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Best Slowpitch Softball Bats – Upgrade your Power Today! (2019 Update)

Let’s get one thing right out of the way…

best slowpitch softball batsSlowpitch and fastpitch softball are much different games.

So…then why do most websites include bats for both on a single page?

Instead of doing what everyone else does, we want to showcase the best slowpitch softball bats on their own.

We certainly realize that you as a slowpitch player have different needs than a fastpitch player.

So whether you are playing for your work league, or are a more competitive player, check out these great options for this year!

ImageSlowitch BatReview (/5)PriceSwingLatest Price
Louisville Z45$$$Balanced and Power
Miken Izzy Psycho Supermax5$$End Loaded
Demarini SF84.5$$Balanced
Demarini One OG4.2$$End Loaded

One of the easiest ways to find the right slowpitch bat is by checking out various reviews. Although we provide full reviews as well, you may only be interested in a quick run down of our top 5. If that sounds like you, this next section is for you.

1- Louisville Z4

For 2019, we feel the Louisville Z4 is the best slowpitch softball bat available. One of the main reasons is because many believed last years Louisville Z4000 was the best slowpitch bat ever made. However, the model has been improved even more this year! Louisville Slugger was already considered the hottest bat in slow pitch softball. The Z4 combines the revolutionary TRU3 technology with SWING 1 inner Disc design to deliver a bat that feels good on contact and gives nothing but powerful hits off it.

Using the TRU3 technology, Louisville Slugger has created the first ever, 3 piece slow pitch softball bat. This 3 piece design strengthens the link between the barrel and the handle and gives it more of a trampoline spring. While making it sturdier, it allows the bat to flex, dramatically reducing the negative vibration and sting on contact.

The S1iD technology, at the same time, gives the Z4 an awesome pop right out of the wrapper. Although it’s made from Pure 360 Composite, the bat requires no breaking in time with the exceptionally brilliant S1iD design that allows the walls to flex to their maximum level, giving you an awesome pop off it, right out of the wrapper.

With a 12 inch pro style barrel, the Z-3000 is made for power hitters who want to add distance to their hits and increase their batting average. This one is truly a game changer! Read our full Louisville Z4 review.

2- Miken Izzy

The next of our quick slowpitch reviews looks at the Miken Izzy Psycho. This brand new version of the bestselling and most requested bat, the Miken Izzy Psycho is the signature model of Jeremy Isenhower, one of the best softball players on the field today. This is the bat Izzy swings and many other top players choose to have.

Featuring a 14.5 inch barrel length and a weight range of 26-30 oz., complete with a stiff handle, this one is especially made for power hitters. It is simply too hot for beginners. If you are strong enough to swing an end loaded bat with a full ounce end load that delivers maximum power, get the Miken Izzy psycho.

The Miken Izzy Psycho features a 1 piece design and is a certified 100 COMP, which is Miken’s revolutionary formula that utilizes 100% premium aerospace grade carbon and aramid fibers to deliver hot out of the wrapper performance, an awesome pop, larger sweet spot, and unparalleled durability. But that’s not all. The Miken Izzy is also built with the new 750X HPI technology that uses extreme power to inject ultra tough epoxy into the highest-grade carbon fibers. This remarkable pair of 100 COMP formula and 750X HPI delivers a consistent performance and cutting-edge durability. Check out of full Miken Izzy Phycho review for more.

3- Demarini SF8

The DeMarini SF8 has got to be one of the best slowpitch softball bats for the serious hitter. You can really see the 20 years of experience from the engineers who built this one come out in this 2016 model. While the SF8 is a completely balanced bat with a ZnX double wall alloy barrel, it doesn’t feel like it. What do that mean? Well, while a perfectly balanced model still feels like it has a weighted barrel, the SF8 feels like it could balance like a teeter-totter.

The C6 composite handle is perfect for the best power hitters, giving enough flex without feeling wobbly, and because it’s a DeMarini you know it absorbs vibration while returning full power to the ball. The Thrasher Grip is not only synonymous with super tacky grip, but probably the best vibration absorbing material in a grip across all types. That in and of itself would be enough for most manufacturers to stop and say “Here is the best one we make!”…not so fast if you are DeMarini. With the N2M end cap, you will see a further transfer of energy, giving even more power to the hit, and sending it deep every time.

While the SF8 feels advantaged enough to be a banned one, this is the All-Associations Model – approved for use in USSSA, ASA, NSA, ISF, and ISA. Seems like somebody up there wants you to have an edge! Add in a 12 month manufacturer’s warranty, and there is NO reason you shouldn’t have at least one of these bats on your team. You can see our review here.

4- Demarini One OG

The last of our best slowpitch softball bats list looks at the Demarini The One OG model. DeMarini brings their most innovative construction technology back to the diamond to give players an almost unfair advantage. DeMarini the ONE OG slow pitch bat is particularly made for high performance senior level play for players who have been hitting hard for years and have now earned the right to demand the very best that can help them shoot rockets on the field.

This model features the company’s 4.ONE stiffest composite barrel that uses narrow carbon fibers in multiple layered construction to provide the best ever stiffness and unmatched durability. The RCK end cap creates maximum stiffness at the end of the barrel and drives energy back to the sweet spot, providing more POP.

Complete with DeMarini’s best ever ZnX alloy handle, it also features the stiffest handle made by the company. The handle is tuned in perfectly with the composite barrel, resulting in the good feel that a 1-piece provides, while reducing negative vibrations on contact and giving optimized performance.

By pairing the stiffest composite barrel with the strongest alloy handle using innovative construction technology, DeMarini has truly created a monster that will shoot nothing but bombs. Although it requires a breaking in time of 300+ hits, but when broken in, this one will truly prove to be a beast. View our full Demarini The One review from here.

6 Tips in finding the Best Slowpitch Softball Bats

If you want to be a successful slowpitch player, the first step is buying the right kind of bat. The good news is the market offers a great deal of variety when it comes to slowpitch bats. They come in different shapes, sizes and designs. In the same token, the sheer amount of variety can also be bad news as it makes finding the right bat extremely difficult. To help you find the right one, we have put together a list of 6 things you should consider when it comes to buying time. Keep these factors in mind and you are sure to find the perfect bat.

