Somehow, my freshman catcher has outgrown the $370 All-Star Intermediate that I bought him 7 months ago. (Guess I should be happy he's grown that much since the summer? But, I'm a little steamed that he needs new gear so soon after we went for the last set.)
When he was 9 and 10, he had an Easton set. I would never do that again. I didn't like the quality. From 11 to 12, he used Mizuno Samurai. I thought that was a great set for a kid. The last couple of years, it's been All-Star gear for the most part, head to toe. Sometimes he used a Rawlings 950x chest protector instead of the All-Star. But, lately, it's been 100% All-Star.
Now, he says he wants to try something else. I think he's leaning towards Wilson, for some reason.
Personally, my main concern is head gear. I want the best protection possible there. From 13 to 15, he was going two-piece. But, lately, he seems to be going back to hockey style.
For a chest protector, he wants something that is really going to deaden the ball. I think that is why he stopped using the 950x. It's very hard and the ball will sometimes ricochet.
Shins are important too. We found the Rawlings to be crap. All-star was much better.
Anyone have some recommendations here that they are willing to share, either on something to consider or avoid?