Sports Bras: Ease of Use

4 Oct

Whether you’re in a fitness maintenance phase or trying to lose a few pounds, active wear is (for the most part) something we put up with.  Spandex and neon and wicking fabric, oh my!  Fortunately for me, some of my favorite lower price retailers (ahem, Target) have caught on to the opportunity and started to create really great tech shirts, pants and shorts for fit-wanna-be lifestyles.  The one place where I’ve really struggled to find the right features: SPORTS BRAS.

Honestly, bras of any kind are NEVER a fun and easy purchase.  There are so many factors to consider, so many ways that fit can be off.  Plus (like running shoes), they are hard to try on in store.  Who knows if a bra has enough support when you’re running if you’re not… actually… running?  You can’t tell if the straps are too thick and will lead to chafing!  Will the color bleed all over me after a few minutes of light sweating? (That last one has happened to me- the hot pink dye lasted for DAYS.)

Still, I think you might agree with me about my Least Favorite Sports Bra Truth: the darn things are near impossible to get off after a workout.  I am willing to concede personal wimpiness here, but after a workout I like to keep my limbs in calm positions.  I just RAN seven miles so, no, I DON’T want to wrestle a super tight vice over exhausted arms.  DILEMMA.

Enter the single best sports bra innovation I have ever encountered: THE ZIP FRONT.

 

The style shown is here is actually one of my personal favorites: the Champion Zip Tech Sports Bra.  Zip front styles combine all the same features you’ll find in other sports bras (molded cups, wicking fabric, adjustment features, etc.) with that phenomenal zipper which doesn’t pinch and makes removal EASY and PAIN FREE.  Note: this particular style is REALLY easy to find at a super deal, so I’d price check before buying.  If you are unsure about sizing, the style is available in my local sporting goods chain (Sports Authority) so I was able to try on in-store, buy with a coupon for a great price and walk out knowing what size to later order online.  I would say this particular style is very comparable to S/M/L/XL sizing from other vendors, I was able to buy the same size I usually do.

Nike also makes a version which I’ve purchased both at Nordstrom and the Nike outlet, but it seems that the style is either hard to find or discontinued.  If you’re looking for other manufacturers, you can find options from Under Armour (note this feature is only available for D or DD cups in this style), Moving Comfort (available for DD sizes) and Athleta (standard band/cup sizes from B to DD).

Several brands also now offer sports bras with standard back exits (just like an everyday bra), but I haven’t found an option that I personally felt offered enough support.  I think the feature would work similarly for easy removal, however.

Here’s hoping you never again struggle with the pain of post-workout limp noodle arms and overzealous spandex.  (Also- any favorite workout wear tips you can pass our way?  I know awesome products add joy to my sometimes difficult workouts.)

 

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2 Responses to “Sports Bras: Ease of Use”

  1. Melissa October 4, 2012 at 11:40 am #

    I love the Under Armor zip front sports bra. It’s really just like wearing armor. When I tried it on in the store, I did jumping jacks in the dressing room to see if it really would hold the boobs when I run. For the most part it does. also, don’t let your dogs chew the zipper, that just means you have to re-buy a $50 bra.

    • heycharliesue October 4, 2012 at 12:42 pm #

      JUMPING JACKS in the FITTING ROOM. Duh. BRILLIANT.

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