This includes:

  • Length – As opposed to fastpitch bats, the length of each slowpitch model is 34″. Although there are some that are smaller in length, they are quite rare. This leads us to our next point…
  • Weight – Even though each model typically has the same length, they differ in that a player is able to choose the weight they want to use. This weight normally ranges from 26 to 30 ounces and as you can imagine stronger player will more than likely opt for the heavier models so they can add some serious pop.
  • Swing distribution – Although covered a bit more on the main softball bat reviews page, there are two different choice for weight or swing distribution: balanced and end loaded. Balanced on one hand over a consistent, and quicker swing and are more suited for contact hitter. End loaded bats distribute their weight a little more towards the endcap therefore giving more power in the swing.

Weight

Weight plays a crucial role when it comes to choosing the right bat. Generally speaking, bats range in weight from 26oz to 30oz. However, you will rarely if ever find a bat that weighs 29oz. One thing to keep in mind is though heavier bats have more power, they also have slower swinging speeds due to their weight. Heavier bats are for players who already have a great deal of strength. If you are a smaller player opt for a lighter bat as it will allow you to swing faster.

Barrel Length

The length of a baseball bat barrel can vary between 12 and 14 inches. Shorter lengths are great for those who are strong hitters. If you are a speed hitter, longer lengths are best. The key is to select a barrel size and length that is comfortable to you. Before purchasing always give the bat a few swings to see how it feels.

League Approval

Each softball league is different and will therefore require different certifications for bats. ASA and USSSA are both responsible for ensuring all bats meet the standards set forth by the industry. It is your responsibility to check with your league to ensure you have a bat that fits within the rules.

If you are playing in the ASA league, make sure the bat you purchase has an ASA stamp. If it doesn’t, you will not be able to use it during game play. The ASA is known for having some pretty strict guidelines so be sure to check them before you go spend any money on a bat. You can check out our page dedicated exclusively to the best ASA slowpitch bats if interested.

If you plan on buying a used bat be very careful. Most associations will not allow players to use bats that have been cracked or heavily damaged. To find the rules and regulations for your league, visit their official website.

Material

When it comes to manufacturing baseball bats there is a wide variety of materials used. Some of the more common materials used include composite, aluminum, wood and alloy. The type of material you choose will in large part be determined by your budget.

Most users love and recommend composite bats. However, they are expensive and tend to break over time. Wood bats are also very common. They can be made using Bamboo, Ash, Composite Wood, or Maple. Bamboo is considered the strongest and most durable. If you are a big hitting batter, opt for maple as it is stiff and can handle the force.

The last material is alloy or aluminum. Both are strong, durable and lightweight. They are cost effective and in most cases do not break. However, be careful as alloy is made out of carbon fiber and can sting your hands.

One Piece vs Two Piece

A one piece bat is one constructed using one continuous piece of metal. A two piece bat on the other hand has two sections that are bonded together. These two sections are the barrel and the handle.

One piece bats provide very little give if any at all. One piece bats give you more power with your swing since there is very little flex when you make contact with the ball. If you have an above average bat speed, you will love the one piece bat. It is perfect for power hitters.

Two piece bats are much more flexible than one piece bats. The way the two piece bat is constructed, it gives you the “whip” effect which leads to an increase in bat speed. If you consider yourself a contact hitter, or someone who has a below average bat speed, the two piece bat will work wonders for your game.

Balanced or End Loaded

When it comes to the overall balance of the bat, you can either use a balanced bat or an end loaded bat. End loaded bats have more weight in the barrel making them slightly imbalanced. Due to this imbalance, players are able to swing with more force and more speed.

But using an end loaded bat isn’t for everyone. It requires a great deal of patience to figure out your swinging angle. As a new player, your swinging angle can be unexpected. This can lead to many mishits until you are able to find the sweet spot. It will take some getting used to, but once you figure it out, an end loaded bat can help you take your game to the next level.

Advanced players tend to have the most success with end loaded bats. Balanced bats are exactly what they sound like. They are bats that have the weight of the bat evenly distributed. This makes for a very smooth swing and is great for those who don’t have a great deal of strength.

Since the weight is balanced, the swinging angle is easily predictable. If you are new to the game you will love this bat as it makes hitting the ball with the sweet spot a lot easier.

And there you have it, 6 very important factors to consider when buying a slowpitch softball bat. Always remember the best bat for you will depend on your personal preference. While these 6 factors can guide you, when it boils down to it, its all about what feels good to you when you swing.

Top Brands for Slowpitch players

When it comes to brands there is no shortage of diversity. And as you can imagine, finding which one is the best is not easy to do. After all, the best is ultimately determined by your personal preference. As far as slowpitch softball bats go, there are 4 brands that are at the head of the class. They are Miken, Easton, DeMarini and Rawlings. Let’s briefly discuss each one.

Miken

Miken has been around since 1998 and is known for manufacturing high end baseball and softball bats. In baseball circles all over the world, Miken bats are held in high regard. One of the things that make Miken bats stand out in the crowd is their Triple Matrix Core technology. This technology maximizes performance and durability by eliminating wall seams. Be sure to check with your league before purchasing a Miken bat as they are not allowed in all leagues.

Easton

Easton sports has built a legacy in the world of sports. And when it comes to bats they continue to build on that legacy. When Easton Sports was found in 1922, they manufactured bow and arrows. It wasn’t until 1969 that they decided to expand their interest and start manufacturing baseball bats.

30 years later, in 1999, Easton acquired Stix Baseball, Inc which allowed them to become one of the top manufactures of wooden baseball bats. Easton is known for developing innovative technologies such as MX technology and CNT technology. There are well over 100 professional baseball players who use Easton baseball bats. Prices ranges from as low as $40 to as high as $500.

DeMarini

If there is one thing that has driven the success of DeMarini brand bats, its the companies ability to constantly be on the cutting edge of technology. In 2010 DeMarini introduced the baseball world to Silver Trace technology. This special bond agent helps maximize the transfer of power to the barrel.

DeMarini uses a half composite, half aluminum combination to construct their bats. This means their bats contain twice as much Silver Trace. As a result you will have more power with every swing. In addition, many bats in the Voodoo Black line are made through an exclusive extrusion process. This process helps increase overall performance by varying wall thickness.

DeMarini bats, which are the brainchild of Ray DeMarini, have made a huge impact on the sport of baseball. When the company introduced the first multi wall bat to the world, their popularity increased exponentially. Now today, 25 years after the company was founded, they are recognized as one of the top bat companies in the world. Due to its unbelievable growth, Wilson acquired DeMarini in 2000.

