(Last Updated: January 16, 2024)
We have carefully reviewed and analyzed a large number of options to arrive at our top fastpitch softball leg guards pick.
Our top pick is a set of premium leg guards for serious catchers, and it stands out for having an excellent design and innovative features.
Read more to learn about them and other great leg guard options for fastpitch softball catchers...
Please Note: This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclaimer for more information.
Best Fastpitch Softball Leg Guards for the 2023 Season
Leg guards are a required piece of catcher's gear, built to protect your knees, shins and ankles from things like wild pitches, cleats, foul tips, and everything in between.
As a core piece of equipment, it is super important that you have a set of fastpitch leg guards that are both high quality and durable, because they are going to take a beating!
Differences Between Fastpitch Softball & Baseball Leg Guards
Despite what some corners of the internet may say, there are differences between leg guards designed for baseball and those for fastpitch softball. In fact, we checked with representatives from some of the top catcher's gear manufacturers to learn more about this.
While various brands and models have design differences that are not the same across the board, generally speaking there are a number of consistent differences from baseball leg guards that we found.
For example, leg guards for fastpitch softball catchers are often lighter weight than their baseball counterparts.
They also tend to have smaller toe guards, may be slightly more narrow, and often have a double knee cup instead of the triple knee cup you find inside many baseball leg guards.
These differences were purposefully engineered by the major manufacturers into the design of fastpitch specific leg guards, often after multiple rounds of focus groups and interviews with fastpitch catchers.
Great! So what does this mean for me?
In short, it means that you should use fastpitch specific leg guards if you play fastpitch softball (particularly if you are age 12 or above), due to the fact that these leg guards were built to address many of the unique demands you encounter while catching fastpitch games.
Leg Guard Sizing
Don't be afraid to buy leg guards directly online without first trying them on in the store. It is super simple to find the size you need.
To find the right size leg guards, all you need to do is measure from the middle of your knee down to the bend in the foot.
The size you get in inches is the size of leg guard that you should purchase. If your measurement is in between two sizes, then choose the higher number. Simple!Now that we have covered sizing, it's time to move on to our top picks!
Our Top Picks
Our picks for the best softball leg guards on the market are:
- All Star AFX
- Jen Schro The Very Best
- Mizuno Samurai
- Easton Prowess
Now, let's move on to our reviews of each of those picks.
#1. All-Star Vela Professional
Our top pick for fastpitch softball catchers
Our top overall pick for the best softball catchers leg guards are the All Star AFX.
What do we like about these leg guards?
To start, they are loaded with cool features which were designed to help you play your best.
For example, the AFX series of leg guards comes with the gel based D30® knee pad which were built to disperse impact away from your knees and to prevent bruising.
The leg guards also have the patented DeltaFlex™ harness system, which does a tremendous job of preventing excess shifting while in motion. Also, this system is more comfortable than traditional harnesses for ballplayers in shorts.
The AFX set of leg guards are durable, lightweight and well ventilated. Additionally, the plastic is moldable which allows for a good, customizable fit.
Not to mention these are made by All Star, one of the leading manufactures of catcher's gear in the market today.
Unique, proprietary technology designed in to help prevent knee bruising, to prevent excess shifting while moving and to increase ventilation
The plastic is moldable to ensure a custom fit
The shin pads are adjustable
Its internal surface is anti bacterial
Internal liners are machine washable
Nothing yet that we have experienced, heard or read about
#2. Jen Schro The Very Best
One of Easton’s newest releases, Jen Schro The Very Best leg guards are a solid option for most fastpitch softball catchers.
They provide great protection and they are well ventilated. They are not bulky and they flex well with movement.
Something we especially like is that these leg guards were designed to wrap around a large portion of the legs.
Additionally, the leg guards include more knee padding than any other softball leg guards we’ve seen, which helps the wearer do a better job at blocking and throwing from the knees.
Among softball shin guards for catchers on the market, these are hard to beat.
Designed to wrap around a large portion of the legs
Excellent padding over the knee area - it's the best we've seen
Good ventilation and reduced weight
Provides very good shin protection
Has a simple adjustment/harness system
Its cost is on the higher side
Back Side of Jen Schro The Very Best
#3. Mizuno Samurai (Fastpitch)
A popular and high quality set of leg guards
From visiting various fastpitch softball games recently to reading tons of reviews online, we are noticing something about these leg guards - they are very popular, especially in youth softball.
There's a reason for this, of course. Samurai leg guards are durable and lightweight, and they are available in a huge number of color options.
They are made by Mizuno, a very popular softball and baseball equipment brand.
Samurai leg guards also come with an "air mesh liner", a unique design by Mizuno intended to lighten the weight of the leg guards and to increase ventilation.
These are needed features, especially for catchers (as an example) playing travel ball who might have multiple games per day or weekend.
Has excellent ventilation due to its unique inner liner
The knee pad is adjustable for the best fit
Multiple color options are available
The toe cap can be detached or adjusted
Some reports note excessive shifting during games
Back Side View of the Samurai Leg Guards
Honorable Mention: Easton Prowess
Great looking leg guards that are built to last
Prowess leg guards have a two piece shin design – a helpful type of build that allows the padding to closely wrap around your legs and calves.
These leg guards provide excellent knee protection, and they include a large amount of soft foam padding behind the patella cap at the knee.
While they are durable and protect well, they are still comfortable to wear and they don’t feel very heavy at all. You can tell these leg guards have good quality from the first time you put them on.
Please note that Prowess leg guards are sold in two sizes: the adult size at 15.5 inches and the intermediate size measuring 14 inches.
Prowess leg guards conform well to your legs
Provides superior protection on and around the knee
It's durable and good quality
Multiple colors are available
Not available in youth sizes (only in adult and intermediate). See our detailed Prowess review post for more information and alternative options.
Can be difficult to find new at many stores or websites
Back Side View of the Prowess Leg Guards
Thanks for Reading!
We hope this review of the best fastpitch shin guards was helpful to you.
If you have any questions for us - whether about leg guards for fastpitch softball catchers, or catching in general - then don't hesitate to reach out by heading over to the Contact Us page.