Whether you’re a slowpitch or a fastpitch player, finding the best softball glove is an unenviable task. Although the distinction between an ordinary and best softball glove is quite marked – as it depends on your playing position, your level of play, age, and hand size, still, there are so many options in the market that choosing one is quite a difficult task.
As the title of this page suggests, the raison d’etre of this page is the same as your goal: choosing the best softball glove.
You may wonder: aren’t all softball gloves the same. Well, they might look same but other than that, not even close! Since the number of options and styles are huge, we will make sure that you get through all the hype and end up with the glove which you really need.
Thus, while your glove might not be the most famous in the world – nor might it be the most advertised on your television screen, it would, surely, be the best softball glove!
Your search for the best softball glove comes to a few basic things. These things, when sorted out, will move you one step closer to your destination. Hence, before going out in the market and specifying a glove, make sure it meets the aforementioned criteria.
In stark contrast to the popular opinion of the Internet, you can use both the slowpitch and the fastpitch softball gloves interchangeably provided that you aren’t playing catcher. For a catcher, knowing the distinction is important. For, in slow-pitch softball, the catcher’s main job is to catch soft tosses that are thrown his way by the pitcher. Since the speed of the ball is slow, a slow-pitch catcher could use virtually any glove.
As for a fast pitch catcher, it is imperative that he has a heavily padded mitt since the ball will be coming fast and without a heavily padded mitt, their hands might become sore after a few catchers. Also, in worst case scenario, a hand injury might also occur.
If we have to identify one common area between softball and baseball gloves – although there are many other, the connective web between the fingers and the thumb – aka webbing, would be one.
Webbing normally comes in two types: the closed and open web. Closed webbing gloves are provided with a tighter lacing so they are generally the preference of catchers, fielders, and pitchers. This is because these webbings allow quick snagging of the ball.
Open Webbing gloves are preferred by infielders and outfielders since they have a loose weave which allows the player to see through the mitts and trace the trajectory of higher hits. Also, since throwing the ball to the infield is a priority, open webbing gloves – thanks to their loose webbing, allows just the same.
That part of the glove which encapsulated your wrist is known as its back. Unlike webbing or pockets, back is a matter of personal preference and has little to do with the position. Talking about open back gloves, there is an opening in their back side which allows an easy and speedy turnaround of the ball and also guarantees hand mobility.
Although the preceding description might imply that open back gloves are the best ones, there is no such generalization. For, although they are being rigid, this same characteristic of their design allow close-back gloves to provide better support for the catch. That is, if you are situated in the outfield and want to catch pop flies or deep power hits, closed back gloves are recommended.
After you catch the ball in the webbing, the area where it falls afterward, just above the palm, is known as a pocket. Similar to that of webbing, pockets come in two types: shallow and deeper. Unlike, however, that of webbing, choosing a pocket is dictated by your position and not by your preference.
For an infielder, shallow pockets are recommended since they allow quick transfer of the ball to the plate just before the runner. Thus, shallow pockets are used for quick transfer from the catching to the throwing hand and for fast grabs.
As for the deep pockets, they are generally used for holding onto hard hit fielders and high balls. Thus, if you’re a Captain of your team and want to make sure nobody drops a catch, make sure the pockets of their gloves are in line with their playing position.
Since outfielders have to hold onto skiers and hard hit balls, their gloves are longer and larger than others. Their gloves have an open webbing, deep pockets, and are closed back. The open webbing allows better visibility which is essential if you want to hold onto skiers. As for the deep pockets and the closed-back design, they allow better ball holdup and extra support to hold onto hard hits, respectively.
The main job of the infielder is to throw the ball back to the plate as quickly as possible. Hence, speed and flexibility are two things which are a must-have for any infielder. For the same reason, their gloves are smaller and have shallow pockets.
As for the back design, both open and closed back designs could be used, depending on the playing position. For, if you are a second or first baseman or a shortstop fielder, open webbing is generally being used in this position. As for the third baseman, closed-back designs provide increased support to hold onto hard hits.
Being finger-less, the first base gloves are generally similar – in their outer appearance to the catcher’s mitt. They, however have a relatively well-defined webbing and less padding. Also, they have open webbing and have shallow pockets.
For a catcher, the main purpose is to protect himself from fast, hard, and repetitive pitches. For this purpose, their gloves have a finger-less construction and extra layers of padding. Other characteristics include: fast snaps, small and shallow pockets, and closed webbing.
In contrast to the preceding positions, a fielder’s glove is a matter of his/her performance more than anything else. Still, if you ask us, we recommend closed webbing because of its ability to deprive the batter of seeing the pitcher’s grip. As for their size and pocket depth, both these elements are a matter of the pitchers’ preference and comfort.
From taking a look at matters which depend exclusively on your preference to unlocking those matters which depend on an expert’s discretion, we have laid down various elements which should help you in getting the best softball glove. Now, we turn our attention to what’s available in the market and try to extract the best out of those.
