Sports Bras - The Right Support

 

Choosing the perfect sports bra is ultimately very personal but there are a few things you can do to narrow the search and reduce the element of trial and error.

 

Odlo say there is not one perfect bra but rather different options for different workouts, depending on the kind of exercise or sport you do, your body type and what you like to wear

 

Let’s start by reminding ourselves why we all need a sports bra because no matter what size you are, if you exercise you need to support your breasts.  We were surprise to learn that approximately 44% of women don’t wear a sports bra, even though research suggests that movement without adequate support can lead to long-term sagging and potentially be painful too.  But even if you don't feel any pain, you will reduce your risk of sagging breasts by supporting the suspensory ligaments, called the ‘Coopers Ligaments’, by wearing a good fitting sports bra.

 

With that said, we have got together with the lovely people from Odlo to look at the options, so that we can take some of the guesswork out of finding the perfect bra, whatever your size and whatever your sport. 

 

Why Odlo?  Well because we have been testing a couple of sports bra from them and they are truly excellent.  On top of that we like their membership of the Fair Wear Foundation - an independent, non-profit organisation that works to improve conditions for workers in garment factories, and love that they are supporting Breast Cancer Haven with a percentage of their sales from boobydoo.co.uk going to the charity.

 

SOFT, MEDIUM, HIGH SUPPORT LEVELS

A great sports bra should offer you all the support you need without you being aware you are wearing it.  That means it must be supremely comfortable as well as perfectly supportive, it should allow you to concentrate on what you are doing but as well as being functional, we want our kit to be stylish too. 

 

When looking for a sports bra, the first decision to make is what level of support is right for you – soft, medium or high.  And that depends on:

  1. Intensity of activity
  2. Body type / bust size
  3. Personal preference

Of course, there is no one perfect bra but rather different options for different workouts, depending on the kind of exercise or sport you do, your body type and what you like to wear.  

 

Odlo offer 13 different sports bras in huge range of sizes which start at extra small and go all the way up to 95E and we have been lucky enough to test some of the options.  To do that we called on testers of all shapes and sizes, from a super-curvy DD cup, through to a more streamlined AA cup, but all of them enjoy a range of activities from high intensity running, to low impact yoga and stretch classes with medium intensity activities like cycling, strength and spinning thrown in for good measure.

Soft support bras from Odlo offer a very light support and that often frees the design side up, resulting in beautiful finishing details in the straps.  Odlo also offer softly padded versions in the soft support range

 

SOFT SUPPORT – unrestricted sensation

Let's start with the lightest support.  Odlo have four bras billed as giving soft support, with prices ranging from £17.50 to £50.  They directed us to their Seamless Soft bra, which is particularly striking because of the strap design and that is the lovely thing about soft support bras – because they offer a very light support that often frees up the design, resulting in beautiful finishing details in the straps.  Odlo also offer softly padded versions in the soft support range, which our less curvy testers loved.

 

The expectation from a soft support bra is that it should be supremely comfortable and totally non-resttrictive, and that is what you get from Odlo.  In addition to that we want the right amount of coverage, so that whatever you get up to, you feel covered up.  And of equal importance we demand that the bra stay perfectly in place while giving us complete freedom of movement. 

 

Odlo offer a number of seamless options and our experience of these has made us wonder why we ever wore sports bras with seams – the comfort upgrade is awesome.  Support is engineered by incorporating a rib structure on the sides, which allows for seamless integrated ventilation zones which offer breathability where it is most needed.  And if you don’t think that is enough, the Odlo Seamless Soft bra is reversible bra so it is like getting two for the price of one!

 

If we sound exacting with our demands, it is because we can be – in our experience soft support bras can be comfortable, supportive, stylish and, if you want it, padded as well, all without restricting movement.  And these features makes them ideal for yoga, pilates, walking, a cheeky spin class or even a turbo session.

 

The really clever thing about the design of this bra is that Odlo have used a different weave at the sides to dial up the support, which work alongside the ventilation zones to keep you cool and dry

 

MEDIUM SUPPORT – balancing support and comfort

Odlo has a choice of six different sports bras which offer medium support.  We tested the Odlo Seamless Sports Bra last summer and have been wearing it ever since – I guess you could call that a long term test.  In short it is a high performance crop top style sports bra that gives you a surprising level of support, thanks to the 7% elastane content, with no restriction to breathing and also allowing for a full range of movement.  

 

The really clever thing about the design of this bra is the use of a different weave at the sides to dial up the support, which work alongside the ventilation zones to keep you cool and dry.  The seamless design is a winner for us, removing any chance of chafing, and it wicks away sweat well.  Throw in the silver ions which reduce odour and you will understand why we have been wearing it so much.  What really is a surprise is that it still looks like new given how much we have worn it.

 

This level of support is perfect for medium intensity activities like cycling, walking, gym work and skiing.  Our full review can be read here.

 

Odlo offer Three HIGH support sports bras to help you to train at high intensity without distractions

 

HIGH SUPPORT - Hold me

High support sports bras help you to train at a high intensity without any distractions.  Typically they are engineered with dense and supportive material, they are very stretchy and allow optimal freedom of movement, which makes them ideal for activities such as running, cardio, dance, HIIT, tennis or ball sports.

 

To test Odlo’s high support offer we put our most curvy DD tester into their Seamless HIGH Sports Bra, which comes in a size range of extra small to large.  Suffice to say, she did not need the internal pads, which are a breeze to remove.  The fastening at the back is wide and comfortable and when done up the overall fit and feel is awesome and, we thought, particularly flattering too.

 

One of the most impressive things is that Odlo have managed to balance the need for freedom of movement and unrestricted breathing, with the high support promised and the comfort is off the scale.  Our tester told us “I wore it for an entire day and genuinely forgot I was wearing it.”

 

For those that like a little more coverage, there are two high support options with moulded cups and all are well ventilated and wick away sweat beautifully.

 

High support bras are prefect for high impact sports like running, cardio, dance, HIIT, tennis or ball sports and Odlo’s options are all feminine, flattering and functional with features like adjustable padded straps, seamless designs and ventilation zones.

 

So that is our round up of the options.  Most of all we would say never compromise when it comes to buying a sports bra and for that reason we like the advice service and returns policy at www.boobydoo.co.uk/returns which allows you to try a number of bras on in the comfort of your own home and find the ones that are perfect for you.

 

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