Outdoor sports are great and fun to get into, whether as a hobby or as a profession. The thrill that comes with playing a sport is truly fascinating, whether it’s you whizzing around the court with a basketball
and catching great air in those shoes
, or your kid being the best hitter in the local softball league. All sports need high-quality gear to be optimally played; your kid especially needs a bat that adds power to his/her hits so they can add more home runs to their stats.
Power is not the only thing that’s required from a softball bat; the beauty and detailing on a bat will sure get some cheers from the crowd, which can in turn boost confidence. Imagine the compliments your daughter will get when she brings her brightly colored, top-of-the-class bat out of her gym bag. Even her coach will give a nod of approval.
The best softball bats use the best materials that will help the player achieve better results. They use innovative technologies that keep the player more comfortable, distribute the bat weight evenly, and reduce negative feedback, all to improve the user’s overall performance. You might even find a bat that’s themed after your kid’s favorite legend.
Before we go into this guide and review fully, we must mention here that choosing the five products to be reviewed was quite difficult. Some products came really close, but since we could only take five products, we had to let them go. There is, however, one product we think is good enough to have a mention here. It is the Easton FS50 Fastpitch Softball Bat
. You may want to take a look at it to know if it suits your needs.
The type of material(s) a bat is made of affects its price, as do the processes and design. A softball bat that incorporates many patented technologies and comes with well-detailed designs and great aesthetics (especially if it’s themed after an all-time great) will definitely cost a lot (well over $500). It would be nice to get a softball bat with all the great features and options. But it comes down to how much you’re willing to spend on it.
If you are someone who is looking for a softball bat for more than just casual play a few times a year, what we found was that a budget-friendly bat in this class will cost you about $200 or less. With between $200 and $300, we found that you can get mid-level products. For the high-end stuff, you would need to shell out an average of $400. Of course, as we stated earlier, there are some that will cost even more than this. And on the opposite side of the spectrum, there are decent quality bats for around $100 that will work well for casual players.
There are also some really cheap softball bats we came across during our research. We didn’t include them in our review because they’re poorly made; they’re not durable and will not perform optimally. Those are not the kind of bats you want to buy and they don’t represent good value for money.
As in every sporting activity, a great performance has a lot to do with the equipment you use, whether in-game or for training. There are features that are a must-have for every softball bat. There are also some that vary depending on what you expect from your bat. For instance, there are features in a balanced bat that are not in a load-ended bat. But that doesn’t mean one is better, it just comes down to what you want from your bat. The following are features that are common for all bat types:
- Slow-pitched or Fast-pitched
- Balanced or End-loaded
- Construction Materials
- Single-walled or Double-walled
- Design Technology Used
- Single-pieced or 2-pieced
- Balance Ratio
- Grip Type
- Association Approval
- Aesthetic Factor
- Bat Dimensions
These features will serve as a guide to help you determine what you want from a softball bat, and then a good price range for a bat with those functionalities.
Construction and Design
The two mains to consider when looking at the construction and design of a softball bat are whether it’s one- or two-piece and if it’s single- or double-walled. We’ll clue you in on the differences and advantages of the different choices below.
One-piece or Two-piece Construction
Softball bats have either a one-piece or two-piece construction. One-piece bats are made of the same material from knob to the endcap. The advantage you get from this type of design is a stronger and stiffer bat. They are preferred by power hitters who want little or no flex from their bats. A two-piece design is one that features a separate handle and barrel, fused together. An advantage of a two-piece bat is that it allows the barrel to flex as it contacts the ball. This trampoline effect gives the ball added speed.
Single-walled or Double-walled
Bats also come with either a single-walled or double-walled barrel. Double-walled barrels are more durable, considering they have thicker barrels, and they create a type of spring effect on balls upon contact. This makes the balls travel at much higher speeds than single-walled bats. One important advantage of single-walled bats is that they’re the type mandated by many leagues. Another thing worthy of note is, there are many single-walled bats with as much “pop” as the double-walled ones.
Performance and Ease of Use
When looking at the performance and ease of use of a softball bat, we recommend that you pay close attention to whether it’s balanced or end-loaded, and what sort of design technology is incorporated. We go more into detail on each of these factors below.
