Top 9 Best Protective Athletic Cups for Baseball in 2024

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HomeBlogsChris Sloan's blogTop 9 Best Protective Athletic Cups for Baseball in 2024
Top 9 Best Protective Athletic Cups for Baseball in 2024
Chris Sloan

Baseball, a game steeped in tradition and loved by millions, is as much about skill as it is about safety. Every player, from rookies to seasoned professionals, knows the significance of donning the right protective gear before stepping onto the field. At the forefront of this protective arsenal is the athletic cup, an often overlooked but critically essential piece of equipment. Its main purpose is to safeguard the most vulnerable regions, ensuring that a stray ball or an accidental slide doesn't result in serious injury.

The choice of an athletic cup isn't just about protection; it's also about comfort and fit. Baseball players come in all shapes and sizes, and what works for one player might not necessarily work for another. There are multiple sizes available, catering to the young aspirants just starting their journey in little leagues to the towering giants of the major leagues. Furthermore, personal preferences play a considerable role. Some players might prioritize maximum protection, while others might lean towards flexibility and comfort.

Choosing the right athletic cup is a combination of understanding one's body, recognizing personal preferences, and being aware of the rigorous demands of the game. This guide aims to break down the top athletic cups in the market, making the selection process more straightforward and ensuring every player steps onto the field with confidence and peace of mind.

A Brief History of the Athletic Cup: Safety Through the Ages

youth baseball player

The evolution of protective gear in sports traces back decades, with athletes constantly in search of the best protective cup to shield them from potential injuries. One of the areas that has seen significant developments in its protective measures, especially for male athletes, is the groin area. The history of the athletic cup reveals a fascinating journey of innovation, personal preference, and the relentless pursuit of safety.

Historically, baseball players were among the first to realize the importance of protective gear for the groin area. During the regular season, the number of direct hits and blunt trauma incidents around the male anatomy was alarming. By the time the first season concluded, it was evident that some sort of protective measure was essential. This urgency birthed the early versions of the protective baseball cups. Initially made of basic materials, these cups were not the most comfortable athletic cup choices, but they did the job. However, as the sport evolved, so did the demands of the athletes. The idea of a "one size fits all" approach soon dissipated, acknowledging the need for different sizes and designs catering to personal preference.

With the rise of martial arts and high-contact sports like Muay Thai and MMA, the need for protective gear saw a global spike. MMA fighters and martial arts practitioners adopted and adapted the protective measures developed in baseball, leading to innovative designs like the Diamond MMA cup and Lobloo Thai cup. These cups took into account the specific demands of martial arts, where vertical movement of the cup could be detrimental. Moreover, the inclusion of impact-absorbing foam and an ergonomic design made these cups the top pick for many in high-impact sports. Materials like carbon fiber started to be incorporated, offering a blend of lightness and strength.

But innovation didn't stop there. With advancements in technology and a better understanding of the human anatomy, the Comfy Cup emerged, designed keeping young players and beginners in mind. Made with a foam cup and lined with moisture-wicking fabric, this cup was a game-changer, especially for those with sensitive skin or those who were skeptical about washing machine maintenance for their protective gear. Reviews poured in, with healthcare providers and seasoned players alike acknowledging the Comfy Cup's unique blend of protection and comfort.

The late 20th century saw the rise of the Diamond MMA compression shorts and the Shock Doctor jock strap supporter, both aiming to integrate groin protection seamlessly into the athletes' wearables. This integration meant that athletes no longer had to worry about adjustability or ensuring the right size since the protective athletic cup was built into their compression wear. Athletic supporters became more sophisticated, with features like adjustable straps, airflow ports, and additional padding, ensuring a perfect fit and maximum comfort. Furthermore, the outermost layer of soft foam in many of these designs enhanced comfort, making the protective gear an important part of every player's kit, regardless of their sporting activities.

Another noteworthy innovation was the introduction of shin guards and other safety equipment for high-impact sports. These, paired with the right athletic cup, provided comprehensive protection against serious injuries. However, the goal remained the same: finding the best athletic cup that offered maximum protection without hindering free movement. Today, with the availability of customer reviews and promotional offers, players can make informed decisions, ensuring they opt for the best option tailored to their needs.

