I’ve always been a sporty person and sports bras have been a huge part of my life, without me even realising until now. Introduced to my first sports bra at the age of 13 by my mother, I’ve gone through many many types of sports bras from the various brands – Nike, Adidas, PUMA, Bodynits, Reebok and more.
When I was 15, I fell in love with a particular Nike sports bra and liked it so much that I bought every colour there was of that model – pink, dark pink, red, green, blue and black. It had a cross at the back and felt very comfortable. However, after several washes the rubber bit would loosen and harden. Not good.
10 years later, Nike has made great improvements to its sports bras, listening to the ladies out there and coming up with the Nike Victory Bra series – a range of five models to cater to the breadth of preferences and needs across different sizes and activities.
Two years ago, Nike Apparel Innovation designers got hundreds of high-school girls and young women around the world to show them their favorite bras. They then talked about sports-bra support, everything from fabrics and clasps to what their bras’ superpower would be if they could have one.
Emerging from all the reserch, development and testing are the five styles of the Nike Victory Bra series: Adjust X, Definition, Shape, Contour and Pro Compression. Trying out the Adjust X and Definition ones, I wore them to go-karting and Bikram Yoga.
This is the Nike Victory Adjust X bra:
It has adjustable straps and an adjustable chest band that come with new modern low-profile hardware for targeted support. The X-back design has key zones of mesh placement for moisture management – the perspiration can evaporate faster – hence making the bra lighter and stronger.
According to the press release, the Nike Victory Adjust X Bra has an innovative molded under-bust support, thus reducing weight of the bra and fitting the body better. To ensure maximum support and shaping, it comes with cup-specific sizing and molded cups to encapsulate and stabilise.
Although it is designed for larger chest sizes, I felt very comfortable in it and the adjustable strap gives added convenience so you can adjust how tight you want it to hug you, depending on what activity you are doing.
With all that strong support, it is meant for high-impact activities (so that your boobs won’t run all over the place) so I took it go-karting. It was also quite cooling and didn’t carry a lot of the perspiration the way some sports bras do, due to poor evaporation and causing you to stink.
This is the Nike Victory Definition bra:
With molded spacer mesh, the Definition bra provides individual encapsulated cup support, as well as modesty and shaping. It has more vertical and lateral support as well as perspiration management. Accrording to Nike, it is 24 per cent lighter and the shoulder strap is 64 per cent stronger than previous bras.
The thing about the Definition bra is that it’s thinner than the Adjust X, which is good, but it also means the nipples could be seen. Then again, that’s not a problem once your tank top or exercise top goes over. I wore the Definition bra to Bikram Yoga class, where I usually perspire excessively. It helped to keep me cooler than usual in the 41-degree Celsius heated studio, but it got a bit ‘transparent’ so I had to drape a towel round me once class ended!
Just some background:
Nike’s Apparel Innovation design team began the process by looking at how fabrics pull moisture off the body, coming up with a patented fabric laminate that layers material for support and moisture management. Every detail was obsessed, tested and finessed down to the chest band – a 3.5-cm-wide strip just below the cup that hits where women chafe the most. To get it right the team went through 120 versions trying different ways to build the chest band down to the thread and thread count. Even placement of the care label was up for debate. Endless discussions ensued on thread and stitching as they applied to comfort and shaving down overall weight. The hardware was remade to be lighter and less bulky. And, as the project’s Senior Innovation Manager Susan Sokolowski puts it, making the bra “elegant and attractive” was the group’s task.
The mesh was compressed so it was stable and had no stretch, making it lower profile than the type of under-bust support used before. What should have been trash, just excess fabric surrounding the actual mold was the answer the team was looking for. The moment was akin to Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman seeing his wife’s waffle iron and creating the first Nike Waffle sole. The new flexible under-bust support has reduced the weight of the fully adjustable versions of the Nike Victory Adjust X and U Bra and is protected by a patent (one of three for the Nike Victory Bra series). Each version of the bra is now 10 to 27 percent lighter than the models they’re replacing. And the shoulder straps are also 35 to 90 percent stronger, to provide a solid anchor.
Through this process, the team also developed a new testing protocol for the bra. In biomechanical lab tests, every woman tests differently. The same woman can wear the same bra and do the same activity, but will get different results on different days simply based on normal hormonal fluctuation in her body. Mechanical testing collects samples from specific components of the bra to ensure it provides enough support and stretch. It also means the results aren’t subjective.
Not leaving anything to chance, the team conducted extensive wear-testing, with each prototype worn numerous times by professional athletes like Paula Radcliffe and members of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team. The results were excellent – no one wanted to give back their bras.
Hey! I had to return my Nike Victory sport bras
To me, a good sports bra is one that can hold the boobs properly in place during sports so that you will feel comfortable and be able to give your best performance. Also, it should give good support and not restrict growth of the boobs.
Some people tell me that I probably wore one sports bra too many in my youth, hence ending up with A-cups. True or false, I can’t tell you unless I turn back time and not wear sports bras at all. Well, I believe with the right sports bra your boobs will not be restricted in growth and even be allowed to grow to its maximum.
(+) Lightweight, doesn’t retain perspiration, comfortable with enough room for boobs not to feel squashed.
(-) I don’t get to keep the sports bras after reviewing. The test unit didn’t come in pink.
Conclusion: There are five different styles of the Nike Victory Bra series, surely one will suit your activity type and intensity!