Tuesday, 2 October 2007



In this article (Daily *spit* Mail - ANNA HODGEKISS -Sept 17th 2007) they asked Bridgitte Swales, of the Sports Performance Assessment and Rehabilitation Centre at Roehampton University, to analyse the most popular High Street brands. Each bra was worn by a runner with a 34D chest.Then, using specialist computer softwear, she was checked for horizontal and vertical breast movement. The reviews were as follows - all reviews from September 2007.

BERLEI SHOCK ABSORBER, £32.99 (Looks like a B109 to me - but they don't say.)
CLAIM: 'The Shock Absorber works with your body. Research has shown that a Shock Absorber reduces 3D breast movement by up to 74 per cent.'
MOVEMENT: Vertical 6cm; horizontal 2cm.
VERDICT: Bridgitte Swales says: 'This is an "encapsulation" bra, which research has shown is usually better at supporting the breasts during exercise than "compression" bras. Encapsulation bras look more like an everyday bra, with moulded cups to separate the breasts; while compression bras compress the breasts against the chest wall.
'The thick straps and the "racer" back provide good extra support. However, disappointing amount of movement.'
Rating: 6/10

ENELL: £37.99
CLAIM: 'This is designed to enable larger breasted women to exercise in comfort.'
MOVEMENT: Vertical 3cm; horizontal none.
VERDICT: 'A serious sports bra - one of the compression models. And compress it definitely does, to the point where I feared the tester's blood might stop.
'It's designed like a corset, with ten fastening hooks at the front. It was tight around the ribcage and left marks on the tester's skin, so could become uncomfortable. On the plus side, there was very little movement - the best performer in this test.
'High chest coverage means it cushions the pectoralis major (the muscle the Cooper's ligament comes off) and its thick, supporting straps make it good for big-busted women.'
Rating: 9/10

PANACHE £31.99.
CLAIM: 'Provides excellent comfort and support.'
MOVEMENT: Vertical 4cm; horizontal none.
VERDICT: 'The fit is extremely tight around the ribcage, which caused pain when running. Tightness around the ribcage is not good because it could put unnecessary pressure on the xiphoid process - a small piece of cartilage at the lower part of the sternum - making the exerciser feel sick.
'This bra did not fit the tester well - it was too big. But the fact it still only allowed 4cm of movement (one of the best scores) indicates it's structurally a good bra. It is cut quite high on the chest, so the pectoralis major will be supported.'
Rating: 7/10

CLAIM: 'The most comfortable bra you'll ever wear.'
MOVEMENT: Vertical 6cm; horizontal none.
VERDICT: 'This compression bra is very comfortable and resembles the more traditional crop-top-looking sports bra. It has a good depth at the side and a lot of elasticised "give" around the ribcage.
'Although it's one-size-fits-all, it's very stretchy, so probably will suit all shapes.
'However, it was not very good in the support stakes: the vertical movement while running was very visible and one of the highest in our test, putting unnecessary strain on the delicate breast tissue.'
Rating: 5/10

CLAIM: 'Gives great support for average-to fuller figures.'
MOVEMENT: Vertical 4cm; horizontal none.
VERDICT: 'Essentially a compression bra, but also slightly encapsulated and supports the breast well.
'The compression provides a good, snug fit across the chest, supporting the muscles.
'Thick, adjustable straps provide extra support. The fit is good and the ribcage is not compressed.
'The aesthetics of this bra don't do it justice - it had one of the lowest vertical movements.'
Rating: 9/10

CLAIM: 'Superior support and control you need for those high impact workouts.'
MOVEMENT: Vertical 5cm; horizontal: none.
VERDICT: 'The high chest coverage means the pectoralis major should be supported. Other pluses are the breathable mesh, sturdy support at the side and adjustable straps.
'But, surprisingly for an M&S bra of this size, it didn't fit well - emphasising the importance of trying a bra on before buying.
'Despite the problems of fit, there was no horizontal movement on the treadmill, and this bra ranked midway in the vertical movement stakes.
'However, it was difficult to put on because of the fiddly hook at the back, and you need to make sure the band around the ribcage is not too tight.'
Rating: 5/10

CLAIM: 'Firm wing support for stability and confidence.'
MOVEMENT: Vertical 4cm; horizontal none.
VERDICT: 'Unlike the other Triumph model, this is an excellent sports bra. The breasts are perfectly encapsulated and there is sturdy support at the sides and back. The gel in the thick straps also makes it comfortable.
'The fact this was slightly too big for the tester and still had one of the lowest movement levels means it's ensuring the breasts are moving with the body, so supporting the Cooper's ligaments and preventing breast sag. It also looks good.'
Rating: 10/10
They also reviewed Royce, Moving Comfort - Maia, and Triumph:Tri-Action Power Move. All of these scores were rubbish 1 or 2 /10 so I took them out.

I've looked at lots and lots of bra reviews over the last year. I find that in a batch of 20 bra reviews you find one 36D who says "it's the most amazing bra I've ever tried" and another 36D who says (of the same bra) "rubbish, no support, chafed everywhere". It's too subjective. I liked the above review as it gave simple, understandable statistics, showed a picture, and gave a concise overview of other factors (appearance, strap thickness, ease of catches etc). I'm about to get my Triumph and my Enell (to add to my Berlies and Champions) so I'll see if my own subjectivity (and boobs) agree with these stats.


Maya said...

Total comfort of your breasts when doing strenuous exercises with the help of a sports bra is totally beneficial to you. But in normal situations, I usually wear Marie Jo lingerie or PrimaDonna lingerie according to my mood and the event. When choosing a bra, be it a sports bra or a normal one, we should be wary on the comfort it gives, or else, it will be irritating for the wearer.

Jenna joe said...

While doing arduous exercises or jogging, women requires support in terms of clothing or lingeries and thus: berlei sports bras are the excellent option as they reduce the breast bounce rate by 50% and that underwire provides extra support which we generally require while performing high impact sports.