My Early Years: No Good Running Bra Options
Like many of you, I spent my early running years frustrated by the running bras that were on the market. They were ill fitting, had stretchy straps and simply did not have enough support to control the bounce. I spent years “doubling up” or pairing the best sports bra I owned with a tank top that had a built-in bra. Even that wasn’t always enough, or the combined layers would be so tight around my rib cage, making it harder to breathe.
As an adult, I happened upon two “shock absorber” sports bras during a sale at Victoria’s Secret, of all places. They were the first sports bras that actually worked for me, but they were all function and utility. There was nothing attractive about them.
As those began to age, I had to go out in search of something newer and better. I remember studying online reviews to see what other women liked. I found one that everybody raved about and ordered it. But I was so disappointed when it arrived. It didn’t fit well at all, and there was so much material that it reminded me of something my grandmother would wear. (No offense to my dear grandmothers.)
Thanks to the store Title Nine, I eventually found a couple that are good for support and are fairly attractive. The drawbacks: The’re too tight around my rib cage, and the one is hard to get on and off. I have to fasten the hooks, then pull it over my head and then stuff myself into it. When I come home sweaty from a run, I struggle to squirm out of it. So while they are far better than what I had as a teenager, they aren’t perfect.
Finally, The Perfect Bra Hits the Market
After all of this rigamarole, fast forward to the 2017 Chicago Marathon race expo, where I found SHEFIT. The company had a booth and dressing rooms and were helping women like me try on their high-impact sports bras. (This was very helpful because it looked a little intimidating at first. There were several things to adjust.) But the ability to make adjustments is the beauty of the bra.
I wanted to do cartwheels down the aisle. Finally! Finally, someone got fed up with what was on the market and took the matter into her own hands. (In fact, the founder’s name is Sara Maria, and she’s a world-ranked fitness competitor and Mom of four. Tired of dealing with ill-fitting and poor-performing sports bras, she created her first SHEFIT prototype using a glue gun and a maternity bra.)
What Makes SHEFIT So Awesome?
I’m not sure how many prototypes they went through before going to market, but I have to say that no detail has been overlooked with SHEFIT bras. They have to be the best sports bra on the planet for those of us who need a lot of support when we’re running:
- This is the first sports bra I’ve ever had that allows me to fully customize it to my body. The shoulder straps use a velcro system, so I can snug the straps as tight as I want or loosen them up a bit if I’m not actually running. No more dealing with a limited range of adjustment or stretchy straps that offer nothing but bounce.
- There’s a similar set up around the bottom of the bra. There is a wide and long swatch of velcro (soft and appealing, not stiff and scratchy), so you can adjust the bra precisely to your rib cage. There’s a ton of range for adjusting the bra to your body. No more trying to make myself fit into the limited range provided by a set of 3 tiny little hooks and loops or feeling like my bra is so tight that it’s cutting into my ribs. (I think I must have a massive rib cage.)
- The bra zippers in the front, which makes it easy to get in and out of. This is fabulous because after a run in the summer heat and humidity, it can be really difficult to peel a sports bra off over your head.
- There’s a panel of fabric that slides in place behind the zipper to prevent chafing.
And the best part, of course, is that all of these features add up to a sports bra that actually works. There is no bounce. I can go and enjoy my run and not fuss with my sports bra.
Building a Collection
I went home from the marathon expo elated last year. I would have worn SHEFIT for the marathon, except that I have a strict rule about not trying anything new when you’re about to run 26.2 miles. Since then, I’ve added two more high-impact SHEFIT bras to my collection and was pleasantly surprised when they arrived on my doorstep with their own laundry bags and even hair ties with motivational messages.
If you do not love your sports bras, do yourself a favor and check out SHEFIT. You will not be disappointed.
Angi is a co-founder of Racertrips LLC and has completed four marathons, including the Chicago Marathon three times and the Rock N Roll Marathon in Washington, D.C. She’s now training for the 2019 Paris Marathon. Although Angi technically ran track in high school, she didn’t become a serious runner until she was in her 30s, when she traveled to Maryland, New Orleans, Orlando and St. Petersburg, FL, to compete in half marathons. It was those travel experiences that helped inspire the idea for Racertrips!