Plus size running clothing: buying guide
Many mainstream fitness brands are now offering stylish tech kits in larger sizes. Adidas, Nike and Reebok offer plus size ranges for women, while Lululemon and Fabletiques offer their basic collections in a wide range of sizes (Lululemon up to UK 30 and Fabletics up to UK 34). Some major generalist brands, such as Following, M&S and Simply Be also offer ranges of sportswear for plus size women.
What to look for …
A high support bra:
For women with a larger cup size (D +), encapsulation bras – which have two cups and individually support each breast – will offer more support than compression bras, but this is really essential. , it’s about finding a bra that looks good on you. Most of the support actually comes from the band, so make sure it’s snug (bands with a hook-and-eye closure will provide a more snug fit) and look for wide, padded shoulder straps that can evenly distribute the weight. Shock absorber, Freya, Runderwear and Pour Moi all offer high quality, high support running bras for women with large cup sizes.
Running puts stress on bones, tendons, and ligaments, and this is increased by the extra weight. Cushioned shoes will reduce the impact on the joints, while a firm midsole provides additional stability. The Asics Gel-Kayano 28 is highly cushioned, yet stable.
Tops and tights that are seamless or with flat seams will help reduce irritation, especially between the thighs. Also, look for leggings with a wide, comfortable waistband, so that they don’t dig into your stomach or fall out when you run.
Have the look:
Hansi (above) wears: bra: 3XL; top: United Kingdom 22; leggings: 3XL; shoes: UK 6
Model’s height: 6’4 “/ Waist: 52”
Nike and Adidas are leading the charge in plus size men’s sportswear, with ranges up to 5XL. Then, non-specialized retailers Very and Sports Direct have a wide range of designer clothing in expanded sizes, including items that are not always available directly from the brands themselves – Under Armor is a case in point. Most trusted running brands including Lululemon, Iffley Road, Bam and Sun dried, go up to 2XL, but if you need sizes larger, Nike’s extensive range is for you.
What to look for …
Longer shorts with a wide and comfortable waistband: Some taller runners may feel more comfortable in shorts that extend down the leg longer, which will also help reduce irritation between the thighs. So look for shorts with a longer crotch. With running tights, look for a wide, elastic waistband to give your tummy the coverage and support you need.
Flat seams and moisture-wicking fabric: For ups and downs, look for a fabric with flat, ergonomic seams to reduce irritation and maximize comfort; and for a breathable, moisture-wicking fabric to keep you cool and dry.
Well-cushioned shoes: Heavier runners should opt for running shoes with a chunky midsole and cushioning that is firm enough to protect the joints and provide a stiff, stable ride. If you have wider feet, look for a wide toe area so that your toes can squeeze out. New Balance and Brooks offer some models in a larger fit.
Have the look …
Yassen (above) wearing: top: 3XL; shorts: 3XL; shoes: UK 13
Model’s height: 5’4 “/ Dress: UK 20-22