You read that right. This is not about PickyBars, although I love Pickybars an embarrassing amount. I get 2 club memberships/month and still hide them from my kids. My car floor usually looks like this:
But I am writing about bras. So gents, stop reading now unless you are shopping for a lady friend.
I am perhaps the pickiest running bra shopper alive. Often, bras that are supportive enough are too compressive across the ribcage and make me gasp. If the straps are thin, they rub my clavicles, if they are thick they are annoying and gather sweat. I am not one of those “nipples only” lady runners. There is some tissue there. In college, when my distance ladies all decided to go for a fancy-free topless run in the Florida Everglades, I lasted about 30 seconds (ouch!) and had to deal with strained ligaments (yes, they have ligaments). And sadly, after 3 pregnancies and 3 lactation marathons, the tensile strength of that tissue is sorely lacking. When I first met @oiselle_sally back in fall 2010, I fell in love with Oiselle and the product. But I continued to cheat on Oiselle with running bras. Oiselle bras were a little too flimsy for me, not supportive enough.
Sporting my first pair of rogas after doing a flail hot tempo in Hawaii. Note the 15-yr old super-constricting UnderArmour bra with diagonal stripes across the nipples. Looks great under a shirt (not).
This bra I got at a special “bra-fitting party.” The sales lady exclaimed when I tried it on, “Wow, you really punch out those cups! Great job!” Ummm, thanks? Not really what a runner wants to hear. Although it seemed a little too perky, I gave it a shot. First 3-mile run: pain! Really bad clavicle chafe that took 2 weeks to heal.
Feeling bad for always sporting a decades old black stretchy Champion bra that smelled nasty, I started doubling up on the Oiselle bras.
Actually not bad! Not too heavy, right support…but still a little weird. And yes, we always hold hands after hard workouts.
I think Sally got tired of my constant bra bitching, and got serious about bra design. (It’s a crazy bra world out there).
Some of you may have seen the debut of the “Lesko bra” at Oiselle’s epic MC Hammer #totallytrials party.
Yes, that’s obviously a spray tan. As a prototype, it was getting close. But still not enough support for high knees (explains the pushup move instead). And then Sally went all genius-mode.
I tried the revamped Lesko bra first on a 6am, 6-mile tempo run, in the dark of October. It was not until the grueling tempo was over that I realized: I did not think about the bra once during the run!! No chafe, not too much bounce, not too much compression. Just thoughts about how much I still hate my nemesis: weekly tempos. Why can’t I channel Lauren Fleshman when I need her? My second Lesko bra outing I could really appreciate: beautiful fall day, repeat 800’s (oh how I love shorter intervals!) on a compact dirt loop. Bra was miraculous: perfect support, no high riding, no chafe.
Then the Strappy Running Bra: what better test than a 13-mile long run? What could go wrong? (I had high confidence in Sally’s special bra touch by this point). The Strappy reminds me of a beautiful suspension bridge, with amazing weight distribution properties. It was awesome. We stripped down to bras-only early on (on one of Seattle’s signature “Pineapple Express” days). Not only was the Strappy super comfortable during the run with no broken skin afterward (an absolute first for me on a long run), I felt oh-so-stylish, especially when we ran into the UW Husky XC team. What I was thinking: “Hey speedy ladies, don’t you wish you were wearing this killer bra?”
The perfect bra is a magic formula of compression, support, aesthetics, material weight, lack of chafe, shaping, and stretch ability. The Lesko bra and Strappy bra have IT ALL! I’m a happy runner. Buying 10 of each, stocking my drawers, DONE! Thank you, @oiselle_sally.
Other info you may need for your Oiselle bra consideration: I fluctuate between a B and a small C, I wear a 32-34B or C in a regular bra. I wear-tested the size small in both styles. For you D ladies, these bras still need to be tested so email Oiselle if you are interested. I’m not a “bra with molded cups” kind of gal, but if you are (? #ittybitty committee?) I’ve heard the High 10 running bra is just as bomb and has an actual breast-shaped cup. No potato chips in Oiselle bras.