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Sports Bra Throwdown: The Zoom Bra Versus the Royce Impact Free Sports Bra

Today, we’re going to start with the truth: if you’re an HH cup or above, your sports bra options are horrible. They’re expensive, uncomfortable and restrictive, and frequently unsupportive.

Luckily, a new bra has been released and more and more companies are carrying the options that are out there! I’ve been testing two sports bras for the last few weeks that are easily available and represent the best of the extremely limited sports bra market out there.

Both sports bras were tested under the same conditions:

1. Daily use for seven consecutive days for at least 40 minutes of kickboxing.

2. Daily washing and drying.

So, onto the reviews!

The Impact Free Sports Bra by Royce:

Image via Bravissimo

The Impact Free Sports Bra comes in band sizes 28 through 40 and cup sizes D through K. The band runs tight, and I say this as a fan of tighter bra bands. I couldn’t even hook the 32 (my normal band) and the 34 even felt a little tight to start.

This is the more traditional sports bra of the two. It works based on compression and does a fairly good job of minimizing bounce. The back has a velcro strip across the hooks, which are fairly traditional.

The Pros: This bra diminishes bounce, but won’t stop it completely. The straps are nice and wide for support, and the tight band helps give lots of support. The thick fabric absorbs sweat nicely for long workouts. The Marl colorway is also pretty if you don’t love basic white or black sports bras.

The Cons: Put simply, this bra isn’t all that comfortable and is a pain to wash. Due to the velcro strip on the back, it really needs to be handwashed. However, even if you do that, the fabric is so thick that it can’t dry in a day. By the end of a workout, the straps tend create enough pressure that it causes shoulder and back pain, and the band feels slightly restrictive. It gets the job done, but I didn’t feel happy with it at the end of the week.

The Zoom Bra by Lynx Sportswear: 

Image via Lynx Sportswear

Lynx Sportswear is an American company making a variety of sports bras and sportswear that has recently released the Zoom Bra. It’s designed for women who have a 10 to 13 inch difference between their ribcage measurement and their full bust measurement. It’s also got a whole different design philosophy behind it, which I’ve summarized over on The Lingerie Journal for an article. It’s designed to wash easily, be useable for beach sports, and provide support for high impact activities like running.

The Pros: 

This bra is machine washable and can be put in the dryer! For those of us who work out lots, this is huge bonus. It’s also comfortable — the bra has a loose band on purpose, which feels a little funny when you first work out in it if you’re used to wearing tighter bra bands. I wonder if it would work for swimming as well, but since it’s winter I haven’t had a chance to try that out. The support is equal to the Royce. It doesn’t get rid of bounce completely for me, but it’s supportive for kickboxing and I can generally work out about 15 minutes longer in this bra than in the Royce.

The Cons: Sizing in this bra is tricky, and it won’t work if you have more than a 13 inch difference between your ribcage and full bust measurements. To get it to fit, I had to go up from the measurements on the chart and if I lose any weight in my ribcage I’ll be sized out. However, if you’re within the size range it’s a pretty great choice. I’m really hoping that Lynx is willing to make one more bra that will work for those of us with small ribcages and more extreme full bust measurements!

What’s your favorite sports bra? Have you tried either of these options? What did you think?

 

7 Comments

  1. I really enjoyed reading this. I’m often asked about full busted sports bras, but I don’t know which brands to recommend (or why). Please keep doing more posts like this so I can send my readers to you!

    • Thank you! I’m always happy when I know you’ve read and liked something — it’s a benchmark for me. 🙂

      I have a goal to start doing more reviews, and I’d love to do more sports bra reviews. I managed to exercise every day for two weeks, which is really hard without a goal for me. Clearly I need more blogging related goals.

  2. Can you explain a little more about the Lynx Zoom bra? I’m really intrigued, but even after looking at their website, I don’t really get it. They just keep saying it’s different, but not what it actually does. Can you talk about what it feels like to wear it? Do your boobs get totally smooshed together and sweaty in the middle? Do you have a sense of how well it would work for soft breasts? I’m really curious about this bra! (Good on them for expanding their size range!)

    I recently ordered the Royce one, but it hasn’t arrived yet, so I don’t know what I think of it yet, but I’m looking forward to finding out. I wear sizes in the range of 34K (34.5″ underbust, 47″ish full bust, so I’d be right on the edge of the Zoom bra’s 10-13″ difference sizing) so it’s obviously very hard to find a sports bra! Right now I have a custom Enell, which is pretty cool, but there were a few more alterations I should have asked for, and I didn’t bother sending it back, so it’s not perfect like it should be. I’d love to get another one sometime when I have the money! However, the Enell is a very heavy duty bra, and sometimes does feel like it restricts my breathing, so I’d really like to have another option as well.

    • I actually think it would work better for soft breasts than mine, as they’re very dense and I’m pretty convinced that was part of what give me sizing issues in it. The band is much looser than most traditional sports bras, especially if you’re currently using an Enell (which, points to you since I am a wimp and can’t breathe in them). I think my breasts are placed a little higher in the Zoom than in the Royce, but they aren’t smooshed as much. The sweat issue isn’t bad but isn’t eliminated either. I think you’ll probably have more bounce than in your Enell, but for me it isn’t bad. I’m also not a runner though, and I haven’t tried it for tennis yet. The Zoom is a very breathable bra, which I really like. Ideally they’d make one with maybe one inch more in the bust and one inch less in the ribcage, but this one works great for my kickboxing purposes. Honestly, if you’re right on the sizing edge your best bet is to order one and try it. If it doesn’t work, you can always return it!

      I hope that helps! Please let me know what you think of the Royce — I’m always interested to have other opinions on things that I review.

      • Well, the Royce arrived and it was way too small. So I’ve sent it back and asked for a 36K, so we’ll see how that does.
        Once I’m done trying that, I might go ahead and check out the Zoom.
        Btw, I am soooo not a runner either. I just really want my breasts well contained for any type of exercise. I especially want them held down/away from my neck. Breathing is nice! 😉

      • So the 36K is definitely better. Though I still want another cup size bigger. And the straps don’t go short enough. I do like how high it comes in the front, since boobs-out-of-neck is a high priority for me!
        I’m not sure what I’m going to do, yet, but I have to decide soon! (argh short international returns periods grrrr) If I keep it, I will be modifying it a little, shortening the straps, and I will probably get rid of that stupid velcro, lol!

  3. Hi Holly,
    Firstly, great piece, there isn’t enough focus on H+ bra options!
    Just a thought, have you tried the Elomi sports bra? I know it only starts at a 34 back but I’ve used it in my shop a couple of times for ladies which are either a HH or J cup. It doesn’t completely stop the bounce, but is very supportive and my customers say it’s very comfortable.

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