“But, seriously: they're just breasts. Every second person in the world has them,” laughs Anna Scott in that Notting Hill scene. But what evades the charming Miss Scott is that over 90% (!) of women are wearing the wrong size sports bra, leading to movement-related breast pain in over half of respondents. In a bid to change that, Adidas has launched a brand new sports bra collection which not only includes new designs and styles, but really re-engineers the way it caters to more bodies and exercise forms than ever before. And the campaign? It has people talking, too.
Shared on Instagram, the campaign includes snapshots of 25 different bare breasts: different shapes, sizes, and needs. “In sport, everybody should feel free and inspired by what their bodies can achieve,” reads the caption that accompanies it. While some have called out the images as “unnecessary,” it remains a powerful statement about inclusivity. (Plus, breast are a natural part of our anatomy.)
But it is the science behind the designs that is truly worth talking about. Teaming up with leading breast biomechanics research scientists at the University of Portsmouth, adidas found that poor breast support leads to movement-related breast pain in nearly half of female respondents, but that it also impacts performance and efficiency, too. “If you run a marathon, unsupported breasts travel an extra four miles on their own,” explains Amy Charlton, Senior Director Product at Adidas.
Speaking about the importance of the right fit, Olympic athlete Mikaela Shiffrin added: “My sports bra is the first piece of kit I consider when I’m training because when it isn’t right, it throws me off and I lose focus. In the lead up to such a huge competition, it was so important for me to stay in the zone and not having the right bra has a significant impact on my training and performance, both mentally and physically.”
So scientific research and input from athletes put in, an all-female team of designers at the sports brand set out to redesign the offering with this information in mind. The result? 43 new styles across 19 different categories, all available to buy from Feb. 14. Though each does something different, every style offers added comfort and fit with the hope of encouraging more women to take part in sport and feel comfortable doing so.
There is the everyday bra (an essential, really) designed for those lounge days enjoying Netflix, or, you know, just going about your daily business. There are also studio bras for things like yoga, pilates, and other low-intensity activities. Training bras offer more support, for HIIT workouts or exercises that will work up a sweat. And then there’s the running bras that offer the most support in the range.
“It was a significant undertaking with an all-female team of designers, testers and experts,” explains Charlton, “and we hope this collection will help more sports bra wearers experience the benefits of added support and a better fit, and not be held back when doing the sports they love.”