One topic I’ve never written on much on this blog is high-impact sports bras. As a runner, high impact bras are something I’ve found myself paying more attention to. So, over the coming weeks, I’ll be doing a series of a couple different high-impact sports bra reviews from a variety of brands. Panache is first on deck!
I’ve never tried an underwire sports bra, but this one has such good reviews, I decided to give it a shot. Normally, I don’t like underwire bras much because they basically always dig into my sternum.
I ordered this in a 30D and in my opinion, it runs true to size. If you’re between cup sizes, I recommend going with the smaller cup size.
The straps can be worn two ways: over the shoulder or racerback style using a J-hook (which I discovered after taking these photos–oops). I noticed the bra is noisy and makes a creaking sound when worn with the hook attached. I’m not sure if this would go away over time, since I only wore this a few times. If you look at my photos, you can see the J hook is placed quite high on the straps.
Speaking of straps, these are surprisingly short. Since I’m petite, I normally tighten the straps on my bras a fair bit, but on this bra, it’s most comfortable left quite loose. If I want to wear the straps racerback, I have to loosen them all the way.
I did several runs in this bra, ranging from 3-6 miles. I wore it with both the J hook attached and unattached. Generally, I prefer racerback bras, and while the straps didn’t slip at all, it felt funny to wear it over-the-shoulder.
This bra uses an encapsulation approach to support, which means each breast is held separately. The end result is that this look you’re wearing a sports bra, but it’s still very supportive. It’s a very different silhouette than most sports bras, more like a normal bra. The band is also thick and quite supportive, with 3 columns of triple hooks to continue tightening the band down as the elasticity relaxes with use. Bounce was quite minimal for me.
Sweat management performed on par with other sports bras. The coverage is just right, low enough to breathe, but sufficiently high to avoid digging into breast tissue. The mesh accent through the middle is a nice touch to enhance breathability in a high-sweat area.
Ultimately, I decided not to keep this bra. Like most underwires, this one ended up bothering me a bit, becoming especially noticeable after about 4 or 5 miles. I need high support most for long runs, so this one wasn’t going to fit the bill. I’m going to stick with wire-free sports bras in the future. That said, if wires don’t bother you, this is still a great bra overall.
I would recommend this bra if you want high support, have a difficult-to-find bra size, and you prefer a more natural shape instead of the dreaded uniboob sports bra silhouette. Avoid this bra if you need long straps and if, like me, you aren’t a fan of wires.
Although this bra is very expensive at full price ($70), you can frequently find it discounted, as long as you’re not picky about color. I’m wearing the kaleidoscope print in this post, which I found for only $33. Another big perk of this bra is that it’s available in an impressive range of sizes, including bands 28-40. If your size is tough to find, you’re likely to find the right fit with this bra.