I’m talking about intuitive underwear, the kind that could be unrestrictive enough to wear during low-impact workouts (or couch chilling) but then change the second your activity level increases to offer more support for your girls. That’s the promise of Reebok’s new PureMove Bra, which drops Friday and uses state-of-the-art technology (initially developed to be used as body armor for bulletproof vests and NASA spacesuits) to adapt to your actions—tightening up when you pick up the pace or go through high-velocity movements like burpees and box jumps and relaxing when you do.
Sounds like the Holy Grail of active undergarments, right? But is it really possible that it knows when to give its wearer an extra edge of support? I spent a week exercising in one to find out—here’s what you need to know.
Almost 1 in 5 women say they don’t work out because they can’t find a sports bra that fits their boobs.
The first thing I notice about the PureMove Bra is that the fabric is super sleek—with a racerback and perforation for extra breathability—and resembles popular neoprene styles I see in the windows of high-end activewear boutiques. Though, at $60, it’s about half the cost of its luxury counterparts. Better still, it’s offered in inclusive sizes from XS to XXL, a range that covers women's size 0–22. (According to Reebok, a major reason they developed the PureMove was discovering that almost 1 in 5 women say they don’t work out because they can’t find a sports bra that fits their boobs.) It's higher cut neckline is currently trending in activewear and is definitely made with functionality in mind. The bra also has a molded front panel and free cut edges for a minimalistic, second-skin fit. In other words, it's chic but lacks the bells and whistles of some of the options I’d traditionally wear to yoga with or without a backless tank top.
What I don’t see are the extra hooks, closures, or a gazillion straps that most sports bras feature. “Many would assume that the more support a sports bra gives would equate to the more fabric, straps, or hooks it’s comprised of,” says Danielle Witek, senior innovation apparel designer at Reebok. “PureMove’s design is quite deliberately the opposite. Every single detail is intentional and directly informed by years of our testing and research.” Instead, it uses its own Motion Sense Technology, a performance fabric treated with Sheer Thickening Fluid (STF)—the aforementioned NASA-approved gel—which is responsive and firms up as you move faster.
I’m instantly surprised the moment I put it on. It’s easy to get on over my shoulders and fits my body seamlessly. Without feeling totally stuck to my chest, my girls feel supported. I do a few jumps around the apartment and am satisfied with the initial bounce test. It was time to take this beauty outside.
A mile into the run, I realize I actually hadn’t given my boobs a second thought.
The first wear is for a quick 5K along Boston’s Charles River. It’s a hot day, I’m traveling there for business, and just need to get in some sort of sweat before a morning of meetings. I make a mental note to really think about how the bra feels instead of my traditional to-do-list rundown that I go through on my morning jaunts.
About a mile into the run, I realize I actually hadn’t given my boobs a second thought. A good thing, if you ask me since things can get questionable on ridiculously humid afternoons. There’s no uncomfortable chafing happening, neither in the center of my chest nor near my arms, and I feel comfortable. Bounce is a non-issue.
I’m so delighted by the experience, that I toss the bra in the wash that night when I get back to New York City. After a hang dry, it’s ready to wear for my 10-miler around Central Park Monday morning. Again, it’s perfect, which still surprises me. The cups are a tad thicker than on my other go-to bras, but I’m comfortably compressed. Also, it has cups. Albeit small and not as distinctive as say, a Lululemon Enlite, but they’re there. As someone who’s never been into a bra that had anything resembling cups, again, shocked. The PureMove does better on my run than I do, and it’s not a total struggle to remove it despite it being sweat-drenched after the deed is done.
The final test: low impact. I wear it to a Y7 Studio hot yoga class. I thought that the cups may feel off in downward dog, but there’s no slippage or uncomfortable adjustments needed as we flow through poses like crow and airplane. I’m oh-so-comfortable. And that works for me. Could this be the missing puzzle for women shying away from fitness because of their chest? If you ask me, it’s very, very possible.
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