I need some support here!
October 15, 2008 3:01 PM   Subscribe

Can you please recommend an excellent sports bra? Further requirements inside.

I'm about to start running again after a pregnancy (I'm six weeks post-partum) and I'm breastfeeding. I'd like a really supportive sports bra. I never had to worry about this before I got pregnant, just wore a standard one, because I didn't really have much to support. Now I do. Your recommendations?
posted by gaspode to Shopping (15 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Title 9 Sports

Congrats and good luck finding what you need!
posted by Incognita at 3:09 PM on October 15, 2008

I have two long-time favorites to recommend: Enell and the Athena Bra from Title 9 Sports. Extremely supportive, well-made, and worth every penny. Whenever they're on sale, I stock up.
posted by velvet winter at 3:11 PM on October 15, 2008

I would recommend going to a brick-and-mortar store to try things on. Title 9 has great stuff, but I'm always wary of buying something like a sportsbra online without trying it on. It looks like you're on the East coast and their only stores are on the West. I found the sports bras I like simply by going to a store and trying on a zillion of them. I think I actually found my super-supportive one at a department store like Dillards.
posted by radioamy at 3:37 PM on October 15, 2008

A word of caution from almost 9 months postpartum... I would be careful about investing too much in bras. My ribcage didn't go back to normal size until 3-4 months postpartum, and I'd bought nursing bras in size 40+ band that aren't so useful now that I am back to 36 or smaller. I had huge ribcage expansion, though. Also, at approximately 12 weeks (for me, maybe more like 16 weeks) supply regulates for most women and you stop feeling full all the time. My cup size has gone from ginormous to about 2 (or really maybe 1.5) cup sizes above my prepregnancy size, which seems to be what happens to most women who nurse through the first year. The combination of changes means that nothing I bought before about 4 months postpartum fits. My pumping bustier falls down now, and I could barely get it around myself at 2 months.

For running, you really want to minimize bounce and have things strapped down well. I'd buy as few really good bras as you can get away with (1 with frequent washing?) and plan to shop more later. Have fun! My chest was intimidating when I first started back with running, and I don't really notice it these days.
posted by pekala at 3:40 PM on October 15, 2008

I love the Frog Bra from Title 9 (though it squishes you completely).

Also, I like the Champion Powerback Underwire from Champion (and all Sports Bras are on sale for $20 right now from their website). I tried this one the last year when they were doing a $20 sale and ended up buying several more of this kind. The other Champion ones I tried were not supportive enough for running however (so I only buy their bras with "Max MCR" now).

If you do want to try on in person, my old roommate worked at a specialty running store and they were fairly knowledgeable about sports bras as well. However, their stock tended to be pricey.
posted by Caz721 at 3:53 PM on October 15, 2008

Seconding the Frog Bra. Also love the 3 Reasons Support from Title 9.
posted by bibbit at 4:06 PM on October 15, 2008

Champion's extreme motion control bars are what I wore for taekwondo (lots of jumping) and running.
posted by Brittanie at 4:07 PM on October 15, 2008

I have the Shock Absorber Impact Level 4 D+ sports bra and I really like it. I'm a 36G so it's really hard to find proper support but this one worked really well for me. I've worn it for about six months of reasonably solid gym training, and it's still in good shape. The band fits really tight, but that's the best way to get the support you need and it's not uncomfortable once you get into it.
posted by ukdanae at 4:09 PM on October 15, 2008

If you prefer underwire, Donna Karan, I think it is under the DK Sports or DKNY label makes a really great underwire sports bra.

I have found Title 9 and Athleta really great for bra selection, and Athleta carries the Donna Karan sports bra.
posted by hazyspring at 4:15 PM on October 15, 2008

I can't wear the Frog Bra (it actually makes me feel claustrophobic because it's so compressive), but I am really happy with the Maia bra from Moving Comfort. I bought it at a Title 9 store; it's available at a number of online retailers, including Amazon and LL Bean.

I like it because it's got a floating underwire, multiple hooks, and padded straps. I wear a 38DD and am comfortable running in this. You do move a bit, but it's controlled and not wobbly at all.
posted by catlet at 4:29 PM on October 15, 2008

I love the Frog Bra! It's the best.
posted by rglass at 6:28 PM on October 15, 2008

Yeah, I nth Title 9. The Athena has served me well; I have three. The Frog bra I find a bit constricting, despite its obvious benefits.
posted by prior at 9:44 PM on October 15, 2008

I also love Shock Absorber. It worked well for me when I was nursing, suddenly up from a B to a D, and couldn't tolerate a bra that squished. My absolute favorite Shock Absorber is discontinued AFAIK although it's still available on Ebay--in addition to the typical bra shape, it has an additional strip of non-stretchy fabric that goes above your breasts (and is nearly as high as a t-shirt neckline). When you're running with tender breasts, bouncing up is just as bad as bouncing down.
posted by oceanmorning at 10:01 PM on October 15, 2008

I really think if you are a D or higher, the Enell is the way to go. I actually wear a 32G which isn't a size that Enell lists, but I can wear the 0 or 1 to run in. The straps and ribcage don't adjust, but there is still some flexibility in sizing.

Buy it as tight as you can and if your ribcage goes down, you may still be able to wear it for lower impact stuff, or you can shrink it a bit by drying it in the dryer.

I buy mine from this eBay store that sells factory seconds. I've purchased 5, and I've never been able to determine the flaw in any of the bras. (as of this posting, most of the irregularities are due to sizing, so check that carefully if you are interested.)
posted by peep at 11:02 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]

Thanks all! I got the Athena bra from Title 9 and it's worked out great.
posted by gaspode at 4:09 PM on October 23, 2008

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