Gear & technology

Behind the seams: From sports bra to run bra

Two women, both wearing Brooks run bras from the Dare Collection, enjoy a run together.

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.

Another pair of women runners get their workout done with the ocean in the background.

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.

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 Collection to resolve them. Bras in our new line feature:

  • Free-cut design and a hidden bottom band to prevent chafing
  • Molded cups to offer comfortable but lightweight coverage, plus subtle shaping for a flattering fit
  • Strategic perforation for max airflow — keeping you cool and comfortable
  • Nearly seamless design that won’t rub. In fact, you won’t even feel it.
  • Style differences, from pullover to zipper closure, so runners can choose what they like best

The best bra for you

Get the rundown on the six styles in our Dare Collection, then take our five-minute Bra Finder quiz to figure out which one best fits your run. 

The Dare Crossback run bra, as seen from the back to show the smooth, crossback style
Dare Crossback

Streamlined shape and support with smooth, crossback style. Shop this bra

The Dare High-Neck run bra, seen from the front.
Dare High-Neck

Streamlined shape and support in a statement-making silhouette. Shop this bra

The Dare Racerback run bra, seen from the back, showing the adjustable back closure.
Dare Racerback

Streamlined shape and support with a nearly custom fit. Shop this bra

The Dare Scoopback run bra, seen from the front.
Dare Scoopback

Streamlined shape and support with versatile scoopback style. Shop this bra

The Dare Strappy run bra, seen from the back to display its strappy, minimal back design.
Dare Strappy

Streamlined shape and support with high style and a flexible fit. Shop this bra

The Dare Zip run bra, seen from the front with its secure zip closure.
Dare Zip

Streamlined shape and support with easy front-zip closure. Shop this bra

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.”