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Brooks Women's Apparel Review
By Andrea Myers and Megan Flynn

Brooks Running is not just known for their running shoes. Their running gear is known for being light, bright (when needed) and filled with a large array of size options for every runner. In today's review, Andrea and Megan take a look at a few of Brook's latest apparel for women.

Apparel Reviewed
Brooks Dare CrossBack Run Bra 2.0
Brooks Elite 2” Split Short (Black/Nightlife)
Brooks Chaser 3” Short
Sprint Free Short Sleeve 2.0

Find these apparel pieces and more at Running Warehouse here.

Brooks Dare CrossBack Run Bra 2.0
Price: $65 at Running Warehouse
Material: Shell: 63% Nylon / 37%
Spandex Lining: 72% Nylon / 28%
Spandex Cups: 100% Polyester

Megan Flynn Contributor
: The Brooks Dare Crossback Run Bra is unique in that it offers more customized sizing. The sizing is similar to that of a regular bra in which the athlete is able to choose the band tightness and the cup size which is a huge step in the right direction when it comes to women’s athletics. As a female runner, I think I can speak for many others that it is difficult to find a good sports bra that is both comfortable around the ribs (too tight restricts breathing, and too loose just doesn’t do the job) and proper sizing for the breasts. Brooks has done a great job with the Dare Crossback Run Bra sizing making it very easy to find your perfect fit - all you need to do is take your measurements and select your size on the website. To be honest, I am almost always wearing a sports bra and hadn’t measured my true bra size in a long time, so I ended up testing a size that was definitely too big for me, so don’t make my mistake - make sure you get your measurements first!

While it was slightly big for me, I was still able to run in it and experience the comfort of the bra. The cups are built into the bra which means the padding never gets folded over - something I despise fixing after my sports bras come out of the wash. The bottom band is longer/thicker allowing for more support and a more secure feel. The nearly seamless, Drilayer, moisture-wicking fabric has perforations in high sweat zones that adds to the breathability of the bra. I also love the criss-cross back design of the bra and the thicker straps. My only complaint is that the straps were slightly big for me which is another area to add potential customization of sizing in the future, but might have been my sign to actually go for a smaller size.

Positives: customized sizing, built-in cups, breathable material with perforations
loose straps (for me at least)

Andrea Myers, Senior Contributor: The Brooks Dare CrossBack Run Bra 2.0 has a nearly seamless design that is available in 6 band sizes and 3 cup sizes, which is common for Brooks, but uncommon for most other run bra offerings. I appreciate that Brooks makes many different size offerings in their bras, because it allows you to get the best fit. My main focus with a running bra is to find one that doesn’t restrict my breathing, and I often will go up a size to avoid getting one that is too tight. I requested one band size up with this bra, which made it very comfortable around my lower ribs, but made it gap a little under my armpits. I found it very comfortable, but I definitely would not run in it without a shirt over it due to the gapping. Like Megan, I also found the straps to be a little long and I second her recommendation for Brooks to add some adjustability there.

Outside of these fit issues, I found the bra to be extremely comfortable while running. I experienced zero chafing, even with the bra being a little loose, and the thin material wicks sweat nicely away from the body. The racerback design allows for complete freedom of shoulder movement. The band around the ribcage is wider and quite comfortable, even when wearing a chest heart rate strap. The molded cups have thin padding, which provides enough coverage without looking like you are wearing a padded bra. Overall, this is a great bra and I think I would love it if I had gone with my normal measured size.

Positives: numerous sizing options, comfortable elastic band, racerback allows normal shoulder movement
Negatives: strap length not adjustable

Shop the Dare Crossback Bra at Running Warehouse here.

Brooks Elite 2” Split Short
Price: $75.00 at Running Warehouse
Material: Main body fabric: 100% recycled polyester
Liner: 80% nylon/20% spandex

Megan Flynn, Contributor:
The Brooks Elite 2” Split Shorts are made of lightweight, breathable, and sustainable fabric. The body of the shorts have laser perforations throughout adding to the breathability of the shorts and making them a great option for runs in hotter weather. While running in them, they essentially feel like running in briefs - that’s how comfortable and light the main fabric of the shorts is - while maintaining the modesty that regular shorts offer over briefs. So if you’re someone who races in briefs, these are a good option to wear for workouts since running around by yourself in briefs isn’t considered the “norm” (at least I wouldn’t haha). If you prefer to wear loose-fitting shorts to race in or do workouts, these are an excellent option. The liner is a bright, fun color which adds to the look and design of the shorts. In addition, they have 2 pockets in the liner that provide options for key storage, and small fuel/gel storage.  

