Compress, Support, and Flatter: Keys to Finding the Best Sports Bra

Sorry guys, this one is for the ladies.

Fit is the new sexy. With swimsuit season just around the corner, we all seem to be finding our way to the gym to tone up our “beach bod”.  I know I have been stocking up on the latest (and cutest) work out gear. What is the most essential item in my workout wardrobe? A well-fitting sports bra.

Sports bras are essential for two reasons: to provide needed support, and to flatter our figure. It doesn’t matter what shape you are, going without a proper fitting sports bra can be painful and quite embarrassing.  A Live Science article shares some scary facts about what happens when you workout without the proper support…just one tidbit; women’s breasts move about EIGHT inches during exercise…ouch!

photo by David Lawrence

Contrary to popular belief, women of every size need a sports bra. Women with smaller cup sizes still need support. When shopping for bras, pay attention to key terms such as low, medium, and high impact. This will let you know the types activities the bra is most appropriate for.

Finding the right bra for your body can be challenging so we’ve done the hard work for you. Check out these recommended bras in your size. Don’t let the lack of a proper bra keep you from a great workout!

A-B CUP

For smaller cup sizes, compression bras tend to work best. These bras compress the chest to reduce up and down movement. Just because the best bras for this size compress, it doesn’t mean they will make you feel flat as a board. Some of our favorites for this size include the Handful Adjustable Bra which allows you to “flatter and not flatten” during your workout. You may also like the Versatile Bra by Brooks. It provides support and compression from one of the best running brands on the market.  A-B Cup ladies can choose to find a bra that fits based on cup size or using the traditional small, medium, large sizing scales.

The Handful Adjustable Bra features adjustable straps and removable pads, and the Brooks Versatile Bra has the right amount of breathability, compression, and encapsulation…both ideal for A-B cup sizes.

 

The Moving Comfort Divine Mesh has 3 layers of breathable and moisture wicking mesh, as well as hidden seam underwires for separation and support.


C CUP

Ladies, if you wear this size you need support and not just compression. This is referred to as encapsulation which describes a bra that has full coverage. Look for cup sizing and not just small-large sizing. I love the Moving Comfort Divine Mesh because of its molded cups and underwire for increased support. It fits a variety of cups sizes, but works especially well for the C Cup.

 

 

Supportive, seam-free, and perfectly encapsulating, it’s no wonder the Moving Comfort Luna was named one of the Best Bras by Prevention Magazine!

 

D-DD CUP

These larger sizes are the ones that ladies tend to have trouble with. It can be hard to find a bra that provides substantial support without creating the “uni-boob” shape. The Moving Comfort Luna is an excellent choice for this cup size and was named the “Best Bra for Medium to High Impact for C-D cups” by Prevention Magazine. It has wide straps and and underwire support system to get you through your workout.

 

There can be an overwhelming number of sports bras to choose from. Just live by these guidelines:

  • Opt for a bra that will fit your exact cup size.
  • Ultimately you want a sports bra that reduces movement. Try one on and move around a bit to get a feel for its shape and support.
  • Have a bra fitting every 6-12 months. If you are working hard at the gym, you may experience a change in bra size.
  • Take care of your body. Proper support is so important during a workout.

Don’t be afraid OR ashamed. Love your body and take care of it. With the right sports bra you can be on your way to getting that beach body in no time! Find all your workout needs right here at www.doddsshoe.com.

Beginner Running Tips

Running is not only a great way to stay in shape, it can really benefit your overall health, both physical and mental. From raising levels of good cholesterol and increasing lung function, to boosting your immune system and preventing disease, to relieving stress and eliminating depression, the benefits of running seem endless. The hardest part about running is getting the motivation to just get out and do it, so here are a few running tips for beginners to make it just a little bit easier to take advantage of this awesome exercise.

Asics Kayano 18: the latest version of the legendary running shoe.

First things first: When you begin running, you need to get a really good pair of running shoes.  Without having good support and cushion, injuries such as shin splints, bad knees, or weak ankles can occur.  When I started running, I had really bad pain in my shins and it took me a couple of weeks to finally figure out that it was my shoes. I switched to Asics Kayano 18, and my shins thanked me immediately. The Kayano is gradually becoming a “legendary” shoe in the running community, and the 18th edition  lives up to its reputation with all around support and just that little bit of extra cushion for comfort.  These shoes are great for any terrain, including the road, trail, or track.

Another great running shoe is the lightweight and breathable  Brooks PureFlow.  The PureFlow is made to be more street specific, and comes in a variety of awesome colors for men, women, and kids. Just think; your whole family running around the neighborhood in a rainbow of different PureFlow shoes. Your neighbors will be saying “What a stylish and healthy family!” In hot weather, this shoe would be a great pick for its breathability and almost minimalist feel.

Brooks PureFlow Collection for men, women, and kids.

