- Softball Accessories- use alt shift right arrow to open the sub menu
- Softball Apparel- use alt shift right arrow to open the sub menu
- Softball Cleats
- Softball Bags- use alt shift right arrow to open the sub menu
- Softball Bats
- Softball Batting Gloves
- Softball Field Equipment & Maintenance- use alt shift right arrow to open the sub menu
- Softball Gloves
- Softball Protective Gear- use alt shift right arrow to open the sub menu
- Softball Training Equipment- use alt shift right arrow to open the sub menu
- Baseball Gear & Equipment
Guide to softball gear and equipment
When softball season rolls around, it helps to have your equipment in order so you're prepared for everything from conditioning right through to championships. If you're making preparations for your child's softball season or your own or you're coaching this year, use these tips on how to choose the best gear. Is this your first season? Learn some key differences between softball and baseball in the tips below before you buy supplies and equipment. When you're ready to make a purchase, you'll find all the best softball gear from top brands like Rawlings, Easton, Mizuno, Wilson, SKLZ, Louisville Slugger, Demarini and Franklin.
- Youth softball bats: At the youth level of softball and baseball, bats may be interchangeable between these two sports.
- Weight: Choose a bat that's lightweight to give you a faster swing speed.
- Length: Two easy ways to measure for the right length softball bat include the following. Stand up and place the bat vertically against your leg. A bat that reaches your mid hip is right for you. Or, hold the bat horizontally, placing the bat's knob at the center of your chest. If you can reach out and touch the end of the bat with your fingertips, it's the right length for you.
Gloves and mitts
- Size: Measure the tip of your index finger to the beginning of your wrist to find your hand size.
- Feel: The right glove will feel snug but not tight.
- Catcher's mitts: These mitts are measured by their circumference rather than length so you know the size of the catching area.
- Batting gloves: This type of glove helps you grip the bat and protects your hands from developing blisters throughout the season.
- Ball size: A regulation softball is larger than a baseball. A softball measures around 12 inches in circumference. A baseball measures around 9 inches in circumference.
- Ball weight: A regulation softball weighs about 6.25 to 7 ounces. A baseball weighs around 5 ounces.
Clothing and apparel
- Softball vs. baseball pants They're different, though there may be some similarities. Both men's and women's softball pants may be styled differently or may have a slightly baggier cut.
- Pant fabric: Most softball pants are made entirely of polyester or poly-spandex and microfiber for easier movement.
- Pant waist: Women's softball pants come in low-rise styles for extra comfort. Youth versions have elastic waistbands and belt loops for a snug fit.
- Softball cleats: The type of cleat counts for gripping the field. Metal cleats provide top traction but may not always be allowed on a field. When they aren't, try molded cleats that are shorter, softer rubber. If you're experienced wearing cleats, hard plastic cleats are lightweight, give better traction and last longer.
- Softball socks: Softball-specific socks go over the knee and are slip-free. They're made of moisture-wicking fabric with built-in arches and cushioning at the toes and heels to support your feet, reduce blisters and minimize fatigue.
- Bags and backpacks: The best bags are roomy enough for helmets, mitts and other gear. They should have handles, straps and/or wheels. Consider a backpack that has bat pack sleeves so you can carry around two bats.
- Bat tape: This type of tape does more than just change the color of your bat's grip. It's also a way to improve your grip. Or, you can use it to tape your wrists for extra stability.
- Bat weights: Bat weights, also called doughnut bat weights, are designed to enhance your swing speed during warm-up or strength-training practice. Other types of bat weights can slide onto your bat's barrel and are meant for training specific muscles.
- Softball sunglasses: Lightweight sunglasses designed for softball use have lenses that are shatter/impact resistant with 100 percent UVA/UVB protection. Lenses are made to repel dirt, oil and water and are easily cleaned.
- Fit: Find the measurement of your head's circumference to find your helmet size.
- Extra-small: Head circumference of 20 to 20 1/2 inches for a helmet size of 6 3/8 to 6 1/2.
- Small: Head circumference of 20 3/4 to 21 1/2 inches for a helmet size of 6 5/8 to 6 3/4.
- Medium: Head circumference of 21 1/2 to 22 inches for a helmet size of 6 7/8 to 7.
- Large: Head circumference of 22 1/4 to 22 3/4 inches for a helmet size of 7 1/8 to 7 1/4.
- Extra-large: Head circumference of 23 to 23 1/2 inches for a helmet size of 7 3/8 to 7 1/2.
- Extra-extra-large: Head circumference of 23 3/4 to 24 1/4 inches for a helmet size of 7 5/8 to 7 3/4.
- Faceguards: Consider a faceguard or facemask on your helmet if you wear braces or want an extra level of protection.
- Chin straps: Use chin straps from the same maker as your helmet. Straps stabilize your helmet if it's a little loose.
- Padding: Even if the size is accurate, shake the helmet around a bit on your head. If it's loose, buy a padding kit.
- Positioning of the helmet: Make sure your helmet sits straight on your head and isn't tilted up or down. A properly positioned helmet should sit about an inch above your eyebrows.
Training and coaching equipment
- Pitching machines: If you're coaching, improve your players' softball-hitting drills with a pitching machine. Make sure the pitching machine has a speed of at least 45 mph. It should be lightweight and portable enough to tote around to practices. You'll want one that can offer numerous pitching angles and options.
- Nets, screens and rebounders: Choose a net, screen or rebounder made with several layers of materials. Nylon usually lasts longer than most other materials. Make sure the frame is durable, rustproof and weatherproof. Remember, the bigger the net is, the better it'll be for softball practices as team members hone their skills.
- Batting tees: Batting tees are ideal to train young softball players on proper hitting techniques. Look for height-adjustable batting tees to suit growing kids.
Field equipment and maintenance
- Base, pitching and mound sets: Set up your field in seconds with a set of three bases and home plate made from rubber or vinyl. Portable pitching mounds come in various sizes for different leagues.
- Drag mats: Look for steel mesh mats with a bar and rope for an easy way to groom and maintain the field.