Softball and baseball are different in many ways. But the players of both the games share the same risk of commotio cordis.
But there’s a good reason why there are different chest protectors for softball and baseball. These are not interchangeable, and it is essential that you get the right kind of protector for the right game.
The primary difference between the two is that the best softball chest protectors have a break in the chest area. While the break doesn’t compromise the protection the shield offers, it does make for a better fit for female players.
Additionally, softball chest protectors tend to have a contoured design more so than their baseball counterparts. Fit and feel is a big priority for female players, and brands make an effort to cater to that need.
Softball chest protectors also don’t come with groin protectors like baseball chest protectors do.
So, if you’re shopping for a chest protector for playing softball, make sure you don’t get the wrong type of protector.
With the differences out of the way, here is my list of recommendations:
If you think about it, the catcher is at the same risk of wild pitches that the hitter is. Wearing certified protection gear is mandatory for good reason.
Getting the EASTON PROWESS chest protector will give you peace of mind when you’re behind the plate. It’s one of the most impressive options in the market and will provide you the protection you need to stay focused on the game and not your safety.
The protector features the “Torso flex” system, a two-piece system that enables the upper and lower Torso pieces to move independently. Being a catcher requires you to make some fast, aggressive movements, and the protector won’t obstruct them.
But perhaps the best feature of the protector is that it has a four-point adjustment system. The customizable fit guarantees maximum comfort – which counts for a lot on the diamond.
It also uses EASTON’s Rebound Control Technology, which absorbs the ball’s force and keeps it from bouncing too far away.
The protector is lined with BioDri liner, which wicks away moisture and keeps you cool and comfortable throughout the game. The included washable throat guard is a nice plus.
The protector is available in three colors: black, red, and navy blue, but it only comes in one size – intermediate. Since the fit is adjustable, this shouldn’t be a problem.
But Mizuno does not trade safety for design. The protector features high-quality, low rebound foam, which protects you from hits and ensures that the ball doesn’t fly off on impact. No wonder NOCSAE approves of the protector!
The protector’s grippy surface is designed to deflect balls straight ahead, which is a big advantage.
Wings are also included with the protector, but they are detachable, making the protector versatile.
Perhaps the best thing about this chest protector is the engineering. Mizuno when the extra mile to engineer the protector for a growing softball superstar – the superior fit will give you the confidence and peace of mind you need to win games.
The fastpitch softball protector is available in two sizes – 13 inches and 14 inches.
The protector is SEI-certified, which means it meets the new NOCSAE standard and will protect you from commotio cordis. The certification makes it one of the safest protectors available in the market in 2020.
The weighted abs of the protector blocks hard hits and keeps you protected from injury. The design of the abs also contributes to the look of the protector.
Moldable PE plates come included with the protector, which you can slip into the shoulders and the throat and protect yourself on the diamond.
One of the best things about the protector is the diamond-vented inner lining. Not only does it keep you cool throughout the game, but it also reduces the weight of the protector without compromising on the protection.
But the best thing about it undoubtedly the price – the rugged chest protector will not break the bank!
The Allstar S7 is available in six color options and features a thin, form-fitting Delta-Flex harness that enhances both fit and comfort.
The Allstar CPCC79PS is the perfect option if you are looking for a pocket-friendly protector for your child that doesn’t compromise on safety.
The 13.5-inch chest protector will fit most growing adolescents perfectly. But your child won’t need to work with what they get. It comes with a delta-flex harness that supplies a four-point adjustment system.
Some children fuss about the fit and feel of gear, but the incorporated four-point adjustment system ensures that the protector fits your child just right.
The protector comes with moldable PE plates in the throat and the shoulders, protecting the parts from accidental hits.
Just like the Allstar S7, this youth chest protector is also certified by SEI, which means it will protect your child from commotio cordis, even though it’s a low-priced option.
Another similarity between the S7 and the CPCC79PS is the stepped ab padding. It does an excellent job of blocking balls off from the stomach.
But the protection that it supplies for the upper-chest area is even more impressive. Allstar incorporates their System 7 Axis chest protectors in the gear – making for rock-solid torso protection that keeps your child safe on the diamond.
It’s available in four colors: black/grey, royal, navy, and scarlet.
The EvoShield youth edition offers the same protection as the regular version but to pitchers-in-training. It incorporates the same gel-to-shell technology that the regular version has and comes with the same quarter-inch gel shield.
But what I like most about it is that the shield is lightweight enough for younger players to wear and won’t affect their performance.
The chest protector also uses the same Racerback shirt, which incorporates the swagtech moisture-wicking technology. You can be sure that your child will be both comfortable and safe on the field with it on.
The shirt can be machine washed, but you must remember that it must be air-dried. You can also remove the gel shield from its pocket and hand-wash it, too.
It comes with the company’s new lightweight iX3 breathable technology, helping you stay cool throughout the game. The arm pads are adjustable and include removable sizing plates, enabling you to personalize the fit.
The grey color looks elegant, and the white accents complete its modern look.
It also comes with a lower abdomen extension that you can fasten with Velcro, which is a nice plus.
Three-layer contoured foam padding
iX3 breathable technology
Removable sizing plate
Comes with lower abdomen extension
Gets warm on hot days
Softball Chest Protector Size Chart
Softball chest protectors are measured in inches universally. You can either get a family member to measure you or take your measurements yourself.
Grab a tape measure and stand up straight, and measure from the base of your throat to your naval. You can then find the right product with the help of the table below.
Below I’ve provided some recommended sizes based on age.
Softball Chest Protector Sizing
Now that you know what to look for, another glimpse at your options is all you need to find the best softball chest protector. If you’re looking for anymore softball gear, check out our article on the seven best double wall softball bats.
My name is David Farnum and I’ve been a Little League Coach in my community for the past 7 years. With 2 boys playing baseball and 1 girl playing softball, most weekends I can be found near a baseball diamond.