Manolo for the Big Girl Fashion, Lifestyle, and Humor for the Plus Sized Woman.

September 20, 2007

In Search of a Better Sports Bra

Filed under: Lingerie — Francesca @ 12:09 pm

Our internet friend Margo sent us a link to an interesting newspaper article about the inadequacies of sports bras:

Dr Scurr said that the design of bras, including sports bras, was unable to cope with the three-dimenional movement which stretched the tissue and caused discomfort. “Bras are designed to support up and down movement,” she said. “We found they move up and down, from side to side, and back and forward. Previous research has only looked at vertical movement, which we found contributes only 50 per cent of the overall movement.

“Breasts move in three dimensions. Current bra design is inadequate and I think it is putting women off exercising. There really are women who want to do exercise but who don’t have the bras to cope. It is only recently that bra design has turned to science. There was no research. It’s like designing a car without first thinking, ‘What is the purpose of this?’ We need to think, why do we need bras? What do we need them to do?”

We Big Girls are painfully (pun intended) aware of the challenges in finding a good over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder which is appropriate for sports. Francesca sincerely hopes that bra manufacturers answer our wrenching pleas!


  1. >>…they move up and down, from side to side, and back and forward.

    All that, and men STILL burn more calories than we do.

    Comment by Despina — September 20, 2007 @ 12:41 pm

  2. I haven’t ponied up the cash yet, but I’ve heard great things about Enell.

    They’re kind of built like iron maidens or something, but I’ve heard tell of 38Gs actually jogging in the things.

    Comment by Nicole — September 20, 2007 @ 1:05 pm

  3. I cannot speak highly enough of the Natori Sport. It’s extraordinarily comfortable, very well made, and possible to exercise in, unlike many “sports” bras. A bit pricey, but totally worth it.

    Comment by meloukhia — September 20, 2007 @ 1:20 pm

  4. The only luck I’ve had is in double-layering. If I’m doing gentle movements I layer two cotton sports bras… if I’m doing something like jogging or frisbee or whatnot I usually layer a comfy underwire under a sports bra. It’s probably neither the best nor most comfortable option, but at least it keeps things from flying out of control (quite literally).

    Comment by RachelH — September 20, 2007 @ 2:27 pm

  5. 34-36 DD-E here. Small band + large cup = big bouncy. I have the Enell and it works perfectly, but it’s very uncomfortable — not because there’s any bouncing but because it’s made of such stiff stuff and binds so tightly. Which, obviously, is the tradeoff. Looser wouldn’t work. You have to pick your poison, at least till they develop some kind of super new technology.

    FWIW Champion’s Action-Shape Full Figure Sports Bra is my current favorite, not at all bad bouncewise and a shitload more comfortable than the Enell, but that’s only good for up to a 46 and a DD so if you’re bigger I reckon you’re still shit out of luck.

    Comment by loretta — September 20, 2007 @ 3:00 pm


    Check out TitleNine- anything that rates 4 barbells and the girls are going *nowhere.*

    I’m 34F, and I can jog in most of these bras. My current favorite is the 3-Reasons. Not cheap, but what price comfort?

    Comment by pelican — September 20, 2007 @ 5:36 pm

  7. Enells are surprising comfy for Iron Maidens. I got one just before I got the call for my reduction surgery. Wouldn’t you know it! I only got to use it twice and it was terrific. Now I’m no longer a 42G it languishes unloved in a drawer full of really, really cute bras.

    Comment by Lunadog — September 20, 2007 @ 5:37 pm

  8. I’m by no means a big girl, but I am a 34DD and I’m also a runner. I’ve found that the Moving Comfort Fiona bra is fantastic. It’s only $44, which is a bargain for a great sports bra. It’s also available in sizes from 32C up to 44DD.

    Comment by K — September 20, 2007 @ 9:17 pm

  9. I read this article and thought 2 Thoughts- First Off- THANK THE LORD- Science is catching up and secondly- Its about Friggin Time.
    I am getting ready to start training for a triathalon and I am worried about keeping the girls in– I loved to run in High School but now find it hurts and I worry about getting black eyes from the girls bouncing too much. I think I have to break the bank and buy one or two Enells….
    Thanks for the great articles and all the fab info- this Site Rocks!!!

    Comment by Kimks — September 20, 2007 @ 9:42 pm

  10. One of the articles about this research mentioned the bra that tested best in their research. It’s the one I own, which made me happy! — the Shock Absorber bra. It comes up to “Level 4”, and in cup sizes up to G.

    I’ve found that the band size on it runs a touch small, so I get it up one band size and down a cup size from my regular size. Perfect for rugby!

    Comment by Laura — September 20, 2007 @ 9:45 pm

  11. Oh, I soo know what they mean! Gah!

    I’ve found that works well for me; supportive without the dreaded uniboob. For actually running I wear an enell.

    Both on the spendier side; i guess you pay more for the structural engineering!

    Comment by zanthine — September 21, 2007 @ 6:04 am

  12. As I write this I’m looking into all of the recommendations above. Because, ya know, it would be nice to be able to run a mile without slapping myself in the face…I just wish the best bras weren’t so dang expensive.

    Comment by Never teh Bride — September 21, 2007 @ 11:34 am

  13. I’m going to second K’s recommendation of Moving Comfort’s Fiona. Amazingly comfortable AND a solid, solid hold at a reasonable price.

    Comment by Linn — September 21, 2007 @ 12:02 pm

  14. Sports bras for large breasted women which are comfortable and supportive…there aren’t many are there.

    We personally prefer the Belei Shock Absorber bras which are quite reasonably priced as well.

    They also have some coolmix fabric which helps you sweat less!

    Comment by BestBigBras — September 5, 2008 @ 12:24 pm

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