My Search for The Perfect Sports Bra


It’s time to take sports bras out of the closet.  I am not and never have been a fan of women’s foundation under-garments, the sports bra included.  I have a long and acrimonious personal history with these items that seems to have begun the day my mother and a lavender talcum powdered, blue-haired saleswoman poked and prodded at my 12-year old chest as they “fitted” me for a training bra I didn’t need.  Other indignities followed.  Thankfully, as I’ve gotten older and more able to resist the pressures of convention, I’ve been able to dispense, in this order, with: garter belts, merry widows, panty hose and strapless bras.

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However, like just about every woman who tees it up, I’ve not been able to end my need for a sports bra and, until I field-tested a couple of Under Armour products, I’ve never found a sports bra that does what it should to control my ta-tas while I swing my sticks with unrestricted abandon 80 or 90 or 100 times over a four or five hour period.

Let’s be clear. Ta-tas come in many sizes and shapes.  From pendulous to perky, however, they’re our sisters and we take them everywhere we go.  At the risk of offering TMI, but in the interest of full disclosure, mine are of the small and perky variety so they don’t actually intrude on my golf swing.  But they do bounce around a bit and over the course of a round of golf they start complaining.

The perfect sports bra needs to put a stop to all that bouncing and jouncing.  Shape isn’t the issue here.  I’m not out there on the tee box trying to put my womanly curves on display.  I’m on the tee trying to hit the cover off a golf ball.

In order to hit the cover off a golf ball I need to swing my arms, rotate my body, move my shoulders.  I do not need to be tugging my bra back into position after every drive.  The thing needs to stop the bouncing and jouncing and it needs to stay in place and not let the lower third of my ta-tas slip under the band around my chest.

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In order to hit the cover off a golf ball I also need to be able to breathe, freely and deeply.  I don’t need to feel as though I’m in the grip of a latex boa constrictor, and that requirement raises a tremendous sports bra design challenge.  The perfect sports bra is going to control those ta-tas while still allowing me to swing and breathe freely.

After years of failed efforts to find a sports bra that delivers what I need I decided to give Under Armour a chance.  Quite honestly, and although I’m just a bit embarrassed to admit this, that willingness probably has to do with Jordan Spieth and his fresh-faced, forthright demeanor.  Would Jordan Spieth lend his name to an inferior product line?  (I know he doesn’t wear a sport bra, but he’s otherwise Under Armoured from head to toe.)

Under Armous sports bra mid impact control option

So I sifted through the on-line Under Armour sports bra options, which are considerable.  I chose mid impact — as opposed to high impact or low impact — support.  I bypassed the models with cups — not necessary for my ta-tas — but was magnetically drawn to models that included a “HeatGear” description.  Why not? It’s the middle of the summer and I’m sweating when I’m golfing.

Having narrowed down the design features I turned to size and color.  Let me say right here that I love the array of color options.  On the other hand, I got the size wrong on my first try.  The large models weren’t quite generous enough to encompass my girth without the boa constrictor effect, and that problem led to the discovery of another Under Armour feature that’s worth mentioning.  Returns are easy, no hassle, a walk in the park.

So I returned the large models, exchanged the larges for extra larges, and put them to the test last weekend at my club championship.  I’m not saying I won low nett because of my new Under Armour sports bras — one in neon yellow and the other in soft, girly peach — but I can tell you they stayed in place, wicked away the gallons of perspiration I poured out over 36 holes of golf played in the hot summer sun, and held my ta-tas in place while they helped keep my core cool.

While there is no such thing as a perfect sports bra, Under Armour makes some that are just about as close to perfect as a sports bra is going to get.  They’re a permanent addition to my sports equipment.

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