2015 Running Gear Guide: Bras
We tested bras for runners of all shapes and sizes.
Highlight: Simplicity perfected.
Patagonia’s flagship sports bra has been around for years with good reason—it does everything right. The V-back, seamless design has no frills, just a heavy dose of compression, a firm rib cage band and comfy shoulder straps. Each of the two polyester-based layers are quite thin, justifying the lack of vents. Women with smaller busts will feel secure running at any speed.
Highlight: High support now comes with a lower neckline.
CW-X gives larger-busted ladies unparalleled support in a style that looks great under tanks and singlets. This is attributed to the new crossover racerback straps and a neckline low enough to stay hidden without revealing too much breast. The inner suspension system reduces upward bounce like no other.
Highlight: The best of both worlds.
The Rebound Racer combines the best of both encapsulation and compression styles for B to DD cup sizes. Although support yields mostly from compression, thin internal cups encapsulate the breasts too. Size adjustments with the back hook and shoulder straps help to alleviate any discomfort and potential arm chaffing.
Highlight: A triple-threat of function, style and support.
This racerback, compression-style bra has a lightly padded and contoured front panel that delivers support and—ahem—nipple coverage. The single-layer mesh back ventilates efficiently; however, the seams between the back panel and the rest of the bra are somewhat scratchy. Billed as medium impact, it’s plenty supportive and stylish for smaller-busted women to run in shirtless.
Highlight: Seamless, non-itchy wool compression.
Smartwool’s seamless bra features double layering all around and is made with a 76-percent merino wool inner. With only dainty cups built into the inner layer, the firm elastic band at the rib cage compresses everything into place, even during a speed workout. The vents cut into the outer layer along the back and between cleavage are too tiny for proper aeration, but the wool rocks for keeping the girls dry and warm.
Highlight: Obsessive and shapely padding.
This V-back bra with adjustable shoulder straps goes to great lengths to prevent bounce in A and B cups, and to maintain your breast shape in a sports bra. Heavily molded and padded cups separate and encapsulate each breast. With more padding than a non-workout bra, it cuts a bit against the pectoral muscles, but looks beautiful on.
Highlight: A solid no-frills option.
For a classic compression bra, the Bounce-B-Gone, built for DD-sized breasts, is surprisingly secure. The material is an ideal combination of strong and soft. However, due to its compression-styled cut, the straps tend to pull tightly on the shoulders and a lack of coverage results in spillage out of the top and sides.
Highlight: Absolutely beautiful, positively adjustable.
Cute, flattering, comfortable—this bra is designed for C to as big as E-size cups. The convertible straps, removable cups and hook and eye closure provide customizable fits in a variety of striking colors. The most supportive option involved the straps crossed and the cups in.
Highlight: Nice support for a reasonable price.
The adjustable, cushioned straps, hook and eye closure, and wire-free molded cups in this bra matches the same support and quality of bras made by higher priced brands. Unlike racerbacks, your shoulders might shrug to keep straps from slipping, but rest assured, when adjusted properly, they aren’t going anywhere.