Behind the seams: From sports bra to run bra

by | Jun 24, 2021

5 min. read

Running with boobs is a tricky business. That’s why we strive to create bras that let you go all out and feel held in. We pride ourselves on years of supporting your best run with high-quality bras made for mileage. 

The unique, high-impact demands of running require specialised support. In 2004, Brooks and leading sports bra company Moving Comfort joined forces to design products for runners.

Insights from Moving Comfort allowed us to engineer fan-favourite styles — when we became one company several years later, these products moved under the Brooks brand.

So while the logo may have changed, our goal is still to deliver bras that enable all women to be active. But the innovation didn’t stop with Moving Comfort. Here’s a look at the evolution of our line.

A bra that’s ready to run


When it comes to support and comfort, not all sports bras are created equal. Our bras are designed for the run, based on 40 years of biomechanical research, hundreds of interviews, and hours of wear-testing with athletes of all levels and body types.

The outcome of this development is a bra with fresh benefits for runners — different from other sports bras you’ve worn. And it needed a new name to match: Welcome to the era of the run bra.


Inside the innovation


Creating a new bra takes “a little bit of science and a little bit of art,” says Laura Madden, Director of Apparel and Bra Development at Brooks.

Time, study, practice, and a team effort are required to create a product we’re proud of. To that end, we partner with the Research Group in Breast Health at the University of Portsmouth to do biomechanical testing on a wide range of sizes.

We’ve learned a lot from this research — maybe most importantly, we found time and again that it’s essential to really understand what women runners want. And those needs vary on an individual level.

Using both lab and consumer research findings, Madden’s team works with product line management to engineer a range of support options and sizes that work for diverse runners.

Next, our design and development teams, together with Brooks factories, work together to test multiple aesthetics and functionalities.

Finally, after the bra design is approved, the products come to life. Each size and style is wear-tested and lab-tested to ensure it delivers run-ready support and distraction-free comfort.

The bras in our newly released Dare line feature encapsulation support — built-in, molded cups that surround your boobs to offer a secure, held-in feel.

More options are in the works for runners with different preferences and support needs, to be released in upcoming seasons.

Creating a new bra takes a little bit of science and a little bit of art.

Laura Madden

Director, Apparel and Bra Development

What runners want


Real runners helped us identify the pain points in regular sports bras: chafing at the straps and band, inadequate nipple coverage, boob sweat from too little ventilation, pesky seams irritating the skin, and annoying on/off mechanisms.

Once we understood the issues, we designed our Dare Collection to resolve them. Bras in our new line feature:

  • Free-cut design and a hidden bottom band to prevent chafing.
  • Molded cups to offer comfortable but lightweight coverage, plus subtle shaping for a flattering fit.
  • Strategic perforation for max airflow — keeping you cool and comfortable.
  • Nearly seamless design that won’t rub. In fact, you won’t even feel it.
  • Style differences, from pullover to zipper closure, so runners can choose what they like best.



The best bra for you

Breathe easy, because there are no wrong choices. After all, as Madden says, “We want to give as many options as possible so women can choose what works best for them.”

Bottom line, the ideal time of day to exercise is when it is best for you. Although more research is needed in this area to draw a conclusion on exactly what time of day is the best to exercise, what we do know is that long-term exercise does in fact improve aerobic capacity, cardiac function, management of BMI, and strength. So, the evidence points to moving your body for overall wellness regardless of what time you do it.

Keep that spring in your step this season and embrace your Run Happy journey with Brooks Running!

Our writer’s advice is intended for informational or general educational purposes only. We always encourage you to speak with your physician or healthcare provider before making any adjustments to your running, nutrition or fitness routines.

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