What I wish I had known: if you've decided to try a Shock Absorber Active Multi Sports bra my advice is to make sure it is the current model -S4490, rather than the older B4490.
I first purchased the 28HH - Shock Absorber » Active Multi Sports (4490) which is the s4490. I was overall very pleased with the appearance and support of the bra, but had some pretty extreme quadding over the top of the front portion. I wanted to try a larger cup volume and since the band was fairly tight in the 28 and HH is the largest volume Shock ... Absorber makes (in fact, some of their bras, like the Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Bra (S5044) only go up to G cups, which is sad - I really wanted to try that bra, it looks so secure! I suppose it is difficult to make an immobilizing bra like that in greater than G cup, so the same design probably doesn't work in larger cup sizes, but still, I wish it did!) To return to my point, I needed to try a 30HH to increase the available volume and ordered this from ebay knowing it was the older model; I just didn't think it would make a difference since the design is the same.
Luckily, you're reading this review and can be prevented from making the same mistaken assumption. The two bras are not the same at all. The fabric of the B4490 is stretchier and thinner, particularly the two layers that make up the main "cup" portion of this bra. As a result, visually it's less appealing (in the white at least) because you can see the lumpiness of the inner sling/encapsulation U-shaped layer of fabric. More importantly, the bra is less firmly compressing and even though it was fastened securely, when running I had to hold my chest to halt the bounce. Though the s4490 I have is a size smaller, I don't think that alone would make it that much more secure - especially because it doesn't really contain all my tissue as well as this bra does.
For me, going up a cup size in this bra doesn't really fix the quadding problem, and the increase in band length reduces support enough to make it WAY not worth the slight reduction in quadding. I think the bra design doesn't really allow for as much upper fullness as I have regardless of the size, and since the scaling adds a little fabric everywhere, the front portion gets a little wider and a touch taller, but doesn't actually provide room for more tissue. It's more like there's just more fabric so the same amount of tissue can be spread out more, the seams don't adjust to make more space, at least not enough for me. Also, due to the stretchiness of this bra, it didn't feel as supportive and at the end of the very active day I had wearing it (running, splitting and stacking wood, hiking in the woods, plus a bunch of housework) I had the same kind of headache from the pressure on my neck that I used to get all the time before I started wearing bras that really fit. Even after I got bras I *thought* fit a couple years ago, I didn't really understand how to measure and probably had some letter-phobia, so the Panache Sport and Shock Absorber I purchased then were both 34 bands. Those bras were much better than anything I'd had up to that point, but I still had those headaches almost every day. Now that I've tried 28 bands, wearing bras is a whole different experience. For anyone with nerve issues or neck problems or constant headaches who also has heavy breasts - it's impossible to overemphasize how much a sufficiently tight band can really change how you feel. I know some women can't tolerate a snug or tight band, but for me that tightness is very, very worth it.
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Updated on Nov 12, 2016 Flag this