Women make up exactly half of the total worldwide running community, yet products that are specifically geared towards women’s bodies are still sadly lacking across much of the market. That’s why today on the blog we’re highlighting one of our favourite products that we carry here at BlackToe Running: Shock Absorber sports bras. This Canadian company is dedicated to using cutting edge research and technology to create a line of sports bras that are changing the way women experience comfort while they run. So what makes Shock Absorber sports bras some of the very best on the market?
Shock Absorber Delivers Research-Driven Sports Products for Women’s Health
It’s no secret, folks - women’s breasts bounce while we move. And while talking about boobs can elicit a few giggles here and there, women’s breast health is no laughing matter. Studies have shown that one in five women cite breast pain and not being able to find the right sports bra as factors in keeping them from exercising, and a lack of exercise can lead to many negative impacts on women’s overall health.
Breasts move in multiple directions during running, and this displacement can cause mild to severe breast, chest, shoulder and back pain - not to mention damage to the Cooper’s ligaments, which connects fatty breast tissue to the chest wall, that can lead to premature sagging. This movement isn’t restricted to women with large breasts, and even smaller cup sizes can experience severe stretching and displacement during running. Surely there was a way to start prioritizing the health of women in sports, right?
Enter Shock Absorber. Through the 1990s and 2000s, Shock Absorber utilized groundbreaking research from Edinburgh University and the University of Portsmouth to clearly understand how women’s breasts moved during exercise. They found that breasts typically fall into a “figure eight” displacement pattern, which causes the breasts to move up to 10 cm in three directions while running. They set to work creating a product that would provide the comfort and support women needed to perform their best, no matter the size or shape of their bodies.
“What studies have found is that breast pain is linked to the displacement of the breasts—not just up-and-down movement, but also side to side and forward and backward,” she says. Breasts move an average of 10 cm in three directions during running, according to the university's Research Group in Breast Health.” - Women’s Running.com
The Right Sports Bra for the Job
By 2009, Shock Absorber had launched a line of sports bras designed specifically for runners that were proven to reduce breast movement by up to 78% - and we currently carry these same popular models, like the Ultimate Run Bra and Ultimate Fly Bra at BlackToe Running! High-performance fabrics, padded ladder straps, a double-back closure and moulded cups allow for the ultimate in comfort and performance, while unique features like the double-cup design help keep breasts separated for a natural look under your clothing (aka: no more uni-boob!)
So how do you find your perfect bra size? Simply follow these steps:
- Measure your band by putting a tape measure around your ribcage directly under the bust. If the measurement is a half-size or an odd number, round up to the next even number. This number is your band size.
- Next, measure your bust by holding the tape measure snug (but not too tight!) across the fullest part of your breasts.
- Finally, do the math! Subtract your band measurement from your bust measurement. Every inch is equal to one cup size. For example: 39 inch bust, minus 36 inch band, equals 3 inches. That’s a 36C!
( 1" = A, 2" = B, 3" = C, 4" = D, 5" = DD, 6" = E, 7" = F, 8" = FF, 9" = G, 10" = GG, 11" = H, 12" = HH )
Getting the right fit is critical to the performance of your sports bra, so we highly recommend stopping by BlackToe Running for a proper fitting. Our team is fully trained to help you find the correct sports bra size, and we’ll look for things like digging seams, flat straps and puckering in the cups to help us make the necessary adjustments. We’ll make sure you leave the store feeling and looking your best.