If you're hitting the gym for Project Bikini, you're going to need some support. We put a selection of sports bras to the test to see which ones could go the distance
A good sports bra is like an old friend - it holds you close, offers comfort when you need it and gives unconditional support.
Finding a bra that can deliver these results is super important - not just because you don’t want your bits flying all over the place, but because not having the right sports bra can lead to all sorts of problems including back pain, rashes and even breathing difficulties.
So, hoping to find our busts the best friends they always wanted, the Glossy Posse has been trying and testing eight different sports bras for all shapes and sizes, to see which helped banish the bounce and which were more style than substance.
Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Bra
Feedback “At the first sign of puberty my mum put the fear in me about saggy boobs and sports. For mum, a bra is a technical product first that should be carefully researched, tested and invested in. This means no cheap fashion pieces from H&M, but solid sessions in Selfridge's lingerie hall for me.
“I love to run around - I was on the athletics team at school, I was dance prefect, I trained seriously as a black belt in taekwondo, I played rugby and fell in love with spin and yoga at uni. Now I'm mildly addicted to Frame Camp and Rocket Yoga - I've tried them all. All in my size that is - I'm an odd 30E and my favorite for high intensity sport is the Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Bra.
“It's firm and comfortable but still allows you to breathe. It also hides behind a racer back vest with the top grip, which also makes getting in and out of it super easy: no head-caught-in-bra-in-gym-changing-room embarrassment.”
Lija Ultimate Racer Bra Top
Feedback “Ever since I got told that if you stretch the ligament down the sides of your boobs it is stretched for life, I have been concerned about the quality of my sports bras. I do a lot of sport these days and am training for a triathlon (gulp). This obviously involves running, which creates the biggest, most continuous bounce. This Lija bra is really great - it feels very sturdy and is very comfortable (wide straps in a soft fabric) and it creates a seamless line under a vest. It’s also a lovely shade of coral - no boring old black for me!”
Panache Underwired Sports Bra
Feedback "As with most health and beauty products, I think with sports bras you don't realise what you're missing until you try a really great one - and for me, the eye-opener was Panache. An underwired gym bra with wide and comfy straps and a size range of B-H cup, it does exactly what a sports bra should do, only with a bit more style. It looks good (I've even had a couple of awkward compliments from friends in the changing room), it feels incredibly comfortable - more so than a standard bra - and it provides all the support I need no matter what exercise I'm taking part in. My favourite feature is that you can hook the straps together at the back to form a racerback/halterneck shape, which not only adds to its style credentials but also provides extra support if you don't feel like you're strapped in quite enough. I would never buy a simple high street sports bra again (I shudder to think about my Primark one that I used back in college) because it’s proof that you get what you pay for. I can't recommend it enough."
Reebok Studio Seamless Bra
Feedback “I have been recently converted to the world of the sports bra - I’m slightly ashamed to admit that I’ve spent most of my life working out in a bog standard normal bra, figuring that as I’m not big in the chest area, it wouldn’t matter. This year however, I stepped up from my ‘occasional potter round the block at a slow jog’ to weekly sessions with a personal trainer and regular bikram yoga classes. It was time to call in the experts.
“I’m a big fan of this Reebok bra - it’s reasonably priced, very comfortable, breathable and supportive. It also performs well during a bikram class, which is no mean feat considering the amount of sweat involved. Just don’t go for the white one if you’re planning on stripping down when the temperature rises. Ahem.”
Nike Shape Swoosh Women’s Sports Bra
Feedback “First things first, I’m a little confused as to why Nike need to specify that this sports bra is for ladies only (?) but maybe I’m just being picky. Whether you’re a man or woman, your boobs (moobs) aren’t going anywhere if this boulder holder has a say in the matter. It’s a snug fit for my perhaps smaller than average bust and there’s very little room for bounce, visible sweating or indeed indecent exposure. Nothing is slipping out of this sports bra. The fabric is really soft and has survived many a machine wash, while the crop top style is extremely comfortable, whether worn alone (abs and bravery dependent) or under a gym top. The Dri-FIT fabric is designed to wick sweat away from the skin and clothing and does a pretty good job, although the bra is definitely on the damp side post-Insanity style workout. The bright colour, consistent support and lack of chafing had me sold for the most part, however."
Lululemon Energy Bra
Feedback "Prior to this, I had never experienced the joys of a sports bra. Whenever I would exercise, I‘d leave my normal bra on and always complain about the lack of support, even though I knew I could do something about it. I finally decided to do something when I set my sights on the Lululemon Energy Bra and from the moment that I snapped this baby on, I felt support like never before. Being a 32E, I’ve always struggled with finding the perfect size that provides support without any type of spillage.
"With this bra, they were wedged in there firmly and comfortably and let me leave behind any concerns - no matter whether I ran, jumped, skipped or hopped. The fabric adjusts to your shape, forming a second skin and doesn’t bother or irritate you. It’s breathable and has a sweat-wicking liner, complete with removable cups. A nice addition to this bra is the design. The front is plain and modest, while the back has numerous straps creating a pretty crossed look. However, while I’m happy with this bra, it is extremely expensive and I’m sure that there are a lot more on the market that can be brought for a much smaller price tag."
Adidas Techfit Bra
Feedback "There’s no denying it: we busty ladies have a serious challenge when it comes to finding a sports bra that will keep the girls where they are meant to be for the duration of a workout. I’ve tried a great deal of different sports bras - and forget any with skinny straps or padding, it’s all about finding some serious support without any frills or added bulk.
"Presenting: the Adidas Techfit Bra. It’s basic, but in the best way possible and its wide racer back and mesh side support are two of my favourite features. The compressive techfit build as they call it - not really sure what that is, mind you - admittedly does keep things locked in while I attempt to perfect the movements during my much-loved Psycle spin class. An added bonus? The moisture-wicking fabric keeps me from soaking through my shirt while exercising.
"It sounds simple, but this is all much harder to find in a sports bra than one might think."
Sweaty Betty Tempo Padded Bra
Feedback "Finding a bra that provides the right amount of support while also not squishing my modestly-sized ‘lady lumps’ into something resembling an ironing board is no easy feat. I often opt to wear a padded bra underneath my sports bra to provide some shape underneath my baggy T-shirt and I’m hesitant to give up that extra bit of cushioning. However, after discovering this particular offering from Sweaty Betty, I can thankfully forgo the faff and downsize my gym gear a tad thanks to the perfect balance struck by this clever sports bra.
"Structured, sturdy with just the right amount of padding to provide some much-needed curves, it has certainly given my gym kit just the ‘lift’ it needed. Comfortable, stretchy with a great design to make it stand out from my more demure-coloured choice of undergarments, when it comes to sports bras, I think I may have just found The One."