The MAAREE x ashmei Empower sports bra is a new collaboration between two expert sportswear brands. Esther finds out if you can make a great sports bra even better...
MAAREE x ashmei Empower Sports Bra | £49 | Tester: Esther Newman
The MAAREE x ashmei Empower sports bra is designed to provide excellent support during sports and exercise, while also being sustainable.
Sports-bra specialists MAAREE have partnered with cycling apparel brand ashmei to bring a new take on their Empower Sports Bra that’s both high performance and sustainable.
As we’ve come to expect from MAAREE, this version of their classic sports bra uses Overband® Technology to provide excellent upwards and side-to-side support. It also ticks the eco-friendly box, as it’s made entirely from post-consumer materials, including recycled Econyl fabric.
Announcement: this is possibly the best sports bra I have ever worn.
Now let me just get a few things, ahem, off my chest: I’m a 34B, and that means that to be fair, I don’t necessarily need the kind of support that more generously boobed souls demand. That aside, crop tops are certainly not enough for me, thank you very much. These puppies need control, especially with the whole 47 years + two kids calculation thrown into the mix.
What I find is that for my size, crop tops and medium support bras are the suggested options for running, and I am suspicious of the control that these offer. So when I first saw this – which is offered in XS-XL as opposed to bra sizes – my eyebrow was firmly raised.
But. BUT. What you’ve got here is a combination of the talents of ashmei, a sportswear company with sustainability at its heart, and Maaree, the home of the incredible Solidarity high impact bra and the inventor of Overband technology. Smoosh these two things together and you get this bra: yes, it’s technically medium impact, but paired with that Overband technology along with the smart engineering you’d expect from Maaree, what you’ve got is a spot on running bra.
If you’re unsure about what size to get, head to maaree.com and there’s a really useful sizing guide there. They also offer a free Zoom bra fitting service, if you need some virtual hands-on advice. I measured up, got a small, and that fitted me perfectly. It has lovely wide, comfortable straps, a cool racerback style, and quite a high cut at the top to incorporate that band.
The strap at the back is a new click and clasp style as opposed to hook and eye – I’ve got the same sort of thing on a trail backpack – and this can take a little while to get used to, but once it’s on the fit is perfect.
With ashmei as part of the design team, this has been designed in recycled Econyl nylon for cycling, and I have to confess I’ve done zero cycling in it. But I’ve run in it a LOT – long runs and shorter, slightly faster numbers, and I’ve done bootcamps and yoga in it. And I love it. It doesn’t budge, it feels completely secure, and honestly, it looks AMAZING. If you’re the sort of person who’d be happy to wear a crop without a tee over the top, then this will make you squeal. If you’re the sort of person who just likes a nice sports bra, then this will also make you squeal. Honest. It’s lush.