When you’ve found your perfect shoe and decide to start running, start slowly.  Don’t push yourself into running five miles the first day. Start out with about a mile and if that feels like a breeze, go up in distance the next time or switch to a faster pace.  If you want to

Nathan Hydration Products make sure your water levels are just right while on the go.

run longer distances, be sure to stay hydrated!  Take a Nathan water bottle holster to strap on while you are on your run. This way you won’t have to stop to take a water break, and you’ll have a place for essentials like your phone and keys.

One thing you need to do before and after you start your run is to stretch!  Loosen those hamstrings and calves with the Trigger Point Therapy Performance Kit and the Trigger Point revolutionary foam roller.  There have been a few days when I go out for a run and think I’ll be fine without stretching, and I ALWAYS regret it. Trust me, you will feel it in the morning! The performance kit comes with DVDs and lots of instructions to properly roll out your specific muscles.  You will be feeling much happier if you stretch before and after running. With these tips, you’ll soon be on your way to getting all the amazing benefits of running. Get the shoes, stretching advice, and athletic apparel you need to get started right here at www.doddsshoe.com.

Stay Cool in the Rising Summer Heat!

“Stay Cool” isn’t just an old 70’s term.  With temperatures reaching record highs in the Spring, we can expect this summer to be a scorcher. It’s time to start thinking about ways to stay comfortable and cool in your shoes.  While flip flops and sandals are an obvious choice when it comes to keeping our feet cool and happy, many of us have jobs and hobbies requiring something more. Safety toe boots, dress shoes, hiking boots, and walking shoes are often a necessary part of our daily lives, and the wrong choice of shoes can make the summer heat unbearable. Fortunately, we have some helpful tips to keeping your feet cool and dry:

  1. Alternate shoes.  Switching out the shoes you wear at least every other day is

    Alternating between different pairs of shoes every day helps keep feet cool and comfortable, while eliminating odor.

    the best way to keep your feet cool and dry.  This may sound like a clever sales pitch to sell two pair of shoes, but we’ve got science to back it up! Consider this:  The average pair of feet have 250,000 sweat glands, and these glands can produce up to 8 ounces of water every day! That’s as much as a recommended average glass of water–thirsty? Most of this moisture is absorbed into your shoes, and when you take your shoes off and throw them in the closet, they don’t have time to completely dry out before wearing them again the next morning. Putting your foot in a wet shoe first thing in the morning is a recipe for discomfort. Built up moisture can make shoes deteriorate faster, and the moist environment also contributes to intensified shoe and foot odor. Alternating shoes allows the footwear to dry completely, thus creating a more comfortable (and less smelly) environment. It also helps your footwear last longer, saving you money in the long run! If you can’t alternate your shoes every other day, you can take the insoles out at the end of the day to help the shoes dry faster.

  2. Ventilate.  Many of today’s modern shoes designs allow air to pass through the shoes to keep feet dry. Air movement is key to keeping you cool and dry, so look for

    Mesh panels lend to breathability, helping the Merrell Moab Ventilator live up to its name.

    shoes with key words like “ventilate,” “breathability,” and “air mesh.”  For example, the Merrell Moab Ventilator has lots of mesh in the upper to allow your foot to breathe. Ventilation is great in the summer, but remember that high ventilation usually means that you’ll get wet faster in the rain or dewy grass.  Fortunately, if your ventilated shoes get wet, they will typically dry faster too.

  3. Moisture wicking materials.  For those of you with jobs requiring a more professional look, some companies have developed moisture wicking technology to add to casual or dress styles. There’s a plethora of moisture wicking materials built in to shoes today.  Materials like Cambrelle and Climasphere are specifically designed for temperature and moisture regulation.  This isn’t just built in to work boots, but dress shoes too. Take the men’s Ecco Atlanta for example. Ecco’s  Comfort Fibre system is on the bottom of their removable leather insoles and is designed to pull moisture away from the foot.  This not only helps keep your feet dry, but also helps the shoes dry faster.  Clarks has developed the Unstructured Line of shoes, featuring the company’s Air Circulation System (ACS). Considered “fresh air for your feet,” ACS increases airflow with intake vents built into the sole which bring in fresh air, and exhaust vents throughout the shoe to expel moist, warm air. The result? Better airflow, and a comfortable and dry foot environment!

    The Clarks Unstructured Line features ACS (Air Circulation System), resulting in better airflow for your feet.

  4. Less is better (sometimes).  Many shoe companies tout the fact that their waterproof materials are breathable.  We agree that most of them are, but the more layers you put in a shoe, the more they retain heat. If they are keeping out water, they are more likely to keep in heat. We recommend avoiding waterproof membranes if your goal is to stay cool.  If you must have a waterproof shoe or boot, you should purchase one with a breathable membrane (like Gore-Tex), but try to find a light weight one that has some ventilation like the waterproof version of the Merrell Moab Ventilator.

If you follow these tips, you should find much more comfort in those dog days of summer. So get out and enjoy the heat with the help from all of us at doddsshoe.com!