Other resources

As mentioned earlier, finding the best slowpitch softball bat isn’t just as easy as picking out the flashiest, or more expensive and taking it to the field. Although we do believe the list above would be perfect for just about any slowpitch player, we also wanted to provide you with a few more specific resources just in case. This list will be augmented as we add more to the site.

At this time we’d like to thank you for taking a peak at what we feel are the best slowpitch softball bats available for this year’s 2019 season. As you can well imagine narrowing down the list is not easy, but we feel quite confident in the choices made. As always check out all of our slowpitch softball bat reviews from above or from the sidebar to the right. Best of luck in your search!

Best Fastpitch Softball Catchers Gear – Your TOP Options (Updated: 2019)

The catcher…

best fastpitch catchers gearArguably the most intriguing positions in all of sports!

And with all of this intrigue also comes quite a bit of difficulty when trying the find the best fastpitch softball catchers gear.

Not only do you need equipment that fully protects you, but in order to be at your best, it should also allow for mobility, and a sense of security.

And who wouldn’t want to play at their best?

So whether you are competitive, just learning the position, we feel that this gear can be classified as great choices:

Best Fastpitch Softball Catchers Gear sets

Looking for the best full sets of softball catchers gear at the moment? Here we present the top options: All Star Vela, Easton Prowess, Under Armour Victory, and Mizuno Samurai.

1- All Star Vela

When people talk of catcher’s gear, some brands are normally known a little more than other brands.

All Star is one of those brands and is one of the more actively searched year after year.

We believe that the All-Star Vela Pro series is a perfect set for advanced & competitive catchers. At a reasonable price point, this gear has quite a bit to like!

The MVP2500 helmet that comes with this set is top of the line and should keep your head protected in all the right spots. It is built using an forward-thinking design and uses high impact resistant ABS plastic to ensure your noggin is kept safe. In addition, for another layer of safety, the back panel has been better designed to ensure that straps are always fastened in place.

Next comes the chest protector, which is built from the famous All Star System 7 series. What is nice about this chest protector is that it has been designed to be a bit narrow in the shoulder area to fit the female player a bit better. In addition, the narrower shoulder area provides the catcher with increased mobility and therefore better coverage. Within the chest protector itself, specific high protective plates have been placed into the more prone areas (i.e. throat, collar bone and chest).

The last piece of the Vela set is the System 7 leg guards. The best features of these leg guards are their versatility. Some catchers like to wear shorts, especially when the weather gets warmer. Using the DeltaFlex harness allows for this as the straps do not dig in like they normally would. In addition, the leg guards should provide excellent mobility.

Overall, this is a great set worthy of any fastpitch player.

2- Easton Prowess

The next set of fastpitch catcher’s gear we wanted to feature was the Easton Prowess series.

This set is perfect for age ranges of approximately 12 to 15 and is a great middle of the range set for those that don’t need to full bells & whistles offered by more expensive sets.

So what is included?

The best feature in my opinion would be the Prowess chest protector within this set. One of the main reasons for this is how it provides catchers with their own custom fit with its four strap system. Back in the days when I used to catch, I found the equipment to be rather bulky and the chest protector was often my biggest hindrance. In addition, the Prowess chest protector is designed to be a two-piece system. This allows the upper part of the chest and the lower part to move free from each other.

The next feature to overview is the Prowess Qwikfit leg guards which, as their name describes, are quick and easy to fit around your shin area. Using a two-piece shin design, the leg guards are able to wrap around to provide better coverage and more comfort. Speaking of coverage and protection, the Prowess leg guards also have a newer memory foam that have been placed around the more prone areas that can become exposed when blocking or throwing someone out.

The final piece to the puzzle is the Prowess helmet. Similar to other models we have looked it, the Prowess is also built using high protective ABS plastic for increased durability. Another nice feature is that the Prowess has an advanced ventilation system to keep you cool and hopefully less sweaty on the really hot, sticky days!

Overall, the Prowess series is a great middle of the road option from a fantastic brand name!

3- Under Armour Victory Series

The next set of gear comes from another popular line. You’ve probably seen the “Protect this House” line made by Under Armour…well this is the version for fastpitch catchers.

Under Armour is often regarded as one of the top equipment producers as they put in a ton of effort into research, and design to hopefully create more innovative and better products. We think any catcher would enjoy wearing the Victory Series.

The Victory Series chest protector looks to be a true winner. One of the main things it should do well is the ability to deaden softballs on impact. So if you’ve got a little bit of a wilder pitcher on the mound, this should help keep passed balls from occurring as much. Like the Prowess, there are four different points where adjustment can occur providing you with a nice and snug fit. In addition, Under Armour has augmented this further by providing catchers with two light adjustable shoulder extensions specifically made for female players.

I don’t know about you, but when I look at the helmet included in the picture above, it just looks high quality and polished. In addition to looking nice, it should be sturdy as well as it too contains high impact ABS plastic allowing it to take more punishment (although we hope that does not happen). The helmet also included advanced cleaning features so the lining around the chin and head area do not stink so easily.

The last piece in this set is the double knee designed leg guards. According to the specification list, these professionally designed leg guards also contain high impact plastic including really thick pieces in the high usage areas. Within the knee area, and extra gel pad has also been provided to provide even better impact protection.

Overall the Victory series is a great middle to high end set and should be on your radar as well.

4- Mizuno Samurai

One of the most popular sets for 2019 is the Mizuno Samurai G4 fastpitch series which is available in Adult, and Intermediate sizes. Despite being named “G4”, the set comprises of the G3 chest protector, G3 leg guards, and the G4 helmet.

  • G3 chest protector: shaped to specifically fit a woman’s body, the Samurai G4 uses many advanced level features including reduced rebound technology to keep blocked balls closer to your body. With a newer design, Mizuno has reduced the weight of the previous version even further allowing you to remain mobile and always in control. With a personalized neck pad, this chest protector has even more bells & whistles than ever before.
  • G3 leg guards: the top feature of the G3 series is the new K-Pad that has been added to the knee area. This patented product can be removed if desired but provides a much better fit surrounding the knee area. For even more quality, the leg guards feature stainless steel clamps to avoid any sort of breaking in the near future.
  • G4 helmet: With 3 levels of high quality EVA foam surrounding your head at all times, you can rest assured you will be safe. Another item that makes the G4 helmet so advanced is its ability to ventilate and keep the catcher comfortable at all times. After all nothing is worse than a humid day with your head stuck inside a mask!

