We Tried It: 3 Sports Bras for A Variety of Bust Sizes

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
12/5/2011 10:00 PM   :  20 comments   :  9,924 Views

When it comes to workout clothes, there's one place where most of us can't afford to skimp: sports bras. A good sports bra that supports and feels comfortable can make all the difference during a workout. When your underwire is stabbing you, you can't breathe your bra is too constricting--or, worse yet, you can't move too fast due to a lack of support, how can you possibly be expected to reach your potential and push yourself to reach your goals?

That's why we were so excited when ActivewearUSA.com asked us to review sports bras.

(Find The Best Sports Bras for Every Size: Nearly 80% of women exercise in the wrong size sports bra. Are you one of them ? Our in-depth guide can help you determine your needs before you buy!)

We asked testers on both ends of the spectrum to try out two brands: Handful Bra and Shock Absorber.

Here's what we tried, and what we thought. And be sure to keep reading for your chance to win one of two $50 gift cards to buy your own sports bra (or any other workout gear) from ActivewearUSA.com.
 

Shock Absorber Running Bra
The Shock Absorber Running Bra was developed to provide total support and friction-free comfort during running, so you can focus on your performance.


Features:
- Support level: High
- Reduces up to 78% of bounce
- Soft, seamless inner reduces repetitive friction injury
- Wide, padded, non slip straps with advanced technology
- Reflective tape accross cups for high visibility when running outdoors
- Fully back opening for easy on & off
- Soft, non rub hook & eye
- Moisture-wicking, breathable, high performance fabrics
 


Shock Absorber Max Sports Bra Top

They say: This is our best selling sports bra. Crop top design with internal cup-sized support. Shaped, padded and adjustable straps.
 
Features:
- Support level: High
- Popular crop top design
- Internal cup sized support
- Adjustable straps
- Shaped and padded straps for comfort
- Soft wide underband for comfort
- High performance fabrics
- Moisture-wicking to keep you dry
- Breathable to keep you cool

We say: We had a nursing mom (size F) and a walker/cyclist (38C) try these bras. They liked the level of support, and the compression factors. Their breasts stayed in place and there was no discomfort during their workouts. Their only complaint? The bras aren't thick enough to fully hide nipples.

Still, these bras are great for women with larger chests, they said.


Handful Bra
They say: It's not just another ordinary sports bra, but the first and only Handful Bra made to fit your style in and out of the gym.

The Handful bra, "designed to flatter, not flatten" is versatile enough for both gym and casual wear. The Handful is specifically designed to be just as fashionable as it is functional. From workout to weekend, the Handful is a multipurpose bra that works around the clock, no matter the activity or occasion.

We say: I've worn this bra to run, practice yoga and for everyday use. It's supportive enough to keep my barely B chest comfortable during runs--and they're right when they say it doesn't flatten. The bra is comfortable enough to wear every day. (I avoid regular bras whenever I can!)

I would definitely recommend this bra to women who want something cute and not flattening. (You could wear it on its own without feeling too exposed.) It does contain padded inserts that help shape you and prevent any unwanted exposure.
Want to try these products for yourself (or anything else you like that ActivewearUSA.com sells)? Each time we review products sold on ActivewearUSA.com, we'll be giving away two $50 gift cards to two lucky readers! To enter, click here! Be sure to read the rules. This contest will end exactly one week from today!
 
Editor's Note: SparkPeople and ActivewearUSA.com are partners. ActivewearUSA and the various companies provided bloggers with products to test.


