We’ll take a closer look at the best softball gloves of the year in this article. A well-fitting, broken-in glove is an essential part of every softball player’s arsenal. We look at some of the best softball gloves and split them into two types for ease of use: slowpitch, and fastpitch.
There’s a mitt for everybody, whether you’re playing in the corporate softball league or competing in professional fastpitch softball. It’s not always easy to choose the right softball glove for you. Break-in time, back, wrist change, webbing, and content are only a few of the top things to think about when making a purchase.
The most critical items to look for in the best softball gloves, why there are different styles for different positions, the most common gloves brands, and finally our best softball gloves closer look section are all discussed in this equipment guide.
Part I of the Softball Glove Guide: How to Choose the Best Softball Gloves
If you’re looking for a high-end leather glove or a budget-friendly synthetic, it’s important to choose one that’s built for your job and, at the very least, won’t fall apart mid-season.
The following are the most important glove fundamentals to remember while looking for the new best softball gloves. Bear in mind that because the player throws with their left hand, left-hand throw (LFT) the best softball gloves are worn on the right hand. On the left side, RFT gloves are worn. Most glove makers will make their styles available in both right-handed and left-handed versions.
The type of content used for the best softball gloves and the price point usually go hand in hand. Full-grain leather, for example, demands a premium. Leather gloves are ideal because they fit the player’s hand well and last a long time. Leather is one of the best softball gloves that take time to break in, but like good wine, they strengthen with age. Synthetic gloves are less costly and a good fit for newcomers to the sport as well as novice players who aren’t too competitive.
The size of the best softball gloves is probably the most critical aspect of all. The length of the softball glove from the top of the index finger slot to the end of the best softball gloves that lie on the wrist is measured in inches (referred to as the heel). For catcher’s gloves, the system of calculation is distinct. To best show the catching area of the best softball gloves, the diameter rather than the length is determined.
To make it easier to open and close any sort of glove, you want a nice fit between your hand size and the glove. When fielding and catching, a well-fitting glove has a safe pocket to carry the ball. If the hand is too loose, it can jump about in the mitt, making defensive innings difficult.
The web is the name for the collecting area of the glove, also known as the “pocket,” and it is the most distinctive characteristic of the best softball gloves. Manufacturers of gloves have come up with a wide range of fancy webbing styles, but they all fall into one of two categories. The first is the open web mitt, which features an “I” or “H” pattern with leather parts woven into the remainder of the mitt with leather lacing.
Infielders like this glove because it helps them to pass the ball easily. Closed web mitts, which are all one solid piece across and have a more rigid catching area for the player, are the other choice. The majority of players choose an open back because it makes it easier to follow the ball into the mitt. Pitchers also use a closed web design to keep the other team’s grips hidden.
The mitt’s backing is either closed or open, much like the webbing. An open glove exposes the top of the wrist which allows for a wider range of motion. Infielders usually choose this. Closed-back gloves are preferred by outfielders because they have more wrist protection for certain laser beam line drives. A finger slot for the index finger is often used in closed-back gloves, which some players prefer.
The wrist change is solely a matter of personal taste. The wrist modification style used by most glove manufacturers is either Velcro or a D-Ring. A lace-up or buckle wrist adjuster is used on a few gloves. Adjusting with Velcro is the quickest and most convenient process. D-Rings don’t wear off like Velcro, but they are a little more difficult to re-adjust.
The plant and player break-ins are usually listed on the list of product information provided by the manufacturer. The bottom line is that you don’t want to head out on the field the day after buying a 100 percent player break-in glove because fielding balls with an ultra-stiff and also needing the best softball gloves would be a nightmare. A wicked bouncer would most likely bounce off the glove and slap you in the chest. A good rule of thumb is that the higher the leather grade, the stiffer the glove. It’s a smart idea to use glove oil and play catch with a brand new high-grade leather glove before game day.
Part II of the Softball Glove Guide: Glove Style by Position
Gloves for infielders are built to encourage players to quickly transition from fielding to throwing to delivery. The only exception is gloves for first base, as you can find in the section below. They have a shallower pocket than most gloves and are shorter.
