I wrote recently about my problems with sports bra chafing, and I finally decided to woman up, open my wallet, and do something about it. It always makes me shudder a little — sports bras for the well-endowed are pricey, so I expect them to be made of magic and last forever — but my No. 1 rule for spending is “If you touch it every day, it’s worth the money,” and this definitely qualifies.
I planned to order a new Juno to see if maybe mine were just worn out. But on the way, I encountered Moving Comfort’s new Endurance Racer. The colors were good, the keyhole back was a new style for me, and the price ($52) and size options (bra sizes, not S-M-L) were in line with what I was expecting, so I ordered it instead. Moving Comfort has a 30-day wear-and-see return policy, so I’ve been putting this bra through its paces over the past month. Here’s what I’ve found.
Fit, Fabric, and Aesthetics
The one review that had been posted when I ordered noted that the straps were short, so just in case, I ordered two different Endurance Racers — my usual size as well as one band size up. The straps fastened fine in my regular size, so I never even took the bigger one out of the bag. The shoulder straps use the same adjustable velcro as most other Moving Comfort bras I’ve owned, and the back strap was comfortably snug on the loosest hook. I know people who have trouble fastening the clasps of Moving Comfort bras or who have had the velcro come loose during a workout, but in five years, I’ve never had either issue. Given that, I didn’t find the bra any easier or more challenging to put on and adjust than anything else in the Moving Comfort line.
The fabric is a lot like Moving Comfort’s Jubralee, and it feels thinner and silkier than the Juno. This is a plus for me: One of the things I’ve disliked about the Juno is its foaminess/sponginess, which makes it bulky (it takes up a good amount of space in a drawer or suitcase, compared to the Jubralee). I also think the Juno can be a little slow to dry — not so much when it’s just doing normal sweat-wicking but more when it’s thoroughly drenched, as it can be during rainy runs or when worn on a triathlon swim.
I was curious to know how the back straps would sit, and the best news was that on initial try-on, I barely noticed them. Straight straps sometimes slip off my shoulders, and racerbacks can feel hot and constraining, so the wide, open keyhole of the Endurance Racer hits a sweet spot. I tried several running tanks with it, and while the narrowest racerbacks in my collection (think Lululemon’s Cool Racerback) left quite a bit of strap exposed, slightly wider-backed shirts like the REI Fleet tank or the Athleta Wick-It tank I wore in Berlin covered everything fully.
The front, though, is where the Endurance Racer disappoints me. The seams around the mesh area at the front of the bra aren’t flat; they’re raised upward and outward. So under any sort of thinner shirt — aka, almost every shirt I own — the outline of the cup area is quite visible. Now, I recognize that it’s not going to be news to anyone who sees me run that my chest requires a sports bra. But when I wear the Endurance Racer under a plain tank, it essentially looks like someone has drawn a circle around each boob, and those circles are now showing through my shirt. I’m not striving to hide the fact that I’m wearing a sports bra, but I’m also not trying to advertise or draw more attention to my chest, and the Endurance Racer left me feeling exposed.
On the Run
Aesthetics aside, how did it perform? So far, I’ve worn it during three easy runs, two track workouts, and a bike-run brick. I wore it under thin shirts and under shirts with built-in sports bras, under short sleeves, long sleeves, and no sleeves. And across the board, it felt great. I shortened the shoulder straps after feeling a bit too much movement during my first track workout, and I still had plenty of room to tighten them further. The longest I’ve run in it is 6.5 miles, so I don’t know how it will do on a true long run, but my Junos start chafing around 5 miles these days, and I didn’t have even a whisper of chafing with the Endurance Racer.
Most notably for me, it was a dream under the Athleta PR Tank, a shirt I bought specifically for cycling and triathlon and wore during both of my tris last year. The PR Tank has a built-in sports bra that’s the worst of all worlds: not supportive enough for me to run in alone but stiff and bulky enough that with a Juno on under it, I feel smushed (and, in the case of triathlons, damp). The Endurance Racer is enough thinner and lighter that I felt almost sleek with it on under the PR.
In the blue color I ordered, it shows sweat readily, so if you’re a sports-bra-only runner, that may be worth bearing in mind.
So am I keeping it? I have about 24 more hours before my 30-day trial period closes, and I’m torn. On the one hand, I do like how it performs, especially under the PR Tank that I’m likely to wear in at least one triathlon (and plenty of training days) this year. On the other hand, the front design really does make me feel uncomfortable. When I went out for my group run this morning, I spent a while trying to find a top that didn’t make the giant boob circles quite so obvious (good: anything printed or patterned; anything with a built-in shelf bra; thicker race shirts that have that waffle-y weave. bad: anything silky, thin, or even remotely clingy), and while I eventually found some options, the entire effort just bothered me. I want to throw on a top and go, not worry about what’s showing and what’s not! I don’t consider myself an overly modest person, but I also like maintaining some measure of secrecy about just what’s happening under my shirt. The Endurance Racer didn’t chafe, it fits well, it dries fast — it’s everything I want, except for those damn seams. If I keep it, it will be largely because of how well it will work for tris, but $52 seems like a lot to spend for a utility player in my bra wardrobe.
Disclaimer: I bought this bra with my own funds and wore it in accordance with Moving Comfort’s 30-day satisfaction guarantee.