Your breasts don’t just move up and down when you run. It’s a lot more complicated than that.
Working with breast health and biomechanical experts, Brooks found a woman’s breasts move in a figure-eight pattern when she runs, which can put her though 200 unique axis movements. Up and down, side to side, in and out, around.
All that movement means your sports bra has a lot of work to do.
To make things even more challenging for designers, a bra has to work for a wide range of sizes, body types and preferences. Those are also moving targets.
“Breasts change day to day, week to week, throughout the day and at different times of the month,” says Julianne Ruckman, Brooks senior product line manager for bras and women’s apparel. Don’t forget about different life stages, like pregnancy, post-partum and aging.
“There’s a ton to consider.”
Changing consumer demand is another consideration. Ruckman says market research shows women across generations are now seeking comfort first—that’s especially true for younger women—which took over the top spot from support. (Although, as any runner will tell you, a comfortable bra has to prioritize support, too.)
Brooks says figuring out the right combination of comfort and support was a big obstacle.
“The hardest thing to decode is perception of comfort,” Ruckman says. “What we found, dependent on your cup size, is that something that felt really comfortable on her body typically held her in or reduced motion by at least 50 percent but doesn’t exceed 70 percent motion reduction.”