Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Bra Review II: Enell

I'm sure you've been waiting with bated breath! Here is Bra Review Number Two: The Enell Bra. This was actually my first quality sports bra. Its claim to fame is being "Oprah's favorite sports bra". Since Oprah is a pretty curvy woman herself, it has to be good, right? Let's start with pros.
This is a monster of a bra. It is very durable. I've had one for over four years, and though it is a bit discolored, there's no other sign of wear. It will last practically forever.
This bra distributes the weight of the breasts across your whole back with a comfortable, wide back panel. The straps are wide and lightly padded, so no cutting into the shoulders. It's a fantastic compression bra, so there is no bounce. This is a very comfortable, supportive bra IF it fits you well.
And that brings us to the first con. It does not come in exact sizes; it comes in size ranges. It's basically a high quality small/medium/large type bra for curvy ladies. If you're between sizes, you're out of luck. Also, it clasps in the front with just one row of clasps. If you (like me) are the type to gain and lose the same five pounds over and over, you can't just move to a tighter or looser setting. The straps aren't adjustable, either, so if you're shorter or taller than average, you can't get a custom fit. I'm short, and I would prefer the straps to be just a bit shorter to really fit me well.
Now, the company does make custom bras. It costs an extra $15 for the first one, and once they have your pattern, it's an extra $7.50 for each additional bra.
The second big con for me is, again, it's a monster of a bra. It's very thick with no mesh parts. This makes it hot. I'm very heat sensitive when I run, as much as 2 min/mile slower in summer vs. winter. This is not my bra of choice for an outdoor long run if the weather is warmer than 30F/0C. I'm not kidding--my first winter of training, I often ran in a t-shirt with no gloves in 30-40F/0-4C weather with the Enell. (However, it was quite nice this past January the day I did 16 miles in 9F/-12C on snow and ice, but that's not typical weather most of the year.) Of course, since it's going to last forever, I'm not letting it go to waste. This has become my go-to bra when I run on the treadmill in the privacy of my home with no shirt and a fan pointed on me at all times.
So a mixed opinion. If it fits you well (or you're willing to pay the money for a custom bra) AND you don't mind the heat, it's a very comfortable bra that will last forever. But if it doesn't fit well and/or you're heat sensitive, look elsewhere. It gets a C- from me.

Note: I received no compensation for this review. This is just my opinion.

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