With the increasing popularity of softball across the nation, the demand for quality equipment is on the rise. One of the most important pieces of equipment for the game is the fastpitch softball catchers mitt. The mitt differs from other gloves in that it has more padding and only one finger stall. The mitt has a large pocket for catching pitches securely and for providing a nice target to help pitchers make the best possible pitch. As opposed to this great resource for baseball glove reviews, we hope that you’ll instead really enjoy these gloves made for softball players.

Our List

There are a number of different softball catchers mitts available all designed with different features. Many of these mitts have different amounts of padding around the palm and have different sized pockets for catching. Some also feature shock absorbent lining to protect the hand from injury when catching high speed balls. Below we offer our recommended choices.

Mizuno GXS53 Softball catchers mitt

softball catchers mitt

GXS50 Mitt

Whether you play for a college team, or your neighborhood or corporate team, you probably demand a Fastpitch catcher’s mitt that can handle whatever you have to throw at it, regardless of whether you play to win, or just for fun. Available for purchase in either a left or right hand throw model, the Mizuno GXS50 34 inch Fastpitch Catcher’s Mitt is a full size mitt that measures 34” and provides players with a blend of powerful performance and comfort in an easy to use design. It’s main features include:

  • Right or Left hand throw models
  • Full size 34″ mitt
  • ParaShock palm pad designed to provide the player with outstanding protection and comfort
  • PowerLock technology for the best possible fit on the market

This model features a ParaShock palm pad which is a built in feature that is designed specifically to help absorb the shock of repeated use while providing a high level of protection and comfort that Fastpitch catchers require their equipment to provide. The Mizuno GXS50 also features PowerLock closure technology which provides players with a quick and secure fit allowing them to concentrate on the game instead of the comfort and position of their Fastpitch catcher’s mitt.

Louisville Xeno

fastpitch softball catchers mitt

Xeno Mitt

If you are looking for a softball catchers mitt that blends traditional design with powerful performance, than look no further than the Louisville Slugger Xeno 33″ Fastpitch Catcher’s mitt. Available for purchase in either a left hand or right hand throw, it is a full size 33” catcher’s mitt that is designed to be with the player for a very long time. This model is made from premium grade double-oiled leather that for a soft feel and results in a mitt that will maintain its shape for many years. Some of the things that make this mitt so special include:

  • Unique female design to ensure a snugger fit and better control
  • Full size 33″ right or Left hand throw models
  • Made from premium grade leather that has been double-oiled for softness yet durability
  • Closed back and Velcro strap for a custom, and secure fit

The mitt features professional grade full leather finger linings, as well as a Velcro strap for better fit. This mitt also comes with die through lacing that allows the mitt to withstand anything that the player can throw at it. Closure is available via a Velcro strap, ensuring a tight fit no matter how long the game may last.

Mizuno GXS101 for Youth Players

Mizuno Youth Mitt

If your child is working their way up to the big leagues and they need a mitt that can handle whatever the game can throw at it, then look no further than the Mizuno GXS101 32.5 inch Youth Fastpitch Catcher’s Mitt. Available in a right or left hand version, this mitt measures 32.5” and provides innovative technologies that allow the user to perform at their best without skipping a beat. This model features a ParaShock palm pad that is designed to help absorb the shock of repeated use while providing a high level of protection and comfort that Fastpitch catchers demand from their equipment. The main benefits include:

  • Right or Left hand throw models
  • V-Flex Notch and Power Closure for facilitating easy closure
  • ParaShock pal pad for top notch protection and comfort
  • PowerLock technology for the best possible fit on the market

It also has PowerLock technology that helps to deliver the simplest and most secure fit of any Fastpitch catcher’s mitt on the market. This model also features a PowerClose feature that makes it easy for even younger players to close the glove and catch the ball when needed. A V-Flex notch is also included to help with easy closure.

Other things to consider

One of the most important things to consider when looking for a proper softball catchers mitt is the size that will best fit your hand. The mitt should be sized appropriately so that it covers your hand entirely and allows you maximum mobility. It should also fit your hand well enough to prevent any discomfort during game play. Make sure that the finger stalls fit your fingers comfortably and that the wrist opening is just large enough to fit your hand through.

You may have already read our guide on finding the best bat possible. Today we feature a review of the Rip it AIR BBCOR bat, which has quite a bit of promise heading into the 2014 baseball season. Last year, Rip-it introduced the newest “AIR” technology with the aim of being the best at combining quickness, balance, and strength. Many hitters believe they did just that. The AIR B1403A model introduced for the 2014 season promises to be even better than the 2013 version which is making many quite excited. Backed by the longest warranty in the business (400 days), you can rest assured that Rip-it will continue to back its product no matter what the circumstance is.

