Many would compare softball and baseball as extremely similar sports. While that is true, there are a few key differences. First, the actual balls are different sizes; a softball is much larger than a baseball. A softball is eleven to twelve inches in circumference and is less dense than the baseball, which is typically nine inches in circumference. Another key difference is the length of the bats used; baseball bats are often longer than their softball counterparts. A softball bat measures no longer than thirty four inches, where as a baseball bat must be no longer than 42 inches, and made of wood at the professional level (in softball, aluminum bats are used at every level).
The field used also differs in size; a baseball diamond has base paths that are ninety feet long, and softball diamonds have base paths that are thirty feet shorter at sixty feet. In softball there is what is called a "double first base" where the runner can run to in foul territory, baseball has no such base. The distance from home pate to the outfield walls also is different; in baseball, the distances vary, but in softball the distances must be constant and be no more than two hundred and fifty feet from home plate to the outfield wall.
The pitchers have different distances to work with as well; in baseball the distance from the rubber on the pitcher mound to home plate is sixty feet and 6 inches; in softball it is varied by level with amateur being forty feet, forty three feet for high school college and international, and forty six feet for men. In baseball, the mound is raised, however in softball the mound is flat, and is marked with white chalk to designate it. The pitching method is also different; in baseball an overhand motion is used, while in softball, an underhand method is generally used.
There are some similarities in the two sports, however. One of the similarities is the rules for bunting with two strikes, striking out, getting hit by a pitch, and the number of players on the field. Another very important similarity is the type of uniform, particularly the types of socks used.
A baseball sock and softball sock are very similar, and a sock that is worn in one sport can be worn while playing the other, however there is much more variety available to a consumer looking to purchase softball socks.