Sports bras- why wear one?

Unlike our regular lingerie & swimwear which starts at a D cup , we stock sports bras in all cup sizes from A-K.

Shop front

We’re very passionate about sports bras, mainly because most of the team here are quite active and enjoy exercise. But that wasn’t always the case for me- I developed my boobs when I was about 14 years old. As I went to a mixed school, we had to do mixed P.E lessons. One summer we were out on the track running 400m’s in groups. As the group I was in rounded the bend to approach the final 100m, I noticed the rest of my classmates standing near the finish line watching us come in. I was so mortified at how much my boobs were bouncing as I was running, that I actually pretended to faint because I couldn’t bear the thought of running towards them!!! I had to have an awkward conversation with my teacher who suspected I wasn’t eating properly, when in actual fact, I was just embarrassed by my boobs! Had I owned a really good sports bra, I could have excelled at sport but instead I allowed my boobs to hold me back. Nowadays, I’m all about the running and last year completely the Queenstown Marathon with my 8G boobs nicely strapped in!

N109 by SHock Absorber
Slightly emotional rocking my N109

Wearing a good sports bra isn’t all about comfort (although that is a major factor!), there is a level of science involved as well.

Image from:
Image from:

Contrary to popular belief, there isn’t any muscle inside the breast, it is mainly made up of fatty tissue which is connected to the pectoral muscle by Cooper’s ligaments. During exercise there is a lot of vertical and side-to-side breast movement and if our breasts are not adequately supported, the Cooper’s ligament may stretch irreversibly causing our boobs to droop and sag. Once the ligament is stretched out there is no going back without surgery! And if that’s not enough motivation to wear a good sports bra, I don’t know what is! There are some pretty mind boggling demonstration videos on the Shock Absorber website here where you can plug in your bra size and activity level and it will show you the amount of movement with no bra, a regular bra and a sports bra. Yikes!

How are Sports bras different?

Sports bra manufacturers are hot on research! Shock Absorber even has a dedicated research facility called the Shock Absorber Institute! Sports bra designers will spend a lot of time researching how the breast moves during various levels of exercise and sports bras are designed with this in mind.

You will find that there are bras designed for high impact activities (like running, horse riding etc), medium impact activities (like weights at the gym, dance etc) and low impact activities (like yoga, Tai Chi etc).

Sports bras also tend to be made with stronger fabrics which restrict movement whilst also ‘wicking’ sweat away from the body to keep you cool and dry as you exercise.

To know what is best for you, we highly recommend having a fitting and trying a few different styles on.

Underwired versus non-underwired

bounce2 vs triumph Smooth

In a sports bra, the support is not necessarily provided by the underwire and it can be surprising how supported you can feel without one! Generally, we would suggest a non-underwired bra for long distance running as over time, the wires may rub and become uncomfortable (this is from my own personal experience-ouch!) but it will be different for everyone which is why it is always good to try them on and have a good bounce around!

How many sports bras should I have?

As with your lingerie, it is best to have a few sports bras to rotate to ensure that you get a decent life out of them. I try to workout 4 times a week and I have 3 different sports bras which I rotate and use for different activities (the N109 for running, the Ultimate Run bra for gym cardio and the Panache underwired sports bra for gym work and salsa class).

So far all of these have lasted me for around 9 months and they are still going strong, but the life of your sports bra will depend on how often it is used and how it is cared for.  At Ruun, we do suggest having at least 2 sports bras if you exercise regularly.

As always, our team of fitters are happy to help you out and guide you through the many different styles we offer! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us or leave us a question in the comments below.

Happy exercising!




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