Model: Fiona sports bra
Okay ladies, this post is all for you! One piece of kit you just can’t scrimp on is your sports bra. Boobs, knockers, bangers- whatever it is you call your assets, it is essential that you keep them locked down (quite literally!), especially when you’re running. Having been blessed in that department, I have always been on the look out for the perfect sports bra so you can imagine my excitement when I was asked if I wanted to review the Brooks “Fiona” sports bra. I have high expectations of any sports bra- the holy grail is support, lightweight, non-chafing, non-restrictive, comfy, looks half way decent.. (the list is endless- see what I mean by high expectations!).
Recent studies at the University of Portsmouth show that your boobs can move as much as 3-8 inches from side to side to side and up and down in a sort-of figure of eight motion when you run. 3-8 inches- that’s an incredible amount. Multiply that by running many, many miles and the fact that 9.5 million ladies in the UK are not getting the correct support they need from their sports bra and that makes for a potentially huge problem! The main issue is that your breasts really do need looking after properly when doing vigorous exercise like running; they are actually quite delicate, held upright by ligaments that are put under a lot of strain by the movement and once damaged, will never recover. Long term this makes for an unsupported sagginess which, let’s face it, nobody wants!
The right sports bra is essential- it makes running a much more enjoyable experience since you’re no longer distracted by excessive movement, you don’t hurt, there’s no risk of black eyes as you pelt towards the finish line as you are are held in place, securely and comfortably.
First impressions of the Fiona sports bra were great. It was pink and navy (top) and whilst this may not sound appealing to some ladies, it makes a great change from other competitors who seem to think that just because you have larger boobs, you just want something plain and functional and tend to only offer white and black as colour options. Bustier woman also deserve funky colours and patterns that are usually reserved for those with smaller busts!
The bra fastens (middle) with a standard hook and eye closure which is padded for comfort and stops any rubbing. Unlike other sports bra, it isn’t racer back which is handy as I know a couple ladies who have really struggled getting on that particular style with one even pulling a muscle (I kid you not!). This is just typical bra: fasten, put on and go- no military operation or bizarre contortion required to get into it! It also has a wide elastic strap underneath the cups for support. This was great and didn’t compress my chest as I suspected in may do.
One of the great features of the bra are the front-adjustable Velcro straps (bottom). What does that mean I hear you ask? Typically most bras have are adjustable with the metal sliders which means you either need a friend who can help you adjust them if they aren’t right or just take a shot in the dark before you put it on and hope for the best. What’s great about this is that the straps are adjustable in the front of the bra and are Velcro so easily adjusted by yourself. I have to admit, I was a bit apprehensive when I saw the Velcro- how would that possible work and hold me in place but stay in place they did, even after a 14 mile run.
Once on, I did the standard sports bra tests: wiggle and bounce tests and running on the spot. So yes, I did stand there and jump up and down and I had a quick shimmy. The bra passed all with flying colours. I felt safe and secure, I didn’t feel like there was any excessive movement and I really did feel strapped down.
Beyond this, I threw a lot at this bra starting initially with a short interval session (after all, speed equals movement!), yoga, my standard long run on Sunday and even a T25 session midweek. On all occasions, the bra was comfortable to wear, if I’m honest, I forgot I had it on it was that comfy. It didn’t rub or chafe which other sports bras had in the past (especially on long runs), the material is incredible comfy and soft and offered a lot of support. This is probably due to the moulded cups which offered a long of stability even during high-intensity sessions.
On the downside, the elastic in the wide band under the bra did occasionally twist slightly in the material although I suspect that may be more of a matter of me not quite having the correct size. I’ve recently lost a lot of weight so clearly I need to get re-measured to make sure I’m in the correct size. As well as this, the bra doesn’t have a lot of material up front so if you were cold, everyone would know about it! And whilst it’s not a downside as such, it is important thing to remember is that the straps are Velcro so don’t wash your bra with fabric softener else you will ruin the fastenings!
Overall, I’m a huge fan of the Fiona bra- I am usually a Shock Absorber girl but after testing this out, I suspect I’m a convert! It really delivers on all fronts: style, fit, comfort with minimum movement and an incredible amount of support. Plus the price isn’t too shabby either. Hands down one of the comfiest sports bra I’ve worn.
Available from most online retailers or direct from Brooks (£21): http://www.brooksrunning.com/en_gb/fiona-sports-bra/350003.html
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