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Gear and Technology

Behind the seams: From sports bra to run bra

Two women on a run together
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Running with boobs is a tricky business. That’s why we strive to create bras that let you go all out and feel held in. We pride ourselves on years of supporting your best run with high-quality bras made for mileage.

The unique, high-impact demands of running require specialized support. In 2004, Brooks and leading sports bra company Moving Comfort joined forces to design products for runners.

Insights from Moving Comfort allowed us to engineer fan-favorite styles — when we became one company several years later, these products moved under the Brooks brand.

So while the logo may have changed, our goal is still to deliver bras that enable all women to be active. But the innovation didn’t stop with Moving Comfort. Here’s a look at the evolution of our line.

Three women on a run outside

A bra that’s ready to run

When it comes to support and comfort, not all sports bras are created equal. Our bras are designed for the run, based on 40 years of biomechanical research, hundreds of interviews, and hours of wear-testing with athletes of all levels and body types.

The outcome of this development is a bra with fresh benefits for runners — different from other sports bras you’ve worn. And it needed a new name to match: Welcome to the era of the run bra.

Inside the innovation

Creating a new bra takes “a little bit of science and a little bit of art,” says Laura Madden, Director of Apparel and Bra Development at Brooks.

Time, study, practice, and a team effort are required to create a product we’re proud of. To that end, we partner with the Research Group in Breast Health at the University of Portsmouth to do biomechanical testing on a wide range of sizes.

We’ve learned a lot from this research — maybe most importantly, we found time and again that it’s essential to really understand what women runners want. And those needs vary on an individual level.

Back view of Brooks run bra

Using both lab and consumer research findings, Madden’s team works with product line management to engineer a range of support options and sizes that work for diverse runners.

Next, our design and development teams, together with Brooks factories, work together to test multiple aesthetics and functionalities.

Finally, after the bra design is approved, the products come to life. Each size and style is wear-tested and lab-tested to ensure it delivers run-ready support and distraction-free comfort.

The bras in our newly released Dare line feature encapsulation support — built-in, molded cups that surround your boobs to offer a secure, held-in feel.

More options are in the works for runners with different preferences and support needs, to be released in upcoming seasons.

Creating a new bra takes a little bit of science and a little bit of art.

Laura Madden Director, Apparel and Bra Development

What runners want

Real runners helped us identify the pain points in regular sports bras: chafing at the straps and band, inadequate nipple coverage, boob sweat from too little ventilation, pesky seams irritating the skin, and annoying on/off mechanisms.

Once we understood the issues, we designed our Dare and Drive Collections to resolve them. Bras in each collection allow women to customize the fit and look of their run bra with features like adjustable straps, built-in cups, and versatile styles.

The main difference between our Dare and Drive Collections? The type of support they offer. We want to give runners a choice because after all, your run bra is your support system.

Dare Run Bras use molded cups to securely and comfortably hold you in as you run. Nearly seamless design and streamlined shaping eliminate chafing and provide sculpted support on the run.

On the other band — er, hand — our Drive Collection provides compressive support. Drive Run Bras use lightweight materials and huggy compression to provide high-impact support. Each Drive bra has removable padding so women can choose the coverage and the look they want.

 Molded support Compressive support
 Nearly seamless design  Light coverage options
 Streamlined shaping  Versatile styles

Breathe easy, because there are no wrong choices. But of course, if you still have trouble choosing, our Bra Finder can help you out. After all, as Madden says, “We want to give as many options as possible so women can choose what works best for them.”

The best bra for you

With so many options to choose from, finding the just-right run bra might seem daunting. Take our five-minute quiz to figure out which one best fits your run.

Take the quiz

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Model wearing Brooks Run Bra