I need a supportive tri top.
July 31, 2013 11:13 AM   Subscribe

Last weekend I participated in my first (short) triathlon and had a fantastic time. I discovered ahead of time that the pullover bra designed to go under my tri top was nowhere near supportive enough to run in, so I wore my regular sports bra (the Moving Comfort Fiona) instead. I got plenty of support that way, but the amount of moisture that it held onto after the swim wasn't ideal.

I have another triathlon coming up, and I'd like to see if there are other options. I'm a 36/38 D, and I need to find a bra that can hopefully 1) compress the girls to reduce bounce during the run, and 2) dry off a bit more quickly during the rest of the event. So far, it seems like my only options are to either stick with the regular sports bra (and the resultant sogginess) or to double-layer some of the less supportive triathlon pullover bras. Does anyone have any other suggestions?
posted by Salieri to Health & Fitness (14 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Welcome to the tri world. I just did my first sprint race about a week and a half ago. So I am not the most experienced, bit I believe this is why women wear triathlon tops with a shelf bra. It makes the post-swim moisture less of an issue.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 11:17 AM on July 31, 2013

You may be able to wear the Enell bra. It's sometimes called the Last Resort bra or the High Impact sports bra. The hook & eye front closure one is what you want. 36D would be a Size 1, but go by your measurements.

I've done an open water swim and two tris in the Enell and it's worked great. I use lots of bodyglide under the band, though. It has no cotton at all, and the material is sort of like a very thick, VERY LOW (almost no) stretch swimsuit material.
posted by peep at 11:40 AM on July 31, 2013

You might look at tri-specific bras. Here are some by Zoot and by 2Xu. They should dry off faster than the Fiona.

I got by with a cheap Target bra that didn't have much additional material and was quick drying. The combo of cheap Target bra + tri top bra was sufficient, but YMMV.
posted by statsgirl at 11:53 AM on July 31, 2013

If you go with a sports bra, the Freya Active is by far the best one out there. Be sure to properly size yourself before purchasing by using the measuring guide from Reddit's A Bra That Fits community. Any measuring guide that measures over your bust (Victoria's Secret) or adds inches to your underbust (most online guides) is wrong and should not be followed.
posted by melissasaurus at 11:59 AM on July 31, 2013 [2 favorites]

I wear an Enell (36C+ here) for running and love it, but just recently learned that Wacoal makes a sport bra under their brand name CW-X, and I got one and love it, too, and it seems to me like it would be better for swimming than the Enell, as the material is thinner, despite being very supportive.

The friend who recommended the Enell said "It looks like a bullet proof vest," and I agree with her. I swear by it, though. I have four. I had a foot injury not long after buying the CW-X bra, but I have a feeling it's going to tie with Enell for satisfaction.
posted by janey47 at 12:11 PM on July 31, 2013

Triathlete mag recommends the Moving Comfort Alexis. The review only mentions running, but you might check it out. They mention the Diana (second down) for triathlons, but it only comes in smaller cup sizes.
posted by I am the Walrus at 12:32 PM on July 31, 2013

Runner's World recommends Sugio Blast apparel (under RACING APPAREL), but mentions nothing about support for larger sizes. Here is their women's gear page online.

RW has forums you could ask this same question on, and Tri mag probably does also if you do not get a satisfactory answer here.
posted by I am the Walrus at 12:39 PM on July 31, 2013

Sports bras sometimes don't go up to big sizes. Not sure if you are bumping into that problem or not. But if big busty sporty ladies are reading, I am a 46DD and have had great experience in a Tri with this Glamorise sports bra.
posted by Sublimity at 1:44 PM on July 31, 2013

You can call or email the folks at Title 9's brafinder service, and they will be glad to give you personal advice about sports bras based on your size and needs.
posted by hydropsyche at 2:10 PM on July 31, 2013

janey47, I was so excited by the possibility of a new bra & looked into the CW-X. Now I'm all worked up because even though they have DDD, the smallest band size it comes in is a 38. GRAR! Get it together, stupid bra makers!!
posted by peep at 3:14 PM on July 31, 2013

Shock Absorber is your friend. I've never done a triathlon but I'm 32D/DD and ran some half marathons. I also do high-impact TRX circuit training stuff in them and they really strap you down.
posted by superquail at 5:12 PM on July 31, 2013

Though not a triathlete, I have similar needs for a bra that dries quickly on days I trail run and swim in the lake. My favorite so far is the Trade Up Sports Bra from Title 9. It's both the most supportive running bra I've used (I'm a 34DD, so I've tried a few) and the fastest-drying. It is horribly ugly and the upper fastener in the back takes a little getting used to, but it hands down the best thing in my dresser.
posted by workerant at 8:08 AM on August 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oh, peep, I'm so sorry. All of my friends who are DD and above have so much trouble finding the right band size. I do see that the Ultra Support Running Bra II comes in a 36 band, if that helps :-(
posted by janey47 at 9:51 AM on August 1, 2013

Response by poster: Thank you so much, everyone! I want to mark everyone as best answer, because now I have lots of new stuff to try out.

Hopefully this post will be a good resource for other people who need something quick-drying that is larger than the typical B/C that most sports bras tend to cater to.
posted by Salieri at 11:34 AM on August 2, 2013

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