5 sports bras, 5 reviews - we put the Nike Pro Bra collection to the test, but which provided least bounce for our buck?
Size, long-term comfort, durability and support: according to a new survey, these are the qualities that top many a woman’s sports bra wish list. According to the 2015 Bra Insights report from global information company The NPD Group , sports bras are fast-becoming a wardrobe staple - particularly for Millennials, with a whopping 41% saying they had worn a sports bra in the past seven days.
With demand for sports bras picking up pace, it seems more important than ever to ensure that the perfect fit is found. However, finding ‘The One’ can often prove frustrating. There’s no such thing as one-size-fits all, yet historically, the noticeable lack of choice could be blamed for suggesting otherwise. However, times are changing and Nike is leading the way in providing all the tools needed to help all women find their ideal match. The golden rule they abide by? The support you need is a combination of your size and your sport - a point perfectly exemplified by the brand’s collection of Nike Pro Bras, each designed to provide an option for any woman and any workout.
We put them through their paces to see if they truly delivered on their individual promises. Ranging from big to small bust-wise, yoga to HIIT workout-wise, suffice to say GTG HQ served as the ideal testing ground for seeing which delivered least wobble for our wonga and minimal bounce for our buck...
Nike Pro Indy Cool Sports Bra, £33
“When it comes to sports bras, (and much like with most products actually), you don't really know what you've been missing until you give a really great one a go. I have to admit that this was very much the case here until this particular bra came into my life.
“My bust is very much on the smaller side and I didn't really know that it was possible to hold everything in place this well. With its soft fabric and Dri-FIT technology, it is extremely comfortable and perfect for keeping you on the cooler side when getting hot and sweaty. It says it's best for light-impact sports like yoga and Pilates - and I definitely agree with that, but after giving it a go in a more intense spin class, I can vouch that it works perfectly for that too (albeit, for smaller busts in particular). I may still have come out looking like a hot and sweaty mess, but the bra’s welcomed feature of added ventilation in key sweat zones kept me feeling far cooler than I usually would.”
Nike Pro Fierce Reflective Sports Bra, £50
“It’s not often you can simply ‘slip on’ a high to medium impact sports bra - in my experience they involve a bit of ‘upholstery’, so the sleek, smooth and easy to wear styling of the Pro Fierce Sports Bra is very refreshing. Once you’re in, nothing moves, but again, you don’t feel winded, just nicely supported (that’ll be the compression cups at work).
“What I particularly love about this racerback is that it moulds to your shape; the under bust band fits snugly and doesn’t dig in, the cups themselves create a flattering line while remaining totally functional throughout even vigorous workouts, and the straps keep everything in place without getting in your way. Basically, the bra is facilitating your workout to the max so that you forget you’re wearing it and get on with the sweating and exerting. On the topic of sweating, the Dri-FIT fabric really is efficient when it comes to moisture wicking; damp patches simply don’t happen, whether you’re sprinting, dancing, weight lifting or simply busting a move in hot weather. For ultimate comfort, I would recommend cutting out the label pre-wear. Otherwise, top marks, and the ever-so-subtle padding is very welcome during the cooldowns if you know what I mean…”
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Nike Pro Hyper Classic Sports Bra, £45
“I put this sports bra to the test in a lovely 6.45 am HIIT session. At that ungodly hour, it’s safe to say that having to leave the freedom and comfort of my pyjamas to strap myself into a sports bra was anything but appealing however, this particular pick made the experience all the more bearable.
“Now I don’t need a shedload of support in the sports bra area - there isn’t much to work with - but nonetheless, I still want to feel supported but able to breathe at the same time. And this thankfully, is where this sports bra comes in. Its fabric and mesh racerback allows skin to breathe and as a result, gives a greater level of comfort during your workout. Its removable cups are extremely flattering and well-fitting, but what is particularly great about them is that they don't cause your chest to become too hot while you’re doing your thing in the gym - they simply add extra support. The band at the bottom feels lovely and soft on the skin and doesn't dig in at all which I have sometimes found a problem with other sports bras in the past. Plus, it doesn't budge. All in all I’d highly recommend this bra. Not only is it comfortable and breathable but the bright flashes of colour in its range of different designs looks great in the gym too!”
Nike Pro Rival Sports Bra, £40
“I’ve found it pretty tricky finding a sports bra that fits me and my needs to a T. Size-wise, I tread that fiddly middle ground between little and large - I’m not super small, nor will I be rivalling Pamela Anderson in the silicone stakes anytime soon. I look for size and support in equal measure, but finding a bra that ticks both boxes has proven troublesome. So much so in fact that I’ve been known to ‘double-bra’ in workouts past - a padded bra underneath for shape and a sports bra on top for support. Not the most comfortable of fits as I’m sure you can imagine; or the most convenient. So on paper, the Nike Pro Rival Sports Bra looked promising. And to my delight, it didn’t disappoint.
“Its soft moulded cups provide that extra dimension of shape for those tentative to swap underwire for wire-free, while still being study enough to keep bounce to a minimum during a particularly hardcore HIIT session. Above all though, it is really comfortable and its flexible racerback keeps everything locked in, rather than locked out to help instead of hinder your overall session. Providing the best of both worlds (mid-sized busts will benefit most in my opinion), I’ve been able to streamline my gym prep routine from two bras to one. Sounds like a success to me.”
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Nike Pro Hero Sports Bra, £50
“I’ve got big boobs… well OK, not so massive that I have to shop granny style (not yet anyway), but big enough that safety measures need to be taken. The solution? A sports bra that a) is big enough, b) holds me in tightly while also being comfortable enough to wear during a rigorous workout and, c) looks good. I admit, I am not one of those people who parades around the gym with tiny gym gear - quite the opposite - but I do want to feel good during a workout. It’s what motivates me.
“Admittedly, it’s the lack of style that has put me off buying a proper-fitting sports bra in the past - shopping experiences often ending in me opting for slightly less supportive wear as a result. I am therefore really excited to have discovered Nike’s Pro Hero Sports Bra. The fabric is soft to touch but durable and I particularly like the comfortable wide bra straps which sit snugly over the inside of the shoulder and adjust at the bottom. The best elements for me though are the individual padded cups which firmly hold and support my breasts without limply leaving them for a good bounce around - or squashing them flat against my chest. A good HIIT session proved that they have been rigorously engineered for high intensity workouts and I was surprised to learn that such support could be achieved without any metal wires.
“Overall, I'm superbly happy with this Nike sports bra. A little over my ideal budget at £50 but with Nike, the value can always be found in the product.”
To help you find your perfect match, Nike has created a destination on nike.com packed with information including: how to find the perfect support, FAQs, innovation highlights and tips. All in the name of helping consumers find the perfect bra. Click here to find out more .
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Written in partnership with Nike.