When testing out sports bras, I generally base my review on the following criteria: does it considerably reduce bounce and can I notice it’s there? If the answer is yes to the former and no to the latter, I’m happy. So when I tested out ASICS’ first ever high-support running bra, said to offer 60% reduced bounce and ‘zero distraction’, I was excited to put it through its paces.
At a 34 B/C, I’m not a particularly big-busted runner but I do need a bra with some structure. And to look at, it’s clear the Zero Distraction Bra caters for those needing exactly that – it has spacer-mesh molded cups to individually compress each breast and a back fastening with a hook-and-eye closure system. It’s definitely at the high-support end of the bra spectrum, and clearly designed specifically for running, unlike a gym-style crop-top.
On first try-on, you get an immediate feeling of support. The wide underband provides support beneath the breast and the padded shoulder straps offer a noticeable lift. Plus, the combination of front adjustable straps with the hook-and-eye back fastening mean you can get the fit just as you want it. Unfortunately, though, I couldn’t get the fit quite right. I went for a 34B as I find myself in between a B and C in cup size, and unfortunately found the underband restricting and the cup size a little snug.
So, just how luxurious or, indeed, non-existent did the bra feel while running and did it offer adequate support? I will admit the bra was annoyingly noticeable, as I felt the underband digging in at some points during the run. I predict, though, if I’d gone for the C (which, although not a problem, I could have afforded to), the underband would have been much roomier, so I’m putting it down to the sizing being a little smaller than the national average. This means if you’re ordering online and (like me) you are in between two sizes, you should opt for the larger cup size.
The underband and straps both felt luxuriously soft on the skin, giving an overall feeling of luxury and quality. In terms of support, I couldn’t have been more satisfied. And I’d definitely credit the molded cups for the reduction in bounce – even while running downhill I could only feel very limited movement. To test the straps for stress reduction at the shoulders, I upped the speed while running downhill – and on the flat – and could feel no stress at all in this area. What a treat!
The biggest delight (or surprise) came, though, when I tested the bra out on a 40K bike ride. Strangely, I seem to find myself sweating more on the bike vs running through winter – between my boobs being a particular hot spot (excuse the graphics) – but the mesh panels really did offer excellent ventilation, leaving me virtually moisture free! The support, too, was spot on.
This is definitely a bra that caters for a variety of sports – and for women of all sizes and shapes. But if you’re a runner with a cup size of C+, you’re really going to feel the benefits of the high-impact support. Make sure you try before you buy though and, if you really must buy online, I’d chance going a size up.