I have a confession. When I first started thinking about writing this post I kept singing a mangled version of Nancy Sinatra’s famous song. “These boobs are made for bouncing and that’s just what they’ll do. One of these days these boobs are going to bounce all over you.” Okay maybe that isn’t the best way to put it. As it is I’m sure I’m going to have tons of spam from this post for including “large breasts” in the title. But I digress.
This post is about the plight of all the women out there who are larger than a B cup who want to be able to exercise without discomfort, pain, embarrassment or hitting themselves in the head. If you need further examples of its perils check out this article on What it’s Really Like to Work Out with Big Boobs. This post is not for the woman who can wear an Elita strappy bra for exercise and call it a day. Seriously are there women who do that? Besides models in a yoga ad?
I am especially well suited for writing this post because a) I am a woman and b) I have large (see understatement of the year) breasts. I’ve tried a ton of different sports bras and have found lots of duds. Several years ago I was in aerobics class doing a modified low-impact jumping jack when the teacher approached to tell me I wasn’t working hard enough and needed to do the “normal” ones. When I replied that I didn’t want to bounce around so much she looked at me and said, “You should buy a better sports bra then.” And I thought “Gee little Miss size 4 with a AA chest I never thought of that before. Let me write that incredible insightful comment down so I don’t forget.” I was already wearing the best sports bra I could find and it still wasn’t up to the challenge not to mention the fact that I had spent the equivalent of the military budget of a small third world country on it.
Since then I’ve been on a quest for the best of the best of the best and I have developed a 3C criteria, which, listed in order of importance, are:
- Crowd control – these boobs should not bounce or at least not much.
- Comfort – it should be tight enough to control but not so constricting that breathing becomes an issue.
- Cuteness – it should look pretty and avoid, if possible, the uni-boob look. Is that too much to ask?
These three are my tops picks for control, comfort and cuteness … or at least as stylish as your are going to get in sports bras for large breasts.
This my favourite in all three categories. The Shock Absorber company has put serious efforts into R & D to discover the best way to control the movement of the breasts and it has paid off. It is very comfortable to wear although a tad difficult to put on. And I think it looks like many other sports bras out there that less well endowed women wear as opposed to something your Great Aunt Bertha wore under her house dress. If you don’t like this one, are a smaller size. or don’t need that much support they have other styles as well.
2. Enell $77
This one wins hands down in the control category but scores lower on the comfort and cuteness categories. It comes very close to creating the dreaded uni-boob look and there is a lot of coverage with this bra. It will show if you are wearing a tank or t-shirt with a lower neckline. Not to mention to get the no bounce effect it has to be tight and it does up with many little eye hooks which can be a bit of a pain. . That being said some women think it looks like something a superhero would wear, I think it’s more in the Great Aunt Bertha territory.
3. Panache Underwire $82
My third choice wins high marks in the cuteness and comfort criteria but lower in the control area. This bra has slight padding which horrifies some women with larger breasts but it is very minimal. I wear this one for working out in the gym but use the other two for the more impressive feats of engineering that running requires.
As you can see good sports bras do not come cheap but this isn’t the best place to economize on your active wear. Of course YMMV depending upon your size, shape, activity and what you most want from a bra. Let me know what your experience has been. Have you tried any of these or do you have a recommendation for another one you tried? Share your boob management experience in the comments so we can all benefit.