For active women sports bras are often the bane of our existence. “Bouncing boobs” and painful chaffing in all the wrong places plague us. We try and “beat the bounce” by squashing everything into submission and often land up feeling uncomfortable and self-conscious. On most runs chaff is only a step away and has us hopping up and down in the shower as we soon discover those irritating hidden raw patches. I am a long distance runner. I have run countless marathons and 7 Comrades and can really identify with any woman who has had to put on two bras in order to feel supported enough to go and run.
When I started running I was a G cup and finding something that fitted was virtually impossible. I used to wear two sports bras and a fitted running tank top to try and limit breast movement and reduce pain.
The day I discovered Panache Sports Bras revolutionised my life, and I am not exaggerating. For many women participating in sports and exercise is not an option because they feel so inhibited and self-conscious of their breasts. For me, my Panache Sports Bra is so much more than just a bra, it gives me the freedom to go out and do what I want to do. Whether that is running, climbing a mountain or riding a horse. I determine what I can or can’t do, not my breasts.
A sports bra’s main objective is to reduce movement of breast tissue. By doing this you reduce the impact on your breasts and thereby protecting the tissue and ligaments from permanently stretching due to the impact of exercise and sport. In theory it’s simple – reducing the movement leads to less strain on your breast tissue and you avoid pain and discomfort when exercising. But finding the right sports bra for you is far from simple and the struggle continues as we try and find something that helps us feel supported and confident.
I have run in many sports bra and so here my top three choices, their features, benefits and why I would recommend them.
Panache Sports Bra
The moulded cups offer outstanding support and a defined shape. Most importantly this bra SIGNIFICANTLY reduces bounce and movement, research shows 83% less bounce. The Panache Sports bra uses an encapsulation design, this means that each breast has a distinct cup and the breasts are totally separated. This bra is a brilliant choice for high impact exercise like running. Silicone encased underwires offer comfort and wide, cushioned straps that are fully adjustable and can be turn into a racer back. Breathable fabric helps keep wearer dry and comfortable (boob sweat is not an issue). It also comes in a non-wired version, which is also a great choice.
UK Lingerie Awards Sports Brand of the Year 2012/13
UK Lingerie Awards Winner 2015
Lingerie Awards Gagnant 2014
#asksarah: This is still my favourite sports bra. It offers excellent support and shape. I never feel self-conscious of my breast moving and experience no pain from breast movement. It also offers good coverage over the nipple area. Chaffing is reduced however I still experience chaffing in very specific areas and can combat this by using a barrier spray. Ultimately in long distance runner you are bound to have some chaff along the way. In my opinion this is finally a really good option for larger chests.
Freya’s Epic Sports Bra – The Underwire Crop Top Bra with Moulded Inner
This bra offers High performance support with full coverage for ladies looking comfort while exercising. High-tech COOLMAX fabric pulls the moister away from the skin and with fast drying action. It offers great shape, lift and supports by encapsulating the breast rather than traditional compression. It offers the ability to turn into a racer back and fully adjustable straps.
Awards: UK Lingerie Awards Sports Brand of the Year 2014
#asksarah: I really enjoy the excellent shape and support this bra offers. Freya have done extensive research into reducing pain, strain and independent movement of breast while exercising. I can confirm that breast movement is almost totally reduced and I experienced no breast pain. The only small issue I encountered was that the straps were not long enough to turn into a racer back. This however is not the same for everyone and many of my customer’s LOVE this bra.
Anita DynamiX Star Sports Bra
“Easy On & Off” Design with a strap system that was exclusively developed for Anita. Seamless shaped cup and net insert at the front centre as an addition aeration zone. The X back design offers good support and considerably reduced movement. This is a non-wired option and design for maximum support for high impact or intensity sporting activities.
Redot award 2014 winner
ISPO award winner 2015/16
German Design Award Nominee 2016
#asksarah: This is an extremely comfortable and easy to wear sports bra. The “Easy On & Off” design is brilliant and you don’t have to struggle when putting it on. I love the straps and while running they placed no pressure on my neck but the X back design offered good support. However, I found that it didn’t offer as good shape as the Freya and Panache and breast movement, although reduced, still occurred. One aspect that I really enjoyed was that I experienced no chaff even after 30kms of running in hot humid conditions.
Please remember that a good sports bra is there to protect your breast tissue, reducing the opportunity for breast sag later in life. A good sports bra is a worthwhile investment to protect your breast asset and be able to enjoy bounce free exercise.
If you need any help or advice please don’t hesitate to contact us. We look forward to helping you find the sports bra that works for you.