Chest Protectors

Nothing completes a softball catcher’s arsenal better than a nice sturdy chest protector. The chest protector is one of the most recognized pieces of equipment across any sport and serves a very important purpose. I couldn’t imagine how bad it would hurt to be hit by a foul ball squarely in the chest. In fact for some, it could be fatal especially if it hits around the heart area. Some keys for finding the right chest protector include:

  • Fit:
  • Always make sure to find a chest protector that fits around your full body. This is especially important in women’s softball as there can be many different body sizes and shapes.

  • Weight:
  • Just like a hockey goaltender, a catcher could equip themselves with the bulkiest chest protector possible and be fully protected. But if you can’t move, you are hurting your ability to play at a high level.

  • Protection:
  • Many chest protectors today come with numerous layers of protection throughout the entire chest protector. Make sure you avoid wearing gear that feels flimsy and worn out.

Easton Mako

The Easton Mako chest protector is probably one of your best bets. For one it is already very popular based on the reviews that have come in from others, and secondly it comes from a great brand known for the strong catchers gear they produce. And not limited to catchers, Easton gear can also be found on our best softball bats, and best softball gloves pages.

So what makes the Mako itself a better option that say some of the others? Here are a few reasons:

  • Female specific fit – the Mako features a female specific design unlike some of the other models you’ll find (or possibly have used). This specific design matches a females body and therefore provides a better fit and more importantly gives more protection.
  • Better fit – As you can see in the image, the Mako comes equipped with a couple of side clips making it easier to adjust. These clips also allow the catcher to remove their chest protector with more ease. Instead of having to loosen the straps and pull it over your shoulders, all you need to do is release the clip on each side which should provide ample space to slip out.
  • High quality foam – On the inside, the Mako uses foam that promises to be able to withstand the highest levels of impact. This foam also should help in rebound control as if by chance the ball hits your square on the chest it is supposed to deaden slightly and hopefully land right in front of you.

Easton Synge Chest Protector

The Easton Synge series has been around for a while and offers a nice option for those looking to spend a little less money than the Mako described earlier. Although it does not include as many advanced features there is still a lot to like about this model and I would venture to say it would be perfect for most levels of catchers. It’s main features include:

  • Designed to meet a woman’s needs – in other words instead of being designed for the male body, the Synge conforms perfectly to female players. This provides more protection and also a better fit.
  • Choice of seven different colors perfect for any team
  • Lightweight – A big bulky piece of equipment is no fun. In the chance you need to run around, having a nice light weight piece of gear can make the difference between helping your team or helping the other team get out of their jam.
  • Custom fit – Both the shoulder pads of the Synge can be removed and along with the three different adjustment levels that can be made to the back, a nice custom fit should be achieved for any catcher.
  • Moisture management system – If you’ve played catcher before, you’ll know how much of a pain it is when you are sweating and can’t concentrate on the game. The Synge uses Airflow Release Channel technology that keeps the catcher cool and dry no matter how many innings you need to play.

Leg Guards

You can’t underestimate the value of a proper fitting set of leg guards when playing the position of softball catcher. Although most people will think of soccer first when they think of leg guards, it should go without saying that a softball catcher can use them in the exact same way. The shin area is one of the most critical as the catcher sits in a prone and uncomfortable position which in turn leaves the shin area exposed. Leg guards protect the catcher from runners sliding into home, and from passed balls or foul tips.

When purchasing a set of leg guards, one should look for the following features:

  • Protection: Finding a set of leg guards that offer full leg protection is key. Many often do not protect the entire knee area which is why some top companies use a triple knee protection design.
  • Mobility: Let’s face it, every once and a while a catcher needs to move and run around. The best set of shin guards leave the catcher not even noticing them while running.
  • Comfort: Sitting in the catcher stance for long periods of time can cause lots of strain. Leg guards that offer further padding to assist in the area of comfort are best.

Easton Mako

Easton Mako Softball leg guards

Regardless of whether you are new to the Fastpitch game, or you have been playing for quite some time now, odds are you need some form of leg guards that can provide the protection you require, without constricting your movement. Designed to provide the protection you need, without emptying your wallet, the Easton Mako series provides all that and more at a budget friendly price. The main benefits listed with these leg guards include:

  • Choice of four of the most popular team colors
  • Armor riveted PE shin plate for long lasting performance
  • Removable soft cushion foam lining
  • Lightweight without sacrificing on protection

Available in one of four popular team colors, this model comes equipped with an armor riveted PE shin plate design that ensures this model will stand up to whatever you can throw at them. It features a lightweight shin, knee and toe plate that is designed specifically to protect you from ball impacts. This model also comes equipped with a removable soft cushion foam lining designed to keep you comfortable no matter how long the game may go on for. These guards are designed for movement, ensuring you are able to move quick enough to make nearly any play that comes your way.

Mizuno G3 Leg Guards

Whether you play for fun, or play to win, the equipment you wear can certainly be a factor for whether your team wins or loses. If you have ever had to use hand me down or older equipment in the past, you probably know how uncomfortable it can be to try to move. Although you don’t always think of a catcher as being the most mobile of positions, it certainly can make the position difficult when you have little to no mobility and are unable to help your team. The Mizuno Samurai G3 fastpitch series leg guards are designed specifically with women in mind and provide comfort, performance and durability in an easy to wear package. The main features include:

  • Triple knee cup – The triple knee cup included should provide a great amount of protection. The design promises to provide more flexibility so that even when you are in the crouch position, you can feel safe from any sort of liner or impact to the knee area
  • Choice of seven different colors to match any team
  • Patented K-PAD – Another great feature in terms of protection is Mizuno’s own patented removable K-PAD. Resting on the inside right against your knee it promises to provide a more snug and comfortable fit while still keeping the entire knee safe.
  • More protection along the shin – in some cases leg guards do a great job at protecting the knee area but can sometimes leave the shin a little vulnerable. The Samurai G3 series has really thought bout everything and has added more along the shin so that you do not need to worry about any foul balls hurting that area.

Masks

If you are thinking of stepping behind the plate to play the position of catcher then you must have a strong and durable helmet. You can go a little less expensive in some of the other areas, but I do not recommend leaving your head vulnerable. With fast ball speeds (especially in fastpitch softball) there is a great risk of substantial injury to the head area by both passed balls and with foul tips. With concussions so prevalent in today’s world, it is crucial to select a helmet (or mask) that will keep your head protected at all times.

