8 Best Protective Cups for Baseball – Essential Safety Gear


Written by

Michael Rogers



Leo Hagenes

best protective cup for baseball

The best protective cup for baseball is a crucial safety gear for players. It doesn’t matter if you’re an occasional weekend slugger, a budding Little Leaguer, or a pro in the big league. Your most intimate body part needs the most reliable protection against accidental hits.

Selecting safety equipment to protect the male groin isn’t as challenging as it sounds. Seasoned baseballers and avid fans of the sport shared what they believe to be the top three considerations when choosing and buying a protective cup for baseball.

Baseball players would want an athletic cup that covers the nether regions and ensures optimum comfort without compromising on-field performance. Too small, and the cup cannot safeguard sensitive male body parts. Too large, and the gear can interfere with baseball performance.

Among the common materials used for making protective athletic cups, polycarbonate- and polymer-based options are the most effective in safeguarding players’ nether regions. Ordinary foam, while inexpensive, may be ineffective against particularly strong hits.

There are two main cup types: compression shorts or cup-only versions. The former is more cost-effective because the protective cup already includes an undergarment stabilizing and supporting the muscles. Meanwhile, cup-only designs require a jockstrap, which can mean a separate purchase.

We must reiterate that other factors can influence a buyer’s decision to pick one protective cup for baseballers over another. Don’t fret if you’re curious about these other parameters because we’ll share them in the buying guide. Moreover, we’ll highlight them in the following product reviews.

Shock Doctor Compression Shorts

Intended wearer: Youth and Adults

Available sizes: 5 (small to double XL)

Type: Compression shorts-integrated

Best Value

Youper Boys Youth Padded Sliding Shorts

Intended wearer: Kids

Available sizes: 5 (extra-small to XL)

Type: Compression shorts-integrated

Comfy Cup Boys Youth-Sized Athletic Cup

Intended wearer: Kids

Available sizes: 1 (for 7-11 years)

Type: Cup only

8 Top-rated Protective Cups for Baseball

1. Youper Boys Youth Padded Sliding Shorts with Soft Athletic Cup

  • Intended wearer: Kids
  • Available sizes: 5 (extra-small to XL)
  • Type: Compression shorts-integrated
  • Materials: Soft foam with moisture-wicking fabric lining
  • Weight: 4.66 ounces
Check Price on Amazon

Right off the bat, the Youper Boys Youth Padded Sliding Shorts impressed me with its integrated pocket that features a soft yet highly protective cup. As such, many users claim this product to be one of the most comfortable athletic cup they’ve worn, aside from the renowned Diamond MMA.

This protective athletic cup features a soft foam core enveloped by mesh fabric. The layering allows the skin to breathe through the cloth, cooling the groin and reducing the risk of bad smells and other moisture accumulation-related issues.

Another impressive feature is the foam cup, which forms a non-irritating shell over the nether region while serving as a shock absorber in case of accidental hits. These attributes allow young players to concentrate on the game, not the discomfort between the legs.

These poly-spandex compression shorts also house the protective cups, especially their sliding pad. Young baseballers can steal bases or head straight to the home plate, sliding to safety without injuring their hips.

The compression shorts are easy to clean. One can simply toss them into the washing machine, and they are ready for the next game. It’s the same thing with the protective cup, making this product ideal for players who appreciate the convenience.

My only complaint is that the shorts’ stitching is not very durable. After a few uses, the pair I got for my kid started to unravel its thread. Fortunately, it was a pretty easy fix, even for someone with no sewing skills.

I can’t blame parents for buying these compression shorts-integrated cups for their young superstars. Their shielding capabilities are spot-on, comfort is commendable, performance is impressive, and convenience is noteworthy.

  • Perfect-fitting and comfortable protective cup
  • Minimizes moisture accumulation
  • With an integrated sliding pad for improved protection
  • Machine-washable fabric
  • The stitching may become unraveled

2. Shock Doctor Compression Shorts with Protective Bio-Flex Cup

  • Intended wearer: Youth and Adults
  • Available sizes: 5 (small to double XL)
  • Type: Compression shorts-integrated
  • Materials: Bio-Flex polylactic acid biopolymer blend
  • Weight: 4 ounces
Check Price on Amazon

Here’s an athletic protective cup for baseball players worth having. The Shock Doctor Compression Shorts with Bio-Flex Cup doesn’t only safeguard an adult player’s most prized body part but also cares about the environment.

I love this protective cup for baseball’s Bio-Flex material for its eco-friendliness. To be specific, the biopolymer is compostable, biodegradable, and renewable. I won’t feel ashamed if these cups end up in landfills because they don’t have a negative environmental impact.