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Comments

  • 20
    Ooooh if only i could find the right workout bra...i think i would actually do much better..because there are quite a few exercises i don't even attempt..because i just know they(the girls!!) would..ummm....hurt!! - 1/12/2012   3:30:28 PM
  • 19
    I love love love my Shock Absorber bra. I am a 38J and use Shock Absorber Level 4 when I run. I don't bounce, it is the greatest gift ever. I am half tempted to just wear it as my all purpose bra.
    - 12/10/2011   2:17:44 PM
  • 18
    This whole area is very frustrating for me, as I have a narrow chest and large cups size. I went to a local specialty bra shop and the lady said she didn't have anything my size in the store. I tried ordering from Goddess and oddly I ended up with a cup size too large and little support in one bra and cups too small, no support in the other. I will consider Enell, since it is cheaper than breast reduction surgery. I only hope that reaching my goal weight will reduce my cup size back down to a C cup, which I was in high school apparently. - 12/10/2011   3:49:32 AM
  • 17
    I too am dissapointed with the "all sizes" claim. I am so close yet so far away, I require a 42DD bra, and I can't squeeze into a 40 because I am just barely getting back down into those 42s I already own. Champion has some (3 or 4) in my size but 42 and 44 are still the max they sell, and to me in this age of "fat America" those are popular sizes they are not capitalizing on. - 12/7/2011   9:37:38 PM
  • 16
    I have never been able to get bras that fit, I have to special order, I started to get excited about this post, and then I looked at the bras. None of them would anywhere near fit, I am once again given the choice, do I want it to go over the breast, but come no where near the rib cage, or go to the rib cage, and treat the breasts much like they do in corsets, except worse. - 12/6/2011   11:56:47 PM
  • 15
    I tried the Enell and it wasn't comfortable for me. Now I wear a Goddess sports bra - 44G and love it. I get them thru Amazon for UNDER $30. I'm a Goddess! Who knew? - 12/6/2011   11:31:45 PM
  • 14
    I totally agree with those referencing the ENELL. I started wearing mine at 425 pounds (they go to the equivalent of a 50DDD or 52DD) and it hasn't left my body in a workout since (except going down sizes). I'm biased now because I write for their blog, but believe me when I say it was a complete game changer for someone who never felt comfortable working out at my weight. - 12/6/2011   9:28:33 PM
  • 13
    I'm a 36 D, which by some standards is not that large. I love my Enell bras! Expensive, that they are, but worth every penny. I've had mine for 3 years and they (2) get worn at least twice a week. I've had other sport bras that are just as pricey but they have not held up as well as the Enell's. - 12/6/2011   3:30:46 PM
  • 12
    For my big-busted sisters: Enell. Enell, Enell, Enell. They are expensive but they last forever (I've had mine four years now.) They will even custom make them if their default sizes don't fit. They also make a Lite version for every day wear. I have about eight of them and have never needed anything else since. Enell, Enell, Enell. - 12/6/2011   12:22:51 PM
  • 11
    Camelsamba - my reaction was the same as yours. Reflective tape on the bra is the least of my worries.

    Like several other posts I wear a larger size bra, a 48DD to be exact, and I have trouble finding that size in the stores. Yes, I could buy on line, but I'd rather try the bra out BEFORE I buy. One of my problems, besides the large breasts, is that I don't have shoulders, so I need a racer back or some similar device to keep my bra straps where they belong. - 12/6/2011   12:17:46 PM
  • 10
    I had to laugh at this line: "Reflective tape accross cups for high visibility when running outdoors." Um, isn't this UNDERwear? Why would visibility matter?? Oh right, for those people who like running in just a bra. Ick. (pardon me while i check my bias at the door...) - 12/6/2011   11:48:08 AM
  • 9
    My favorite sports bra is Natori - it's the only one that actually FITS RIGHT - they are very COMFORTABLE and control bounce without squishing my breasts too much. They're not cheap but I think it's more 'expensive' to spend $$ on a product that doesn't do the job it's supposed to do. - 12/6/2011   8:36:33 AM
  • 8
    I currently have been wearing the Enell bra ever since I heard it was the one Oprah wears. Being a 38DD, never thought I'd find a sports bra that I didn't have to triple up on just to do an aerobic work out. I'll stick to this one since it works for me. - 12/6/2011   8:35:46 AM
  • CIRANDELLA
    7
    I'm gonna get a sports bra or bust! - 12/6/2011   8:10:04 AM
  • 6
    I've got a 36D cup and run quite frequently. My favorite sports bra is the Enell Sports Bra. It's a very supportive sports bra with a front closure so it's very easy to put on. It's quite large so it looks a little overwhelming at first, but once you try it on, you'll be hooked!

    It's the best sports bra I've been able to find, and with a D cup or sometimes DD cup, it's really hard to find larger models. - 12/6/2011   7:51:01 AM
  • 5
    It's nice and all that you wrote an article about sports bras for the tiny people, but for the rest of us there's Enell: enell.com I wear a 40 G which translates in Enell sizes to a size 4 (they go up to an 8). Definitely worth the money. - 12/6/2011   7:04:46 AM
  • 4
    I somehow don't think the "handful" bra would cope with my HANDFUL FF cup! - 12/6/2011   4:22:55 AM
  • 3
    The handful bra only goes to a cup C and the sports bras only go up to 40. Guess it wasn't really tried on every size. - 12/6/2011   1:05:40 AM
  • SAROONA2
    2
    am a 36C and when i was nursing my breasts boomed into 38D and that didn't feel comfortable while exercising with my regular sports bra, i would like to try these... will check them out - 12/6/2011   1:02:55 AM

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