When thinking about picking up a brand new mask one should consider and look for the following:

  • Protection:
  • Ensure that the helmet you choose provides a sufficient amount of protection. Many standards exist which leagues follow so be sure to check the regulations required by your league.

  • Vision:
  • A clear field vision is critical to the catcher position so that they can see everything around them. Having a helmet that sits directly in the eye sight can cause issues playing the position.

  • Comfort:
  • Carrying extra weight on top of the neck can cause many strains. Ensure that the mask is light enough so that you don’t feel a strain in your neck.

Easton M7

If you prefer a more traditional style of catcher’s helmet designed specifically to fit players of all ages then look no further than the Easton M7. Available for purchase in one of seven popular team colors, this model features a traditional hockey mask design with an outer shell that is made entirely from a resilient ventilated ABS plastic. This model is designed to meet all NOCSAE standards, and features multi-layer high tech foam that is designed to help reduce ball rebounds. The main features of the Easton M7 are:

  • Choice of one of six popular team colors
  • NOCSAE approved – honestly I could tell you how well this helmet will keep your protected but just knowing that it is NOCSAE approved should make you feel comfortable.
  • Ventilation system – one of the worst feelings as a catcher is being sweaty and not being able to do anything about it. Although no helmet can keep you sweat free, there are many that have systems in place to make you feel fresher by bringing cooler air inside your helmet and taking the bad air out. The M7 includes one of the more advanced system and includes 18 ventilation ports to get as much air in as possible.
  • Streamlined design – As mentioned in our intro to this section, catchers masks can leave your neck with a bit of a strain especially when too heavy. The M7 has made big strides in helping that hindrance by providing a streamlined construction that promises to fit more snug to your head. This snug design will allow the helmet to move with your head and hopefully in turn eliminate that awful neck strain.

Easton Fastpitch Grip

We’ve already shown off the Easton Mako series a few times on this page, and we believe for good reason. This “fastpitch grip” helmet contains the same features of the ever popular Mako series. This gear was quick out of the gate last year and quickly become one of the more popular options available to catchers. Although specific to baseball, there were many different catchers in the Little League World Series tournament using this gear and hence one of the many reasons it became so sought after. Some of the main features and benefits you can receive include:

  • Comfort – like the M7 described earlier, the Fastpitch grip helmet should provide all catchers with a nice snug fit. Although some catchers prefer loose helmets, the large majority want it to feel almost like a facemask in that it conforms directly to your head area. When you have a nice fitting helmet, you’ll be able to make plays easier and hopefully not notice it as much when you have to run or crouch during that long at bat.
  • High level of protection – The outer shell of this mask is built with high strength ABS plastic which should be able to withstand any sort of impact. Although I certainly hope you don’t end up taking a foul ball to the head, if it does happen you should feel quite confident that the only issue you’ll have when wearing the Fastpitch series is slight nervousness. In other words, your head will still be protected by the mask. Plus it meets NOCSAE standards, and they wouldn’t stamp their name on just any mask.
  • Air circulation – Like the M7, the Fastpitch series also features carefully place vents throughout the helmet which helps in managing sweat and moisture. The last thing you want as a catcher is your sweat dripping all down your face and into your eyes as it would effect your game immensely.
  • Field view – Another item to look for in a helmet is one that provides a good view of the entire field. Let’s face it…a mask will never provide you with the same view as you’d have without it. However, many models like the Easton Fastpitch series have made it easier to see as much of the field as possible so you can make all the plays you need.

One of the more asked questions I hear is “isn’t all of the gear the same”? Although each set you’ll see will look shiny and new, i’ve learned there is quite a bit to research involved when looking into this particular equipment.

If you think about it, there is no one else on the entire field that has to wear this much gear so it better be comfortable. Catching is probably the most dangerous position on the field as well as they’ll be involved in just about every play and receive the ball the most.

Sitting right behind the batter I could not even begin to imagine how nervous I would be if I took a liner right off my mask, chest, or knee. So although it may be quite a pain, it certainly is worth the effort to find the right equipment to keep you fully protected, comfortable, while still allowing you as much mobility as possible so you can do your job.

I hope that you have enjoyed my overviews of the different softball catchers gear available. As alluded too earlier, this position can be tricky to find the right gear for but the main things to keep in mind are protection, comfort, and mobility. We believe that any of the choices on this page will provide all of that and more.

Best Softball Gloves – 9 Options for Fastpitch & Slowpitch (Updated 2019)

I get it…

best softball glovesA page outlining the 9 best softball gloves? BORING!

However, if you are anything like me, you’ve probably tried numerous gloves but have never been able to find the one.

Whether that is because of budget, position demands, or durability issues, it doesn’t matter because today is your lucky day!

This page looks at gloves for both fastpitch and slowpitch players at different price points and for different positions.

The goal of this page is to showcase each of these top choices based on feedback received from various vendors. We fully realize that what works for one may not work for another, but are hopeful that this gives you an easier start.

For 2019, here is the updated list:


Softball GloveTypeReview (/5)PricePositionLatest Price

Wilson A2000
Fastpitch5$$$All

Wilson A2000
Slowpitch5$$$All

Rawlings Liberty
Fastpitch5$$All

Rawlings Liberty
Both5$$$Catcher

Easton Salvo
Slowpitch4.5$$First Base

Easton Synergy Elite
Fastpitch4.5$$Catcher

Louisville TPS
Slowpitch4.5$$Outfield

Mizuno Prospect
Fastpitch4.5$Youth (All)

Worth Toxic Lite
Fastpitch4$$All

Finding the perfect fit for your playing style and position is as important as finding the best softball bat. There really are a lot of options and styles available, and we are going to try to help you sort out what you really need vs. all the hype.

1- Wilson A2000 – Fastpitch

The Wilson A2000 P12 is the crown jewel of the company’s revolutionary new fast pitch line that will allow any athlete to concentrate on their game and raise it to the next level. Crafted from Pro Stock Leather this glove will continue to go as long as you do while keeping its white and black finish very sharp and crease-free.

