Injuries are a lot more common in softball than you think.
The most common injuries are overuse injuries – players report their neck, shoulders, elbows, and back hurting after games all the time. Tendinitis is also common.
However, softball has its share of hard-hit balls and wild pitches, and it’s important for players to stay safe on the field.
A direct hit to the chest can prove deadly. While the condition, commotio cordis, is rare, 47% of cases occur during athletic participation.
But luckily, protecting yourself (or your child) from life-threatening hits to the chest is as easy as getting the right softball chest protector.
The market is flooded with some excellent options for pitchers, catchers, and umpires.
However, the high-availability of protective chest gear is also a bane since picking one from the dozens of options requires a lot of time and effort.
Not to mention, if you make the wrong choice, you risk hard-earning money going down the drain.
But don’t fret – I’m here to help.
In this post, I highlight some of the best softball chest protectors the market has to offer. I will also guide you in finding the right size.
EASTON PROWESS Fastpitch Softball Catchers Chest Protector
||With easy adjustment and plenty of protection, this is the most comfortable option by far||$$||Check Price|
Mizuno Samurai Fastpitch Softball Chest Protector
||Featuring low rebound foam, this chest protector offers plenty of protection in stylish options||$$ – $$$||Check Price|
Allstar S7 Axis Chest Protector
||One of the biggest chest protectors on this list, this remains comfortable on the field||$$||Check Price|
||The Allstar CPCC79PS is the perfect option if you are looking for a chest protector for your child that doesn’t compromise on safety.||$$||Check Price|
EASTON JEN SCHRO Female Catchers Chest Protector
||The 2 piece design & patented fit means this is one of the most comfortable chest protectors for softball||$ – $$||Check Price|
EvoShield Women’s Racerback Chest Guard
||While not a true chest protector, this shirt provides plenty of protection for all players on the field||$||Check Price|
Softball Vs. Baseball Chest Protectors
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:
Best Softball Chest Protector
1. EASTON PROWESS Fastpitch Softball Catchers Chest Protector
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.
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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.
- Excellent fit
- Easy adjustability
- Rebound Control Technology
- BioDri liner wicks away moisture
- Washable throat guard included
- No color options
2. Mizuno Samurai Fastpitch Softball Chest Protector
If looking good on the field is a priority, you cannot go wrong with the Mizuno Samurai chest protector.
The company offers the protector in over ten different colors, all of which look attractive.
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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.
- NOCSAE certified
- Low rebound foam
- Grippy surface
- Excellent color choice
- Superior fit
- Somewhat expensive for what’s offered
3. Allstar S7 Axis Chest Protector
If you’re looking for a bigger chest protector that will keep you comfortable and not restrict movement on the field, the Allstar S7 won’t disappoint.
It’s 15.5-inch makes it one of the bigger chest protectors on this list – and it supplies top-notch protection that you’d expect from a premium option.
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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.
- Meets latest NOCSAE standard
- Excellent look
- Weighted abs
- Diamond-vented backside
- Delta Flex harness
- Slightly expensive
4. Allstar CPCC79PS
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.
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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.
- Moldable PE plates
- Stepped ab padding
- System 7 axis chest protectors
- Excellent price
- Smaller size limits use to young teens
5. EASTON JEN SCHRO Female Catchers Chest Protector
Mobility is one thing that all catchers are worried about. There are tons of protectors available that supply excellent protection. But only a select few allow for truly free movement.
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The EASTON JEN SCHRO protector is one of them.
The company’s “chest silhouette” provides the best fit and mobility possible for the female athlete – all without compromising on safety.
The JEN SCHRO has a two-piece design, and the narrow shoulders and slim ab area is fitted with memory foam that makes for excellent blocking and cushioning.
The protector is further fortified with a neoprene layer, which is shaped to wrap around the waist.
The neck and collarbone guard keep your whole torso protected from hard hits, and there is mesh over the shoulder, which helps with both comfort and weight-management.