Beyond its ecological advantage is its noteworthy groin-protection ability. I like biopolymers better than foam because they form a sturdier shell around sensitive body parts. The protective cup is also designed to facilitate airflow and mitigate moisture-related issues. Furthermore, skin irritation is the least of my worries.

And since the protective cup nestles inside a pocket, baseballers can remove the cup and leverage the compression shorts’ muscle-supporting capabilities for other activities. They could run, bike, or play lacrosse and other games.

The compression shorts feature premium-quality synthetic materials with excellent stretchability without losing their form. I love the breathable fabric, allowing the skin to “breathe” and feel cooler than usual. Baseballers could play extended games without getting intense discomfort.

Like Youper and other compression shorts-integrated protective cups, washing this product is convenient. Users can toss them into the washing machine and never fret about the fabric degrading or losing its advantages.

Unfortunately, these compression shorts with protective cups suffer from sizing issues. Some users said that the cup of the largest size was still a bit small for them. Others complained about the cup slightly moving about in its pocket.

Still, this baseballer’s protective cup enjoys a significant following, more substantial than Youper. It’s proof of this product’s impeccable protection at a reasonable price.

  • Eco-friendly removable protective cup
  • Provides optimum ventilation to the groin
  • Supports and warms muscles
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Cup doesn’t stay in the pocket
  • Possible small size

3. Comfy Cup Boys Youth-Sized Athletic Cup

  • Intended wearer: Kids
  • Available sizes: 1 (for 7-11 years)
  • Type: Cup only
  • Materials: Molded polyurethane foam with polyester mesh fabric lining
  • Weight: 0.7 ounces
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The Comfy Cup Boys Youth-Size Athletic Cup might look simple; however, its origin is anything but. Unlike the other protective cups, which were designed and manufactured by companies, this product reflects the ingenuity of an eight-year-old.

I commend Kyler Russell, a budding Little Leaguer who teamed with his friends and fellow players to create an alternative to the hard plastic protective cup they must wear during games. The result? This designed-by-kids-for-kids youth baseball cup.

So, how does a kid’s creation compare to big-name brands? Surprisingly, the protective cup can hold its own against fierce competition.

The protective cup features a thoughtfully molded soft foam with a breathable fabric lining. Its seams are spot-on, keeping the cushioning within the shell.

Young baseballers can slip this protective cup into their jockstraps or compression shorts, safeguarding their private parts. They’ll never worry about their groins turning moist and smelly because the protective cup’s design facilitates improved ventilation.

I also appreciate the kids’ efforts to field-test the product before producing it in large quantities. I like such an endeavor better than laboratory testing because it accounts for real-world scenarios. Kids tried these protective cups themselves, and feedback formed the basis of product improvements.

Like other protective athletic cups, this kiddie creation is easy to clean, maintain, and care for.

Although I admire Russell’s desire to create a protective cup for young baseballers, I wish the product came in other sizes. After all, kids have varied development rates, requiring an appropriately-sized cup.

Regardless, I recommend these protective baseball cups to parents who want to acclimatize their youngsters wearing such safety gear. It’s the perfect starter technology to prepare them for more robust game-sanctioned designs.

  • Designed by a youth baseballer for young baseballers
  • Ideal for beginner baseballers
  • Comfortable design thanks to the breathable fabric lining
  • Commendable construction from thorough field tests
  • Machine-washable
  • Single size only

4. COOLOMG Youth Boys Sliding Shorts with Protective Cup

  • Intended wearer: Kids
  • Available sizes: 5 (extra-small to XL)
  • Type: Compression shorts-integrated
  • Materials: Flexible plastic with silicone soft-gel perimeter
  • Weight: 4.5 ounces
Check Price on Amazon

The COOLOMG Youth Boys Sliding Shorts with Protective Cup is nearly identical to the Youper Boys Youth Padded Sliding Shorts. However, this protective athletic cup has several innovations that wow even skeptical baseball players.

For one thing, I prefer plastic to conventional foam cups because it guarantees better protection. The hard plastic forms a nearly unbreakable shield covering a boy’s most sensitive body part, as it can retain its form even with high-velocity impact. In contrast, with foam cups, kids may still feel the sting when the protective gear is hit.

One common issue with plastic cups is the tendency to irritate the skin on contact. I don’t see that problem in this protective cup. The company is kind and thoughtful enough to line the athletic cup with soft-gel silicone. Kids won’t feel pain or discomfort if a speeding baseball finds its target in the groin.

