A Subject Close to My Heart

5 May

I was going to call this post “Bob Loblaw’s Law Boob Blog” but I thought Mitch Hurwitz might sue me.  Actually he might sue me anyway just for saying this.  I don’t know, I don’t know the law.  I do know that if you don’t get the reference, I am disappointed in you.






ANYWAY.  This is a post/series I’ve been meaning to write for a while, but have been hesitant because a) talking about bras is likely to lead to weirdo internet traffic and b) product reviews tend to be quite polarizing among the health and fitness community.

I decided to throw caution to the wind in this case because the subject is – bad puns aside – near and dear to my heart.  My name is Heather and my boobs are … complicated.  By complicated, I mean that I have a small band size and a large cup size.  I know I’m not alone.  I know I’m not alone because I’ve read running forums and product reviews on Amazon and comments on blog posts and guess what?  There are a ton of women out there who are athletic AND have large-ish breasts.  I’ve felt pretty alone in this though, because sports bra manufacturers just don’t seem to get it.


When I first started running, I very accidentally stumbled across a sports bra from Under Armour that I really liked a lot.  Liked so much, in fact, that I bought 6 of them and never even entertained the thought of trying something else.

Unfortunately, nothing lasts forever.  At this point, even though I still wear some of the original 6, they are stretched out and prone to chafing and smoosh my chest in a weird way that they never did before.  Of course Under Armour doesn’t make these bras anymore.  So I’ve started looking for a replacement sports bra.

RIP you beautiful creatures.  RIP.

R.I.P. you beautiful creatures. R.I.P.

Nike, Champion, Moving Comfort, Oiselle, Victoria’s Secret, Shock Absorber, Saucony, Panache, Lululemon.  I’ve tried them all, and I figure I might as well pass my experiences on to you in hopes that you can avoid some of the frustration I’ve felt while trying to find a sports bra that works for me.

In order to do this properly, I need to tell you what I look for in a sports bra: made in my size, fits well, easy to put on, doesn’t chafe, compression (I hate feeling bouncy), cute colors, not too expensive.  The day that I find a bra that fits all of those criteria is the day I will propose.


So what exactly did I like about the Under Armour sports bras?

  • The sizing system.  They were sold in S/M/L modulated by cup size (i.e. a size S-A/B was smaller than a size S-DD, but a size S-DD was still smaller in the band and shoulders than a size L-DD).
  • Easy, pullover style.  Since purchasing a DD didn’t also automatically mean a larger band, the fit was still solid.
  • Not hideous.  I mean, yeah, these are basic looking bras but they also don’t look like a medieval torture device (I’m looking at you, Enell).
  • While they didn’t do a lot to “life and separate” they were compressive enough (when they were new) to keep me in place and not feel floppy.

With that in mind, I intend to post periodic reviews against these critera of my extensive collection of sports bras – both the bummers and my current favorites.  As I said, I’m hoping that my experience can possibly help others out there in the quest for the perfect sports bra.  And if I ever find that mystical, magical sports bra – you better believe I’ll be shouting about it from the rooftops.  Hopefully this won’t alienate any dude readers, or bore anyone who doesn’t have an issue finding sports bras that fit (I hate you all)  ((jk, I’m just really jealous)).   Oh and also, mom, I’m sorry for talking about my boobs on the internet.


15 Responses to “A Subject Close to My Heart”

  1. HollieisFueledByLOLZ May 5, 2014 at 10:25 am #

    I remember chatting with you about this. Not that I can relate (sadly) but I think a lot of woman can.

    • upstaterunner May 5, 2014 at 12:41 pm #

      I am now a woman with a mission: complain loudly enough on the internet about sports bras until someone designs me the perfect one. Thanks for sharing the link 🙂

  2. outside time (@itsoutsidetime) May 5, 2014 at 11:04 am #

    Oh my god. Jenna Marbles and Arrested Development in the same post!

    I have the same problem: small band, large(r) “cups” (I can’t say that word without cringing.) About a year or so ago I embarked on a sports bra odyssey and came up with only two that met my standards. The main issue is that the bras that are supportive and fit well are also huge and hideously ugly.

