When it comes to fitness gear, one thing you should never skimp on is a good sports bra. A bad bra can totally throw off a workout, which is why I am super selective with what I wear. Typically, I go for sports bras with a hook-and-eye closure and adjustable straps, which are features that make me feel held in and locked down during a run or even a regular workout.
For years my favorite in this realm was the now discontinued Brooks Juno—a high-impact racer-back style with a hook-and-eye closure, adjustable straps, and contoured cups (read: No uniboob!). From marathons and SoulCycle to Tone House classes and heavy weightlifting, it carried me through a multitude of fitness adventures. So when the folks at Brooks told me they were scrapping their entire line of bras and introducing a new suite of silhouettes this year, my first thought was: “Roz, you need to stock up on Juno bras ASAP before they are gone forever!”
But the Juno-shaped hole in my life was soon filled by a new sports bra in the Brooks family: the Dare Crossback Run Bra. While it just launched in January, I’ve been officially testing it since the fall, and it’s the one I’ve reached for most consistently over the past few months. Given my loyalty to the original Brooks Juno, I wasn’t sure I was even going to like this bra. For starters, the bra has neither the hook-and-eye closure nor the adjustable straps I’ve come to know and love in the Juno. And yet the crossed back—which is made up of two separate pieces that lie flat on top of each other—and the built-in, lightly padded cups somehow keep my D’s (sometimes double-D’s) in check with minimal bouncing.
When I slipped on the Dare Crossback for my first of many runs (a three-miler—long enough to determine whether the bra was a keeper, and short enough that I wouldn’t be doomed to endless rubbing and chafing if it wasn’t up to snuff), it didn’t take long to realize that this one was a winner. The fabric, which has minimal seams, is thin and light and feels smooth against my skin. There is no unsightly bra bulge when I am wearing it, either—an issue I struggle with in other sports bras.
Plus the perforations in between the breasts, as well as along the back, really help with airflow. As a heavy sweater who has been known to overheat on a run, even in 10-degree weather, I need that air circulation. The fabric is also sweat-wicking enough to pull moisture away from my girls. Every run—which has hovered in the four- to six-mile range—and indoor cycling class since then has driven home how great this bra is for a range of workouts.
This is a rarity, but the bra’s also so comfy that it’s become my new go-to for lounging. I can only describe the fabric as feeling like second skin. It moves with me instead of fighting my body, and I barely even notice I’m wearing it, which is the calling card of a great sports bra. The only time I think about it is when I am actually pulling it on or taking it off, which is a breeze—even when I’m super sweaty. I never experience any weird pinching or headaches, which I’ve seen in the past when a sturdier athletic supporter has overstayed its welcome on my body (think six-plus hours). This is literally the highest compliment I can give a sports bra. It’s like nailing all the winning lotto numbers plus the Powerball—jackpot! And it’s lasted wear after wear. Even months down the line, after multiple spin cycles, it hasn’t frayed or lost its shape.
I know choosing a sports bra is deeply personal depending on your build and style preferences, but if you’re someone like me in the C to D range who craves support and style, don’t be surprised if you end up loving this bra. If you’re still a skeptic, the Brooks Dare collection includes five other new silhouettes that might suit you better—the Scoopback, High-Neck, Strappy, Zip, and Racerback. They all fall around the $ 60 mark and come in a range of neutral shades like dove gray, navy, and black. Here’s to hoping that you’ll find the One too (though I have full confidence you will).