Supportive Sister Award Goes To…

by Elevate Strong | February 14, 2015 | Health & Fitness Blog 

In my mind there is a memory of a sorority where the girls passed around the largest bra they could find at chapter meetings to the woman who had shown an act of supportive sisterhood during the week. In honor of that perhaps imaginary story…this post is dedicated to the search for the most supportive sister. And by sister I mean sports bra.

Supportive Sister Award Goes To…

I am a gatherer of information. I love researching, so this quest was right up my alley. I searched Amazon, Victoria’s Secret, Title Nine, and Athleta for the best sports bra I could find. I read reviews, polled friends for favorites. I looked at style, comfort, support, size availability, and shaping, and have narrowed it down to my top 3 sports bras. I reviewed 16 bras in all. I’m baring my soul here and posting photos of me in said bras. Be gentle.

That’s a lot of boulder holders. And yes, a boulder holder spread sheet.

I will start by saying before I had my son, I was able to wear a different sports bra. My favorite for years was a Champion that had good support and had a slight dip in the front without being overt. When I started doing CrossFit, I wanted something with more support for days we did box jumps and double unders, so I found this one, which has served me well. I also have a Ta Ta Tamer from Lululemon, which typically has rave reviews, but I have not found it supportive at all, and ill fitting. I am a huge LLL fan. This is the one item of theirs I dislike.

After I had my son, and breastfed, my breast tissue changed and the girls weren’t quite who they used to be. While I was nursing, I got turned onto Moving Comfort because many of their bra straps adjust at the front, making the boobies accessible for bebe. They make great bras.

So…my booby back ground: Natural mommy breasts, needing a lot of support for running and high impact workouts. I ordered all of the bras in the same size, either a 36D or size L.

My criteria, in order of importance:

  • Support I will not apologize for the lack of gifs, but I assure you, I tested the bounce factor.
  • Comfort I am a fitness instructor, and wear a sports bra all day. I dislike the feel of a sports bra high on my neck or cutting into my armpits. I paid closest attention to these details, but also looked for any pinching or rubbing. I also prefer racerback.
  • Size I’m looking for a bra I can recommend to large chested friends and clients.
  • Construction I looked at the cup lining or padding, closures, fabric, and shaping.
  • Style Function before beauty, but again, I wear them a lot and like pretty things.
  • Price I don’t mind spending money on a good bra, but I do like to shop different sites to find the best price. Some have more options for color and size, and I also noticed that different colors were priced differently. The prices listed are for the size and color I bought.

disclaimer: photos unedited and unfilterized. I wanted to show an honest representation.

The Tara Reids
super cute but totally useless







Reebok CrossFit

Price: $42 at Amazon
Sizes available: XS-XL
Colors: 2 solids and one print
Closures: none, pulls over head
Back: crossback
Padding: Light and removable
Notable: This bra got a 10 from me on style and comfort. The material is an anti-microbial jersey blend and is incredibly soft. I could easily sleep in this thing… which is about all it’s good for. I gave it a 2 in the bounce category. Wear it when you’re only power lifting.








The Ultimate by Victoria’s Secret

Price: $55.50 at Victoria’s Secret
Sizes available: 32B-38DD
Colors: 21 available, solids and prints
Closures: 3 hooks in the back, adjustable straps
Back: standard or cross back
Padding: push up- heavily padded
Notable: The cups came in a good bit into the armpit area, making it pinch, and the fabric was stiff. This bra also has a ton of padding- the most of any of the VS I tried on- but the straps are pretty wimpy. I gave it a 4 in the bounce category. The padding in the cup hid any jiggle, but the rest of the bra was flimsy. If you just want to stand around and look busty, this is your bra.

I mean really…scroll back up and compare my actual boob in the Reebok bra to this fembot action.








The Incredible by Victoria’s Secret

Price: $49.50 at Victoria’s Secret
Sizes available: 32A-40DD
Colors: 26, solids and patterns
Closures: front zip, straps adjust in front
Back: racerback
Padding: push up- heavily padded
Notable: Came in really far into my armpit. The material is soft, but it was still uncomfortable because it just dug in. It gave me a lot of extra volume and shape- more than I need for the gym! I also found the straps to have too much give. I gave it a 6 in the bounce category, so you could do the elliptical whilst looking busty.

