Despite my habit of forking out money for the techiest of tech apparel, as a curvy female, I often find myself chafing in places that should not chafe. When hiking or biking, slathering some Bodyglide or Vaseline onto the chafe-prone areas prior to the activity usually does the trick, but when I’m running, mmmmnot so much – not in one very specific area, anyway.
Only that particular breed of masochist known as the long-distance runner will empathize with me. It wasn’t till I crossed the finish line of my first marathon, sweat drenched, chest heaving…
Wait, scratch that.
It wasn’t until I jumped in the shower after my first marathon and screamed bloody murder when the water hit my skin that I understood the agony that accompanies chafed nipples. And I vowed to never, ever experience it again.
Now, I am the first to admit that this is normally more of a guy problem than a girl problem (as jog bras usually prevent the problem in smaller-breasted women). I’d seen guys at the finish line with bloody lines extending down from each nipple, guys with band-aids, guys who’d lost their band-aids to sweat and friction, and guys with these weird octagonal-shaped nipples protruding from their Coolmax.
After experimenting with sports lubricants such as Bodyglide, Sportslick, and Hydropel to no avail – and being quite confident it had nothing to do with the level of support I was getting from my jog bra – I stumbled onto a product called NipGuards at a race expo. Basically, NipGuards are small octagonal pieces of foam with a strong adhesive on one side, which you stick overtop your nipples. The outside of the foam is friction-resistant, allowing whatever fabric that would normally rub up against your skin to move with ease.
I had my doubts that the adhesive would hold for that many miles, but I was willing to give it a shot. I was a little worried about looking silly, but I figured octagon-nipples (at approximately $0.90 a pair) were a small price to pay for a chafe-free marathon.
To my great surprise, the product worked like a charm – no chafing, no movement. The adhesive was strong enough to survive 26 miles and buckets of sweat and rain. They didn’t come off till I peeled them off in my post-race scream-free shower.
I will never run a distance over thirteen miles without them again.