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Cut Through the Marketing Talk to Select Your Sports Bra

Women today have many more choices and options when it comes to selecting a sports bra than they did a few years ago. But with all this selection on the market, it can be difficult to make a decision and find the right sports bra for you. Particularly when so many sports bra designers use marketing lingo to sell their products; lingo that doesn’t mean anything to you as a woman shopping for a sports bra. What does all the marketing talk really mean, and how can you compare apples to apples with all this specialized vocabulary flying around?

Use Context to Figure Out the Marketing Talk
Frankly, bra manufacturers use such a wide range of marketing talk to sell their products that it would take forever to break it all down. Instead, we’ll give you some tools to do it yourself, and discuss some common marketing speak. First, try to figure out what the manufacturer is saying from context. Are there other clues about what it means? CoolMax, for example, is a fabric designed to help keep the bra wearer cool and dry. It’s moisture wicking and breathable. But so is cotton, and some sports bra blends. So if you can figure out from context what the marketing language actually means, you can compare it to equivalent sports bras – even if they don’t use the same words.

It All Boils Down to Impact
Many sports bra manufacturers use different terms to talk about the activity level that their bra is appropriate for. Our article the other day discusses and lists various low impact, medium impact and high impact activities. Many manufacturers use marketing talk as a way to categorize what impact level their bra belongs in. Use contextual clues, such as listed activities, discussion about bounce control or other clues to figure out which category corresponds to what impact level. Then you can compare it with other bras in its category.

Shock Absorber Levels
Shock Absorber, for example, has “Levels.” Level 2 is for low-impact activities; Level 3 is for medium-impact activities and Level 4 is for high-impact activities. Things like the design of the bra give you clues to figure this out. Level 4 bras are much more restrictive, and provide a lot more support than the soft cloth of the Level 2 bras. Some of the descriptions talk about the level of bounce control, or the type of activities that the bra is good for. Look for these clues to help you determine what defines the bra’s category, and help you compare it to other bras that may go under a different title.

Understanding MCR
MCR stands for Motion Control Requirements, and is a concept used by Champion to describe their sports bras. The MCR rating corresponds with the amount of motion control that the bra provides. Basically, this means that bras with a higher MCR are appropriate for more vigorous activities. Champion uses a scale of “Max MCR,” “High MCR” and “Med MCR.” These correspond roughly to High impact, medium impact and low impact. Don’t let the marketing lingo fool you; these are the same categories you can use to judge every other sports bra. Champion has used different language to make their bras sound like they provide more support, but you can use what you know about sports bras to compare them with other bras in the same activity level.

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