Bras made for Radio
some things are best left unseen








Wacoal Women’s Sports Bra

Price: $48.75 on Amazon (sale price)
Sizes available: 32C-40H
Colors: 4, black, beige, blue, and white
Closures: 3 hooks in the back, straps adjust by hooks, not slider
Back: standard
Padding: none
Notable: This is a really great bra! One of my tops picks. It has two great features I love. The underwire is on the outside of the cups, so it doesn’t rub one bit. Also, the straps are adjustable by clipping them into different hooks along the strap- also on the outside. It had really nice shaping without extra padding or torpedo boob, and comes in a good range of sizes. I gave it an 8 on the bounce factor. I didn’t end up keeping this one because I found some others to be more supportive, but this bra is a winner for sure.









Last Resort*/Enell High Impact
Price: $69 at Title Nine $64 at Amazon
Sizes available: 00-8 (more sizes available at Amazon than Title Nine)
Colors: 3- black, white, and blue (pink and yellow also available on Amazon)
Closures: 11 front hooks
Back: standard, and very solid
Padding: lightly lined
Notable: I was cheering for this bra. I really wanted it to be solid because it sure aint pretty! I can’t believe I shared this picture. The fit was very off. The band was tight, and the cups were too large. I couldn’t really rate the support because the sizing was off, but I guessed at a 6 or 7. If you want to give this bra a shot, I would highly suggest you go to the Enell sizing guide. I ordered a 3, and I would be interested to try on a 2. For women who are having a hard time finding larger sizes, this is definitely a good option, but I’d order a size above and below so you have options to try on. Amazon and Title Nine both have good return policies.
*Title Nine renames bras. Their “Last Resort” bra is made by Enell









Glory Bra

Price: $58 at Athleta
Sizes available: 32B-38DD
Colors: 5
Closures: 3 hooks in the back
Back: standard
Padding: light lining
Notable: This was another favorite. I gave it a 10 in fit and shaping, and an 8.5 in support. I actually didn’t think it looked too bad, for coming up as high as it does in front. One reviewer noted the underwire pokes forward when she was using the barbell. I noticed the same thing when I tried it on and moved through a clean and jerk. You can see this in the second photo. My finger is on the underwire. Otherwise this bra is really great!

Soy Un Perdedor
the losers baby







Moving Comfort Fiona

Price: $46 at Amazon
Sizes available: 30B-44DD
Colors: 12, all colors are not available in every size
Closures: 3 hooks in back, straps adjustable in front with touch tape
Back: standard
Padding: none
Notable: 6 on the bounce meter. Holy headlights and uniboob. No, no, and more no.







Anita Extreme/Aero Sport*

Price: $69 at Amazon $67 at Title Nine
Sizes available: 30B-46E
Colors: 14 on Amazon, 3 on Title Nine
Closures: 3 back hooks, adjustable straps
Back: standard
Padding: none
Notable: 6 on the bounce scale. The cups themselves have no give in the fabric, but the rest of the bra is so lightweight it doesn’t do much for support. The sides and back are an elastic mesh fabric, so it really is breathable and very comfortable- but not at all “extreme.”
*Title Nine calls this bra, made by Anita, the Aero Sport







Seismic Underwire*/Anita Momentum

Price: $71 at *Title Nine $61.40 at Amazon
Sizes available: 30B-40G
Colors: 3
Closures: 4 hooks in back, adjustable straps
Back: standard
Padding: lightly lined
Notable: You can see the cups are a little roomy on this bra. It also comes into the armpit area too much for my comfort, and I don’t care for the looks at all. It looks too much like a regular bra- not a cute regular bra, the one you wear when all your pretty ones are in the wash.







Tech Athena

Price: $52 at Title Nine
Sizes available: 32C-40DD
Colors: 5
Closures: 3 hooks in back, straps are adjustable in back with touch tape
Back: standard
Padding: lightly lined
Notable: This bra is made by Moving Comfort, but I couldn’t find it on Amazon. It cuts in too much in the arms, and the neckline is too high for it not to offer more support. 7 on the bounce factor and 5 in the smushed into one boob shaping scale.

The Amy Adams of Bras
best supporting actresses








Moving Comfort X-Over C/D

Price: $46 at Athleta $44 at Amazon
Sizes available: XS-XL
Colors: 6 at Amazon, 1 at Athleta
Closures: 2 hooks in back, adjustable straps
Back: Cross back
Padding: light shaping
Notable: I like this bra a medium amount- it’s almost there. It offers great shaping without a ton of extra vavavoom- less than the Victoria’s Secret bras. The material is a little scratchy, and it’s not as supportive as the other Moving Comfort bras. I think it came down to the straps in the back being too thin. Probably a very good bra for C cup and down. The style is nice. I just wish it were more bounce proof for bigger chests.








