Nothing sucks more than spending some good money on a sports bra to find that it’s uncomfortable. And since it’s underwear that you sweat in, I’m not sure that many stores will take sports bra returns. But I do know what I don’t like. I’m not a fan of torpedo styles – the ones that make boobs pointy. And those nylon bras that seem to be made from one string… there’s so little support, I’d rather wear nothing. Since the sports bra market is a big one, I decided to do a test run on a few more favourable styles for different classes.
The Workout: Flor Beckmann’s Quick HIT workout on the NTC app, which includes lunges, planks, jumps and push-ups.
Personally, I love the “classic” shelf bra style, although I do have friends who prefer padding to avoid any embarrassing cold nipple-gate situations. But it’s comfortable, and works well with bounce from jumps and the Y-back is easy to move in. And to be frank, I love the health-goth black colour.
The Workout: A cardio-strength circuit with my friend Paula (she’s a trainer), that involves treadmill work, weight lifting and TRX moves.
This is probably the closest thing to a real bra a sports bra can be. And based on how difficult it is to get out of a regular sports bra after a sweaty session, I’m over the moon that this one snaps off at the back. I’m happier than a 16-year-old boy in discovering this! Based on my B-cup size the wide straps aren’t necessary, but I can appreciate them for larger ladies.
The Workout: Spin class
I know that Kate Hudson is behind the fitness brand, and I do love her, but the whole shopping subscription thing threw me off. How could I like “everything” a company would randomly send me? But I’m a convert. This super cute style (love the square-frame straps in the back) took all the jumping, standing jogs, and sprints like a pro. I didn’t need major support, so the thin straps were perfect. I kept the removable padded cups in because they were thin, and not a push-up bra.
The Workout: A treadmill-strength training interval with Paula
This is actually my favourite type of workout. I find alternating with strength and cardio to be motivating – it’s not like I’m mindlessly doing reps. This sports bra has what’s called a “unicup” so it’s like the best of both worlds: the comfort of a shelf/compression bra, but a flattering shape of an encapsulation (cups) bra. The double straps on the back, clip together, which can be shown with a key-hole tank. I did find I sweat more in this one, so I’m not sure if it was the padding or the sprints.
The Workout: A gimmicky 5K, the Wipeout Run
How adorable is this style? It has a cool digital print, a sexy mesh cleavage panel, and the Y-back shape is modernized with four straps. Looking at it, I honestly didn’t expect it to be comfortable – much to fancy to make it through a run, much less an obstacle course. But it did! I didn’t even feel the band or the straps as I ran, climbed over air balls, slid through foam, climbed over a fence, and so much more. Even in my wet, sopping clothes, I forgot I was testing this bra.
The Workout: A one-on-one pilates session with Brittany at Fine Tune Pilates
This bra (and Brittany) teaches me a lesson: not all bras are meant everything. Before this bra, I have worn shelf bras to yoga and pilates, but now I know that that was too restrictive. Instead this one is perfect for Pilates (not spin, not strength training, and certainly not plyometrics). The shape makes sense for moves like mermaid side bends. Closures and snaps would be pain on the back, pinching from the pressure from laying on a reformer or a foam roller. And I’m loving how it looks under a tank.