Having a good sports bra before I had a baby was very important. After, it became crucial. My poor breasts were so abused – filling with milk, getting sucked dry, sore nipples (sorry) – that support and comfort during exercise became more important than ever before.
I have been a Shock Absorber sports bra user for quite a while now; I started with a sports bra that seems to be discontinued and post-baby moved to the Ultimate Run sports bra. As a serious athlete and exercise enthusiast since before I had need for sports bras, I have tried so very many over the years. This one is a keeper. In fact, I have three of them.
I confess that before this, I had never tried a sports bra with two separate cups, harboring a deep suspicion that they would not give the support I need. But the one issue I have come up against time and time again is fit – with a small ribcage and relatively large boobs (now ridiculously massive as a result of baby/breastfeeding), I could either get a sports bra that fit my ribs, in which case my breasts barely fit into the allotted area, or get one that has enough fabric for the girls but was loose and offered no support whatsoever.
The fit of the Ultimate Run bra is fantastic. Because you order by bra size, it fits both my ribcage and my cup size. Revolutionary! Life changing! The cups fit but aren’t loose, and the fabric is thick enough that everything is still held together. It gives a great shape to the ladies, which is a bonus! You can adjust the bottom clasp (the same as you do on a regular bra) and on the back for how tightly you want the fit over your shoulders. Being able to adjust both is fantastic – I just wish I could pull the shoulder fit even tighter.
Performance is very good. For low and moderate impact, this sports bra is perfect on its own. For higher impact, though, (think HIIT or running), I still add another sports bra to completely eliminate bounce. I could probably be okay without the extra sports bra, but I HATE feeling my boobs bounce around when I am doing high impact workouts. To be fair, I’m not sure there is any sports bra that could do the job on its own, especially in my current inflated state. The Ultimate Run bra comes the closest I have experienced to doing it all.
As for look, it’s not the prettiest nor the ugliest sports bra you will have ever seen. The colors could certainly be jazzed up a bit. I’m not the type to walk around in just a sports bra, but I think even ladies who are wouldn’t do so with this one. But I quite like the back with the open part in the middle, a happy side effect of the advanced support system. And really, if it does a good job in holding everything in place, who cares what it looks like?! So long as it’s not too ugly. Which it isn’t. So, that.
The Ultimate Run sports bra retails around £38 in the UK and $79 in the US. I bought mine on sale for just under £23. These bad boys aren’t cheap, that’s for sure, but they also aren’t the most expensive sports bra on the market. In truth, I would have a hard time paying full price – it just seems like quite a lot of money to me. But on the other hand, it is something that I wear most days and makes my chest significantly more comfortable during exercise. The bra is made of high quality materials and seems like it is going to last. So I think they are probably worth the price tag. However they are DEFINITELY worth whatever price you can get them for on sale!
All in all, the Ultimate Run sports bra is fantastic. As I said, I now have three. The fact that it holds everything so well, and give such a nice shape, make it a winner in my book!