As a female athlete, I know one of the most difficult things to find is a good sports bra. Especially if you don’t have a small fortune to invest. Let me just be the first to share the bad news: finding a good sports bra that allows you to nurse a baby is even harder. When I initially found out I was pregnant, a nursing sports bra wasn’t something I even considered. I figured that I usually change after a workout anyways, so wearing one of my tried and true favorite sports bra and then switching to something to nurse in wouldn’t be a big deal.
I’m here to tell you I was wrong. Coming home after a workout and needing to feed your baby can be a challenge without having to add wardrobe changes. And let me tell you, a traditional sports bra that is supportive cannot be nursed in with ease. Since I CrossFit and run, I needed something extremely supportive, because there aren’t many sports that get more high impact that trail running. And bonus points if I didn’t have to steal from my newborns barely established college fund.
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Unfortunately, after a couple of months of experimenting, I honestly haven’t found an option I absolutely love. I’m actually really disappointed in the options available. However, I’m going to give you my honest opinion of the different bra’s that I have tried out, so you can make a more informed (and hopefully less costly) decision. And if you happen to have found the golden goose of nursing sports bras, please let me in on the secret. Because at this point, I’d happily toss my money at anything that works well.
Nursing Sports Bra Review
This is the non-pumping option in their (tiny) sports bra collection, and it is marketed as a low impact sports bra that clips down like a traditional nursing bra. Let me tell you, they do not lie when they say it is best for low impact sports. The bra itself is incredibly comfortable. The clips feel sturdy. But those are pretty much the only positives I can say about this bra. I mean, it does feel like it’s well made with quality material, however it offers VERY little support.
I would consider this bra ok for yoga, or just wearing around the house, and maybe specific workouts that involve ZERO jumping, bouncing, running, etc. Do not try to burpee in these bras. You will be incredibly uncomfortable. The band (which is where you get support in a sports bra) is a knit material that doesn’t really hold anything securely.
The back of the bra is a traditional hook style, which I do appreciate, because it can “grow” with you if your are expecting, or your body is significantly changing after delivery. The straps are adjustable. It is not unflattering, but I wouldn’t consider as a “cute” option, either. Basically, if you will be doing very low impact workouts, and want something that allows you to nurse, this is a fine option. It’s a little pricey for my taste, especially because it has such a limited functionality.
Pros: comfortable, easy clip down, well made
Cons: very little support, fairly expensive
I purchased this bra because it was on sale and it would get me free shipping on my order. This style of sports bra is on “final sale” on the Kindred Braverly site, which probably means it won’t be available very far into the future. Which honestly, isn’t the worse thing. This bra wasn’t terrible by any means, but it also wasn’t great. Being on sale, it’s probably fine. But definitely not something I would pay full price for.
Here’s what I liked about it. It is somewhat more supportive than their low-impact bra, and it has adjustable straps. The cross in the back gives some additional support that a lot of sports bra options don’t have. Those are about the only things I liked about this bra.
The straps, while adjustable, are very diggy. They are not at all comfortable, and while it works ok during a run, I would not wear this sports bra at any other time. And honestly, it’s not the most supportive option for runs, either. Also, the straps clip down, but there is nothing that keeps the front of the bra connected to the straps once you are clipped down. So. this means that when you go to re-secure, you have to grab the strap from behind you, where it flew when you clipped down. Not super ideal. Lastly, the hook on these clips is pretty minimal, which means there’s a decent chance they become…..unsecured at some point. Be prepared for that. So, once again, not a repeat purchase for me.
Also, please not this bra runs VERY small if you plan to give it a shot.
Pros: Fairly supportive
Cons: Strap flies away when they aren’t digging into you.
Out of all of the bra’s I have tried, this one is probably my favorite for running. There are a few things I would change about this bra, but it is incredibly supportive and seems very well made. The band is thick and sturdy, and while I would like a little more support for my personal preference, it’s a solid sports bra. It’s also very flattering and cute, which is an added bonus. Like the Kindred Braverly low impact bra, this sports bra is a clip-down style, but the interior liner has a cut out style. So basically, the girls stay in place, but there’s access for baby to get to what they want.
Honestly, I prefer a traditional clip down. The cut out holes just feel strange to me. But they work just fine. The back is a hook style, as well, which I like because I have a smaller ribcage. I will say that the stitching on the closure area of the back has a tendency to feel scratchy when you aren’t running. It’s not wildly uncomfortable, but it’s definitely less comfortable than the Kindred Braverly option. One thing that I don’t love about this bra is that the straps are not adjustable. Outside of this, I would say this is a great buy for anyone who does higher impact sports.
Pros: extremely supportive, looks nice
Cons: straps are not adjustable, closure can feel weird, cut out style is unique
This is probably my second favorite nursing sports bra, and it’s definitely one that I’ve favored for CrossFit and running. The bra offers a good amount of support, which is what I personally feel is most important in a sports bra. It’s also VERY flattering and comfortable. Out of all four bra’s I’ve tried, I would say this one has the most possibility of staying in the rotation after my nursing journey ends.
The nursing straps are not the tradition clip down, but are a velcro style that loops through a hole and attaches back to the strap itself. I’m honestly not sure how well it will hold up over time, because velcro tends to wear out and the hole you fit the strap through is fairly small (so it could start to fray pretty soon). The straps are somewhat adjustable, because there’s a little height to the soft part of the velcro, which allows you to pull the straps up decently high.
The band is extremely supportive (and pretty wide), but it is not adjustable. I have a smaller than average ribcage, so for me it’s just a little bit big. I do think it would be adequate for a normal 34-36 inch frame. The main thing I don’t love about this bra is that there is nothing that holds the straps in place once you unvelcro, so similar to the Kindred Braverly running bra, you’ll probably have a strap that flew behind your back while you were nursing. However, the amount of support you get from this sucker is phenomenal, so that makes up for it in my eyes.
I would note that the photos of the bra make it look almost like a crop top, and the band isn’t quite that thick in real life. It’s definitely more substantial than a traditional sports bra, but it doesn’t nearly meet the waste of your leggings like the image would have you believe.
There are a few more options I might consider, like one from SheFit, but at this time I’m just settling for regular washing. If there are other options you’ve tested and loved, please share them!