Ladies, now you can have a flame resistant sports bra to go with your body armor.
New Balance has released Army-authorized flame resistant, no melt/no drip sports bras and boy shorts — in khaki — for use under uniforms.
The sports bra is not intended to be used for PT, but it’s perfectly acceptable for low-impact exercise. It’ll treat you well during yoga, strength training or just general day-to-day wear. I’m a 34B and have worn mine for short runs of 5 or 6 miles and haven’t been uncomfortable, but this is better suited for post-run activities rather than the long run.
The bra breathes well, thanks to the mostly-mesh back panel. It also contains an antimicrobial additive that should cut down on the stanky factor.
The fit is typical of a compression-style sports bra, though the top of the bra comes up close to my collar bones. This is way higher than any other running bra I’ve worn, and it shows when wearing most casual shirts (see inset photo).
The bra comes in eight sizes, 2XS-3XL, meaning you’ll have a huge range of options to choose from, but a hard time knowing where to start. Be sure to try this on before you buy it; I usually wear a medium but ended up preferring the small. The band on the small is slightly more snug than I prefer, but the medium was so big it offered very little support.
The company is currently working to address some common fit gripes.
“New Balance is working on a version to offer the female soldier more support,” a rep from New Balance said.
The boy shorts are pretty straight forward: If you like boy shorts, you’ll like these. They’re no fuss.
The base fabric for both is a lightweight jersey knit (69% Modacrylic/23% Tencel/8% Lycra). The sports bra has a breathable mesh back made from 60% Modacrylic/20% rayon/13% polyester/7% Lycra.
Washing: I wash on cold with the rest of my workout clothes and throw these in the dryer.
Buy it: The FR sports bra and boy shorts are available at more than 130 AAFES locations; $19.95 for the sports bra, $17.95 for the boy shorts.
Sara Davidson is an ultrarunner and our resident women’s gear destroyer. The only flames she gets near are campfires. Hats off to you ladies in uniform.