide to selecting the best sports bras on the market. Make sure you get fitted first so you know your size.
Nike has upped the ante in the sports bra department of its women’s training apparel by adding a brand new collection of sports bras to cover of all activities for Fall 2014. My training regime these days consists of a lot of strength training and high intensity training and I need a bra that can support that kind of activity and won’t completely restrict my movements and this bra does the job. It’s lightweight with just the right amount of compression to minimise bounce and has flat seams too so there are no scratchy, rough edges in this bra. I also like the moulded built-in cups that not only add shape but ensure no nippleage shows through. I am bit surprised that I like this bra so much because I am not a fan of the traditional pull-over-the-head design seen in most sports bras. It can be a big hassle when you are in a hurry to get changed, get to a class or start your training session, but the extra stretchy band in the back makes all the difference with the on and off transitions. Nike has definitely done their homework with this high -impact bra and with other bras in the collection designed to cater for medium to low impact workouts, a range of five colours and a bigger size run there is something for everybody no matter what your training method. Nike Pro Rival Women’s Sports Bra www.nike.com £40 25 sizes B to E
This ‘Running Bra’ from Berlei has got so much going for it that it’s no wonder it’s the ‘Best Selling Sports Bra in Australia’ and has been recommended as ‘the best running bra’ in The Sun and The Express. First of all it looks and feels like a regular every day bra, none of this strait-jacket-harness style type contraption that most sports bras seems to favour these days and it’s easy to put on and take off too. In fact, Berlei say that you can wear it as normal bra even when you aren’t working out, which I love. It has no hard corners or scratchy bit either, I tested this on a 25 minute sprint/jog session and it gave me full coverage and no bounce. Other key features include multi-way straps, best of all it comes in a 32-38 B-FF size run oh and the price point is pretty impressive too.
Berlei Running Bra www.berlei.com £32
I tested this bra out during one of my tough weights sessions, I squatted, deadlifted and did a bit of spinning in it too and I loved it. This is more of a medium impact bra and although the information says you can run in it, I think that you would only get away with that if you had really small breasts. This bra has an engineered cup designed to mould to your form to give a comfortable fit, which it does perfectly. It’s seam-free so there is no digging, scratching or rubbing on the skin and I love the colour which gave an instant lift to my all black outfit. This bra actually comes in a whole range of colours so you can mix and match with any of your workout outfits. Its crop top design is made to been seen on its own, layered or worn over a high impact bra if you need more support.
Striders Edge Engineered Compression Sports Bra www.stridersedge.com £35 size XS-L