Drills, warm-ups, and exercises are extremely valuable for becoming the best softball player, but just as important is the equipment that is required for playing the game. From wild pitches and hard-hit balls to collisions on the base paths, having the proper equipment for softball can save you from a variety of severe injuries. Depending on the player’s position, there are different protective gear and equipment that can keep each softball player safe at every base, while still being comfortable and able to perform at their very best. Continue reading to find out what equipment you need to play a fun and safe softball game.
- Price Range: $25 to $120
- How long they last: 3-4 months (one season)
- Fit: Start with standard shoe size
- Get up to 10% cash back on softball cleats from Nike
No matter the position you play, softball players are required to wear cleats. Softball cleats are one of the most underrated pieces of equipment for softball. Cleats made for softball are built with thicker soles, which provides support and better traction to help the player steal bases or chase hit balls. Also, softball cleats have thicker and higher uppers paired with metal or molded studs, making any soft surface safe for running, jumping or sliding without risk of injury. Always make sure your cleats are with you when you’re ready to play!
Fielders Mask or Catchers Mask
- Price: $35 - $100
- How long they last: 2-4 years (several seasons depending on use and care)
- Fit: Masks normally follow your expected hat sizes
- Get 3.5% cash back buying a fielder’s mask from Dick’s Sporting Goods
While a mask for a catcher should be obvious, pitchers and infielders are recommended to always wear a face mask during a softball game, since those positions are more likely to come in contact with a line drive. Softball face masks are intended to protect the eyes, mouth, teeth, and nose from severe injuries. These tend to be a little cheaper in terms of cost when compared to catcher masks. Catcher masks tend to have a little more variety and depend more on personal preference. Traditional masks are more affordable and can be taken off more easily, but they also offer a little less protection and may obstruct some people’s views. Hockey-style masks provide more stability and more overall protection for the head, as well as increased visibility.
Shin Guards and Chest Protectors
- Price Range: $25 to $120
- How long they last: 2-4 years (multiple seasons depending on care)
- Fit: Measure from the top of your chest plate to your waist for an appropriate measurement
- Get 4% cash back on shin guards and chest protectors from Easton
The primary softball positions to wear shin guards are the catcher and pitcher. Shin guards are extremely important for catchers because they protect the knees, legs, and shins from various scrapes when going for foul balls and/or pitches in the dirt. Many catchers also consider leg pads for the calves to help relieve stress while crouched. Often times pitchers wear shin guards to further protect themselves especially for quick returns that come low to the ground from the bat. While both pitchers and catchers will wear shin guards, only catchers will be expected to have a chest protector as well as a groin protector for younger leagues. As you get older, some prefer to not use the groin protector because it can make it harder to move.
- Price Range: $20 to $70
- How long they last: 1.5 to 2 years
- Fit: Helmets normally follow your expected hat sizes
- Get 4% cash back on helmets from Mizuno
Softball helmets are required to be worn by all players, because of the high velocities the ball travels at can cause a severe or fatal injury. The majority of softball leagues require that helmets approved by the NOCSEA (National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment) standard be worn and stamped for approval. Serious head injuries can happen very quickly in the game of softball. Balls are moving all over the field at rapid speeds, making the helmet one of the most important softball gears to wear to stay protected on the field.
- Price Range: $35 to $450
- How long they last: 10 months (heavy use)
- Fit: Choice of bat is dependent on personal taste, particularly for weight. Place the knob on your chest - if you can grab the barrel with your hand, it’s likely a good length.
- Get 10% cash back on softball bats from Baseball Monkey
Softball bats may seem the most obvious piece of equipment to have, but choosing a bat if very dependent on a player’s tastes and the league. Depending on the softball league you are playing in, the ASA (Amateur Softball Association of America) may need to approve the bats you wish to use with the ASA logo on it. Other leagues may have strict rules against aluminum or wood bats. For youth softball players it is common for the bats to have safety knobs on the end, which these large end-caps on the handle can help young players maintain their grip on the bat to avoid the bats from flying into the stands or dugouts on wild swings. Be sure to fully understand the league’s regulations and restrictions on what type of bat is allowed.
Gloves & Catching Mitts
- Price Range: $40 to $500
- How long they last: 1-6 years (depends on glove quality and care)
- Fit: Depends on position
- Get 10% cash back on softball gloves from Baseball Monkey
Fielding the ball is one of the most important actions in a softball game, making your mitt perhaps your most important piece of equipment. Different positions beyond the catcher may have different requirements - infielders tend to want shorter, shallower gloves, while outfielders want a deeper pocket. Catchers and first baseman's mitts tend to be more padded and stiffer to deal with the rigors of their positions.
Additional Softball Equipment to Buy:
- Mouthguard ($15-$40)
- Softball Clothes: ($100-$300)
- Sunglasses ($20-$200)
- Eye black ($5-$10)
- Batting Gloves ($10-$45)
Get the Softball Equipment You Need by Fundraising with FlipGive
Softball equipment does not last forever and replacing can be costly, however fundraising with FlipGive can help reduce the costs of softball gear and equipment. If each team member used FlipGive, your team could earn back several hundred dollars per player each season on equipment alone! FlipGive makes fundraising super simple because you’ll earn cashback on all softball gear, as well as everyday items that you’re already buying from popular brands that you are already crazy about. It’s easy to share your softball team’s campaign and add other players and supporters to your efforts. You will be raising money without even trying! Sign up with FlipGive today and get earning so you can keep playing softball and acquire the equipment you need to stay healthy! FlipGive is a team funding app designed to help softball teams have their best seasons ever. Create a team for free, get cashback while shopping with hundreds of different brands, explore team funding resources and more! Ready to get started? Set up a coaching call today to talk with one of our experts about how you can reach your fundraising goal with FlipGive!
Sports Are Expensive.
We Can Help.