Your feet and your breasts both need support when you run, but a company that's mastered foot support doesn't necessarily excel at keeping the ladies in check. Several companies well known for their running shoes, including New Balance and Nike, placed surprisingly low in our latest report on sports bras. In fact the only two running shoe companies that placed well were Asics and Brooks Sports (which produces Moving Comfort sports bras).
The Asics Cross Back, Moving Comfort Maia, and Moving Comfort Fiona bras all enjoy great success in their respective categories for similar reasons: They're comfortable, do a good job of wicking sweat away, and provide plenty of support for certain cup sizes during high-impact activities (A, C/D, and C/D cups respectively).
So what are the other running shoe companies doing wrong? Testers in a 2010 Runner's World roundup of sports bras actually picked the New Balance Shimmel as one of the best tanks for women with A/B-cup breasts, but they singled out features like padded straps and a zippered pocket, not the Shimmel's medium-impact support, as reasons for their pick.
New Balance offers two high-impact sports bras, the Bonita and the Profile, but they're hardly a blip on the major reviewers' radar screen. The few reviews we found of the Bonita, on Buzzillions.com, gave it a so-so average rating of 3.7 stars. The New Balance Profile does a little better with a 4.6-star rating on Buzzillions.com, but that's based on only 3 reviews. More opinions are needed to form a solid consensus about how well this bra performs, so maybe New Balance's biggest problem is one of exposure (no pun intended).
Nike's Revolutionary and Swift U-Back sports bras were fairly popular but have been discontinued, and nothing else has emerged to fill the gap. A 2011 review in Runner's World singles out the Nike Victory Shape bra for its support -- "nothing moved," says a C-cup tester -- but again, the Victory Shape just hasn't drawn the quantity of user reviews needed to confirm its performance.
Running shoe companies aren't the only ones that sometimes fall a little short of the mark when it comes to high-impact sports bras. The Danskin Now High-Impact Sports Bra (from a company best known for its dance- and athletic-wear) gets a decent average score of 4.25 stars from more than 120 reviewers on Walmart.com, but doesn't draw any significant attention from reviewers on other sites. Danskin launched a new line of sports bras in mid-2011, so perhaps a bit of time will show if they have what it takes to measure up to top sports bra brands like Asics and Moving Comfort.