Balanced or End-loaded
The reason so much technology is infused into softball bats is to improve performance. A balanced or end-loaded bat will affect your performance depending on your hitting style. The weight of a balanced softball bat is evenly distributed across the bat from knob to endcap; players who focus on the precision of the ball-bat contact favor this type of bat. Hitting the ball at the sweet spot allows for better ball placement, which is an advantage of a balanced bat. End-loaded bats have more weight near the top of the barrel; this gives you extra momentum as you swing at the ball. This type of bat is preferred by players who hit hard, aiming at the fences.
Design Technology Used
A two-piece bat reduces negative feedback as there is less vibration in the handle. This is because the handle and barrel are separate, making it easy to use, even as a beginner, as the bat compensates (does not always punish you for not hitting the sweet spot). There is even a technology that directs vibrations away from the handle and back into the barrel for more powerful hits. Brands put a lot of effort into making bats feel as much of an extension of your hand as possible.
Although there are so many sophisticated innovations adopted in making softball bats these days, we believe you should now know what to look for after reading through our buying guide. Since you now have a clearer understanding of the features that matter most to you, our review will guide you towards choosing the best softball bat that will make you the team’s hero. Now let’s look at the individual reviews.
Louisville Slugger is a time-tested, family-owned manufacturer of softball bats. It has made bats for legendary baseball players such as Babe Ruth, Cal Ripken Jr., Jackie Robinson, and many more. In recent years, with research, innovation, and advanced technology, the manufacturing process of its bats has been greatly improved but still retains the old culture and pedigree.
The Louisville Slugger Xeno Plus 17 is built with reinforced carbon fiber polymer with zero friction, ensuring a powerful swing that sends the ball straight for a home run. The double-wall design allows the barrel to reach maximum flex with no resistance.
The Fade synthetic grip gives you a comfortable hold on the bat and its high-performance composite build provides you with the correct blend of power, larger surface area sweetspot, great balance, and a light and resistance-free swing that gives you match-winning hits. The bat has a -10 ratio, with its weight evenly spread through its barrel, making it a very well-balanced bat.
The Swing 1 inner Disc barrel technology incorporated into the Slugger features two inner discs that are positioned inside the barrel, right at the sweetspot, stopping the barrel from flexing past the performance limit and increasing the sweetspot area. This also allows the bat to perform at maximum exit speed from the very first use.
This softball bat adopts the patented iST technology, a 2-piece method of bat construction that eases the transition from handle to the barrel, eliminating negative feedback from mis-hits. It also gives a stiffer feel for adequate energy transfer. The end cap on this bat is well-constructed, completing the Xeno’s great looks and preventing it from sliding out of your hands.
Miken develops its line of products to surpass the standard of the world’s most demanding athletes. Its patented manufacturing process, coupled with the highest-grade aerospace carbon fiber, is used in making its series of bats. Miken bats use the HBF technology to create its trademark feel of 100% energy transfer when the ball connects with the bat. This is a brand defined by its determination to consistently create products that help its users dominate their game.
The Miken Supermax USSSA Slowpitch Bat is a signature USSSA bat made especially for Denny Crine. As you will expect, this bat delivers exciting performance and an impressive flex. This can be attributed to the new technology used by Miken.
The Tetra-Core technology is a technological breakthrough that has made Miken bats deliver exceptional performance. This technology makes use of an internal core tube. This improves compression, delivering amazing responsiveness. The layering on the external core increases flex, which then enables the internal core tube to increase the sweetspot and its durability.
This bat also features the Sensi-Flex technology which increases the transfer of energy from the handle to the barrel. This increases the speed of the bat head through the hitting zone and also cuts off vibration. With the Flex 2 Power (or F2P), the handle flex to barrel loading is optimized and as a result, the general speed of the bat head is increased through the hitting zone.
This is a two-piece construction built with 100% top-quality aerospace-standard fiber to deliver the quality of performance and level of durability associated with products from Miken’s. It is USSSA-, NSA-, and ISA-certified, has a 14-inch barrel length, and is available in the following four sizes: 34inch /26oz., 34inch /27oz., 34inch/20oz. and 34inch/30oz. Take your pick based on your specific needs.
