Let’s Talk About Breasts

I’m getting ready for another round of running groups to begin, and it is time to talk about breasts. Seriously. For the longest time, I didn’t think I could become a runner because of my chest.  And, I hear this same concern from women I work with all of the time. Several half marathons and marathons later, I’m proud to tell you that there are bras out there designed for you! Not everyone is a runner, but big-chested women, and big people, in general, absolutely can run, and can get some great support along the way.

Here are some tips for bra success:

1) Research what’s out there 

Get to know the different types of bras: there are sports bras that cross in the back, ones with traditional straps, ones that buckle in front, ones that have  molded cups, ones that separate the breasts, and others that don’t.  Each of these features has it’s benefits and drawbacks, and no one bra is best for everyone.  
Here are some places to start:
My favorite brands are Enell and Moving Comfort. They are designed specifically for athletes with big chests, and they are designed with high-impact activity in mind.

 enellEnell’s Last Resort Bra has been my absolute favorite for years

Title Nine is a store specializing in women’s athletic wear.  They have locations in the Bay Area, and an online catalogue.

Check out About.com‘s reviews of bras for big chested women. I wholeheartedly endorse all of these!

 2) Go Into a Store and Try Things On

It may be easy to order something online, but it’s hard to really know how it’s going to be for you unless you try it on and jump around a little!

A specialty athletic store, (or even better, a specialty women’s athletic store like See Jane Run) have staff who are knowledgeable and will help you out.

 Nordstrom’s does bra fittings. Bra fittings can change lives. If you don’t feel comfortable with getting sized up, they also have an online resource for how to tell if you have the right fit.

3) Be Willing to Spend Some Money!

This is the most important piece of advice! I get it. I am living on a budget too. The bras I’m recommending are expensive! But, honey, you are worth it! I can assure you that buying cheap bras that don’t fit or that wear out often will be far more expensive in the long run than investing $60-$70 in a quality new bra.

 4) Consider Doubling Up

This may be controversial… In my experience, some bras fit better in some ways and not in others. I have a bra that gives great support overall, but I tend to chafe under my breasts with it, especially on my longer runs. Wearing a less supportive bra underneath my really good bra helps protect me from this chafing. Doubling up can help prevent some of these chronic pains and scrapes as well as give extra support.

 5) Prevent Chafing 

If you find yourself having chafing at your breasts, belly, or thighs, applying Vaseline is a great way to prevent this. There are many anti-chafing products on the market, but, really, just some simple Vaseline will do!

According to Nordstroms, 4 out of 5 women are walking around in the wrong bra size. But, we don’t have to be uncomfortable. Go out there, bring a friend, and find what works for you.

Got any bra tips? I’d love to hear them!

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One comment

  1. Laura Nicodemus

    Awesome blog, Rachel–I am a new convert to the Enell Last Resort! I love it! And it’s super easy to put on– no need to do that uncomfortable ‘twisty’ adjustment dance, which is completely impossible right after a shower. Thanks for the blog!

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