A good sports bra is a ‘must’ for any female triathlete or runner. When I was fitted professionally a few years ago, I was startled when the bra specialists informed me that running without a proper sports bra will cause permanent damage to the elasticity of the breast tissue. In my quest for the perfect sports bra, I have tried many bras, but am most happy with the Shock Absorber Level 4.
Shock Absorber sports bras are particularly unique, in that you can choose between levels 1, 2, 3, and 4, depending on how much support you are looking for. Level 1 bras are less bulky, less expensive, but offer less support and recommended for lighter exercise, such as yoga or walking. Level 4 bras are the opposite. Level 4 is a bit more bulky, 5-10 dollars more expensive, but offer a whole lot more support and are recommended for more ‘intense’ exercise such as running. They offer additional padding on the shoulders and a mesh layer over the top part of the chest for more ventilation.
Fit and Construction:
Being a bustier woman (size 36E), I was skeptical at first that this bra would really offer the support it claims. However, the results I have had are phenomenal. This is the only sports bra I have found that keeps ‘the girls’ absolutely still. I knew I had found the prefect bra when I jumped up and down repeatedly in the fitting room and saw virtually no movement. The bra fitting specialists also recommended this sports bra to me.
On the run, this bra performs as well as I expected during fitting. I feel much more comfortable running and I would recommend this product to any woman regardless of cup size. I would, however, recommend purchasing one size smaller than your normal cup size, since this will improve the performance of the bra. The mesh panel over the chest offers good ventilation, and I have had very little problems with chaffing. The 3-hook closure in the back is also nice for dressing ease, particularly if you are just out of the pool. The extra padding at the shoulders provides more comfort than the average sports bra. After testing this product, I would have to say the design is impeccable, and I was not surprised to read it has been designed by women.
There are a few drawbacks with this product. First, these bras are pricier than the average sports bra, normally $45 to $55 depending on the level. Personally, I found the security and comfort of the bra to be worth the premium price. Second, this bra is mostly function, not too much form. If you like to run in just your sports bra and shorts, this might not be the most attractive option for you. The bras can be pretty unattractive looking, due to their bulkiness. However, I have found the functionality it offers well outweighs these cons.