Founded in 1989 by Ray DeMarini, DeMarini Sports Inc., is an American manufacturer of baseball bats and other sports equipment with its headquarters in Hillsboro, Oregon. It is known for producing baseball and softball bats with innovations that provide enhanced hitting power with the introduction of double-walled bats in 1995, which significantly propelled the company to success. DeMarini is in partnership with many college baseball teams and other professional sports organizations. In the year 2000, it was acquired by Wilson Sporting Goods.
The DeMarini CF9 Fast Pitch Bat features a barrel made from the new Paraflex Composite. This has carbon fibers that are 22% stronger than the Paradox+ Composite and also provides an improved weight distribution. This bat is very lightweight, providing an easy swing which makes it perfect for young players.
As a result of the consistency with which the composite is laid along the barrel, the sweet spot achieved is huge. This may be the lightest bat you’ve come across. This is thanks to the strength of the material which allows for less to be used in its construction without compromising its strength. It delivers the greatest pop and MOI, which is lower than most.
The DeMarini CF9 features a D-Fushion 2.0 handle. This handle is specially designed and tweaked to achieve an explosive hit by redirecting energy back into the barrel once it makes contact with the ball. This means your hits result in more pop than in the sting you feel in your hand.
This is a -11 drop bat with a 2.25-inch barrel; it is USSSA 1.20 BPF-, NSA-, ASA-, ISF-, and ISA-certified. It is available in 28inch/17oz., 29inch/18oz., 30inch/19oz., 32inch/21oz., and 33inch/22oz sizes. Pick the size that meets up with your needs!
The Anderson Bat Company was born out of the desire of three sports-loving individuals to produce bats that were better than what was available then. After years of nursing this vision, the first bat was produced in 1996. Thus began the journey that has culminated into what we have today. It has continued to stay true to its vision of offering bats that improve the game by enhancing the performance of players. Its goal is to become a brand that is associated with the best of the game.
The Anderson Bat 2018 Rocketech Fastpitch Softball Bat is one that is described by the brand as one of its most durable bats. Made from aerospace alloy and the power arch technology which incorporates a multi-wall design, it promises to withstand a lot of abuse without getting dented or cracked. This is one bat that can be used without fear in cold weather.
As a result of the barrel's double wall and the amount of mass that was packed into it, the ball jumps right off it as the bat crashes into the ball as if with some pent-up force.
The 2.25-inch barrel, end-loaded to deliver added power, requires no break-in time as it comes off the pack ready to rock. Its extra-slim handle is designed to help you achieve more speed while the tough but lightweight end cap gives the barrel much-needed support which also enhances its performance.
This bat is certified by ASA, USSSA, NCAA, NSA, and ISA. It comes with a one-year warranty for manufacturing defects and can be gotten in any of these four sizes: 31 inches/22oz., 32 inches/23oz., 33 inches/24oz., and 34 inches/25oz.
Adidas bears the badge of sports. Everything it does is sports-related. It is therefore no surprise that it’s one brand that many have come to associate with sports at its best. With a yearly production of over 850 million products, a staff strength of over 60,000, and presence in more than 160 countries, Adidas is no doubt a brand to be taken seriously and not just for the consistency of quality its products present. This brand has also had a massive impact on sports as a whole, and those involved in sports as individuals.
For a while, Adidas was not a player in this softball bat market. What many did not know was that it was researching deeply into this gear and was actually getting ready to come out with a product worthy of the Adidas brand name. After the success it recorded with the Melee legend, it went back and incorporated what it had learned and added technological innovations, which resulted in the Adidas 2016 Melee 2 Loaded.
This bat is Adidas’ grand entrance into the world of professional softball. A bat designed for performance and durability and optimized with an advanced composite molding and layering technology. This is the product of a full year of research and studies by the team at Adidas. You can therefore expect nothing but the best. Simply unwrap the bat and get on the plate. It needs absolutely no break-in time as it will pop from the first swing.
This product maintains the Adidas legacy of quality. You can get it in one of these four sizes: 34 inches/25oz., 34 inches/26oz., 34 inches/27oz., and 34 inches/28oz.
Now that you have the information you need to pick a bat that will help you or a loved one be on the A-list of hitters in the game, go ahead and pay the price so you can eventually win the prize. Good luck and happy hitting.