Running has given me many gifts, but the biggest gift of them all would be the friendships made over miles. I often run in the early morning and there is never a lack of fabulous ladies that are willing to join in on the fun. Throughout these morning miles, it’s guaranteed that good conversation will ensue from start to finish. During a recent run, a 5-mile conversation ensued about “the girls.” In our group that morning, there were a variety of sizes and many opinions of which bras work best for running and life. Alas… this whole post will be a summary of the very technical research completed during that laughter filled run.
Runner bodies come in all shapes and sizes and there is gear that may be the holy grail for one and the worst item on the planet for another. Here’s to hoping that you can find your size or situation below and maybe find a new favorite bra.
Cup Size A/B –
While it wasn’t always the case, I am a proud member of this cup size. Funny story… When I was about 30, my niece was with me while I was changing in a fitting room. She was probably 10 or so years old. While changing, she so sweetly says, “Don’t worry, Aunt Leslie. They’ll grow.” They haven’t and that’s okay.
When it comes to running bras, I pick the lululemon Energy Bra. This bra provides the little support that I need, it has really cute straps, and the color combinations are always fun. Even better, I’ve never chafed when wearing this bra for distances up to the marathon.
When I’m not on a run, I have a hard time spending a lot of money on a bra. With a smaller chest, a husband that doesn’t care about undergarments and a love affair with expensive jeans, bras are the last thing I want to put a lot of money in. That’s why I shop at the teenager store. Many of my bras come from Aerie. There are often good deals, the bras are nice quality and wash well. The bra I’m currently crushing on is the Sunnie Full Coverage Lightly Lined Bra (and it’s on sale)!
Cup Size B/C –
Fearless SIB leader Melissa is weighing in on the B/C category of bras. It was discussed on this run that Melissa’s husband will take matters in his own hands and purchase some of her bras for her. Lucky girl… cause sports bras are expensive! Brooks bras are getting all the love from Melissa. When nursing or when mother nature is making an appearance, the Brooks Juno bra is the one that Melissa reaches for. When this is not the case, the Brooks UpLift crossback bra is the winner. According to Melissa, “the Brooks Uplift holds everything in place and gives good shape.”
Now you know a bra must be a good one when someone states that this is their bra “for life!” The Victoria Secret Demi Bra is the only kind of regular bra that Melissa owns. The reviews are in and this bra gets the kudos because it is lightly lined but not padded. It feels natural and comes in a racerback as well.
Cup Size D & DD –
Elise has been a run pal of mine for years so I’m no stranger to her bra searching struggles. I’m pretty sure if she had all the money she’s spent on bras that promised to support the gifted ladies back, she would have enough cash to go on the most fabulous runcation and take friends along for the fun. Fortunately, lululemon has swooped in and solved all of her woes with their Enlite Bra. This bra keeps the girls right where they are supposed to be and looks great for those warm runs where the shirt must come off. One of Elise’s favorite parts of this bra would be the cute back and her least favorite is the price. Even at this $98 price point, she has one for almost every day of the week… because it is just that good!
When not running and busy doing lawyer or life stuff, Elise is quick to recommend the Wacoal French Garden Seamless Underwire T-shirt Bra because it is “super comfy, supportive, but not massive, and not too much padding.” Sometimes, when cup sizes get bigger, the cuteness factor of a bra decreases, but this is one cute bra… I wonder if it comes in a barely there cup size?
Cup Size “For the Very Busty” E, F, FF & Beyond–
It was always a joke in my family that the boob fairy must have missed me when she stopped by the house as my sisters were gifted in the areas that I was not. I used to tease them that it would be unfortunate for me to truly “have it all,” so boobs had to have been the compromise. All kidding aside, I remember the stories of discomfort that came along with having a larger bust.
Elise’s sister, Britta, contributed her favorites for the ladies that really, really have some ladies. In the running department, Britta says that the Panache Non Wired Bra is the winner. This bra comes in a some fun colors and the size range is remarkable going from a mere B cup all the way to H with band sizes from 28-40. It has good support and control, and while Britta didn’t mention it, the fact that they say it’s “non-wired” seems like a total winner when it comes to comfort.