The softer steer hide leather will make breaking it in a synch as the days of giant rubber bands and shaving cream are made much simpler. This glove includes the classic Cat Web design in order to hide your grip changes and the unique D-Fusion pads just below the pocket in order to provide more comfort for line drives and dribblers alike. This is added with Wilson’s patented Dual Welting pre-curved finger design to absorb shock and create a “No Sting Catch Zone” in the palm of your hand. These unique improvements allow for you to go after anything hit on the field in comfort without losing a feel for the ball.

Whether you are just starting out in Little League, trying out for your High School varsity squad, or starting on the mound in the Olympics, the A2000 P12 provides a perfect fit for softball players of all ages and at all levels of competition. The brand new Comfort Velcro Wrist Closure provides a comfortable and secure fit every time. This hook and loop closure allows you to worry about what is happening on the field instead of on your hand. Dri-Lex Wrist Lining will keep your hand dry as the ultra-breathable material helps remove sweat and moisture. It won’t matter if it’s the first game or the last, this ground-breaking wrist lining will keep your hands free of excessive sweat all season long. Rain or shine, you’ll be ready.

The Wilson brand has always helped us achieve our potential on the diamond through their masterful designs and innovations. The A2000 P12 Fast Pitch has just raised that bar even higher. If you’re looking for a superior advantage in the field, this glove is for you.

2- Wilson A2000 – Slowpitch

No matter if you play baseball or softball, you’ve probably heard of the Wilson A2000 series as they are the premier “it” choice. In fact, numerous pro athletes use the A2000 today. It’s hard to believe that this glove has been in existence since 1957! And with each and every year it improves even more.

Now although this is arguably the top glove available, it is also one of the most expensive. For slowpitch players, this glove is more reserved for competitive level players who play the game at its highest level.

So, what makes the A2000 so special?

One of the more advanced features has to be the dual-welting system. This system allows the A2000 to have a pre-rounded finger design which allows for increased steadiness in the pocket. It also provides a fielder with unmatched comfort and ability to break-in quick and easily.

Another aspect that should be noted is the high-quality leather applied to the glove. Each piece of leather used in the manufacturing process is hand picked Pro Stock leather to ensure the athlete receives a glove that won’t wear out quickly. After all, if you are spending this amount of money, you want to make sure you are getting a long lasting product!

The other great thing about the slowpitch version of the A2000 is it is actually designed for slowpitch players. Unlike regular versions of the A2000, this one uses a larger pattern, and provides a deeper pocket for those heavier slowpitch balls.

3- Rawlings Liberty Advanced

Specially crafted for female athletes, the Rawlings Liberty Advanced takes a huge step forward for anyone looking to raise their fastpitch game and dominate the diamond. This 12″ glove is made from high quality full-grain oil treated leather, which provides much higher fiber strength and durability while also eliminating moisture through improved breathability. The closed Basket Webbing with all-leather lacing will be especially helpful to pitchers and outfielders looking to show off their defensive skills with a glove that can raise their game to new heights.

For those who are in need of an elite level glove on short notice, look no further. Delivered and out of the box already 80% broken-in the Liberty Advanced takes a lot of the grunt work out of preparing for your next game. No more long nights of stuffing your lathered glove under the mattress the week before spring. The deer-tanned cowhide in the inner lining will allow you to shape the glove in any way you see fit for your comfort and style of play. Throughout the course of the season you will also be able to tighten or loosen the grip with the Adjustable Pull Strap near the wrist.

Once opening day finally arrives you will be able to take advantage of many of the gloves new additions and improvements to make sure your glove keeps up with you. The Poron XRD palm padding will help you absorb shock and greatly reduce the force when you catch a screaming line drive up the middle. This new lightweight material will especially be helpful for fastpitch players when lower quality gloves start to give out towards the end of a long season.

By combining complete comfort with the flexibility you need to always feel the ball in your glove the Rawlings Liberty Advanced Fastpitch Series takes a huge step forward for the sport of softball.

4- Worth Toxic Lite

Our top choice for all position players is the Worth Toxic Lite which is available in 13”, 13.5”, and 14” glove sizes. Why do we consider this model to be one of the best fastpitch softball gloves around? For starters it is one of the lightest ones available which makes a huge difference on a player. With a lighter glove, you can react quicker and not be weighed down by a bulky uncomfortable thing hanging from around your wrist. Although it is used by more competitive level players, the price tag allows just about anyone (even casual players) to easily own it and enjoy the benefits. Some of the other top features include:

  • Full grain leather lining and laces for even more durability and strength
  • Use of Worth’s Pro Mesh backing for quick break in and lighter weight
  • Increased palm padding

5- Easton Salvo

If you play first base, you know that there are many things you need to do differently than everyone else on the field. Because the position is so unique, you also need a glove to fit the rigors of your position. As far as 1st base gloves go, for we feel like the Easton SVS 3 Salvo is the way to go. Some of the reasons why include:

  • Great brand name – let’s face it there are not many better than Easton
  • Tremendous value – the glove is middle of the road in terms of cost
  • Lightweight, game-ready, and a larger pocket tailored for the position
  • Adjustable strap to provide a custom fit to every player
  • Extra protection in the palm area

We feel that the Salvo SVS 3 should be considered the best valued glove on the market and would make an excellent companion for any player playing first base.

6- Easton Synergy Elite

If you consider yourself a cut above the rest on the softball diamond and need state of the art equipment to help you light up the field, the Easton Synergy Elite Fastpitch glove is exactly what you are looking for. Made with Easton’s exclusive deer-tanned 365 cowhide leather, this glove will remain durable for years to come while also being versatile enough to be game ready the first time you put it on with little breaking-in needed. The added black, green, and white color scheme will give you an inimitable look as the other team will be too busy staring at your mitt instead of watching the ball.

The 33’ mitt allows players to catch just about anything thrown from your pitcher. From heat that is high and outside to sinking breaking balls that fall of the end of the table, the Synergy Elite mitt will help you catch just about anything. The classic Woven Web design will make sure nothing slips out of your grasp while the VRS pocket pads take the sting out of any ball you go for.

This reasonably priced mitt doesn’t stop at just improving performance, but it also allows for unbelievable comfort all season long. The patented Lock-Down Velcro Wrist Strap can be easily adjusted for a more personalized and comfortable fit. Whether you’re just starting out in little league or named the starting catcher for game 1 of the Women’s College World Series, this innovative design feature will fit the hand of any female athlete. Inside the glove, the hog hide palm padding and the innovative Super-Strong Sponge Tricot in the finger lining will help you absorb shock as you take fastball after fastball.