Victoria’s Secret Knockout

Price: $56.50 at Victoria’s Secret (currently $30 on sale)
Sizes available: 32B-40DD
Colors: 25, both solids and patterns
Closures: front clip and front zip
Back: racerback
Padding: light shaping
Notable: This bra came recommended by several friends, and I can see why. It’s both pretty and supportive. I will say of the four bras I kept, this one was the least supportive, but still ranked high among others I didn’t keep. There is an inner cup bra that clasps in the center with an outer shell that zips over, so it gives both support and compression. The cups were a touch small and the shell could be a little tighter. It also comes into the arm area a bit more than I’d like. I did end up with two of these, because when I returned the other bras in store they were on sale for $30. One last detail I noticed is that the zipper bounces when you jump, so if you’re jumping rope that could be annoying. Overall, still a great bra.







The Standout by Victoria’s Secret

Price: $52.50 at Victoria’s Secret
Sizes available: 32B-40DD
Colors: 18, both colors and patterns
Closures: 2 hooks, adjustable straps in back
Back: X back
Padding: push up
Notable: I gave this one a 10 on fit, and an 8 on support (the same as the Knockout) It also came in on the arm area a good bit. It has significantly more padding than the Knockout, so I didn’t keep it. A decent bra. Ironically, just didn’t stand out to me.

Cream of the Crop, I Rise to the Top
(my top picks)









Shock Absorber/ Trade Up*

Price: $59.95 at Amazon (only the purple) $79 at *Title Nine
Sizes available: 30A-38F
Colors: 4 at Amazon, 6 at Title Nine
Closures: 2 hooks, clasp at top of racer, straps adjust by hook
Back: racerback
Padding: none
Notable: This was my top pick! The cups are soft, but the fabric has no give, so less bounce per ounce. It has some nice features. The straps adjust by hook, so they can’t slide loose. There is also a clasp at the top of the racerback, which makes it easy to put on (providing you are flexible) If you can’t reach the clasp, just leave it hooked to put it on. It’s lightweight and comfortable, and offers great support. I felt like it dug in a little at the arms, but wore it all day today and it didn’t bother me at all. Definitely shop colors in this one- I somehow got my purple one for $33 on Amazon.







Moving Comfort Rebound Racer

Price: $50 at Amazon
Sizes available: 30B-38DD
Colors: 12
Closures: 2 hooks in back, front step adjustment with touch tape
Back: racerback
Padding: none
Notable: This was my old go-to, and I’m glad it stood up to the test! The bra is nice and snug, in a good non pinching way. It doesn’t do much for shaping, but the support is there. Again, it comes in a little on the arms, and I can say, from experience, it’s not as comfortable as some others. However, I bought two of these when I was nursing, and have worn them consistently for 2 years. Comparing the new one to my old ones is a good reminder for me that I need toreplace my sports bras from time to time! I do wish it came in a wider range of sizes.







Moving Comfort Juno/ 7 Wonders*

Price: $56 at Amazon and Title Nine
Sizes available: 32B-40DD
Colors: 9
Closures: 3 hooks, touch tape front strap adjustment
Back: rackerback
Padding: very light shaping/lined
Notable: This bra is a close contender for favorite. It offered the most support of any Moving Comfort bras I tried. It didn’t come in as much on the arms, so no pinching, although the lining does make it a little stiff. I don’t think it’s an especially pretty bra, but it’s comfortable and supportive. I’ll also note there are some very odd sizes listed on Amazon… 85B? Also, 30C, D, DD, and E. Not sure why they wouldn’t offer a 30B. The 85B is only $42. I’m curious and tempted…

So, to wrap it all up…winners in a few categories:

Personal Favorite: Shock Absorber
Best Size Range: Wacoal or Shock Absorber
Most Supportive: Moving Comfort Juno
Best Looking: Victoria’s Secret Knockout
Most Likely to Recommend: Glory BraShock AbsorberJunoRebound, and Wacoal

Definitely take some time to try on different bras. I ordered most of these on Amazon Prime, and was able to return all but one without paying return shipping. It was worth it to compare them all. I also learned that Fleet Feet will fit you for a sports bra. If online shopping isn’t your thing and you’d rather interact with a flesh and blood person…there you go!

I hope this guide has been supportive. har har. If I missed your favorite bra, leave it in the comments below!