In this article, we'll discuss 9 of the best baseball protective cups for 2023. We'll consider factors such as fit, protection, comfort, support, and price to help you choose the right cup for your needs.

Here are some of the best baseball protective cups on the market in 2023:

  • McDavid Athletic Cup

  • Shock Doctor Athletic Cup

  • Diamond MMA Athletic Cup

  • Nutty Buddy Athletic Cup

  • Comfy Cup Athletic Cup

  • EvoShield Athletic Cup

  • Athletic Supporter with Built-In Cup

  • Compression Shorts with Built-In Cup

  • Sliding Shorts with Built-In Cup

We'll discuss each of these protective cups in more detail in the following sections, so stay tuned!

9 Best Protective Athletic Cups for Baseball in 2023

McDavid Athletic Cup

Overview: The McDavid Athletic Cup stands as a testament to timeless quality and reliability. Often the go-to choice for baseball players across various age brackets, it encapsulates what many seek in an athletic cup.


  • The cup's soft foam liner ensures a comfortable fit, reducing the potential for chafing or irritation during intense plays.
  • Adjustability is a key feature, allowing users to achieve a snug fit, minimizing shifts during sudden movements.
  • Its widespread use among the baseball community speaks to its reputation and preference.


  • The cup's hard plastic construction, while providing protection, might be perceived as less comfortable by some players, especially when compared to more flexible alternatives.

Check out McDavid Athletic Cups on Amazon

Shock Doctor Athletic Cup

Overview: Embodying robustness, the Shock Doctor Athletic Cup has carved a niche for itself in the world of baseball protection. It's not just about safety; it's about ensuring players feel secure with every slide and pitch.


  • The inclusion of a soft gel liner accentuates comfort, ensuring players feel at ease even during the most strenuous games.
  • With a built-in jockstrap, players can be assured of the cup's stability. This feature ensures the cup remains anchored, minimizing the risk of dislocation.


  • The built-in jockstrap, while offering stability, might add to the overall bulkiness of the cup size. This might be a concern for players who prioritize a lightweight feel.

Check out Shock Doctor Athletic Cups on Amazon

Diamond MMA Athletic Cup

Overview: Merging the worlds of protection and comfort, the Diamond MMA Athletic Cup emerges as a top contender for players who seek both in equal measure.


  • Its unique design is not just for aesthetics. It effectively distributes the impact, potentially reducing the chances of injury.
  • The soft foam liner acts as a cushion, ensuring that the protection does not come at the cost of comfort.


  • While its unique design is its strength, it might also be the reason for a higher price point. Players might need to consider their budget when opting for this.

Check out Diamond MMA Athletic Cups on Amazon

Nutty Buddy Athletic Cup

Overview: Venturing beyond the conventional, the Nutty Buddy Athletic Cup introduces a design that has protection at its core.

See Also our Full Nutty Buddy Athletic Cup Review


  • The cup's distinct design is not just for show—it actively works to deflect impact, keeping players safe.
  • Comfort remains uncompromised, thanks to the soft foam liner that cushions the player.


  • The unique shape, while being its standout feature, might not align with everyone's comfort or fit preferences.

​Check out Nutty Buddy Athletic Cups on Amazon

Comfy Cup Athletic Cup

Overview: Tailored especially for those just starting out or players with sensitive skin, the Comfy Cup Athletic Cup offers a gentler approach to protection.


  • The moisture-wicking fabric ensures players remain dry and comfortable, reducing the chances of skin irritation.
  • Adjustability ensures players can find their perfect fit, accommodating various sizes.


  • While it excels in comfort, it might not be the go-to choice for those engaged in high-impact sports due to concerns about durability.

Check out Comfy Cup Athletic Cups on Amazon

EvoShield Athletic Cup

Overview: The EvoShield Athletic Cup seamlessly blends protection with a lightweight design, aiming to give players the best of both worlds.


  • The flexibility of the material allows it to mold to the body, ensuring that players don't just wear the cup—they wear it perfectly.
  • Its lightweight nature makes it an immediate favorite among many, as it doesn't hinder movement or play.


  • However, the thinness of the material, while contributing to its lightness, might raise durability or protection concerns for some players.