The cup also has six vent holes, improving comfort and allowing young baseballers to focus on the game. They won’t feel “warm” or “moist,” and they’ll be glad they don’t smell like soiled socks after the games.

I also appreciate the compression shorts’ 15% spandex composition, giving it better stretchability than Youper. The sliding pad deserves mention because it’s denser than others, improving protection against abrasions and bruises when sliding.

I was surprised some parents found these protective cups bigger than the published size. Most athletic cups for baseball catchers, pitchers, fielders, and basemen I’ve reviewed are somewhat small.

Despite the sizing issue, I love this compression shorts-integrated protective cup. It’s comfortable, affordable, protective, and effortless to wear.


  • Ingenious Flex cup design for improved comfort and protection
  • Silicone soft gel cup lining for added comfort
  • More elastic compression shorts than others
  • With integrated sliding pad for protection
  • “Bigger” than expected

5. Shock Doctor Ultra Pro Carbon Flex Athletic Cup

  • Intended wearer: All ages
  • Available sizes: 5 (extra-small to XL)
  • Type: Cup only
  • Materials: Thermoplastic polyolefin shell with body-conforming gel perimeter
  • Weight: 4.5 ounces
Check Price on Amazon

Shock Doctor returns to our list with the Ultra Pro Carbon Flex, a protective sports cup for players of all ages. This time, the company only offers the athletic cup without compression shorts, making it a competitor to the youth-centric, cup-only Comfy Cup.

I have several compression shorts with pockets in the front interior, ready to accommodate a protective cup. This product fits the “nest” perfectly, making me feel confident and safe playing baseball with my highly-competitive buddies.

Most protective cups have a unitary design featuring a breathable cover or lining. However, this product has a 3-piece construction to provide better protection against high-velocity impact.

The protective cup’s core is thermoplastic polyolefin for exceptional form and protection. It’s the same material car manufacturers use in their bumpers. A tough impact shield guards the outer surface, absorbing impact forces and dissipating the energy through the TPO shell.

Slight discomfort is still possible with this design. However, I like its body-conforming soft-gel perimeter’s ability to cushion vibrations and other impact forces. The result is a more comfortable protective cup for hard-hitting baseballers.

The body-hugging silicone-like cup liner is soft and won’t irritate the skin. I could wear this protective cup in my jockstrap and never worry about itching and bruising. I can move freely and confidently.

Unfortunately, sizing issues continue to hound these athletic protective cups. Either the cup is too small or too big for the wearer. It’s also a little pricier than other similar products.

This protective cup for baseballers remains my favorite on this list. Its unique three-piece design and thoughtful construction negate any price or sizing issues some might have.

  • Body-conforming design for comfort and mobility
  • Three-piece design for further protection
  • Non-irritating lining for added comfort
  • With proprietary impact shield for enhanced groin protection
  • Sizing issues
  • Slightly pricey

6. Diamond MMA Compression Short Groin Protection System

  • Intended wearer: Adults
  • Available sizes: 5 (small to double XL)
  • Type: Compression shorts-integrated
  • Materials: Polycarbonate core with soft elastomer perimeter
  • Weight: 1.75 pounds
Check Price on Amazon

Here’s a protective cup perfect for pro baseballers who sideline as weekend MMA fighters. The Diamond MMA is the toughest and most battle-ready safety gear anyone can wear without undermining user comfort.

These products’ innovative design makes them the ideal baseball cups for catchers. Although the cup is only a two-piece unit (unlike the Shock Doctor Ultra Pro with three), I love this protective cup more.

First, the polycarbonate shell is one of the sturdiest materials baseball players can use to shield their groin. It’s the same substance bulletproof vest manufacturers use for their products. If this plate can stop a deadly bullet, a speeding baseball will be a breeze.

Second, the tough outer shell has unique diamond-cut angles. It’s like having the F-117 Nighthawk under the pants. Most protective cups are round. The sharp angles of the protective athletic cup deflect incoming baseballs better.

Third, the elastomer edging serves the same purpose as COOLOMG and Shock Doctor Ultra Pro’s soft-gel perimeter. It improves comfort while optimizing groin protection.

Fourth, these cups stay in their places, regardless of the intensity of player movement. Four straps secure the cup over the groin, allowing players to move freely and effortlessly.

Fifth, the company ditched the usual poly-spandex combination for a more robust military-grade fabric for its compression shorts. Surprisingly, the material is comfortable.

