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Author Topic: Custom Softs review  (Read 2903 times)

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jp2408

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Custom Softs review
« on: September 01, 2017, 10:55:10 AM »

Took the plunge and bought a set of custom pads and gloves in the end of season sale (cheaper if you buy individually than in the bundle incidentally - 133 vs 162.50).

Have had my eye on these for a while and couldn't turn down the chance to pick some up at a discount.

They arrived yesterday (ordered bank holiday monday afternoon) in time for my game tomorrow, and having unpacked them they are just as good looking as they are in the pictures online. Superbly minimalist and clean, the materials are great (lots of high quality leather etc) and some of the detailing is brilliant.

I'm a small chap and sizing is always a concern of mine with softs, particularly if buying online. I have used youths gear in the past and generally it has been a better fit, but there was only the option of small mens at H4L, so I took the plunge knowing there was a chance I'd end up wrestling with myself about whether to send them back!

Pads

In terms of pads, I currently have a set of youths B3 pads, which I like and fit well - couple of images below to benchmark the sizing. As you can see there's not much difference in the overall size - perhaps the top hat is slightly longer, but importantly the straps sit in almost the same place on both sets. This is a real bugbear of mine - hate the feeling of the top strap being around the back of my knee! All good on that front however.




Once they're on, the pads feel great. The protection is brilliant, and the shin bolsters and knee cup sit perfectly (the latter is adjustable). If I had the option I would shorten the straps slightly, but that's mainly down to my skinny legs I suspect! They are a bit flat and wide out of the packaging (you can feel them catching when you walk around) but I think a couple of days of sitting around tightly done up should sort that.

They are a little heavier than the average pad, they have a bit of heft when you pick them up, but for the level of protection you get it's a small price to pay. Plus when you strap them on, the extra hundred grams each or so over my current pads melts away into my total bodyweight and becomes unnoticeable.

Looks wise I don't think I've seen better - simple as that. They are clean and minimalist but the H4L detailing on the knee roll and front of the shin is beautifully done and slightly raised from the rest of the pad, which is very classy.

Overall for 72 in the sale, I don't think you can go wrong. I'll keep an eye on whether they bend properly and stop catching each other, but I assume they will do (every other set of pads does). Only other thing that might irk me is the straps being a bit long, but I think every set of pads I've ever had has that problem... Perhaps interchangeable straps on the next model H4L! Minor issue is that if you have to bend the strap to stop it poking out and potentially catching the ball, the leather detailing at the end of the strap makes it a bit tricky, but again no major issue. Once they are moulded to me properly I'll probably do them up less tightly anyway.

Gloves

Really nice - not much more to say! Again very nicely detailed and thought out, and the looks are fantastic. The flexibility of the fingers is very good with the shark tooth design, and the protection level is high. They feel lightweight and not intrusive, and I suspect they'll only get better as they break in.



Fit wise I am a stickler with gloves - the best size pair I have is an old set of youth size mongoose super premiums which (literally) fit like a glove with no wrinkles etc on the palm. They are pretty garish though, hence the hunt for a plainer set..

These are a little bigger than that but again are small mens rather than youths so it is to be expected. They are reasonably snug though and with a set of fingerless inners are very comfortable and give you a good feel on the bat handle.

My only criticism would be that for small mens, the wristband is perhaps a little big - to get them snug I have to tighten the band quite a lot which leaves you with a bit of the fastening poking out. But a minor point really and one that will probably only affect me!

Again for the sale price of 51, I'm not sure you would find a more protective, more comfortable or better looking set of gloves.


Overall


My search for a long term set of softs may be over... Great looking, fantastic protection and good fit make these already some of my favourites. My only issues with them are my own really in terms of having skinny legs and wrists (which I'm starting to think is more easily fixed in the gym than by buying myriad sets of gloves and pads!). As they break in I think they'll become like a second skin when batting, and the protection level is top notch, which is a pretty impressive combination.

Price wise, having paid 133 for both, I feel pretty happy with the value for money. Not the cheapest on the market, but looking at the competitor offerings and the quality you get I don't think you can complain. Whether I would have paid the full price of 205 is a different question, even for me I think I would have baulked at paying that much for softs.. Not a problem I have now however!

Hope this is helpful to anyone considering - sure next years range will be even better, but the current versions are a fanastic set, and even better in the sale.
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petehosk

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Re: Custom Softs review
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2017, 12:20:17 PM »

I have a set of these too - larger size and they are fantastic. They feel very comfortable and not in the least bit intrusive.
The one simple test for me is the "forgot I had them on" feeling!

The 'forget I had them on' test is below for me:
- Do I have to adjust them continuously?
- Do they feel awkward on when batting in them?
- Do they feel overly bulky?
- Do they feel uncomfortable?
- Do you feel the ball if you get wrapped by a quick bowler on the pads
- Do the straps feel rubbish?
- Do they feel cumbersome to run in?

If I amswer yes to any of those questions, then they do not pass the test.
But I answer NO to all those questions so I wear them regularly.

The extra bonus about these H4L Custom softs is that they are not heavily branded. Therefore you can use any bat with them and still look as though you have matching kit  :D

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leatherseat

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Re: Custom Softs review
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2017, 12:25:04 PM »

Really comprehensive write up. The sizing issue is always a concern when buying online - your comparison with other product sizing is very helpful.
Thank you.
David
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velvetsky01

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Re: Custom Softs review
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2017, 12:31:09 PM »

I think I can safely say these are the best softs I have owned. Before these I had some millichamp and hall T2s which were good but these feel even better I am tempted to get a spare set (defo the gloves due to wear and  tear) but not sure if I need the extra pads tho
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jp2408

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Re: Custom Softs review
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2017, 12:36:21 PM »

I went for two sets of gloves and glad I did - should last a while with two sets as the quality feels good.

Love that I can use them with any brand of bat without my OCD going nuts as well!
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velvetsky01

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Re: Custom Softs review
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2017, 12:38:55 PM »

Yes that is why I like them

The gloves do wear I must admit but I have only used these this season

Which is why I am tempted to buy another pair - so I have a. Ew pair for matches. Exit year and use this seasons for nets and practice
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velvetsky01

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Re: Custom Softs review
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2017, 05:20:36 PM »

Just ordered a new pair lol

So that's 2 new pairs of gloves in This week damn you sales!! Lol
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jp2408

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Re: Custom Softs review
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2017, 04:34:17 PM »

Haha I was ready to use mine today but spent our innings padded up at number 4 as we won 1 wicket down..

Had a net yesterday and they are super comfy, although every hit on the pads seemed to take a bit of the outer material off, which was a little disappointing.
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