Slideshow: Gear Box: Sports Bras
It's strange to consider that the first commercially produced sports bras weren't available until the mid-1970s. It was then that the original Jogbra was created by a couple of active women who sewed together two jockstraps out of desperation for a comfortable bra fit for exercise. To put it mildly, a lot has changed. Sports bras are now big business. Brands are gathering biomechanical data to better design bands, cups and straps for comfort and support, leading to an increasingly competitive market. Here are some of the best sports bras you'll find, built for every shape and size participating in a wide range of activities. <i>-- By Mackenzie Lobby, Special to espnW</i>
They have our support
It's strange to consider that the first commercially produced sports bras weren't available until the mid-1970s. It was then that the original Jogbra was created by a couple of active women who sewed together two jockstraps out of desperation for a comfortable bra fit for exercise. To put it mildly, a lot has changed. Sports bras are now big business. Brands are gathering biomechanical data to better design bands, cups and straps for comfort and support, leading to an increasingly competitive market. Here are some of the best sports bras you'll find, built for every shape and size participating in a wide range of activities. -- By Mackenzie Lobby, Special to espnW
Moving Comfort Juno ($56)
Built for C to DD cups, the Juno, with its flattering racerback and contoured shape, provides the best support on the market. This bra also has technical features like seam-free interior molded cups, adjustable straps with a concealed hook-and-loop closure, and front and back mesh zones for breathability.
Saucony Sweet Elite Bra ($38, spring 2014)
Originally designed for Saucony-sponsored elite runners and triathletes, the Sweet Elite Bra supports via compression. Marked by a moisture-wicking, triple-layer front panel and a Power Net racerback, it will also help control moisture and temperature no matter what the weather. Aimed at A/B/C cups, it is available in XS to XL.
Lucy Girls Best Friend Bra ($59)
Composed of stabilizer fabric and reinforced cups that promote ideal encapsulation, this is Lucy's most supportive offering. With wide straps and an anti-chafe construction, the Girls Best Friend can go from the weight room to the treadmill without missing a beat.
Oiselle Scantron Strappy ($37, spring 2014)
Featuring an eye-catching design, the Scantron Strappy is a poly/spandex compression bra with micro slits engineered into the fabric that contribute to its moisture-wicking and breathability properties. What's more, the four-strap design helps distribute weight for better support, while also adding an element of style.
CW-X Stabilyx Running Bra ($70, spring 2014)
In an effort to create great-fitting garments, CW-X's parent company has collected anatomical data on more than 35,000 female bodies, greatly enhancing CW-X bra options. The Stabilyx is made to accommodate larger cup sizes up to 40DD. A Support Web in each cup, along with adjustable back and shoulder closures, make this bra effective for a variety of high-impact activities.
Handful Adjustable Bra ($48)
Marked by its adjustable and convertible straps, the Adjustable Bra is one of the most versatile options on the market. The straps can be altered and you have the choice of removing the cup pads. Along with that, a quick-dry nylon/spandex shell allows for great compression and moisture control without creating the unflattering "uniboob" look.
Moving Comfort Switch It Up Racer ($36)
While many of Moving Comfort's bra options are heavily fortified, the Switch It Up Racer provides something for smaller cup sizes or low-impact activities. Warp knit delivers a four-way stretch and compression support, so there's no fuss pulling this on and off. The unique reversible design, with solid and print options, make this the perfect bra when you're looking for something low-hassle.
New Balance Tenderly Obsessive Bra ($18.99)
Part of the NB PSYCHE sports bra collection, the Tenderly Obsessive Bra offers support and stability in a stylish package. Sculpted, moisture-wicking cups and adjustable straps make this bra fit for high-impact activities for A/B cups. With eight other models to choose from in the line, you can basically get a custom fit via a variety of band and cup sizes. Working to control side-to-side and up-and-down motion, these bras are performance oriented and highly durable.
Swoob Idona Racerback Bra ($45)
A Salt Lake City-based startup, Swoob recently launched a line of pocketed sports bras. The Idona Racerback Bra is a great go-to bra for almost any activity. This model includes three interior water-resistant pockets to stash a phone, energy gels or anything else you need to carry. Made with a double-layer poly/spandex blend, the Idona is aimed at A cups to D cups.
Brooks Versatile Bra ($34)
Brooks' best bra, the Versatile lives up to its name. Its two-layer power mesh straps insure excellent support. Giving a snug yet comfortable fit, it'll work for biking, running, lifting, and everything in between. With the added feature of 360-degree reflectivity, it is a must-have garment when you're exercising after dark.
Mountain Hardwear Mighty Power Cooler Bra ($45)
Mountain Hardwear offers a quick-drying, highly breathable option in the Mighty Power Cooler Bra. The medium-impact bra has cooling panels in the highest sweat zones that will provide heat relief when you're working hard. Part of a line of cooling garments from Mountain Hardwear, this is a great solution for hot days.