As expected, this compression shorts-integrated protective cup is the least affordable on this list. Adult baseballers could buy two to five Shock Doctors with its price. For their innovations, I consider these mens protective cups a steal.

This protective cup is the best for baseballers. No other product can protect the groin with the same level as this.

  • Superior cup shell for optimum groin protection
  • Diamond-shaped cup for better energy dissipation and ball deflection
  • Unparalleled cup stability, even with extreme movements
  • Military-grade fabric for the compression shorts
  • Exceptionally comfortable
  • Pricey

7. UNSHDUN Boys Briefs Youth Compression Underwear Protective Cup

  • Intended wearer: Kids
  • Available sizes: 4 (extra-small to large)
  • Type: Compression shorts-integrated
  • Materials: Bio-Flex polylactic acid biopolymer blend
  • Weight: 4.97 ounces
Check Price on Amazon

The UNSHDUN Boys Briefs Youth Compression Underwear bears an uncanny resemblance to the Shock Doctor Compression Shorts. Both products feature a Bio-Flex cup to protect a youngster’s most sensitive body part during baseball games.

I’m surprised this protective cup has the same technology as Shock Doctor. I can safely assume its biopolymer material is safe for the environment. At least families can contribute to a greener planet by purchasing these cups instead of plastic versions.

The cup features five holes for venting unwanted moisture and smell. It has a breathable liner, too. Kids will love this attribute because they’ll feel more comfortable playing baseball, allowing them to focus on the game.

I appreciate the dome-shaped cup, covering the player’s private parts and minimizing harm by absorbing impact forces. Although I prefer polycarbonate and thermoplastic materials, the biopolymer cup will suffice for kiddie baseballers.

I like the cool, dry poly-spandex compression shorts. The line stitching is spot-on, preventing fraying and keeping the undergarment intact. Kids can wear these shorts with protective cups for many seasons until they eventually outgrow them.

Washing these shorts is also a breeze because moms can toss them into the washing machine, and they’re ready for the next game. The compression shorts’ fabric won’t lose its noteworthy attributes.

Like many protective cups we reviewed, this protective cup for sports activities suffers from sizing concerns. Some buyers raised issues with its sizes (i.e., bigger or smaller than published).

Although this protective cup for young baseball players is nearly identical to Shock Doctor, it’s budget-friendlier. I’m not surprised this product enjoys considerable support and praise from many satisfied customers. That’s something the company can take pride in.

  • Eco-friendly protective cup
  • Breathable lining on the protective cup for improved comfort
  • With ventilation holes for added comfort
  • Dependable construction and finishing
  • Machine-washable compression shorts
  • Sizing issues

8. Youper Adult Elite Compression Shorts with Protective Athletic Cup

  • Intended wearer: Adults
  • Available sizes: 5 (small to double XL)
  • Type: Compression shorts-integrated
  • Materials: Thermoplastic rubber with moisture-wicking and breathable lining
  • Weight: 9.14 ounces
Check Price on Amazon

The Adult Elite from Youper promises to deliver professional-grade groin-protection capabilities and significant comfort levels that seasoned baseball players deserve.

Some protective cups feature foam or polymers to safeguard the nether regions. This product integrates thermoplastic rubber, combining the toughness of polymers and plastics and the softness of foam.

The product’s TPR core is a soft and smooth yet dense material. It shields the groin and the male genitals against accidental (or intentional) hits. Hence, it’s a sturdy cup that can withstand high-impact forces, making it an excellent candidate for a catchers cup. Its surface is smooth enough never to irritate the skin should it contact the latter.

While the cup’s edging isn’t soft-gel or silicone, a softer TPR version is sufficient. The cup absorbs impact forces, while the TPR perimeter softens the pressure on the groin.

Notably, the cup features eight vent holes, ensuring more comfortable wear. And the compression shorts are more stretchable than my current pants, allowing me to move freely without causing discomfort.

Players will surely appreciate the slider pads, giving the sides extra protection against abrasions when sliding toward a base.

Sizing accuracy remains a concern for this protective cup. One could get an extra large compression shorts-integrated cup, but it won’t fit. On the other hand, a medium cup might be too big for the wearer.

This protective cup for adult baseball players is a worthy choice. Its sturdy cup safeguards the groin nearly as effectively as Diamond MMA while providing optimum comfort.

  • Sturdier cup construction for better groin protection
  • Soft and smooth protective cup design for added comfort
  • High-quality poly-spandex fabric for optimum mobility and comfort
  • With slider pads for added protection against abrasions
  • A few concerns about sizing

What to Look for When Buying Protective Cup for Baseball


When buying a protective cup for baseball, there are several things players should look for to ensure that they get the finest and most comfortable protection possible. Here are some critical factors to consider.

