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:
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:
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.
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?