    1. “Nike Victory Adjust X-back” — http://store.nike.com/us/en_us/pd/victory-adjust-x-back-sports-bra/pid-657696/pgid-465695 (which is adjustable and comes in many sizes). Sadly, I find that the band on this bra chafes me on runs over an hour or so. I still wear it, but I usually wear a bandage or something on the place where it always chafes. Because of this I’m not planning to buy any more of these.

    2. “Moving Comfort Urban X-Over” — http://www.movingcomfort.com/on/demandware.store/Sites-MovingComfort-Site/default/Search-Show?q=URBAN%20X-OVER. Same thing: many sizes, adjustable straps, cross-back, doesn’t look like a torture device, but this one doesn’t chafe and seems to be even more supportive than the Nike one. I wore this for both of my marathons and had no problems. I’m slowly replacing my Nike bras with these.

    Looking forward to reading your reviews; godspeed!

    • upstaterunner May 5, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

      I plan on checking out both of these! Thanks for the info.

      I am a big weirdo and most colloquialisms or marketing terminology related to bras makes me cringe. It makes me happy to know I am not alone in this.

  3. Amy May 5, 2014 at 11:20 am #

    I used Enell for years!!!! finally had a breast reduction in February—- still a C cup but I have bought several bras since I’ve started running….think I found one I finally like – Moving comfort Juno…..just a pain in the butt to get off when I’m done running.

    • upstaterunner May 5, 2014 at 12:35 pm #

      I know I am probably just being a big snob, and that Enell bras are probably really great at what they are supposed to do. I just want so desperately to believe that my chest can be contained in something cute!

      I have the Juno, and it’s one of the bras I like best actually. It is a huge pain to get on and off though!

      • Amy May 5, 2014 at 12:40 pm #

        people use to make fun of my enell bra! I was so excited to toss them after my surgery!! They are so ugly!

  4. KrisLawrence May 5, 2014 at 12:04 pm #

    No one ever posts about this topic, I’m glad you did! I have slightly above average size boobs but compared to most runners I’m fairly large. The problem is I also have a small rib cage like you so the ones that seem to be bounce free often chafe like crazy because they don’t have a snug bottom band. Then the ones with a wide support band give a huge uni-boob look that makes my chest look even larger. <-only desirable when NOT running. It's more complicated than people realize. Thanks for sharing your insights! I don't have any Under Armour bras so its nice to read the review. By the way, I've seen the adorable thin strap ones many of the companies make now and I'm just like….sigh, I wish. Let us know if you find any of those style that work!

    • upstaterunner May 5, 2014 at 12:38 pm #

      Thanks Kris! And yes, I feel your pain; there are a few that I have tried that offer really great compression and I want to love them, but the band moves around too much. Chafe city. I really don’t understand why there aren’t more options on the market. Hopefully that will change!

  5. 2 Cups 'N Run May 5, 2014 at 10:29 pm #

    Great post! I love getting suggestions for good sports bra, especially from runners. I’m loving the Moving Comfort Fiona bra, it’s comfortable and offers great support (I’m pretty small, but still, I’m running), and sizing is like a regular bra, by band size and cup size.

    • upstaterunner May 6, 2014 at 7:53 pm #

      Thanks! Coincidentally enough, the Fiona is the first one I was going to review. Great minds, etc etc!

  6. Kristy May 7, 2014 at 8:37 am #

    I have nothing to add about the bra topic, so I’m just going to hang out here, for a bit, and watch that Gosling video, a few more times………………..

    • upstaterunner May 8, 2014 at 10:14 am #

      LOL! I thought that was a pretty good one, won’t comment on how long I stared at it….

  7. Laura @losingrace May 7, 2014 at 1:53 pm #

    Boobs. Share them…thanks!

    I’ll read about your bra adventures (problems I CLEARLY don’t have) as long as you continue to include awesome GIF’s. Thanks! 🙂


  1. Moving Comfort Fiona Sports Bra Review | UpstateRunner - May 7, 2014

    […] kick things off in this little series, I thought I would start with the first “real” sports bra I tried – the Fiona by […]

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