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We’re Bleating Team Wool After Running in the Ibex Balance Sport Bra

Wool’s moisture-wicking, anti-odor attributes had us wear this bra hours after our run.

ibex bra
Lakota Gambill

The RW Takeaway: We discovered wool can be worn year-round—and soothe fears of smelly post-run B.O.—after testing Ibex’s super comfy and supportive sport and crop bras in hot weather.

  • 59 percent merino wool wicks sweat and controls odor
  • Easy pullover style
  • High impact for A to C cups, only

    Price: $65 (sports bra), $70 (crop)
    small to extra-large
    Cup sizes:
    A to D

    Buy Bra Buy Crop More Images

    Lakota Gambill
    Balance Sport Bra

    When I was first asked to test a wool bra in the dead of summer, it crossed my mind that our test team was losing it. But after putting this bra to the test, I can attest that wool is officially a four-season staple.

    The Balance Crop Bra (also available and featured here: the Balance Sport Bra) from Ibex is a seamless, 59 percent merino wool blend sports bra that promises odor control, anti-microbial properties, and thermo-regulation. While this seems like quite the list for one bra, it actually makes sense. Wool—particularly merino wool—is a common textile choice in activewear because of these properties. But would it hold up on a sweaty summer run?

    Odor Control

    I can’t stand being smelly. I am super sensitive to scents and the possibility that I could offend someone with my B.O. is appalling. So naturally I tend to want to shower ASAP after running. However—just for you, dear readers—I specifically planned a shopping trip post long run to test out the smell-busting powers of this bra. What can I say except it works. Damp with sweat and twice worn without washing, and nothing. Nada. Compared to my synthetic activewear that starts to smell if I think about breaking a sweat, this is seriously impressive.

    ibex bra
    Lakota Gambill

    Test editor Amanda Furrer had a similar experience. “I feel like this would continue even after multiple washes, since most poly activewear is treated with tech that wears off unless you hand wash and hang dry,” she said. “Since wool naturally has these attributes, I’m hoping this miracle anti-stink will last.”


    When you think of wool, cozy wool socks and warm, itchy wool sweaters that come to mind, but despite this preconception, it works just as well for hot weather as it does for cold. The fibers in wool wick away moisture just like tech fabrics, and this bra in particular does not show sweat marks. While I couldn’t measure it exactly, I noticed that I felt cool and comfortable for the majority of the run, and though I am sure there was sweat pooling in the band of my bra, I didn’t notice.

    How did it feel?

    Interestingly, it felt slightly itchy when initially putting it on, however I was shocked when I didn’t feel any chafing, pulling, tightness, or discomfort throughout the entirety of my run. While most bras get less and less comfortable as the miles pass, this one let me completely forget I was wearing one in the first place.

    Amanda had a similar experience, noting the slight itchiness at first, but then stating, “What shocked me most was that I didn’t want to take it off right away post-run.”

    It also has a double-layer design, which helps you feel comfortable without pads.

    ibex bra
    Lakota Gambill

    Is it worth the price?

    While it is hard to justify spending $65 on a sports bra, if you have the money—do it. And here’s why: Not only is it comfortable now, but unlike synthetic tech fabrics, wool is incredibly durable and will hold up after countless runs and wash cycles. You can also feel a bit better about using a more eco-friendly alternative to tech material, which is often a result of far-from-biodegradable plastics.

    We should note that this is not a super high support bra. If you are larger chested, it may not feel secure enough for running, but it would still be a great option for low intensity workouts.

    Unintentionally, we also found that the gap in the bra layers (the slits for removable cups) is perfect for holding a key or credit card securely as you run. While you will not want to put anything too sharp in there for fear of snagging the knit, it is an added bonus.

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