The Bra in Review

A few weeks ago Andi asked me if I'd be willing to try out a new sports bra and review it for a fit club post.

Um, YES! The quest for the perfect sports bra has been a top priority in my fitness journey since, well, since I needed a sports bra for the first time. I've been… blessed, you see. And after breastfeeding four kids and weight yo-yo'ing like an Olympic Sport, I've become very sensitive to possibly developing the dreaded "envelope boob syndrome". Especially with Air Force Guy gone so often, I don't want him to come home and exclaim in shock, "What happened THERE?" I have my answer ready – "Gravity!", but it's still something that I'm not ready to contend with.

Add in a sport that's fairly high impact and you can see how finding the perfect sports bra becomes a full on quest.

I have a few tricks that I use no matter what sports bra I'm using. First, I generally buy them a size too small. Yes, it pinches. Yes, it smooshes. No, it's not tremendously attractive. But envelope boobs aren't attractive, either.

But back to the bra I tried:

The KAOS RFI Sports Bra. This is actually the bra issued to women on active duty by the Army, so you know that it's built to withstand some intense situations. At 40$ a pop, it's slightly more expensive than other good quality sports bras (my days of buying the 10$ special at Wal Mart and finding adequate support were over LONG ago), but it's also probably the highest quality sports bra I've ever seen, and that includes the ones I've tried made by Under Armour (Air Force Guy is totally going to accuse me of heresy for that one). This bra will last light years longer than the cheaper versions.

And it's comfortable. It stretches and moves with you, and didn't create the dreaded "Uni-boob" issue for me.

I wore the bra (under a shirt, of course!) to my kickboxing class last week, and for most things it worked very well, I would venture to say that for women whose bra size has only one letter in it, it would probably be the perfect support system. However, when I attempted high impact activities like jumping rope or jumping jacks there was a lot more, *ahem*, movement than I was comfortable with. And the "sideways flop" that occurred when I kicked the heavy bag was a little uncomfortable. The bra comes in sizes XS to XXL, which covers sizes A to DD. I would DEFINITELY choose this bra for things like hiking, rock climbing, and full-contact sports like visiting Disney World. You could wear it for days at a stretch (not recommended if you value your friendships!) and not feel any chafing, poking, drag, or sagging. Plus, it's moisture wicking, so it also cuts down on the sweat funk. But I think I'm going to have to keep searching for something to wear during high impact activities.

Really, though, short of duct tape and possibly flying buttress reinforcements, probably not much is going to hold those girls in place during jump rope time anyway.

About the Author


airforcewife started her military journey as an Army National Guard wife, but upon experiencing base housing decided to aim high and made the switch to the Air Force. That's worked pretty well for Air Force Family so far, even though airforcewife holds the spouse world record for Come to Jesus talks with various members of the command.

Air Force Family has four children, two pit bulls, and a Mother-in-Law who lost her mind eight years ago. Despite the reputation of pit bulls, airforcewife would like to assure you that her Mother-in-Law is truly the most dangerous of the group, and is banned in more places than the dogs.

airforcewife gets through Air Force Guy's frequent deployments and TDY's by frequently attending her boxing gym, after the chance discovery last deployment that hitting things really does make life better. She also volunteers as the Ambassador for Sew Much Comfort to Bethesda National Naval Medical Center and in a variety of other causes throughout the year.

airforcewife has no idea what the future holds, but decided five years ago that she wants to be Andi when she grows up.

  • Marine Wife

    Ah, but how did it feel on the shoulders? That’s my issue. Most sports bras seem to be t-back and those hurt my shoulders (where I like to carry my stress around in a tight knot) but the other type don’t seem as supportive.
    What to do?

  • airforcewife

    Marine Wife, you might really want to try this, then, because I didn’t even feel it on my shoulders. It’s VERY comfortable. It also doesn’t hit the “normal” bra strap spot – so no shoulder dents. And it’s spread out enough that the weight is very evenly distributed.

  • tankerswife

    You mentioned not getting the Wal-mart bras anymore. Like you, I’m rather blessed. And finding decent support when I started working with a trainer at the gym was a necessity. Oddly enough, I found it at Wally world. They have high impact sports bras that zip up the front. Although it took a bit of finger manipulation to hold the sides together at the same time as trying to zip it up, it was MUCH better than having my shoulders pop out of their sockets trying to get a sweaty bra off ver my head. And like you, I got them in a D when I am a DD. No digging into the shoulders though I did get a little poofing at the top but since I get that more often than not I didn’t care.

  • Apryl

    I picked up some at Big 5 I think…they’re high impact as well. I’ve got DD’s and they do pretty good. They’re made by Champion.

  • I’m only a single letter. That letter just happens to be “F”!
    I have given up – I wear 2 bras for sports. A regular full-support one inside with the “infinity symbol” suspension (instead of underwire), and a sports bra on the outside.
    Still hopeful for a better answer though!

  • You might want to take a look at Breeze Comfort padded bras and sports bras. The bras are made with patented bra pad technology. The bra pads have perforations throughout to facilitate air circulation to the breast area. This helps release heat and helps prevent sponge effect (sweat collecting in the traditional bra pads).

  • kirsten

    Try Title Nine Sports too-they have a very extensive sports bra selection.
    I’ve got no personal affiliation, just love their Not So Tight Fitness Pants.

  • I’ve breast fed four daughters and I have a problem you guys have not touched on yet. Those of us unfortunate souls that had our ‘girls’ deflate like a popped balloon. My ‘girls’ don’t have stretch marks, they have sag folds that Martha Stewart couldn’t drape better. So I’m still trying to locate a manufacturer that sells the NEGATIVE cup sizes. (And yes, my husband HAS suggested the training bra isle… and lived to tell about it… but only ONCE…)

  • You know, AFW, I’ve had great luck with Lands’ End sports tops. Of course, I can only find one similar at the website right now:
    I picked up one on clearance at Sears and have since purchased a few more. With a regular, three sizes too small jog bra underneath, I feel wonderful. You wouldn’t see me running any other way.
    I can’t believe I’ve failed to mention that to you before! Give it a try. I do buy them too small (but just one size)

  • Devon

    well i was size dd for about 7 years now and i played high impact sports all through high school and a few after, i still run 2-3 miles a day and do tae bo… my trick has been doub sports bras, usually nike, they were like 40 each, i hated paying that much! then if i was doing anything outa the ordinary i would tape myself… yes tape sports tape, its like 5 bucks… it was amazing! best support ever!

  • Good honest review airforcewife. Thanks for the insights, and the little dash of humour in your post :)