When you first start playing softball, you’ll probably be happy playing with team gear and wearing an old pair of trainers or a pair of football boots. If you decide to stick with the sport – and why wouldn’t you – the temptation to spend a lot of money on gear will soon become overwhelming.
New to softball essential gear
If you’re ready to start buying up softball gear, here are the items you’ll need and the order you should buy them in.
- Softball glove
- Batting gloves
- Cheap bat
- Softball bag
- Expensive bat
- Training aids
Why this order? The softball glove is the thing you will use the most. You will soon develop all sorts of superstitions about where it is stored, how you wear it, and when you put it on and take it off. Just go with it. While borrowing a glove from the team bag might be nice, it’s better to get your own so you can start to feel some confidence in your glove.
Why do I need softball cleats?
I know plenty of people who wear footballs boots and even trainers to play softball. I did it for my first season. And then I picked up a super cheap pair of Nike baseball cleats in American and quickly tossed my football boots. Softball and football are different sports and the shoes are designed accordingly. The biggest difference is the toe cleat which is absent from football boots. This is supposed to help you get round the bases faster.
Do I really need batting gloves?
Not everyone uses batting gloves. And some people only wear one glove. Ask to borrow some from your team mates and see if you prefer the feel. They can help you grip the bat better and take some of the sting out of hitting the ball. Batting gloves are usually quite inexpensive to buy, so it can be a nice way to add to your softball gear without breaking the bank.
Why should I buy a cheap bat first?
My main reason for saying this is that softball bats can set you back in excess of £300. If you really really really want your own bat, try getting a cheap one first. It doesn’t have to be an awful bat. You can usually pick up used bats on Facebook groups where people swap and sell equipment. You can also get great deals on last season’s bats or close out bats.
Some essential items not on the list
There is one thing missing from the list: protective gear. Helmets are on the list, but chances are you’ll be using a team helmet in the meantime. I’m talking about things like face masks, gum shields and sliding pads. These will all depend on your position and style of play. A pitcher is more likely to want a face mask than an outfielder. And if you slide into every base, you’re probably going to go looking for sliding pads a lot sooner.
Training aids last, but perhaps not?
I’ve put training aids last on the list mainly because these are usually a team purchase rather than an individual purchase. But if you’re keen to practice on your own, here are some great softball batting training aids you can buy.
Disagree with this list or order?
Think something is amiss? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Obviously, this is just one person’s opinion. Other players might have other thoughts about what is essential and when you need to buy it. Let me know in the comments below!