Positives: lightweight, breathable, close to race-day feel for briefs, storage
Negatives: pockets are too small for most gels; expensive for a pair of shorts

Shop the Brooks Elite 2” Split Short at Running Warehouse here.


Brooks Chaser 3” Short
Price: $60 at Running Warehouse
Material: Main body fabric: 89% polyester / 11% spandex
Liner: 92% polyester / 8% spandex

Megan Flynn, Contributor:
The Brooks Chaser 3” Short features a lightweight, chafe-free, and sweat-wicking material. The material allows for free movement and comfortable moves with you. I found these shorts to be extremely comfortable and versatile in that I could wear them on any type of run (speedwork, easy runs, tempos, etc) and could also wear them while coaching/running with my high school team due to the modest length. The waistband is thicker which adds to the comfort around the waist, however I wish there was a drawstring as they are slightly loose around for me at the waist. The liner is comfortable and barely noticeable, which is definitely a good thing. Most important feature in any shorts - the Brooks Chaser Shorts feature two internal stash pockets in the liner as well as a center zippered pocket to secure important items such as keys.

light fabric that moves with you, multiple pocket options, modest length for versatility
waistband is not adjustable

Andrea Myers, Senior Contributor: While I prefer short tights for training and racing, sometimes it is nice to run in a pair of regular shorts that barely feel like they touch my legs. The Brooks Chaser 3" has quickly become my favorite regular short of 2023. Even without a split design, the leg openings have enough room to allow total freedom of movement, without feeling baggy. The material is lightweight and breathable, even in 80F and high humidity. The 1.75" waistband is thick enough to not put pressure on my abdomen and does not ride up. Most importantly, the liner stays in place and never needs adjusting while running. These shorts also have 3 pockets - one large rear zippered pocket and two front waistband pockets, one of which has a bungee to attach a key to. In classic Brooks fashion, there are 10 colorways of these shorts to choose from, including some cool patterned versions. I would highly recommend these shorts for anyone looking for a comfortable, functional pair of shorts for training or racing. 

Positives: Great material, liner does not ride up, waistband stays in place
Negatives: Front pockets not quite large enough to hold a gel, so storage space is limited for longer runs

Shop the Brooks Chaser 3” Short at Running Warehouse here.

Sprint Free Short Sleeve 2.0
Price: $45 at Running Warehouse
Material: 86% Recycled Polyester, 14% Spandex

Andrea: The Brooks Sprint Free Short Sleeve 2.0 is an ultra-lightweight, loose fitting short sleeve running top. It does an exceptional job of wicking sweat and drying quickly thanks to its DriLayer mesh fabric. While I have not been able to test it outdoors in hot weather here in CT, I have tested it indoors on the treadmill and was very pleased with its performance in warmer conditions. The fabric feels so lightweight that I did not notice it while running. I typically prefer closer-fitting tops, but the thin material of this top does not feel bulky, even when wet. I would not wear this top for racing due to its looser fit, but it is a great top for easy runs or even casual wear due to its relaxed fit.

I received the white/pink/tan colorway, with the main body of the shirt being white, which makes it somewhat see-through when wet. While there are multiple internal seams, including at the neck, I have not experienced any chafing. The material remains in like new condition after several washes and line drying (care instructions say tumble dry low, but I air dry all of my performance clothing). I think this top is a good value primarily because of the quality of the fabric. Many brands try to make a lightweight performance top, but as soon as you sweat, they feel like a garbage bag. This top does what it says and keeps sweat away from your skin, then helps it quickly evaporate. I would prefer a closer fitting top for faster runs, but as an easy run or casual top, it performs very well.

Positives: DriLayer mesh fabric is ultra-lightweight, wicking, and breathable; does not feel bulky when wet
Negatives: loose fit limits use, white material becomes see-through when wet

Shop the Sprint Free Short Sleeve 2.0 at Running Warehouse here.


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Brooks High Point Apparel Review - We take a look at Brooks new light weight trail apparel line
inov-8 Apparel Review - Andrea tries out the Stormjacket and Race tights from their trail line
Nathan Sports Apparel - We explore this hydration focused brand's apparel line up
On Running Apparel - Best in the business? We look at their summer and winter apparel
Spring Sustainable Apparel Review

Find all Shoe Reviews at Doctors of Running here.

Thanks for reading!


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Editor's Note: As always, the views presented on this website belong to myself or the selected few who contribute to these posts. This website should not and does not serve as a replacement for seeking medical care. If you are currently injured or concerned about an injury, please see your
local running physical therapist. If you are in the Los Angeles area, I am currently taking clients for running evaluations.

***Disclaimer: These apparel items were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the people at Nathan Sports for sending us a pair.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. Partnership will not affect the honesty of our reviews.

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Best Running Shorts for Men and Women

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