When not putting in the miles, Britta’s go to bra for daily wear is the Porcelain Elan Moulded T-Shirt bra, also from Panache. A good t-shirt can’t be beat, but even better is a good fitting strapless bra. Britta threw in a bonus bra with her favorite strapless version. I am pretty certain that no matter your size, you want confidence that a strapless bra will stay put, but seriously… if you are in a larger cup size the stakes are much, much higher in the event there is bra failure. Thank you, Britta for thinking ahead and recommending the Freya Deco Moulded Strapless Bra. It goes from a B cup all the way to a K Cup (no… not the coffee ;o) so we can all take a look…. Unless you are in the A-cup category where I can recommend the Breast Petals from Nordstrom.
Pregnancy Bras & Nursing Bras-
We certainly can’t forget about the unique challenges of the soon-to-be moms or the nursing moms. Here, we can insert Tamara to fill us in on nursing bras and Connie, who at 5/6 months pregnant with her second child, tells us the struggle is real.
I seriously can’t tell Connie’s bra story any better than she told it to me so here it is verbatim…
“Bra for 1st trimester -mid-2nd trimester: The Nike Indy Bra. – I love these bras, and I especially love that I can find them for anywhere between $6.99 and $15.99 at Nike Outlets. These are for “light support”, but worked well for me the first half of the pregnancy, when I went from A to B-ish cup. The fabric is very smooth, lightweight, and the design is pretty flexible. These are all super helpful for me, since with breasts getting bigger as the pregnancy progresses, I’m also dealing with super sensitive nipples all the time.
Bra for mid-2nd trimester -end: The lululemon Enlite Bra – This bra is a recent recommendation from a more well-endowed friend. Since I’ve gained weight more quickly with this second pregnancy, my breasts have gotten much heavier much faster, and am at just over 5 months transitioning to a much more supportive bra for my now C cup boobs. I normally don’t like hook closures, but this one lays completely flat. Because the bra components are bonded, I haven’t had a single case of chafing yet, regardless of how sweaty I get (and I get very sweaty!).
Runner not running bra: The rabbit BRA-vo – I hate wearing regular bras during pregnancy. A lot of this has to due with the fact that I’ve been leaking colostrum from my 3rd month of pregnancy onward (kind of early, and definitely yuck for regular bras). I like wearing sports bras since for me they hold nursing pads better to soak up any leakage. Rabbit only just released these bras in the last month and change, and I’m really pleased to find that the BRA-vo is super comfortable! While it’s not supportive enough for my larger pregnancy breasts for running, it makes for a very comfortable everyday wear t-shirt kind of bra.”
Connie apologizes if there is TMI, but really…. Isn’t this the stuff you WISHED someone had told you about pregnancy boobs?
In the nursing mom department, Tamara recommends the Gratlin Women’s Lightly Padded Wireless Racerback Sports Maternity Nursing Bra because if she is running with the stroller she can take a nursing break as needed. It’s also supportive and functional, plus with it being lightly padded if leaks happen it’s no big deal.
If there’s one thing I love more than Amazon, it would be Target. Tamara, being a Target lover too, can’t get enough of their Women’s Power Shape Medium Support Mesh Overlay Sports Bra by C9 Champion. The bra has medium support, can go from pregnancy to postpartum and is slightly padded for that no see through no leaking protection. BONUS: It’s a mere $22.99 and with the cost of diapers, what mom can pass up that price?
There you have it… bras, bras and more bras to keep you going on the run and through life no matter what stage or size you may be rocking. I’m grateful for all the ladies that shared their stories in hopes that we can all find the most comfort while doing the things we love. There’s that saying, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,” and for the most part, morning runs follow the same rules, but there was mutual agreement on our run that morning that this topic had to be explored. Do you have a bra that didn’t make the list? Please share!
Until next time, happy running and happy bra shopping!