Operation Sports Bra: 6 bras put to the ultimate test

You may have noticed I have a bit of a gym gear collection. My lycra wardrobe is ever growing with leggings, tops and shorts, but one thing that I don’t have a lot of are sports bras.

Firstly, they’re usually covered up with a t-shirt so not as much of a concern whether they look good or not. Secondly, I’m small chested and don’t need to consider support too much. However, the opposite is true for my gym buddy Jen who says her main investments in gym gear are on runners and sports bras.

When she mentioned recently that she wanted to buy a few “good bras” we decided to put them to the test and see which ones actually work best. We ventured over to Littlewoods Ireland as they have a huge selection to pick from.

Our workout included an impact movement to test for bounce, a face-down movement to test cleavage and a lying down movement to test for side spill. Here we go…

Jen: I’m wearing a Nike medium support bra in medium size, €34. This is really comfy and I actually have it in two other colours. I often wear this style when training with Fiona anyway as weight-training is low impact. However, as you can see while I’m skipping, this offers hardly any support for impact training. I’d never wear this on a run, for example, but if I’m jogging on the spot for a few minutes while warming up I can handle the bounce that ensues! When I’m facing down (in the row position or a push up) all I can see is cleavage. I wear this bra for lazy days and even on long-haul flights.

5 stars for comfort, 1 star for impact and support.

Fiona: My favourite bra of the day from b.tempt'd, €44. I got a size medium as I don't like to feel too tightly squeezed in and actually have a large enough back in comparison to the rest of me. The black mesh is really cool and would go with most of my gym gear. I will be wearing this to the gym for sure.

5 stars.

Jen: This is a Shock Absorber, non-wired bra in 32E, €38. I’m actually a 30E in normal bras but I always go for a 32 back in sports bras as they can be quite tight. A 30 back in sports bras gives me back fat squidge that I don’t experience with normal bras. I feel supported through all the exercises here, there’s a bit of bounce but that’ll happen unless I’m cemented in, I guess. I like everything about this apart from that there’s no racerback option. The majority of my gym tops are racer back so I’d like if the straps on the bra could adapt to that; if it had that feature it’d get 5 stars.

4 stars.

Fiona: This is an Adidas bra, in a medium. I expected this to have less coverage but it surprised me and didn’t even show cleavage when I was in the row position. I even did a headstand in this and still everything stayed in place. It’s my least favourite bra in terms of style, as I’m small chested and don’t feel I need much support, so most of my scoring is based on my personal style preferences.

3 stars.


Jen: This is the Berlei underwired bra, in a 32E. It’s definitely the most supportive of the three during the bounce test. When it comes to training, I prefer non-wired. Again, it doesn’t have a racer-back option and I found the shoulder straps weird; I thought they were just sitting funny on me but I noticed the same on Fiona’s bra too. It’s like the straps want to rest off-the-shoulder and not go straight back. This looked fine under a top but it would bother me if the straps were on show.

3 stars.

Fiona: This is same Berlei bra as Jen’s, in a 34B. I absolutely love that the colour is so funky and would go with loads of bottoms I have. It really was fitted on my little boobs; it actually felt weird for me to have everything so tucked away. Passed every test but same as Jen’s, the straps don’t seem to sit well on my chest/ shoulders.

3 stars.

Jen: Now that the internet has seen my boobs, I’m happy to cover them back up with a vest! I would love to be able to wear cutesy sports bras (and normal bras) but it’s not an option unless I want black eyes. I’d rather have bounceless boobs than a pretty bra when it comes to gym time. I’ll definitely be sticking to high support models that hold me in. My favourite of these bras is the Shock Absorber for comfort, support and style.

Fiona: I loved trying out these different styles and it’s definitely made me realise that sports bras aren’t as boring as I thought they were. It’s great that there’s such a selection available and in so many colours: I might just have to start showing them off more! I’m happy to keep wearing low impact bras in the gym, they suit my weight training. But I’ll absolutely be wearing more supportive styles for HIIT sessions, hikes and running. My favourite of these bras is the b.tempt'd.

Thanks a million to Littlewoods Ireland who provided the bras for this bounce test. We’re not being paid to say this but highly recommend a visit to their site for a great selection on styles and price ranges.

Hope you found this helpful! For more BTS images and videos of our shoot, check out Beaut’s Instagram.

Until next time, Fi


Metabolic Fitness Trainer


Follow Fiona’s fitness adventure on Instagram!

Related Articles

More from Life