What moves up and down, side to side, and forward and backward? If your answer is “your breasts,” you’re right. For many women, all that movement is OK during the normal course of the day. But when it comes to running, you want to make sure it’s your legs, and not your girls, that are getting a workout.
Keli Visosky, designer and developer with Skirt Sports, has spent the last two years researching, testing and designing bras as part of developing the company’s new line. In other words, there’s no better person with whom to talk tits.
Visosky immediately quashes the myth that smaller ladies can ditch the sports bra.
“All cup sizes need support,” she said. “No matter what size you are, you bounce.”
And it’s more than aesthetics; not wearing the proper bra can lead to damage of sensitive breast tissue. Can you say, “Ouch”?
Before you even head to pick out a new bra, it’s important to know what type of activity you will be doing. Breasts bounce less during walking and weight training than they do with high-impact activities like running and aerobics, so having more than one bra is key.
Now that you’re ready to shop, Visosky suggest that you get a pro to fit you professionally for a bra or hold a bra-fitting party.
“It’s kind of hard to measure yourself, so if you have one of your friends measure you, it’s actually a little more comfortable.”
Having a fitting party is also helpful for those of us who aren’t mathematically inclined, since there is some math involved. So grab a handful of girls (or your running teammates), a measuring tape and get measuring.
- Make sure your breasts aren’t coming out of the top or side.
- Make sure the band doesn’t ride up (this indicate the bra is too loose).
- Do the ice cream scoop: Make sure each breast is scooped fully into each cup.
- Make sure there aren’t any wrinkles in the cup of the bra.
Once you’ve found your perfect fit, it’s time to get started trying things on. If you’re ordering online, order a few different sizes of the same style to test out and send back the ones that don’t fit. If you are heading to a store, take several sizes into the dressing room. Once you’re in the dressing room, put the bra on; is it easy to get on? Also, if there is a hook-and-eye closure on the back of the bra, try it on with it on the loosest setting. As you wash and wear the bra, Visosky says, the elasticity and fabric break down and if you choose a bra based on its feel on the tightest setting, you may have to toss it prematurely.
Visosky also suggests acting like you’re jumping rope to check the bra’s bounce control.
“No bra will have 100 percent breast control, but you want to have as much as possible,” Visosky says.
The important thing to remember is that every woman is different, and figuring out what works best for your body is key. For example, some women shun underwire at all costs while others swear by it.
“Comfort is No. 1. You don’t want to be out there running 13.1 miles and you’re chafing or you can’t breathe.”
Check out some of SheKnows’ favorite
brands and find what fits you!
For your toughest training days
From cross training to long runs, this bra has you covered. Perfect for C and D cups the Kelly C/D Bra from Skirt Sports has hidden stabilizer panels and a wide bottom band to give your girls extra support. The removable straps allow for versatile styles. Choose from five colors or get them all! (Skirtsports.com, $60)
For medium to high impact
This multipurpose sports bra will keep your puppies under control whether you are jogging down the road or sprinting at the track. Moving Comfort’s best-selling bra can be purchased in sizes B to D and comes in seven color options. With adjustable straps and hook-and-loop closure, this bra offers comfortable support at a great price. (Movingcomfort.com, $27-$46).
For extreme control
Worried about your breasts slowing you down? Don’t sweat it! Made with high-function, Atmos pique fabric, this bra absorbs moisture quickly to keep you dry and comfortable. Adjustable straps and seamless cups give this bra a special supporting effect. Available in six colors and cups B to H. (Anita, price available in stores)
Bring the bling
Your bra doesn’t have to be blah. Add a pop of color with these removable BraBling Fashion Straps. Make your sports bras spunky with a variety of colors and prints. (Skirtsports.com, $15)
More from the SheKnows running team
How to train for your first half marathon
5 Reasons you should ditch your running shorts for skirts
Is your running shoe ruining your training?