By Richelle Olsen - slow runner, hiker and general outdoorsy-type
Finally a gear review aimed at the girls! But that doesn't mean you boys can zone out....here's some great advice for the female runner in your life!!
Thought that its high time that I shared my thoughts on running bras.....specifically my all time favorite, the Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Bra!
Designed specifically for runners, the award-winning Ultimate RUN bra reduces bounce by up to 78%* and provides ultimate friction-free comfort.
• Infinity-8 support system counteracts the breasts' figure-of-eight movement during running
• Soft, seamless inner reduces rubbing or chafing
• Non-slip, wide padded adjustable straps
• Reflective tape across cups for high visibility
• Full back opening for easy on and off
• Made from moisture-wicking, breathable fabric, sports performance fabrics
*University of Portsmouth 2009 (Scurr et al) - testing carried out against 'no bra' conditions.
Available in sizes: A 30-36, B/C/D/DD/E/F 30-38
"This award winning high impact bra has you feeling uninhibited during your workouts. The clever racer back design allows for more adjustability than most racer back bras. Most people find this bra much easier to get on and off than traditional racer back bras. We find this model fits tight in the band, which has us fitting women with a size bigger band, and a size smaller in the cup."
My boob size (38 D) is not designed to run in any ordinary sports bra. I’ve had some good, and some bad ones in my time, but as I begin to run more and more frequently, I’ve felt the need to get a bra that will offer me 100% support.
The first thing I noticed about this bra is that its pretty lightweight. Many sports bras for us bigger boobed ladies a made up of thick structured material, and often feel like they wont breathe very well during a hot sweaty run. The other bonus of it being lightweight is that it dries after a wash in no time, great for frequent washes.
So heres my thoughts.....
This bra is very firm, almost tight around the band, but not enough to feel like it digs in. The support around the boobs is very firm, without feeling squished. It comes up high enough at the front to cover most of the cleavage, but without the restrictive feeling like you have a bra that comes up to your neck!
The shoulder straps are wide and padded and never move, they are very comforable. When I first put the bra on, I do feel like the weight of my boobs is pulling on my shoulders, but once I settle into the bra this feeling goes away.
When I am running I don’t feel any movement of my boobs at all! It's so much more comfortable than when I’ve run in other bras. I don’t notice my boobs, they aren't an issue, even when I’m running downhill (I've been known to hold them down when running downhill when no ones around! And I don't think I'm alone!!!)
I will say however that this isn’t a bra I can wear all day. After 6 hours or so, the tight band around my sternum becomes a bit too tight, and I look forward to taking it off.
The true test for me was completing my first ever trail half marathon, consisting of 4hrs of sweat and rain. I jumped in the shower that night, waiting for the sting of chafe around the band area, between my boobs, under my arms…..NOTHING! Now that’s an awesome bra!!
Getting it on:
I've always struggled with getting bras on, getting my hands behind my back with enough co-ordination to do up a clasp has often been beyond me!! This bra is great in the fact that I can do up the band from the front, twist the whole bra around to the back, pull up the straps, then reach behind and do up the racer back clasp (that clasp is really easy to do up!) Sounds complicated, but it works perfectly for me! For those with even more dexterity will find it even more simple!
Getting the right size/fit:
I was keen to get it right the first time when I headed out to buy a sports bra for running. I had heard great things about She Science, so one Sunday afternoon I headed into their store in Kew, just outside the city of Melbourne.
She Science is the first retailer worldwide to use motion analysis software to analyse dynamic breast motion. This optional analysis is conducted in private change rooms using motion analysis software and treadmill technology.
Tish, the owner, was super friendly, and helpful in determining what I wanted in a bra. What's it for? Do I prefer wire or wire-free? Do I prefer racer back or regular back? In a couple of questions she had narrowed it down to 3-4 bras. Then it was time to head out the back to the very private changeroom/treadmill area. Unlike the bra fitting ladies in Myer and DJ's who stand there and watch you get the girls out and poke and prod some of your most intimate areas, Tish is very discrete, and really values your privacy when helping you fit the bras.
With the first bra on, I jumped on the treadmill, with a screen in front of me showing footage of the video camera that was recording my movements. Building to a slow, then moderate jog, I could watch as my chest moved (or didn't move!) with each stride. In total I tried on 3 bra's, all of which felt great in terms of restricting movement, however when reviewing the video, 1 of the 3 had me bouncing all over the shop! Its amazing that I couldn't feel that! There's the value in the video there, it shows you what you can't feel for yourself. So with just 2 choices, I went with the Shock Absorber, as it was much more lightweight.
So I hope this has helped you in your running bra decision.....but what I will say is that I have learnt from She Science is that more important than the bra is the fit. And I will tell anyone who will listen about the service from Tish and the team at She Science!!
I now own 2 of these bras, so they must be doing something right!
She Science http://www.shescience.com.au/estore/style/sab5044.aspx