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Dawn Patrol

Q:

What's the best sports bra for running?

What's the best sports bra for running? The Editors Santa Fe, New Mexico

What's the best sports bra for running? The Editors Santa Fe, New Mexico

A:

The R&D specialists at Moving Comfort know breasts better than anyone except, perhaps, your gynecologist. They should. They’ve been in the business of making bras and other women-specific fitness clothing since 1977. Arc'Teryx , better known for bomber ski shells than bomber boulder holders, is also rolling out a new “Endorphin Line," that includes a form-fitting tank that can double as a running bra.

In general, a sports bra must get an A+ in four essential areas: breast support, comfort, breathability, and moisture control. Specifically, it should fit snugly, yet feel comfortable, stay in place, and not chafe. The criteria may sound basic, but sports bras are a surprisingly complex piece of engineering, which is why the finished product is often less sexy than a Hanky Panky lace bra.

Moving Comfort's Helena ($58) is the ultimate powerhouse, a high-impact bra for women in the 34-40 C, D, DD range. (Surprising fact: The average breast size of an American woman is a 36C.) The Helena's fully-bonded front and interior eliminates layers and bulky seams, adds support, and improves the form and fit. The straps are fully cushioned and front-adjusting, and the back has a hook-and-eye clasp. If you're well-endowed, training for a marathon, or simply prefer a lot of support, this is your bra.

Smaller-breasted women will want to go with the Diana ($52), which is made out of lightweight, quick-drying, bonded fabric that makes for powerful compression support, but still doesn't chafe. The adjustable keyhole back makes it easy to get on and off and the mesh in high-sweat areas prevents you from stinking.

Brand-new for spring is Arc'teryx's Cito Series, a range of fitted tops and bottoms for women. The Cito Crop Tank ($69) is for hot days when you want to run in something less than a full tank with a cloying bra underneath. This little number, which hits you slightly lower on your midriff than a standard sports bra, has a shelf-style bra, a narrow cross-back, and is made out of stretchy polyester knit that wicks sweat away.

Filed To: Running