Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Shock Absorber Sports Bra Top Review


In case you’ve wondered why posts have been a bit thinner on the ground lately, it’s because I’ve just moved from the UK back to the US. I’m home for two weeks, in which time I have to go through all the boxes of my old clothes and papers from high school to sort everything and get rid of everything I don’t need anymore. I’ve also been seeing old friends and generally going a million miles an hour. But I’m hoping that after this week, posts should pick up the pace and I’ll hopefully get back to posting around twice a week. So thank you for your patience.

As promised in my last post, here is my review of the sports bra I found that works really well for me. You may remember that I found the Panache Sports bra didn’t work for me in a 30H because I needed a 28 band to match my underbust measurement. But I had heard that Shock Absorbers run really tight, so I decided to try a 30H again. These bras are commonly available on eBay and usually at very low prices and in loads of colors. Just make sure you know which you’re getting--I am still a bit confused as to which Shock Absorber is which. There are sometimes references to "Level 4" or "Max Support". The one I have usually seems to be referred to as the "Max Support" bra, but in many of the eBay listings it was also referred to as the Sports Bra Top, and looks like this in photos:



I like the term Sports Bra Top to refer to this version because it looks more like a top than the other version, which looks more like a bra. That one has more formed cups, and looks like this:



When I got my Shock Absorber I immediately knew it was going to be a success. The support was really top-notch. This bra relies on compression (basically smashing your boobs to your body) rather than encapsulation (holding your boobs tightly in a boob-shaped structure) and I’ve found I really prefer compression, so I’m happy with the Shock Absorber compared to the Panache encapsulation bra.

Here is the bra on its own:



You can see that I have some side-boob where I spill out from the bra. But, because the Shock Absorber spots top is wire-free, I had always planned to wear it with a balconette bra. I just really prefer an underwear to separate my boobs so they aren’t touching in the middle. Here it is with a Panache Harmony Balconette underneath.



With the balconette underneath, the Shock Absorber is stellar and amazing! I have absolutely no motion whatsoever when I run. It is the same level of amazing support that I get in the Title Nine Frog Bra I used to wear. I could definitely run in this Shock Absorber and feel very comfortable. I wore it for an intense horseback riding lesson this morning and the support was perfect and I didn't have any bouncing at all--quite a feat when you're cantering!

The Shock Absorber is much tighter in the band than the Panache. The 30 fit me perfectly. I needed a 28 in the Panache, but I definitely wouldn’t have been able to fasten a 28 in the Shock Absorber. Even with the 30, it is pretty hard to do up. It fastens with two sets of two hooks in back with a circle in between, like this:


 I found the easiest way to do it up is to first fasten the bottom hooks, then push the straps closer to my neck and do up the top set of hooks. And, importantly, it is really easy to take off. I don’t mind struggling to do up a sports bra, but I HATE struggling to take it off when I’m all sweaty after exercise, which is why I wanted to upgrade from the Frog Bra, which has to go off over your head. Undoing the hooks after exercise is super easy and a big relief compared to wrestling something off over my head.

I would highly recommend the Shock Absorber sports top, especially with a wired bra underneath. The support is better than anything else I’ve tried on, and best of all, it is available at great prices on eBay. For me, having something that works and is accessible at low prices is really the push I need to exercise more. So if you’re hoping for a similar push, give this bra a shot!

19 comments:

  1. Thankyou so much for the horseback mention I've been trying to find a bra that holds my boobs in when I go for intense canters and *dies* sit trot. I haven't sat trot since my last sports bra wore out and I haven't had one since. I will definitely be investing in this. Wooo thanks !

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  2. I use the Shock Absorber on its own, and find it supportive! I also have the other style, it is also pretty good, but the circle back one is more supportive. I found it necessary to go up a cup to eliminate my side boob. :)

    Very.com also has them for cheap. Around $30 US.

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  3. My friend who is a D/DD cup wear this on its own and her chest doesn't move when she jumps up and down. She was very excited to show me this when she first bought it! Ironically the other style is called D+ (D+ max support or D+ max Sports) but stops at a H cup, whereas this goes up to a HH.

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  4. I'm glad I have small enough boobs to wear the Panache Sports by itself, because I'd hate to have to wear two bras! I am glad it works for you, though, and I'm curious: do you have to wash the Shock Absorber less? It seems to be sitting mostly on your other bra rather than the skin, so I'd assume it gets less sweaty. That's not really an important consideration, but I'm curious xD

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  5. I've had a completely different experience with this bra, sadly. I own 4 of them (because they were the best I could find) in 34GG. What I found was that they provided excellent support against the breast bouncing down, but does not prevent them from bouncing up. That's my experience with treadmill jogging--I have to hold my breasts--but I haven't been wearing another bra underneath.

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  6. The formed cups of a sports bra are designed to reduce the movement of your breasts. Also, the pink bra looks better than the plain-colored ones. I’m sure this review helped readers who are looking for the right sports bra for them. :)

    Regards,
    Ted

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  8. I had a great experience with the Shock Absorber Bra but found it a bit grabby when I was wearing it for a long time (I do lots of hiking) - plus for me you definitely know your boobs have been 'compressed' at the end! I think it is a winner when it comes to jumping up and down though (I can definitely see it being good for horse riding as someone else commented above). My new fave for hiking is the Freya Active underwired which I've just been reviewing this last month ( http://babyroutes.co.uk/reviews/freyaactivesportsbrareview/ )- it's encapsulation but it only starts from a D cup and offers great support and I find it more comfortable than the SA for a long time. Not ever tried Panache - doesn't sound like I will be rushing to either from your comments either!!

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  9. I've the Shock Absorber too, and I totally agree it gives maximum support but it pushs boobs again each other. So it's less eligible for longer jogging or running when sweeting between breasts. I wear it for cycling and it's very comfortable. Unfortunately it has only one fastener and Raceback is fixed up to Cup D. So it's circular to put it on or out over the head. For running I wear Panache and for my opinion it's the best one therefore.

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  10. I am so disappointed with my Shock Absorber. The space between my neck and shoulders is flaming red from the straps after I work out; in fact, I need to remove it right away. I wish I new that I would have had this problem before I purchased it because I experienced this problem right away. I also tried padding the area further with fluffy material, but no improvement. Total junk for a large breasted women that has truly heavy breasts.

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  11. But are yours real, or fake? That makes a huge difference b

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  12. But are your boob real or fake? That makes a huge difference v

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  13. I just discovered this bra and am already scouring the web to buy it in every color. Best sports bra I've ever had. Usually I need 2 bras too because my 32G boobs are obnoxiously heavy but this bra is amazing.

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  14. Too bad everyone wanted compliments to be a "crime".

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  15. Shock Absorber has great web sites; both UK and USA. More info on UK. Originally a UK company and now 8 styles and colors.

    Nordstrom online carries 5 styles.

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  16. Hi, I have a large bust and small waist (32E) and was wondering if you could tell me whether or not, in your opinion, this bra would work on its own, without any bra under it? I don't want to splurge and get two bras for running (ugh. the economy) but I would really like to start up running again and was looking for a bra that would work with my inordinately annoying size.

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  17. Thank you for interesting review.
    I've shared on this q&a site: http://www.chicadvice.com/questions/115/sport-bra-for-running
    Alice

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  18. I am a male withgynecomastia and have tits large enough to need a bea my wife took me for a bea fitting and was fitted into and now wear that bra 24/7 great bra for any guy that needs a bra

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