I’ve been running for 2 years. There are lots of rewards that come with running – feeling strong, the sense of accomplishment, the friendships and overall fitness. There are also challenges – injuries, early mornings, staying motivated, summer heat, cold winter days….but another challenge, not often discussed, is running with boobs.
So why aren’t we spending more time talking about running with boobs?
Before I started running, most of my cardio consisted of spinning and boot camp classes. I was comfortable in a basic sports bra. A few weeks into running, I realized that my current sports bra was not working for me. I had two big issues to contend with (yes, my breasts), but also bounce and chafing were making things uncomfortable.
My boobs were bouncing up and down as I ran and not with the style and grace of Pamela Anderson on Baywatch. Also, the chafing around my bra line was horrible. I was being rubbed raw.
I knew I needed some help picking a bra and I didn’t feel that my local running store or yoga store had the expertise to help me. They were both great with apparel, shoes and assorted gear, but I needed the boob pros, so I decided to visit my go to bra shop, Melmira.
Amy, one of the owners, also a runner, brought me a variety of high support sports bras to try on. Shopping at Melmira is a bit different from most lingerie shops. There are no racks of bras to peruse, you explain what you are looking for and the salesperson (in my case Amy) brings you a variety of items that fit. At the time, I was running 3 times per week, approximately 5 kms per run. I decided on the Panache underwire sports bra. It was comfortable with wide shoulder straps and I did not feel like I was bouncing. It also came in a variety of funky colours so I chose purple.
Fast forward a year and a half and my distances were getting longer. I was training for my first half marathon. I started to notice that on long runs, particularly in the heat, I was chafing at the bra line. I was also running every second day so there was no time for my tender flesh to heal. Though I was training through the winter, my goal race was a 1/2 marathon in New Orleans so there was a high likelihood that it would be warm on race day.
Back to visit Amy. I went home with the Anita Active Sports Bra. It was stretchy, with super support and there was no underwire. It was a bit more expensive than the Panache bra ($105 versus $79), but well worth it. I ran my race in this bra and find it extremely comfortable for long runs. I have never experienced any chafing with this bra. I also love the stretchy microfibre feel that wicks away the sweat. I often do a yoga class right after a run and this bra is flexible enough to move around in.
Well, you can never have enough sports bras, especially if you run a lot and don’t love doing laundry.
On my last visit to Melmira, I decided to try a 3rd sports bra, the Shock Absorber. You got it, nothing was bouncing in this bra. The fabric is a bit more rigid than the Anita bra and there is also no underwire. I’ve been running in this bra for the last month and have not had any chafing issues and definitely no bounce. It is the least expensive of the three bras at $70.
I’ve learned a lot about running and running with boobs over the last 2 years. If I could only buy one of the three bras I would definitely buy the Anita. It’s a great all weather, high support running bra. I have put away my Panache bra for the summer. It is just too hot. I’ll pull it out in the fall for my shorter runs (under 10k) because I love the support and feel good when I run in it. Finally, the Shock Absorber is definitely in the rotation with the Anita bra this summer and is great value.
Where to buy: All three bras can be purchased at Melmira at 3319 Yonge Street or online at melmira.com.