It incorporates the company’s patented silicone grip abs, which reduce the spin on the blocked balls, reducing the distance they travel after blocking.
The JEN SCHRO protector is available in 14-inch, 16-inch, and 17-inch versions and comes in nine different colors, all of which are very attractive.
- Three-way tightening system
- Patented silicone grip abs
- Excellent mobility
- Available in three sizes
6. EvoShield Women’s Racerback Chest Guard
Protecting yourself on the diamond is just as important if you’re a pitcher or a fielder. But you don’t get to wear the heavy equipment the catcher does.
Getting the right chest guard is even more critical if you’re the pitcher, and there’s a reason why softball players swear by the EvoShield Racerback.
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It comes with a gel-to-shell custom molding, and the quarter-inch gel shield is lightweight and comfortable.
You’d think that the gel isn’t protective enough, but you’d be surprised to learn that gel disperses force a lot better than traditional foam and plastic shields.
No compromises are made to the shirt, either. The Racerback shirt is engineered with swagtech moisture-wicking technology, keeping you cool and comfortable throughout the game.
The shirt stretches freely and allows for a full range of mobility – it won’t affect your performance.
But the best thing about the shirt is that it’s machine-washable. You won’t need to take the trouble to hand-wash the shirt after playing nine innings.
- Quarter-inch gel padding
- Sweat-wicking shirt
- Available in three sizes
- Expensive, but worth the safety
7. EvoShield Women’s Youth
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.
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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.
- Quarter-inch gel padding
- Sweat-wicking shirt
- Available in three sizes
- The gel must be molded to fit immediately
8. Champro Pro Plus Umpire Chest Protector
No one knows the value of proper protective gear better than an umpire. A ball could come flying at you before you even realize it.
Protection is a top priority, and the Pro Plus protector protects not only your chest and stomach but also your entire shoulder.
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You may think that the extra protection it offers also causes it to be heavy. But that’s not the case. The Champro Pro Plus chest protector weighs under three pounds.
Since it is lightweight, it will save you a lot of energy when you’re out in the field.
The protector does a lot of things to keep you as comfortable as possible while also keeping you safe. The protector contours to your body, allowing you to use your full, unique range of motion.
It won’t bunch up when you are crouched, which is an excellent benefit. You won’t feel discomfort when you’re making decisions.
The inner DRI-GEAR lining keeps you cool and comfortable, which counts for a lot in hot weather.
But the best thing about it is that it comes has a five-way adjustable harness, allowing you to create a personalized fit.
The Champro Pro Plus is available in three sizes: 13”, 14.5”, and 16”.
- Five-way adjustable harness
- Moisture-wicking lining
- No bunching when crouched
- Available in three sizes
- Some complain that hits on the shoulder sting a little
9. Champion Sports Umpire Chest Protector
When it comes to comfort, the Champion Sports chest protector is hard to beat.
The soft shell padding comes with a lightweight mesh cover, enabling you to move restriction-free. The breathable design also makes for excellent air circulation, absorbing sweat and keeping you cool.
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While the protector is comfortable, no compromise is made to the protection it offers. The outer plastic shield deflects wild pitches, while the soft inner shell absorbs the force from the impact.
The chest protector offers an extra-wide coverage – the raised shoulder caps and the wide side coverage makes for maximum protection.
You don’t have to worry about the fit, either. It comes with a four-way harness, enabling you to get an individualized fit.
It is available in three sizes: 13”, 15”, and 17”.
- Tough outer plastic shield
- Extra-wide coverage
- Soft shell padding
- Four-way harness
- Cool and breathable
- The look could be better
10. Diamond Sports DCP-IX3 Umpire’s Chest Protector
Last on our list of the best softball protectors is the The Diamond Sports DCP-IX3 which features three layers of foam padding, giving you the protection you need on the diamond.
The padding is also contoured, giving you an excellent fit.
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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
- One-year warranty
- 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.