I Tried It: Wool Bras
I have sung the praises of the Skirt Sports Wonder Wool line many times (get yours here). I seriously just love it so much. The skirt with attached leggings are great for in between weather (about 30-40), and the tops are all I run in in the Winter these days. Because, wicking.
I realized, though, that one of the reasons I become so chilled after winter runs is the dang bra. Sure, I wear good bras, they say they wick . . . not so much. I just have really sweaty boobs, apparently.
Then I had my lightbulb moment: what if I bought some wool bras? Yes, Virginia, there is such a thing. Now, I know what you’re thinking — that must be awfully itchy! But is it?
Smartwool PhD Racerback Bra
I first tried out the the Smartwool racerback bra (Amazon Affiliate link here). It fit much like the Champion racerback bras I get from Target — I’d say medium support, which is fine for me as I’m very small on top.
On the first run it seemed just a little itchy under the arms and the band when I first put it on. I put on some anti chafing cream just in case, but there was no chafing and I wasn’t bothered on the run.
The second run I’d lost just a little bit of weight and it felt more comfortable and I didn’t use any anti chafing stuff — still no chafing. Keep in mind my runs are very short (1-3 miles) at the moment, so I can’t say how these bras will do on a longer run.
These are last year’s season, by the way, and a fairly reasonable $30 – $45, depending on size and color. Works for me.
I got my normal size in a running bra, a M, and that fit just right.
Icebreaker Merino Sprite Racerback Bra
Is anyone else amused by the description Women’s Bra? Do men wear bras (well, I guess some may, but still). This bra seemed rather skimpy for a running bra (Amazon Affiliate link here), but it was surprisingly about medium compression, too. It was less coverage, which again was fine for me — it actually gave me some cleavage though.
This bra didn’t feel itchy when I put it on. I’d ordered a slightly different version of this bra first, and my normal M was way too big. I read the comments and ordered a S in this model instead, and that fit much better, although the band was just a bit tight — it will probably be perfect when I’ve lost just a couple more pounds.
This bra also felt less itchy than the Smartwool bra when I first tried it on, and I didn’t use any anti chafing — again, there was no chafing and no discomfort in the bra, either. I came back home after the run and walked the dogs without changing out of the bra — it was a cool day, and I never felt terribly chilled.
Saturday I did my mentoring run (just a little over a mile), waited for my friends, ran a couple of miles with one friend, and then hung around for a while with the other while we waited for one friend to finish up.
It was in the low 40s, cloudy, and again — I never felt chilled or particularly sweaty after either run. Still no itching and no chafing, but again it was a short, easy run. So far, so good. Still no long runs in these bras.
Final thoughts on wool bras
The pros are the wicking — you can get sweaty, but the sweat will mostly wick away and the bra will dry out quickly. Which also means that you can wear them more than once without them getting stinky. They are not itchy, and so far I have not experienced any chafing at all — but whether or not that remains true for longer runs is up in the air — probably until next Winter.
If you are a large breasted women who needs a lot of support (I am not), I don’t think this will work for you. The Smartwool bra has more support, but you larger women would probably have to wear this underneath another bra (for support). I wouldn’t want to do that.
I think for myself wool bras will be a huge game changer next Winter. Especially wool bras plus the Wonder Wool tops — they keep me much drier, and that keeps me warmer in the “long run”.
- Have you ever worn a wool bra?
- Is that an area that gets really sweaty for you?
- What is your favorite piece of cold weather running gear?