RIP-IT AIR Features

Ripit Air BBCOR review

Rip-it AIR

There is quite a bit to like about the 2014 version of the Rip-it Air. From the construction phase to how well it swings, a hitter will start turning their poor swings into hard doubles and hopefully homeruns. The 2014 version of this bat is also priced much better than other premier bats on the market like the Demarini CF6 or the Easton XL1. So you don’t have to break the bank just to get the performance you want. The main features included in this bat are:

    • Reduced vibrations
    • No break-in required

  • R2 Alloy – The 2014 Air is built using an R2 Alloy that features what Rip-it calls “Rifle Barrel” technology. What this technology has accomplished is made the barrel lighter than you’ve ever felt without sacrificing any thickness in the barrel itself. This ensures you’ll still generate just as much power as before, but with a quicker swing.
  • Contact grip – To give the hitters even more control than other bats, the B1403A surrounds the handle with a grip aimed at reducing the amount of vibrations you’ll feel. This allows hitters to feel more comfortable and able to produce the same consistent swing over and over again.
  • No break-in period – Some bats require you to take a few swings to break it in properly. Not with this one. As soon as you receive your AIR BBCOR bat, you take it to the field and have it feeling just the same as it would after using for a month or two. This is a great way to see results right away.
  • One-piece design – Many power hitters prefer the stiffness that a one-piece bat like the AIR provides. One piece bats tend to be more durable as well as there is no connection joint between the barrel and handle.
  • Sizes available: 31 in/28 oz, 32 in/29 oz, 33 in/30 oz, and 34 in/31 oz

    Our View

    If you are looking for an advanced level bat that won’t cost you $300 to $400, then the Rip-it AIR BBCOR baseball bat may be exactly what you are looking for. Just on the nice fluid, balanced and light swing, we feel that this bat is a true winner. Rip-it is so confident in this bat that they allow you to try the product for 30 days and return it no questions asked if you don’t experience success or like how it feels. Not many companies provide that kind of a backing!

Selecting the right baseball bat (or even the best softball bats) can make all the difference to your game. Ideally, you should go for a bat that’s of the perfect size, weight and length, and is reasonably priced too. Such perfection is hard to find, but with the advances made in technology, baseball players today have access to far superior options than they did in the past. You can buy a bat that seems as though it was custom made for you – as long as you have a good idea of the features to look for.

Here are some of the tips you can use while selecting a baseball bat, either for yourself or for your child…

The Right Weight: If you have a large and powerful built, you will want to choose a heavier bat, as it would give you the power you seek. Smaller players or children would benefit from a lighter bat that offers superior bat speed. We shall talk a bit more about identifying bats of the right weight later.
The Right Length: Length, together with the weight of your baseball bat makes all the difference to your game. Now, a longer bat will certainly give you a much better reach and allows you to hit balls towards the other side of the plate, but longer bats are also much heavier and may offer a lower bat speed. We discuss more about selecting bats of the right length later.
The Barrel Diameter: For kids under 12, the standard barrel size 2 1/4” barrels, however, there are many Little League baseball teams that recommend using 2 3/4” barrels. For high school players a barrel diameter of 2 5/8” is ideal.
League Requirements: Every league has their own restrictions on bat size, length and weight. Most high schools and colleges expect players to use a BBCOR-certified bat. If you’re shopping for the right baseball bat for your child, be sure to find out about their league requirements.
The Right Feel: The feel is the most important factor when selecting a baseball bat – it either feels good, as though it was an extension of your arm, or not. Since you (or your child) will be spending a lot of time playing with the bat, make sure to get the feel absolutely spot on. This guide may help as well.

Finding a baseball bat of the right length

The best way to identify a bat of the right length is to choose the length at which you feel comfortable swinging it. The idea is to increase the bat size gradually, an inch at a time. This would allow you to adjust to the new bat without it affecting your swing too much.

Once you’ve selected a bat of the right size using the numbers in the bat length chart, you can try other very simple methods to determine if it is of the best baseball bat for you.
Method #1: Hold the bat to your side with your arm outstretched. If your palm reaches the handle, then you’ve got a bat of the perfect length.
Method #2: Put the knob of the baseball bat at the center of your chest so that the bat faces outward. Can you reach out with your arm and grab the barrel of the bat? If so, that’s of the right size for you.

Finding a baseball bat of the right weight

Strong, muscular and powerfully built players normally like to use heavier bats, but that’s not always the case. Some prefer to use a lighter bat as it allows them to generate better bat speed. The idea is to find a balance between the length and weight of the baseball bat, so that you can get the mechanics of the swing spot on. Sure, a longer, lighter bat will allow you to swing faster, but there might not be much inertia behind the swing. A heavier, shorter bat would give you a plenty of inertia, but not the greatest bat speed.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, how good you get at baseball has less to do with the bat, and more with the amount of batting practice you put in on a consistent basis. It’s only practice that will give you the confidence you seek in a game, especially in must-win situation, when all the pressure is on you.

One of my favorite brands is Easton and I am really quite fond of their catchers line. I know when I goto my nephew’s baseball games there is a ton of Easton gear everywhere. I wanted to show you what I think are their top 3 choices and why I think they are so good.