The catcher position is considered the general of the diamond and no leader would ever prepare for battle without the proper equipment. The Easton Synergy Elite Catcher’s mitt can be what is needed for a female athlete to show her true skill and passion. Play ball!

7- Worth Liberty

Ahhh the catcher, arguably the most unique position in all of softball (let alone any sport). In all seriousness however, playing behind the plate presents many unique challenges that are not experienced by other positions. Not only will you be catching the ball the most during any given game, but you are also expected not to drop the ball in any circumstance. The Worth Liberty Advanced Series catchers mitt has been one of the most sought after gloves for players that want to crouch behind home plate. Although more expensive than the average catchers mitt, we feel the extra features included will knock your socks off. The things we like about the Liberty Series include:

  • Comfort – made from comfortable leather on the inside and outside, many players believe Liberty series provide a unique and great feel
  • Durability – something that many like about the Liberty series is its ability to keep the same shape after multiple seasons. Using strong material for laces allows for the shape and glove to be as durable as possible
  • More protection – Brand new for the Advanced Series, a new PORON XRD palm padding has been added to keep your hands protected while absorbing impact from even the highest of speeds.

8- Louisville TPS

In my opinion, the Wilson A2000 is the best slowpitch softball glove available. However, as mentioned in its review, it is far from cheap.

For those players looking for a quality product without paying as much hard-earned dollars, the Louisville TPS series should be a good candidate.

I know for me back when I played I couldn’t stand the break-in period required to use my glove effectively. And if you look on the web, there are numerous different techniques that people say will make this process faster. The great thing about the TPS slowpitch gloves is that they are game ready right off the shelf. So no more putting you glove into an oven, or trying to loosen it up in any other random way!

TPS gloves are lined with high quality leather laces which ensures that it will retain its shape and performance for numerous seasons. Depending on how much you play, it may be the last glove you’ll ever need to purchase.

One of the final aspects on the TPS glove worth noting is the ability for it to be used by many players (i.e. many hand sizes). On the back of the wrist area, a dual cinch strap has been added. This strap allows a player to loosen or tighten the area to ensure that a comfortable fit can be used by anyone. I know in the past when I have used a glove that was too big for me that my performance certainly suffered. It just didn’t feel right.

In summary, for those looking for a good quality brand without breaking the bank as much as the Wilson A2000, the TPS series might be exactly what you are looking for.

9- Mizuno Prospect

This last choice is dedicated to youth softball players who are approximately 10 and under. The important thing to consider when purchasing a youth softball glove is that you are more than likely still growing. You certainly don’t want to pick up an expensive glove only to have it not fit next season. That is where the Mizuno Prospect Series comes in. This glove has been designed to help younger players learn the game properly in that it aids in teaching proper technique that coaches are constantly talking about. Using Power Close, when a player catches the ball, the glove is actually designed to help perform that last “closing” action for you. Now you can really impress your coach! Other great features include:

  • Wider pocket so there is more area to catch the ball
  • Better palm lining to reduce sting and soreness
  • Closed back so it can be used for any position around the field (very important for youth softball)

How to find the best softball gloves? A brief guide

No two softball players are the same which makes this task even more difficult. Although we can’t provide you with reviews on every single softball glove used in 2019, we have provided you with what we feel is the top resource when it comes to finding the top one for your specific position. Below we provide what we feel are your top options along with a review for each. We then also provide a bit of a buyer’s guide or things we feel are important to look at when making your decision.

So where do you start? Well it comes down to a few of basic things:

  • Are you right or left handed?
  • What position do you play?
  • How much web do you need?
  • How deep a pocket?
  • Do you need an open back or a closed?

As mentioned in the introduction section, there is so much to consider when finding a new glove. From the webbing to the amount of padding and everything in between the process can become complicated quickly. Below we describe some of these options to hopefully get you thinking on what you might be after. While this is by no means a definitive discourse on the glove it is a great starting point to get you in the right direction for choosing an option that will best suit your needs. While learning about them is a plus, getting out there and trying them for yourself is definitely the next step in making you not only a great catcher, but a well-rounded player overall.

Differences between fastpitch and softball gloves

One of the first things you may be wondering when coming to this page is what the difference is between a fastpitch and a slowpitch softball glove. In all honesty however, they really are one in the same and do not differ from each other. You’ll notice many websites separate them into two different categories, however I believe this is for simplicity so that each player can choose the sport they play instead of having them mixed. If you were to get really technical one glove that is slightly different between fastpitch and slowpitch disciplines could be the catchers mitt. Although again, a catchers mitt for fastpitch can still be used for slowpitch it may not be entirely necessary. As the name describes, fastpitch pitcher can hurl the softball at incredible speeds which in turn can lead to passed balls. Therefore a fastpitch catcher is better off using a mitt to account for these situations. In slowpitch however, really any glove could do at the catcher position.

Webbing

All gloves, whether they are softball or baseball, have a connective web between the thumb and the fingers. This web is set up in different patterns and tightness that changes based on position and personal preference. But basically there are two differing types, the closed and the open web. The closed web has a tighter lacing and is generally used by catchers, pitchers and in field. The tighter weave is excellent for quick snags and short hits where you don’t need to line up the ball. The open web has a looser weave and is designed more for infield and outfield play. It allows the catcher to see through the webbing and easily line up pop flies and higher hits, plus the webbing is loose enough to make sure you can quickly transfer the ball from the catching hand to the throwing arm and get the ball back in the infield as fast as possible.

Back

The wrist enclosure of the glove is usually referred to as the back. It is definitely more about personal preference though and unlike the pocket or web it has little to do with position. The two basic types of back are the open and the closed. Open back gloves have a space in the material that allows for greater mobility in the wrist and help for speedy ball turn around and hand mobility. Even though it is a personal preference we do see it a lot more in the infield to insure quicker plays. The closed black glove is far more rigid and sometimes has a hole that allows the index finger to rest outside the glove, for added support. You tend to see this type more in the field as it allows more support for the catch which is really needed in deep power hits and pop flys.

Pockets

While most people think of the pocket of the glove as the area where it is caught in the netting, its actually just below. It is a small indent in the glove, right over the palm, where the ball falls after it is caught in the webbing. There are two types of pocket, the shallow and the deeper, and this depth is an excellent indicator of the position and use of the glove. Shallow pockets are used mostly for infield play as they allow for faster plays and getting the ball back to the plate before the runner. Generally shallow pockets are used most for quick grabs and transfers to the throwing hand. Deep pockets are better in the outfield and add to the player’s skill by helping hold onto fly balls and hard hit fielders. This little advantage can make a huge difference across a full team and an entire season, so making sure that everyone’s pocket depth is according to their playing style can make the difference to a team that is as dramatic as winning a couple or winning a conference.