Check out EvoShield Athletic Cups on Amazon

Athletic Supporter with Built-In Cup

Overview: Streamlining protection, the Athletic Supporter with a Built-In Cup brings together convenience and functionality in one design.


  • The integrated design means players can quickly wear or remove it, saving time and reducing hassle.
  • Beyond just holding the cup, it provides additional, much-needed support to the groin area.


  • One downside could be the limited adjustability, which may not suit everyone's preference or fit needs.

Check out Athletic Supporter with Built-In Cup Options on Amazon

Compression Shorts with Built-In Cup

Overview: Taking protection up a notch, the Compression Shorts with a Built-In Cup not only shield players but also boost circulation and minimize muscle fatigue.


  • The compression feature is more than just for fit—it actively helps improve blood circulation.
  • The integrated cup ensures that players remain protected during the game.


  • Its tight-fitting nature, essential for a pair of compression shorts, might be uncomfortable or too restrictive for some players.

Check out Compression Shorts with Built-In Cup on Amazon

Sliding Shorts with Built-In Cup

Overview: Sliding Shorts with Built-In Cup have been specifically designed. These shorts understand the needs and challenges of baseball players, especially when it comes to the sliding action.


  • Padded Thigh Area to cushions any potential impact but also aids in reducing the risk of abrasions and injuries.

  • Built-in Cup for Groin Protection ensures that the cup stays in place regardless of the player's movement and, it provides robust protection to the groin area, a region particularly vulnerable during baseball games.


  • Players who aren't involved in sliding actions regularly might find other types of athletic cups more suitable to their needs.

Check out Sliding Shorts with Built-In Cup on Amazon

baseball players in a batting cage

FAQs About Athletic Cups

Why is it essential for baseball players to use athletic cups?

Baseball players, especially during the regular season, are at risk of direct hits and blunt trauma to the groin area. An athletic cup offers vital protection against serious injuries, ensuring that players can focus on the game without any concerns while playing a high impact sports.

How do I choose the right size for my athletic cup?

It's crucial to consider your waist size and the specific dimensions of your male anatomy. Different brands offer different sizes, and some even provide adjustable features. Checking customer reviews and consulting with healthcare providers can also guide you in selecting the right size.

Are there athletic cups designed for high-impact sports like martial arts?

Absolutely! Sports like MMA and Muay Thai have specific demands, and brands like Diamond MMA and Lobloo Thai have developed cups that cater to these needs. These cups often feature impact-absorbing foam, ergonomic design, and are built to prevent vertical movement of the cup during high-contact movements.

What materials are athletic cups made from?

Athletic cups are made from a variety of materials. Traditional ones used plastic, but modern designs incorporate carbon fiber for strength and lightness. Many also feature an outermost layer of soft foam or a moisture-wicking fabric liner for added comfort.

How do I clean and maintain my athletic cup?

Most modern athletic cups can be safely washed in a washing machine, especially those with moisture-wicking fabric. However, always check the manufacturer's instructions. It's essential to regularly inspect your cup for signs of wear and replace it if necessary.

What are the benefits of compression shorts with built-in cups?

Compression shorts, like the Diamond MMA compression shorts, offer dual benefits: they help improve circulation and reduce muscle fatigue, and the built-in cup provides vital groin protection. This integrated design ensures that the cup stays in place, offering both protection and convenience.

Is the Comfy Cup suitable for professional athletes?

The Comfy Cup is designed with young players and beginners in mind, emphasizing comfort with its foam cup and moisture-wicking fabric. While it provides good protection, professional athletes in high-impact sports might opt for more robust options like the Diamond MMA cup or those with features like adjustable straps and airflow ports for maximum comfort and safety.

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About Chris Sloan

Chris Sloan is a former baseball league commissioner and travel baseball coach who has made significant contributions to the sport. In 2018, he founded selectbaseballteams.com, a website that helps parents find youth and travel baseball teams in their local areas. Since its launch, the website has experienced impressive growth, offering a wealth of resources including teams, news, tournaments, and organizations. Chris's unwavering passion for baseball and his innovative approach to connecting parents with quality baseball programs have earned him a respected reputation in the baseball community, solidifying his legacy as a leading figure in the world of youth and travel baseball.

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