I road tested a bunch of sports bras to find the perfect fit for my G+ boobs


In search of a bounce-free workout.

Exercising as a woman bestowed with a G cup bust is a minefield. I track my cycle and adjust my workout routine to fit around my painful period boobs. I have dedicated workout gear – no, not a cute floral set – but an intricate pulley system that all work together to literally strap these babies down. 

It includes a sports bra, a singlet with a lycra crop top built-in, followed by a baggy T-shirt. To go running I need to wear as many layers as Ashley Tisdale on a red carpet circa 2006. And I can imagine I’m not alone.

For more musings on big boobs in fashion, head here

After years of layering up to do any form of high impact exercise (yes, this includes fast walking, don’t @ me), I thought I’d scour the market for a sports bra that holds me in while I work out.

Before I do, however, I feel I need to put a disclaimer in here. Tish Tilly, the co-founder of Australia’s only dedicated sports bra store She Science, told me that a sports bra has to fit 100 per cent correctly to be efficient. 

After all, a sports bra’s only purpose is function, unlike a dressy lace bra you might wear under an outfit to dinner. So in saying that, just because certain bras don’t work for me, doesn’t mean they won’t for you. Get fitted by a professional, ask questions, and go enjoy that pain-free workout. 

Berlei Full Support Non-Padded Sports Bra

Starting with a quintessentially classic sports bra, Berlei’s Full Support style. Putting this bra on I felt super strapped in and comfortable. It contains underwires that separate the breast tissue and straps that widen as they reach across your shoulders. 

According to Berlei, this is a ‘Medium Impact’ model with ‘Support Factor 2’ which means it’s better for cycling, walking, weight training or volleyball. For me, this bra is perfect for lower impact sports but caused pain when I began to run. It’s been relegated to my yoga and cycling outfits. 

Support notes: Comfortable and secure

Best for: Low impact exercise like walking, cycling, pilates

Star rating: 3/5

Get it here.

Shock Absorber Extreme Bounce Control 

When I opened the package to find the Shock Absorber bra, I got nervous. Before I put it on it just looked like a piece of black fabric, no structure, no underwire and no nuts and bolts to strap me in. 

I had already convinced myself that it wouldn’t work as I’d only ever worn wired bras in the past. I was gladly proven wrong. Extreme bounce control is the perfect way to describe this bra. As I tried it on I felt immediate relief as the weight of my G cups was supported.

Of course, when I run there is still a little bit of bounce but they’re supported so tightly that when gravity pulls them down again there’s no pain. I don’t have to wear it with my five-year-old Lorna Jane crop top singlet – heck, I could even wear it by itself. 

I wore this style on a walk with my friend’s dog and could actually spontaneously run without getting a black eye! I was CASUALLY running! Without needing to put my arm across my boobs! A success in my books. 

Support notes: Strapped in like they’re on a rollercoaster ride

Best for: Running, jumping, burpees, anything high impact

Star rating: 5/5

Get it here.

Freya Active Underwired Sports Bra 

A similar style to the Berlei Full Support, the Freya Active is a classic underwire sports bra. It has an incredibly wide band with four clasps to wear it on. The cup has a lot of coverage and I like the padded straps that provide extra comfort. 

While it looked good on, when it came to running I may as well have been wearing my everyday T-shirt bra. In saying that, I think I was the wrong size for this style! According to its website, Freya says it reduces up and down velocity by 80 per cent but my boobs still felt… full of velocity. I’d pair this with my go-to crop singlet, baggy shirt combo or to a low impact gym sesh.

Support notes: Not as much bounce reduction, very comfortable to wear

Best for: A weight training gym sesh or paired with a supportive singlet

Star rating: 3/5

Get it here.

Anita Active Extreme Control 

Another sans underwire sports bra. I’m officially a convert. This bra is Anita Active’s best selling high impact sports bra. It’s super comfortable because it has inbuilt cups without the clunky wire and has really funky looking straps to provide extra support. 

It definitely reduced the bounce and pain factor of exercise and is cute enough to wear by itself on a summer walk or cycle. My boobs managed to stay in place when boxing and doing burpees so it’s another great workout bra for us bigger breasted gals. 

Support notes: Boobs felt safe and secure despite the lack of wire

Best for: All sorts of exercise, including running

Star rating: 4/5

Get it here.

Berlei Pro Elite 

Finishing up with another Berlei bra, the Pro Elite style is the most structured of the bunch I’ve road-tested. It features an underwire, a snug band that fits against your ribs and racerback straps to keep you secure. This is definitely another running bra!

I felt so supported by all of its features and didn’t need to wear a crop top over it, just a shirt to stay comfy in public. The cups are really soft and padded which I think contributed to the lack of pain. The team at She Science suggests going up a cup size with this style as it tends to fit smaller. 

Support notes: The racerback adds extra support to help out gravity

Best for: Running, dancing, aerobics and floor work

Star rating: 4/5

Get it here.

Wrap up

Overall, most of these bras worked well for my G cups. The relief I felt, particularly when wearing the Shock Absorber, was incredible. To be able to run without pain because of well-structured bras is so important, as wearing the wrong size can damage breast tissue and delicate ligaments and impact our self-esteem

Just like we go to the Athlete’s Foot for running sneakers, we should try to get fitted for sports bras professionally because it seems there’s a real science to supporting our DD+ boobs. 

For more sports bras for big boob suggestions, try this.

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