Ok ladies, don’t be shy – it’s time to talk about sports bras! I’ve been complaining for a while that my old favorites need replacing. The elastic is worn out and the support just isn’t there anymore. I put off buying new ones because they are expensive (how can so little material cost so much?). But it finally got to the point that I just couldn’t wear my old favorites anymore. I was starting to feel the bounce and lack of support on my runs and paying for it afterwards (yes, your boobs can get tired after a run too – not just your legs – all that bouncing makes them sore). So off I went to Running Free to buy a new sports bra.
I was sad to find out that my old favorites weren’t being made anymore. This meant that rather than just grabbing the one I always buy off the shelf in my size, I had to go to the wall of bras and start all over again. For those of you who don’t already know, you can’t just find your size and take it to the checkout, assuming all bras are created equal and that as long as it is your size (whatever that may be) then it will fit and be just right. That’s a recipe for pain and discomfort if I ever heard one, not to mention a recipe that risks the dreaded uniboob, or could result in chaffing on a run, or sore boobs from bouncing, or feeling like you are being strangled around the chest, and all sorts of other things that happen when a sports bra doesn’t fit right. So you HAVE TO TRY ON!!! Myself, I’m “blessed in the chest” so my choices are more limited than for others. Running Free has thoughtfully organized their bras such that there are signs that indicate if the bra is geared towards smaller chested women or larger chested women. Again, not all bras are created equal – the cute sports “bra” (in quotes because many sports bras are more sports tops than bras!) may not come in a size C, D, or DD and for good reason! Thanks to the signs I didn’t have to waste my time scanning through those for my size, because the signs told me they weren’t for me. I found the rack that had bras that are designed to fit and support larger chested women. These are indeed bras – they do up like a bra in the back, they have 2-3 hooks to hold you in, underwire, etc. They start at a “C” cup size – these aren’t for small chested women. The company was Moving Comfort and they had three different bras that interested me. I decided to try on all three, all in different sizes. The bras I brought with me to the change room ranged in back size from 32-36 and cup sizes of C-D, because you just never know. No two bras fit the same! You may think you are a “C-34” no matter what – but you’d be fooling yourself. There is nothing to be ashamed of if you go up to a 36, down to a 32, or increase the cup size to a D. The point is to get the bra that fits you best – what it says on the ticket as the size doesn’t matter – comfort and fit is what matters!!!
The first bra I put on was the “Juno”. Let me start by saying this is hands-down the most comfortable, fully adjustable, supportive sports bra I have EVER had on. It passed all the typical dressing room tests: the bounce test -yes, I jump up and down in the dressing room, the run on the spot test, and the deep breath test -I take a deep breath in and out and try to get my chest to expand and compress as much as I can to see what it feels like when I’m breathing hard. Some bras feel like a tight band wrapped around you and feel as if your breathing is constricted. There is nothing worse than being out on a long run and constantly sticking your fingers up your shirt to pull your bra away from your body so you can breathe. This bra passed all my tests with flying colours. I also liked the look of it. The racer style back was attractive, and I liked that the shoulder straps were adjustable and did up at the front with Velcro– meaning that I could easily adjust my bra myself while wearing it. Other adjustable straps are usually more like typical bra straps that slide up and down at the back – so either you need a helper to adjust your bra, or you have to do it before you put it on and hope you got things in the right spot. Unfortunately, the “Juno” is not only the best sports bra I’ve ever worn, but also the most difficult one to take on and off. It literally took me almost 5 minutes to get it on, and then about the same amount of time to get myself out of it. I can’t really explain it – once in – it is great – but it is really difficult to get on and off. Alas, despite being the best bra ever, this one went back on the shelf because I don’t have the patience for it.
On to the next in the line, the “Fiona”. This one had the same Velcro adjustable straps in the front, which I liked about the Juno. It didn’t have the racer back, which I think is part of what made the Juno so difficult to get on. It was equally comfortable, but I felt the support was lacking, at least in comparison to the Juno. I also found that the bottom curled up a bit when I expanded my chest during my deep breath test. I don’t have a flat stomach (I wish) and when I relaxed and let the flab out the bottom of the bra curled up. That’s no good. So back to the shelf it went.
The third, and final, bra I tried was the “Maia”. This bra was much more supportive than the “Fiona”, largely due to the underwire that was included. Unfortunately, it didn’t have the Velcro adjustable straps at the front like the Juno and the Fiona. But the straps were adjustable, just with the typical sliders found at the back of the bra – making it a two person bra if you wanted to adjust it once it was on. I was willing to live with that though for the added support it offered. This bra was more comparable to the Juno (the best bra ever, except that I couldn’t get it on or off). It was comfortable – very comfortable in fact, and supportive. The underwire was not pinching anywhere, and it provided excellent support and also helped separate the breasts (no uniboob)! I did my typical dressing room tests and it passed them all. So this one was coming home with me.
I’ve now worn my new bra on two long runs and absolutely love it! I don’t know if it is just the difference between getting used to wearing old worn out bras that lack support vs wearing a new one with full support, or if it is just because this bra is superior to bras I’ve had previously, but whatever the reason (probably some combination of it being amazing and being new) this is my new favorite bra and I can’t wait to get a few more to replace the old ones in my drawer. For now, this will be my “long run bra” and my old worn out ones will be kept for shorter runs. But I do look forward to filling my drawer with more Maia’s by Moving Comfort.
My only request is that bra companies, like Moving Comfort, stop discriminating against us larger chested women. Why is it that the A and B cup bras come in cute colours and designs but once you get to C, D, and DD it is all about functionality (which I appreciate) but options are reduced to white or black – no colours, no prints or patterns! Bustier women like cute bras too, ya know! Make the Maia in purple please!