From nagging knickers migrating mid-run to all the wrong places, to unsupportive sports bras that leave us sore and, quite frankly, out of control, we’re all too familiar with experiences of running in uncomfortable running underwear. Selecting the right underwear to leave you chafe and pain-free is key to ensuring your runs are as comfortable as possible – particularly in the case of sports bras, where the wrong choice can cause long-term damage. “When the bust is poorly supported, the bouncing movement of the body takes its toll, causing sagging and stretch marks,” explains Nicola Rodney-Crook, Managing Director of online lingerie retailer, Bras and Honey, “damage can be minimised by wearing a sports bra which offers suitable support.”
This month, we sent our WR testers out to test the best bras, knickers and socks on the market for running. Here’s what they found.
Shock Absorber Run Bra
Famed for its unbeatable support and control for women with larger cup sizes, the Shock Absorber Run Bra didn’t disappoint. The encapsulated design means that the breasts are supported individually, which we found significantly reduced bounce – even on the rockiest of hills! Its seam-free fit is extremely soft on the skin and we found it to be 100% chafe and rub free! Plus, it’s easy to take on and off thanks to it’s fully back-opening design. Thumbs up from us!
Sports Jock Action Sports Bra
Designed for runners with A-C cup sizes, this bra is free from wires and has a racer-back style. This offers a comfortable fit that holds the breasts in place without the need for straps. We were particularly impressed by the breathability of the fabric, which we found kept us cool, comfortable and dry after a tough session.
Berlei Running Bra
Awarded gold this year for a second time in our Women’s Running Awards, the Berlei Running Bra offers unbeatable protection and comfort and looks great too. The moulded cups went a long way towards minimising bounce, but we would definitely recommend the bra as a better choice for women with smaller cup sizes. For us, the best feature of this bra is its feminine look, particularly in comparison to many of the hefty racer-back sports bras on the market. With thin straps and delicate underwiring, the bra more closely resembles a balcony bra, yet with lots more protection.
Women’s Runderwear Brief – Cyan
New to market this month, these low-rise hipster briefs from Runderwear couldn’t be more comfortable. A hefty pair of knickers, they grip tightly in place – in fact, we found them 100% movement free! The wide waistband is pretty comfortable too, holding you in without uncomfortable digging and chafing. And while you might expect one serious knicker line in these fairly large pair of knickers, we were pleasantly surprised by how discrete they were – even in compression tights. No complaints for us!
SueMe Beech Shorties
If you like your undies soft and silky, the SueMe Beech Shorties certainly won’t disappoint. Manufactured from Beech Tree pulp, they’re not only luxuriously soft but anti-bacterial too. These knickers closely resemble “girl boxers” in design, offering a snug fit and, to our delight, didn’t migrate mid-run – even during a ten-miler!
Women’s UA HeatGear® Armour Printed 7.5cm Shorty
With moisture-wicking fabric, these knickers came out top in terms of temperature control. When put to the test, these knickers stayed dry and light, even on a tough session, and the light-weight fabric allowed for excellent mobility. If you hate your tummy sitting on top of your waistband when your run, these knickers are ideal, sitting comfortably on your hips and lightly holding you in. Plus, they look pretty quirky too!
Smartwool PhD Run Ultra Light No Show Socks
These socks not only look super stylish for winter but fit like a dream. Using two elastics, these Smartwool socks offer a good stretch and grip tightly in place. While cushioned in part, these socks feel incredibly light and offer fantastic ventilation.
Bridgedale Speed Diva Socks
If you’re looking for socks with an extra bit of cushioning these socks from Bridgedale are like mini mattresses! With extra cushioning around the ball of the foot, they offer added protection (and bounce) underfoot and are super comfortable! With slightly thicker material than many of the running socks we’ve tried out, we expected them to be a little bit too cosy, but were pleasantly surprised by their breathability.
*This post is in collaboration with ASICS and includes affiliate links.