Saturday 13 July 2013

Guest Post: Enell Sports Bra Review

You might remember my mom's guest post in which she shared her experiences with various sports bras. She mentioned in that post that she had recently ordered an Enell sports bra, and many readers requested a full review. Ask and you shall receive! Here's her review of the Enell.

I wore my new Enell Sport bra for several trail and road runs. I forgot I was wearing a bra. More accurately, I forgot all about bras and chests. I just ran.

            The Enell—which, I reported before, suffers the unfair moniker of “Last Resort Bra” in the Title Nine Sports catalog—passes two acid tests. First, it holds my breasts close to the body so that they don’t bounce all over the place. (They still bounce. Breasts always will bounce a little. Anyone who says otherwise I challenge to a duel.)

             Second, the Enell does not chafe, even after several miles of sweaty running.

            Whenever I put on this bra, I laugh that I have gone backwards in time to the corset. That’s a joke that only a modern woman could make; in fact, it resembles a corset in length and front-hooks only. I realize that I know nothing of how my ancestors must have suffered. Corsets obviously were terribly constricting, and this bra is anything but that.

            But make no mistake: the Enell holds yo in for high-impact sports. It isn’t the sort of bra you’d wear all day at your desk, although you might be able to get away with it for half a day before you realized you were wearing a top with 12 hooks and eyes. Getting dressed into the Enell takes longer than hooking up any other bra I could mention. But it’s worth it. 

            I wear a 32E or sometimes 34DD these days. In an Enell sport bra, I choose size 1. The sizes go from 00 to 8, which means that this bra takes seriously its mission to help real women with real chests to real sports. I’d ignore the corresponding commercial bra sizes in the chart and stick to the bust and rib cage measurements as your guide. Oddly, the size chart never goes above a DDD in the cup size, which irritates me.

            Because of this size-chart vagueness, I worry that this bra is not sized for those with small rib cages and large breasts. Or that the size chart is misleading. So I suggest trying on a few for size.

            Remember, because it’s a sports bra, it is designed to give a bit. You are going to breathe hard when you run or jump for the volleyball net. The “give” cleverly remains in the back with wide criss-crossing elastics hidden beneath the fabric. The front of the bra has no elastic but does have seams, so the breasts are resting comfortably in those cages as I like to call them, without bouncing either out the bottom or up the front.

            A final word: I’ve lost weight since I bought my Enell—about 9 pounds. I don’t think I’ve gone down a size in my bras, but when I looked at these photos of me now, in the Enell, I see some extra fabric there. But it doesn't affect its support. There’s room in the bra to grow a bit without losing out on its wonderful, unobtrusive ability to reign me in for a good run.


  1. Thanks for the review! I totally agree about the 'breasts will always bounce a little' thing and will totally be your second in a duel if you need one ;) haha.
    What's scared me away from the Enell is that it looks like it would be SO HOT with all that fabric, especially in the back. Did you find this to be an issue for you at all?

    1. Hi, I'm the author of the Enell review... I have wondered about the fabric and concluded that they chose it because of the weave. It does not breathe, but that's true of some other sports bras. To me, it doesn't feel any hotter than other sports bras that don't use mesh. But when I take it off, it's soaked, no doubt about it. And I sweat a lot. The Enell people call this their miracle fabric, I think. They must have their reasons.

    2. I am not sure of the fabric of this bra, but I notice so many are made from either polyester or nylon, both of which are non-breathable. Can anyone enlighten me about that (assuming it is not about companies saving $$)?
      Also, I would love to find a sports bra without a racerback...

  2. I double these for marathons, triathlons, biking, horse riding. Doubled, I don't have bounce. But they're tight.

    Cup wise, I need a 4. Band, I need a 1. So I fence in with the 4, then keep them in the fences with the 1.

    Martial arts, I wear a compression rash guard, so that is TIGHT and takes over for the 1.

    Yes, that's $140 to fence in. But jumping my big warmblood without means I bruise the boobs, and that is far more painful than buying two bras. Plus, the 1 stays cleaner, so I can frequently wear it twice before washing vs the 4 that doesn't even get to dry out from sweat before it's washed.

  3. The Enell is a lifesafer for all big-boobed runners! If you don't fit into their regulars, contact their custom service for a custom size. It costs $15 more and takes some weeks and bit a of communication with their fitter, but it's SO worth it.

  4. They will make custom bras with different front and back sizes, but these are of course more expensive and non-returnable. But there are options for women with larger breasts.

    I haven't tried it yet so I don't know how effective it is. They suggested I try a standard size with a big enough front (for me that's a 3 or a 4) and see how that works before ordering a smaller back.

  5. Interesting looking sports bra. I have been on the lookout for great and supportive plus size bras. I cannot tell you how many times I go into the store and cannot find the right size. Thanks so much for this review, it was very helpful

  6. I wear 30J (42 inch overbust in a bra, 29 ribcage) in most bras and I stuff my boobs in Enell size 1 I got from ebay that had a sewing error - band was 1 inch tighter then it should have been, so perfect for me.
    I did initially get overspill on the sides and not enough coverage, but I took the straps in about 2,5 inches each (My boobs are impossibly high on chest) and voila. I get the coverage I need both from the sides and from the front, a lot of compression that I'm still comfortable with, and if I wear my andorra underneath (don't like boobs touching in the middle), my boobs don't move AT ALL.
    And even without it, Enell is the closest thing to leaving your boobs at home.

    That said, I really think you might get even better results in a size 0 :)

  7. I have been wearing these bras for years and find them the best sports bra I have! I do also wear them often during the day as I do not get rubbing under arms or chest. They just have a high back so need to be mindful of shirt I wear them with. I have a very small rib (8) and large breasts (K) so compromised with a 2 and a 3 have had no problems with either size.

  8. I have worn Enells for years, and when I see other women running I want to stop and give them a talk about a real sports bra. I'm a 34-36 E, and I have tried every other sports bra out there. None of them compare. And I double bag it too when I run (I happened to catch a glimpse of my tatas running on the treadmill one time, and that was it for me...), and I can't say enough good things about Enell. I'm hoping to delay gravity just a little bit longer with these.

  9. Enell sports bra this brand in the industry can be said to be a good brand, the only regret is that a single product, choose small, there is a zipper front sports bra is that there is no good solution to the problem bump.

  10. Enell sports bra this brand in the industry can be said to be a good brand, the only regret is that a single product, choose small, there is a zipper front sports bra is that there is no good solution to the problem bump.

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  12. thanks for this usefull article, waiting for this article like this again. Read more

  13. I shuddered at the corset comment. Corsets when correctly fitting are very comfortable.