This Lululemon running bra is the most supportive—and expensive—one I’ve ever worn
The AirSupport bra makes high-impact activity a treat.
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A good running bra always compresses. This is what I was told, anyway, when I was 14 and joined my high school’s cross-country team and found myself in need of a lot of new sports bras for after-school practices. My mom and I went to Costco and purchased a variety pack of Champion bras that kept my breasts strapped down beneath my running jerseys. Ever since, that’s the running bra ethos I’ve subscribed to—the tighter and more compressive, the better.
But compression isn’t always the best option, and luckily, it isn’t all that’s out there. One key new player: Lululemon’s $98 AirSupport bra, which claims to contain breasts without smushing them to offer unrivaled support while running. Lululemon sent me an AirSupport bra to test out ahead of its launch—here’s what I thought.
What is the AirSupport bra?
Lululemon describes the AirSupport bra as a “revolutionary” high-support bra that’s specifically designed for running. It’s also intended for people with larger chests. Sizes range from 32C to 36DDD or 40D, and Lululemon says more sizes are coming in the fall. Each bra comes in an exact size, not a range meant to fit a swath of sizes, so I was able to get my usual bra size, 32D.
Looks-wise, it’s similar to Lululemon’s Energy bra, with criss-cross straps and a hook-and-eye back clasp. It’s made of nylon and elastane and has non-removable foam cups that Lululemon claims mold to fit your shape while allowing airflow during rigorous workouts. Its straps are adjustable to provide a lifted feel and even distribution of weight across the chest, shoulders, and back. The bra comes in three colors—black, teal, and a dark pink. It costs $98, which a pretty penny for something that you'll sweat in. It's not the most expensive Lulu bra (the Enlite tops it at $108) but it's more expensive than other popular high-support options from brands like Nike, UnderArmour, and Brooks, all of which top out at $70 or $80.
What I like about the AirSupport bra
In my 14 years since joining my high school’s cross-country team, I’ve gone on a lot of runs in a lot of sports bras (different ones from that first multipack, I promise)—and none of them have ever felt quite like the AirSupport bra. I ran several miles and took a HIIT class while wearing it, and it’s the first bra that didn't make me notice any jiggling or jostling, but also didn't make me feel flattened down. Instead, my breasts felt cradled and smush-free during my runs. All in all, I didn’t think about my chest at all as I was running or jumping, which I take as a sign of an incredible sports bra.
Also, I’m usually anti-foam in sports bras, as it tends to make my chest look square and cartoonish, messes with airflow, and seems more apt to degrade over time. I can’t speak to the longevity of this foam, but I’m inclined to give the AirSupport's foam a passing grade. This is because it fulfills an actual, supportive purpose, but also because it didn’t seem to make sweat collect in my bra any more than thinner, non-padded ones I’ve owned. Plus, the padding is subtle enough that I didn’t feel self-conscious wearing it.
And, of course, like all Lululemon gear, the AirSupport bra also looks really good. I tried it in black, which is sleek and stylish with its criss-cross back and subtle reflective logo on the back. It feels high-coverage enough to wear on its own, but it didn’t look obtrusive when I wore it under my running tanks, either. I washed it like every other sports bra I treasure—in a garment bag on the washer’s delicate setting in cool water, then laid it flat to dry—and it looked great and felt just as supportive on my next run.
What I don’t like about the AirSupport bra
The AirSupport bra has a criss-cross back and a strap that has three hooks that clasp behind the back. This provides fantastic support, but made it difficult to finagle myself in and out of the contraption. To do it, I had to push my head through the top strap, make sure my arms were going through the right holes, then try to position my hands together to line up and catch the tiny metal hooks together. Getting it off was also twisty—more so, in fact, because I was dripping with sweat. My over-the-head bras aren’t that much easier to get on and off, and I’m not used to the hook situation so it could be just a learning curve.
And, as great as it is for running, it was uncomfortable when I was not being active. The bra is not constricting in the same way a compression bra is, but it still feels involved—the foam makes it stiffer than regular bras, so it can dig into the skin if you're just sitting down and not moving much. This isn’t a full criticism, as the AirSupport is intended to be a running bra, not a hanging-around bra. But, as someone who likes to get in their running clothes at the start of the day with the intent of getting in a run at some point, I was a little bummed that I couldn’t do that with the AirSupport.
I’d also love if Lulu expanded its size range on the smaller end, band-wise, to at least a 30 (which other brands, like Brooks, include), as well as to A and B cups. But I get why the latter is not a priority. It’s easier for smaller-cupped people to run in almost any kind of decently supportive bra, while larger-chested people need something with more umph. If you’re smaller-breasted and want a high-support Lululemon bra, you can spring for the Enlite bra, which comes in sizes A through E.
Is the AirSupport bra worth it?
The AirSupport’s $98 price tag is on par with Lululemon’s apparel, but still it may be tough for some to stomach. I think it can be justified, however, if you run a lot, fit into the AirSupport’s size range, and often find that classic sports bras don’t fulfill your needs. As for me? All I'll say is the AirSupport stopped me from thinking about my boobs as I run—and for me, that’s a pretty sweet deal.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.