Black Magic Gear

Quick Hits:

  • Pros: Best 1st time equipment
  • Target: Beginner
  • Sizes: Youth and Junior Youth
  • Colors: Black only
  • Price: $100 – $110

One of the newest and quickest selling models for 2013 is the Black Magic set specifically designed for Youth players. As parents and young players know, it can be a very difficult process to find proper fitting and durable items for youth level players. Thankfully, the Black Magic series takes the best of all things and combined them into one easy package. Only available to youth players from ages of 6 to 12, the Black Magic series comes in full sets where each piece is secured and fitted using Velcro and quick snap-in features. The greatest thing about a Black Magic set is it will help teach young players what being a catcher is really like from an equipment perspective.

Easton Stealth Speed – Best Choice for Competitive Catchers

If you’ve ever been frustrated with poor performing and loose fitting equipment then Easton has the solution! Easton Stealth Speed catchers gear offers some of the best fitting protective equipment available.

Quick Hits:

  • Pros: Increased mobility, Protection
  • Target: Competitive Catchers
  • Sizes: Adult, and Intermediate
  • Colors: Many single and two-tone colors
  • Price: $300- $350

Designed to meet the demands of top level Adult and Intermediate players, the Easton Stealth Speed gear offered on this website will provide you with tremendous mobility while keeping you fully protected behind the plate. Stealth gear is offered in complete sets along with individual chest protector, leg guards, and helmet pieces. If you are looking to take your game to the next level then click on the Stealth image to the left to see all we have to offer!

Most Popular – Easton Natural

easton natural catchers gear

Natural Series

Quick Hits:

  • Pros: Inexpensive, Moisture Management
  • Target: Recreational Catchers
  • Sizes: Adult, Intermediate, and Youth
  • Colors: Black, Navy, Royal, and Red
  • Price: $130 – $170

For many years now, Easton’s Natural catchers gear series has been the most popular and widely sold set of equipment. This gear has become so popular as it offers the most “bang for your buck” in the industry. It is very hard to find a high quality full set of equipment from a trusted name for under $200. Yet, a Natural Series set of gear can be had for quite a bit less than that! The Natural Series is perfect for beginner catchers, somewhat experienced catchers, or recreational players. Catchers who are more competitive may opt for the extra features included in the Stealth or Surge sets, but for most of the catching population, the Natural series will give you everything you need.

Easton Force

Easton Force Set

Quick Hits:

  • Pros: Lighter weight, Advanced features
  • Target: Intermediate to Competitive
  • Sizes: Adult, Intermediate, and Youth
  • Colors: Black, Green, Navy, Purple, Navy, and Scarlet
  • Price: $270 – $300

One of the newest offerings from Easton in time for 2013 season is the line of Force gear. Although not as advanced as the Stealth series, there is still a lot to like about this gear including the lower price! The chest protector features a form fitting design allowing the gear to fit your body the best. With layers of ultra light foam, you can expect to still be as mobile as ever. The leg guards themselves have an ergonomically advanced design as well making them as comfortable as any leg guards you’ve probably ever worn. Finally, the helmet tops of this great set and provides the catcher with a significant reduction in vibrations. With all of the talk and scare surrounding concussions, this helmet makes sense for all levels.

Surge Gear

Easton Surge Equipment

Quick Hits:

  • Pros: Covers all areas, Better design
  • Target: Intermediate to Competitive
  • Sizes: Adult, Intermediate, and Youth
  • Colors: Many single and two-tones colors
  • Price: $220 – $300

If you are looking for top of the line equipment then look no further than Surge Catchers gear. Designed for competitive catchers at all levels from Youth to Adult, each piece of Surge equipment is carefully manufactured to meet the demands of the best catchers in the business. You will notice a difference in your next game by wearing Surge equipment as you will feel more protected but at the same time you will barely recognize that you are wearing a full set of equipment due in large part to its lightweight material. Many people who wear this particular set have noted how durable it is and how they have been using it for multiple seasons.

As you can see there is lots to like about Easton catchers gear. Many people including those on this website believe it is the best catchers gear available.

While several leagues only allow single walled bats, the question still lies as to whether or not these multi-wall bats are a better choice.

Most multi-wall bats allow the same if not greater ricochet or trampoline effect, as a single wall bat. Though most companies will say there is no difference in hits, several newer studies seem to say otherwise. Also if they do have the same response, why have so many leagues banned them like they did the titanium bats? The question still remains though, what are the differences? Multi-wall bats are made with two or more layers of material in the barrel wall, while a single-wall is only the one material the bat is made of. It is said this multi-material layering gives an extra “pop” or “spring” to the ball as it bounces off the bat. The multi-wall bats also tend to be sturdier and have a thicker barrel allowing for a bigger sweet spot, giving the ball a faster off speed, and a definite edge in travel speed and distance.

While single-walled tend to absorb a lot more of the energy from the pitch, and hit, lowering its speed and dropping the distance considerably. Also with a smaller sweet spot, the single-walled bats tend to send a lot of that absorbed energy through the handle into the batters hand, wrist and arm, via some very strong and seriously stinging vibration. Overall though multi-wall bats seem to have a performance advantage over single-wall bats that is more than just a larger sweet spot. Players of all skill levels can increase their maximum batted-ball speed by using a multi-wall bat. Is it to much of an edge against single-wall bats, and should they be banned? That’s a question for a different day…