I used to work at a sports retailer, it was my job to outfit people with products that would allow them to perform to the best of their abilities, and I loved it. About a year ago, I went to a running conference to learn about the market’s newest products, where for three days, about a half dozen running brands presented their latest shoes, sponsorships, and even socks. However, only one brand presented new sports bras, and I was intrigued.
When I first tried on the Brooks Dare Crossback Running Bra, something felt very different: I didn’t have the pressure on my chest and tightness in my shoulders I associate with sports bras, but I still felt very supported. What I was feeling was years of research and development finally being put into the experience of running with breasts.
Dare Crossback Run Bra
This bra is the product of Brooks’ partnership with the University of Portsmouth Breast Health Research Group, studying breast tissue’s reaction to movement and constriction, complete with interviews from over 1,000 athletes of all sizes. Anyone with breasts can tell you that running is often uncomfortable, but it turns out, not having the proper support can also impact your stride and your health. The research group found that improper sports bra support can take up to 4 centimeters off each stride, which adds up to an extra mile in a marathon (you can calculate your hidden miles here). Beyond impacting your gait, improper support can also lead to potential breast tissue strain and damage.
So Brooks designed a sports bra that works for athletic performance as well as you know, your health and wellbeing. The Dare Bra looks slightly different from the sports bras you may be used to; the cups are molded but not padded with a streamlined design eliminating seams in sensitive areas. Wearing it, I noticed a difference in my gait from not having my breasts pushed to the sides of my chest, adding a range of motion I didn’t even realize I was lacking. Its design holds breasts instead of crushing them. This magic is made possible by a hidden bottom band and thick molded straps, which disperse the work of support instead of placing it all on the shoulders, like I most often experience. For its finale, the Dare Crossback is actually pretty easy to get off. While I’m sure the yanking and pulling of wet spandex is a good upper body workout, it’s one I’m glad to skip.
The Brooks Dare Crossback Running Bra is a revolution in athletic equipment and in my opinion, should also be the standard. I know it’ll be the only one I wear from now on.
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