Size and Fit

The protective cup should fit snugly and comfortably against the body. It mustn’t be too tight or too loose. Ideally, you’ll want the most comfortable cup money can buy without undermining its groin protection capabilities.

A surefire way to ensure that it fits is to choose a cup that corresponds with the player’s specific waist size and to check the size chart provided by the manufacturer. These figures are easy to determine since they usually come with the purchase.


Protective cups can feature different materials, including hard plastic, polymers, foam, and rubber. Each has pros and cons, and players only need to know their priorities in buying a protective cup.

Hard plastic protective cups offer more protection but can feel less comfortable. On the other hand, foam cups can be more comfortable but may not provide as much protection as the former. Meanwhile, polymers offer the best of both worlds.

Protective Cup Type

Two main types of protective cups exist – compression shorts with built-in cups and separate cups that attach to a jockstrap.

Each kind will pose benefits and drawbacks and ultimately boil down to personal preferences plus the level of comfort and protection each player requires.

Whether opting for the protection and compression of the former or the buyer is more inclined to the adjustability and customization of a separate cup, choosing the most comfortable and practical type is always the way.


An excellent protective cup should have adequate ventilation to prevent sweating and discomfort during play.

Any uneasiness and sweating experienced by a player may affect the baseball performance, which is counterproductive to the purpose of a protective cup.


Some cups are more flexible, increasing comfort and movement during play. Often, separate protective cups offer more flexibility since they are removable and replaceable if necessary.

Brand and Quality

Looking at the brand and quality of a specific protective cup is also crucial. It’s a good idea to buy a protective cup from a reputable brand, as they are presumed to be of higher quality and offer better protection.

For example, most veteran baseball players believe Nutty Buddy protective cups to have higher quality than a relatively unknown or unheard-of brand.

Professionals trust reputable brands, knowing these companies produce only the highest possible quality products. The best ones usually garner the best reviews, which underscores their quality.

Although this is the case, buyers must choose a protective cup that caters to a particular need.

Maintenance Requirements

We recommend looking for protective cups that are easy to wash and maintain since this will guarantee that they will last longer and remain hygienic for long periods. A machine-washable protective cup should be an instant hit.

How Do I Choose the Right Size Protective Cup for Baseball?


You can choose the right size protective cup for baseball by observing the following steps.

  • Measure the waist at the narrowest point, usually above the navel, ensuring the tape measure is snug but not tight.
  • Compare the measurement to the manufacturer’s sizing chart and pick the correct protective cup size.
  • Gauge and consider the protective cup’s fit. It should fit snugly against the body in a way that is not overly tight. It should also cover the entire groin area and be comfortable to wear.
  • Make adjustments. If the cup is too tight or loose, adjust the straps or waistband accordingly to get a better fit.

We recommend wearing the appropriate undergarment (i.e., compression shorts or jockstrap) when trying on a protective cup.

Can I Wear a Protective Cup for Baseball With Compression Shorts?

Yes, you can wear a protective cup for baseball with compression shorts. This action helps to keep the cup in place and prevent it from shifting during play, which can reduce the effectiveness of the protection.

Learning how to wear a protective cup with compression shorts starts with appreciating the nature of such undergarments. Compression shorts or briefs fit tightly against the body, providing support and reducing movement to keep the cup in place.

How Often Should I Replace My Protective Cup for Baseball?

Over time, the protective qualities of the cup can deteriorate, reducing its ability to provide adequate protection. One should replace their protective cup for baseball every one to five years or as soon as it shows signs of wear and tear.

A replacement is also necessary if the player experiences significant impact or injury while wearing their protective cup. Signs of damage, wear, or deterioration also require changing the protective cup.

Can Wearing a Protective Cup for Baseball Reduce the Risk of Injury?

Yes, wearing a protective cup for baseball can help decrease the risk of injury to the groin area. The cup provides a barrier between the genitals and any potential impact, which can absorb or deflect the force of a blow and reduce the risk of injury.


It’s easy to choose the best protective cup for baseball players. Buyers must check their sizes to pick the product with the best fit to ensure optimum comfort.

Young baseball players can opt for a foam-constructed protective cup, although a polymer material is ideal. On the other hand, adults must pick only the toughest protective cups to shield their private parts. After all, adult baseballers can throw 100+ MPH fastballs.

Shopping for a protective cup can be tedious and confusing. That’s why we reviewed eight of the best products in the market to make your search easier.

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