Whether you’re a male or a female, this glove has something for you. In case you are a female, the pink color of this glove should mellow your heart. As for the males, this glove also comes in a mixture of black and green. Also, it comes both for left and right handed throwers. While the preceding description might suggest that this glove is costly – since it meets so many demands, it isn’t. In fact, it is one of the most inexpensive gloves available in the market. However, lower price hasn’t stopped it from being one of the best. For, to make sure that you remain comfortable while wearing it, this glove has a lightweight mesh shell construction.
In simple words, this obscure terminology implies that this glove is breathable. Hence, it won’t allow sweat to accumulate on your hands.
Other than that, it has a soft palm construction. Suppose you are trying to hold onto a skier or a hard, fast hit, the soft palm would allow you to do just that.
Also, to make sure this glove fits you nicely, it has an adjustable wrist closure which will allow you to encapsulate your hand with this glove according to your taste.
Another noticeable feature of this glove is its rawhide lacing. Yes, many gloves have different types of lacing but there is one aspect which sets rawhide laces apart: they are tight and won’t give way easily, hence leading to no space between your fingers to let the ball, and you, down.
Lastly, unlike the majority of softball gloves, this glove doesn’t need to be broken in as it already comes in the same form. Thus, provided that you have gone for it, you could use it straight away.
For a glove which is inexpensive, the Franklin Sports Fastpitch Series Lightweight Softball Glove, 12-Inch offers great value for money.
If you’re a slow pitch catcher who is looking for a glove to meet his demands, this glove demands your attention. Coming in two different sizes – both are limited to youth, the outer appearance of this glove, combined with its features, seems to justify its price tag. First of all, the one element of this glove which turned my attention towards it is the Patented PowerClose technology. As the name suggests, this technology allows the glove for quick shut, making catching easy.
Also, if you are an infielder who wants to decrease the shifting time of the ball from your catching to the throwing hand, this technology will also afford you this luxury.
Thirdly, and while some people might view it as its shortcoming, this glove is limited to youth players. I find this intriguing because not many glove manufacturers are making “youth exclusive” gloves nowadays.
However, Mizuno has done just that and if you have a player who is just cutting his teeth in the game, this glove might help him. Also, it comes both for left and right handed throws.
Lastly, the one thing which might dissuade some customers from buying this glove is the lack of age description. Yes, the word “youth” has been mentioned but there is no mention of whether this glove would suit a 5 or a 15-year old. This, to me, is a major flaw of this glove which needs addressing from Mizuno.
For a starter who has just started learning the game, this glove might provide a great learning curve. You won't be disappointed in anyway.
Being the most expensive glove of this review, the Pro Mesh Back Glove from the Renegade Series of Rawlings seems to provide a brilliant combination of price and features. Yes, it is a little expensive but the aforementioned features should break the notion that Rawlings are charging over the moon for this. Starting from the palm type, it is made up of leather, hence making this glove a must have for both outfielders and infielders. Moving forward, its webbing is the patented Basket Web. Patented in 1967, it was the first stretchable or flexible web. It is woven and has grown extremely popular among some infielders and pitchers.
Also, the palm leather shell provides the players with a better fit and increased control. Hence, it helps youth players to upgrade their game.
Moreover, thanks to the interwoven leather strips, strength, flexibility, and durability have also been ensured.
Next, we turn our attention to the wrist adjustment. Unlike other wrist adjustments – which can grow too messy and are difficult to make, the patented VELCRO Brand allows the glove wearer to make easy adjustments in record time.
Lastly, it is the pocket depth of this glove which makes it a must-have for infielders. Since it is deep, the pocket ameliorates the catching ability of this glove.
If you can afford to pay a little extra – not that much, on a softball glove, this glove deserves your attention. The price tag is justifiable once you consider all the benefits.
When we talk about the budget pick regarding the best softball glove, we refer to the efforts which our team of experts has made in the buildup to this article. For, as you might have gauged by now, all the preceding best softball gloves are inexpensive. Still, since we are also consumers, we know the instinct of every consumer: of saving as much as possible on the item at hand.
Hence, to make sure you save maximum amount on the best softball glove, we have listed here the most and least expensive products. Take a look.
Most Expensive Softball Glove: Rawlings Renegade Series Pro Mesh Back Glove, Black
Least Expensive Softball Glove: Franklin Sports Fastpitch Series Lightweight Softball Glove, 12-Inch
Having the best softball glove has the ability to elevate your game above your teammates. Moreover, it will also have a positive influence on the performance of your team. Lastly, the buying guide provided above is not exhaustive and you can add points of your own i.e. the budget etc. Also, before buying any glove, read the customer reviews as they should provide you with what to expect from the glove.
Lastly, if you ask us to choose one glove from the preceding list, our vote goes to Rawlings Renegade Series Pro Mesh Back Glove, Black. This glove is a great amalgam of technology and features and also comes at an extremely competitive price.