A great video from Wilson Sports highlighting some of these options is provided below:

We hope that this page has helped you better figure out the best softball gloves for your needs. Do you have any better ideas when it comes to our choices? If so, do not hesitate to let us know by using our Contact form or by leaving a comment below. Thanks again for stopping by!

Demarini CF Zen review

Brand new for the 2019 season, the Demarini CF Zen Fastpitch softball bat is quickly looking like it could be one of the best of all time. Although its predecessor (the CFX) is still one of the top sold bats, the CF Zen has made even more improvements to take your game even further than before. For fastpitch players we feel that the newest version of this best seller offers the perfect blend of power, comfort, and balance.

We have divided this review into all of the different models from the series, which includes the Hope, and Insane. Many of the exact same features that are found on the regular version are also found in the Insane and Hope variations.

Demarini CF Zen Fastpitch

In the first part of this page we take a look at the regular CF Zen fastpitch bat which is available in the following drops:

  • WTDXCFP19 (-10 drop)
  • WTDXCFS19 (-11 drop for youth players)

Main Features of the 2019 CF Zen version

As mentioned earlier, this one could end up being one of the best bats of all-time. Whenever you improve an already good thing by adding even more features to the fold, you have as true winner. Some of these features include:

  • Paraflex composite barrel: In the CFX version (2018 model), Demarini developed a new Paradox Plus+ composite material throughout the barrel. This material allowed for the barrel to become stronger to give you an even larger and responsive sweet spot. In the 2019 version, this has been improved even more. The Paraflex barrel promises to be made with 22% stronger fibers meaning that the durability should increase as well. After all since this bat is expensive – it better last a while!
  • 3-Fusion handle: Back from the popular CFX is the use of a 3-Fuion handle which re-directs your swing energy into the barrel providing more power but leaving you with a handle that provides very little sting.
  • Double walls: To get even more high performance, Demarini has added a double wall construction to the fold. This allows for more of a trampoline effect to occur which in turn enhances your ability to take the ball deep with more ease.
  • Hot out of the wrapper: This bat is ready to be used right away. The aforementioned Paradox composite allows for minimal break-in time so you can swing it right away.
  • Balanced swing: Also added last year is the 3-Fusion end-cap, which provides a nice smooth consistent swing each and every time. For those looking for more of an end loaded bat, take a look at the Insane version of this bat which we also review.

Insane version

For power hitters, they may be no better complement to your game then the newest 2019 CF Insane. Building on a great 2018 CFX version, the Insane has been improved even more to provide you with more power than ever before. Don’t let the -10 drop fool you. If you are looking for a slightly end-loaded swing where you can launch homers all over the field then please read on and view what this bat has to offer.

Power, power and more power! For the 2019 season, Demarini made quite a few improvements to the back bones of their popular CF series. The Insane uses this exact same framework which has already received great reviews from players like you who have taken a few swings.

What does the Insane offer?

Making a substantial change in the under coating of a bat is normally a cause for alarm, but that is exactly what Demarini did when they switched from TR3 F.L.O composite to brand new paradox composite in the 2016 version. What exactly is paradox composite? This innovative material provides hitters with the biggest and strongest sweetspot in the entire industry. In 2019 this has been improved even more by way of Demarini’s innovative Paraflex+ material.

Upgrading from the existing Paradox Plus+ material, the Paraflex promises to be much stronger and provide a lighter swing weight for the hitter. Not only that, but the Insane also features a double wall construction which gives it an incredible bouncing (or trampoline) effect when you connect properly.

Differences between the regular and Insane

The introduction of new paradox plus composite material is the same for all versions of this model. What makes the CF Insane different is the following:

  • More end loaded and hence a little more pop at the end of your swing

Hope version

One of the more popular bats once again in 2017 is the CF9 Hope. Built from the frame and underlying of the CF9, the Hope is a limited edition bat that not only takes your performance to the next level, but also supports a great cause. For each purchase of the Hope, Demarini will donate part of the proceeds to breast cancer research. With an incredible cause, and an incredible swing, you will be wishing you found this one sooner! Please read on to see the main features included in this version. The newest version of the Hope bat is typically used by more competitive players since it is priced higher than the average softball bat. Despite its price tag however, there are many things to like about this year’s DXCFH model.

Main Features

First and foremost, the bat has been made in the exact same way that the regular version was. In other words, the barrel has been upgraded to use the new Paraflex material which is promised to be even stronger and more durable than the Paradox Plus+ material used in last years version. This material is also quite a bit stronger than its predecessors and allows for a more durable bat that should last you through many swings. The last advantage this new composite construction provides is it allows for the bat to be ready right away. No longer do you need any sort of break-in period. This bat is hot out of the wrapper!

Another great feature included in the 2017 version of the Hope is the amount of trampoline effect a hitter can experience. Using what Demarini calls a “stacked double wall construction”, hitters often mention they find it easier to swing for the fences. With a great amount of bounce on impact, you’ll quickly realize how much of a difference this bat will make over what you currently use.

Would we recommend?

One of the other main questions asked is what is the different between the regular version and the limited edition CF9 Hope. In all honesty, very little! The Hope has a slightly different look but that is about it. They are the exact same bat, except the Hope version supports breast cancer research and is only available with a -10 drop. If you are a competitive player, or just looking for a top of the line bat this summer, we would highly recommend you look into this one.

What makes the newer version better than the older one?

If you’ve used the Demarini CF8 then the major difference you will notice in terms of improvements is the Paraflex barrel material. This new construction is incredibly innovative and is both the hottest and largest sweetspot available. It also allows for the bat to have more strength by using what Demarini describes as fibers that are 22% stronger and more efficient.

Many fastpitch players loved the 2016 version of the Demarini CF8. If you already own this bat though, should you consider trying out the new CF9? My advice is if you are happy and comfortable with the older version then stick with it. However, if it is near the end of its usefulness, I would highly recommend you take a peek at the newer one. Although it will feel very similar, you will still notice a huge difference in the way it swings and the little extra power could make all of the difference for your next season.