If you thought finding the right pair of running trainers was hard…for many runners, finding the right sports bra is like finding the Holy Grail. After too many post-run shower moments when I realised I’d chafed on my ribs, back, shoulders etc, the times where I’ve bled after a wet-run due to seams rubbing on my chest, and the scar I still have from one very sweaty 20 miler… I have now found the sports bra that works for me. I’ve been wearing the Triumph Triaction sports bras since 2016 and haven’t looked back.
Rather than coming from a sports wear background like many Sports Bra brands, they come from 130 years of crafting lingerie. They know how to make comfort, style and support in everyday bras and that has transitioned into their sports line.
How to buy a Sports Bra for Running
Triumph Triaction Sports Bra Review
Despite the fact that I’ve been wearing Triumph Triaction sports bras pretty much exclusively for running since 2016, I’ve never done a full review of them! Recently I had the chance to speak with Sian Thomas, Global Product Design Director at Triumph about the Triaction range, she explained that the sports bra range originally came about to provide women that wanted to get into exercise a sports bra that they could trust. Triumph wanted to help empower them to do exercise and help them feel confident in their underwear. They wanted to be size inclusive, and targeted larger busts at a time that many of the options were from sports brands in S, M & L only.
Working with the experts at Portsmouth University, they looked at women’s boobs when they exercise, measuring how much they move when running. Did you know that a woman’s nipple can move up to 50cm at a light jog?!
Bounce control was their top priority, alongside style. I can attest to the fact that 8-10 years ago, the only sports bras available in a DD were not very attractive! Triumph wanted to make a range that provided comfort, control & function while still looking good. Now their focus has become more about innovation with the recent launch of the Cardio Cloud bra with ‘cloud spacer’ cups for additional breathability and lightweight yet high impact support.
Whilst Triumph does a wide range of sports bras but my personal favourite styles are the Extreme Lite & the Hybrid Lite. They are both traditional style bras with an elastane chest strap with a triple hook and eye clasp and adjustable straps for different levels of activity.
A very lightweight, high impact bra with padded straps and a smooth, double layer of sweat wicking, breathable fabric. The bra is designed to sit smoothly under clothes and provides a wider range of sizes compared to the Hybrid Lite (up to back size 40 and cup size F). The straps on both bras have been designed for adjustability, both at the front and back, whether you wear them crossed over or traditionally. Designed for extreme levels of support!
Another maximum support bra but with a little padding in the cup that has been designed to ‘naturally contour curves’. The adjustable 3D straps can be adjusted and crossed for additional support. There is three layers of anti-bounce control in the waffle-like material that’s been designed to allow more air between the fabric and therefore more breathability plus a little bit of protection for the nips!
Triumph Triaction Sports Bra Pros and Cons
Comfort – Hands down the Triumph Triaction are the most comfortable sports bras I’ve ever worn whilst actually providing support. I’ve chafed in a lot of other bras on long runs over the years and I don’t chafe in these (unless they’re old & the elastic is gone!!).
Support – with the multiple options to adjust the bras, including the back and straps, I love the level of individualised support the bras provide
Colours – this would have been in the con list a couple of years ago but is firmly in the pros right now. Triumph come out with new colours each year – I love the light blue and lilac in this years colour palette.
Cost – many high quality sports bras come with a cost, and luckily Triumph Triaction bras are no-where near the top end. With that said, I can often find them on sale online for around £20. Currently the Extreme Lite is £46 and Hybrid Lite is £50. I do always remember that after shoes, a sports bra should be the next investment piece in your running kit!
I found the purple Extreme Lite Sports Bra is reduced from £46 to £32 and here for £25!
They’re also available on Amazon at various prices/sizes Hybrid Lite (from £26) & Extreme Lite from £27
The Blue Bra – this might be coincidental BUT I have found my bright blue bras hold up less well compared to other colour ways and after speaking to someone on IG, it seems I’m not the only one. The fabric must be slightly different to the black & pinks as I’ve had no issues with them over the years.
Sizes – I’m a 32DD but appreciate how lucky I am to be able to find my cup size but the Extreme Lite stops at 40DD/36F whilst the Hybrid Lite goes up to a 38E. For those with a larger bust sizes the new Cardio Cloud has a wider range of options (up to a 38G).
Triumph Triaction Sports Bra Review
I first tried the Triumph Triaction sports bras back in 2016 (read my original review of the bra here) and honestly, haven’t looked back since. I’ve tried a couple of other sports bras over the years but my go-to has always been the Triaction performance bras because they work so well for me. I don’t chafe. I don’t bounce. I don’t struggle to get in and out of the bra!
Unlike a number of other sports bras, you wear your regular bra size or similar, perfect for larger bust sizes to provide the right level of support. The cups and band together provide extreme bounce control
Personally I don’t like an underwire sports bra but they do have underwire options. The wide elasticated chest strap should fit snugly. You should be able to get two fingers under the band, but do remember that bands will get looser over time. I like the triple eye and hook with options to tighten the chest band once it starts to stretch. Once it’s too stretched, you’ll need to replace your bra as it’s this element that opens you up for chafing if it’s not tight enough!
I asked Sian Thomas what the top panel bra material was made from, and she explained that they have used synthetic fibres for maximum breathability and sweat wicking properties. The fabric is double layered which eliminates risk of chafing on seams (which has happened to me in other brands!).
Often I would chafe on the straps due to the reliance on straps to reduce bounce, the Triaction padded straps work with the rest of the bra design rather than being the sole supporting factor. Whilst I do sometimes still get headaches due to the pressure on my traps, that is only when I’ve been wearing the bra all day and don’t loosen the straps (which can be easily done at the front while wearing them!).
Remember, it’s not just bigger busts that require high impact support when running. Regardless of your size, opt for something that supports and protects. In my opinion, an adjustable bra is best as you can tighten and loosen the chest and shoulder straps as they stretch, and as your body fluctuates throughout the month!