While most will argue that shoes are the most important piece of equipment for running success, there’s one other critical piece of apparel for female runners.
Whether you’re a charter member of the IBTC (Itty Bitty Titty Committee) or rockin’ the other end of the spectrum, you shouldn’t overlook the importance of a good sports bra. For high impact activities, especially running, your girls need a little TLC and a lot of support.
Why Your Girls Need Support
While comfort is one benefit of a good sports bra, there are also important health benefits to properly outfitting your girls.
Regardless of your bust size, your breasts bounce in all directions, moving in a nearly figure-8 shape when you run. Because your breasts don’t contain any muscle to counterbalance the impact of bouncing, improper support can lead to soreness and pain. Over time, the tender skin and ligaments near the breast begin to break down and cause sagging.
Sports bras are designed to absorb the shock exerted on your breasts with each step you take. Studies have shown a woman’s breasts can move a vertical distance of up to eight inches during exercise. Yikes – that’s a lot of bouncing going on!
As a mom who watched her breasts change shape and size through two pregnancies and two years of nursing, I can tell you that my girls aren’t as perky as they used to be. I want to do everything in my power to further prevent the effects of gravity!
Time to Go Shopping!
While I was pregnant and nursing I didn’t want to invest a lot of money in new sports bras, so I just doubled up and went on my merry way. But after weaning Monkey, I decided it was time to invest in new bras. Truth be told, my old sports bras were WAY past their expiration date and practically begging to R.I.P.
I was ready to treat my girls, but now I faced another dilemma. Which sports bra was best for my post-baby, 30-something body?
In the past I really didn’t give much thought to fit or features. I’d just pick up whatever was on the sale rack at TJ Maxx and give it a go. But I kept hearing rave reviews about Moving Comfort, the Cadillac of sports bras. Could all the chatter really be true? I decided to find out for myself.
The Fitting Process
Fleet Feet Kingsport carries Moving Comfort, so I contacted the owner, Phil Horner, to see if I could check out the selection. Phil graciously agreed to help my cause and suggested I come in for a fitting with Stephanie, the awesome store manager. I’d never been fitted for a sports bra before, so I immediately set up an appointment.
The fitting itself was really quick and easy. Stephanie did two measurements: one directly under my breasts and one over the broadest part of my chest. The results: 29 under my breasts and 33 over the bust. She then used a handy little sizing wheel to tell me I was an A/B cup and size small.
Yep, in less than two weeks I went from a full C-cup to a barely B-cup. Bye bye dairy farm, hello runner’s dream!
After the fitting, we started looking at the selection of high impact bras for small A/B cups. If you’re a little bustier, fear not. Moving Comfort has a wide selection of high impact bras designed for C/D and larger with adjustable straps and hooks so you can find the perfect fit. Many of the A/B bras don’t have these adjustments, which was fine by me. I want as few moving parts as possible to minimize the risk of chafing!
One of Moving Comfort’s key features is built-in, soft cups. Studies have shown that encapsulation bras, with separately molded cups, provide the most support. While compression bras only limit up-and-down motion during exercise, encapsulation bras limit movement in all directions.
I’ll admit I was a little skeptical. I’ve always gone old school with smash & dash compression bras. But I’m not the young lass I once was, and I thought the cups might give my girls the extra support and lift they really need.
I immediately honed in on this beauty: Moving Comfort’s Vixen A/B bra.
As soon as I tried on the Vixen, I was in LOVE. It was super comfortable, supportive without being too tight (a girl’s gotta breathe!), and sporting a flattering V-cut. The cups definitely give shape – no more uni-boob!
I tried on a few other models, but the Vixen fit best. The real question was whether it would perform outside the dressing room on the roads and trails!
When I got home from Fleet Feet, there was a package waiting for me on the front porch. I found a great deal on a Moving Comfort Interval Tank online and thought I’d give it a try. I love tanks with built-in bras but haven’t had much luck finding one that is supportive enough for running.
I was excited to test out these two purple beauties over several runs in the hot summer temps to see if they lived up to their reputation.
Check out the full review and report!
Fleet Feet Kingsport provided the Moving Comfort Vixen A/B sports bra at no cost. I was provided no other compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.
Have you ever been fitted for a sports bra? Have you tried Moving Comfort?