The pocket’s webbing is normally made up of an I-web, H-web, post web, or a tweaked Trap-eze pocket. The only position that will sometimes use a closed web is third base, so they are most likely to take tougher hits, which a closed pocket will accommodate better than an open pocket. Best Softball gloves are usually 11.5 to 12.5 inches long.
Pitchers should be conscious that there are gloves made especially for pitchers that are substantially thinner than normal gloves. Pitchers, unlike other infield positions, are typically unconcerned with their results. As a result, their primary concern is warmth, as they will be catching the catcher’s return balls. Pitchers use a closed web to shield their balls from the prying eyes of the winning team’s hitter and trainers at the professional level.
High-flying pitches, line drives, the occasional miraculous dive catch, and in-the-hole grounders are all caught with outfielder gloves. For an oversized pocket, these gloves are longer and have deeper finger holes. Trapeze and H-web are the two most popular web designs, all of which have space for the player to watch the ball while also blocking the sun to a large extent.
Closed webs are more popular in the outfield in softball to accommodate for the softball’s size. When making dive saves, the fingers are lined to help hold the ball in the glove. Softball outfield gloves are usually 12 to 14 inches long.
First Base Gloves
It tends to be a cross between a fielder’s and a catcher’s mitt. The first base glove, like the catcher’s mitt, had a little extra padding to withstand throws with any heat on them. However, these gloves are longer than a catcher’s or infielder’s mitt to aid the first player in extending and reining in wild catches. They’re also made to be more durable than the average mitt, preventing the fingers from flopping down.
Since smaller hands can’t close the larger glove, players normally start wearing these special gloves when they are 12 years old or older. Softball gloves come in sizes ranging from 12 to 14 inches.
Catcher’s gloves are a distinct breed of gloves altogether. They vary from other positions in that they do not have finger slots that are cut separately. They also provide padding to protect the catcher’s hand from hard pitches in the game. Because of the additional material used in their fabrication, catcher’s mitts are very rigid off the market.
Catchers often purchase a new mitt months before they plan to retire the old one, giving the new mitt time to break in during work. A closed web pocket area is used on almost all catchers’ mitts to include a solid, unyielding wall to reel in pitcher throws. Softball catchers’ mitts vary in diameter from 31.5 to 35 inches and are marginally thicker (about 1 inch) than baseball catchers’ mitts to accommodate for the larger softball.
A Closer Look Section: The Best Softball Gloves
Here are the perfect softball gloves.
The size and features of fastpitch and slowpitch gloves are almost equal. Slowpitch softball, on the other hand, does not need a specially crafted catcher’s mitt since the balls are slower, and stealing is seldom tolerated. A manufacturer’s marking of a glove as a “fastpitch softball glove” or “slowpitch softball glove” is normally done for marketing purposes. I’ve compiled a list of the top 5 best fastpitch and slowpitch who are the best softball gloves.
Here are the 5 best fastpitch softball gloves
1. Mizuno Prospect GXS102 Youth Catcher’s Mitt
Catcher’s mitts can make a player’s job behind the plate simpler, particularly at the youth level of fastpitch softball. Mizuno recognizes this and has designed this glove to aid a young player in learning the basics of catching.
The Thumb Cut Hinge feature allows young fastpitch softball catchers to slam the glove shut on each pitch, improving timing and comfort at the plate. It also allows the mitt to be more flexible.
Meanwhile, the ButterSoft Palm Liner and Full Grain Leather Shell provide longevity and comfort, two features that a top-rated youth fastpitch catcher’s mitt must possess.
The MZO Lining provides additional warmth behind the plate by efficiently wicking away sweat and ensuring a perfect fit in the game.
- Young catchers may use Thumb Cut Hing to snap the mitt shut.
- Sweat inside the mitt is no longer a concern thanks to MZO Lining.
- The ButterSoft Palm Liner has a special feel that young players can enjoy.
- For older players with bigger hands, the glove openings can be too short.
- A closed webbing is favored by some catchers, but the Mizuno Prospect Pick has an H-web.
This may be the perfect youth fastpitch softball catcher’s mitt for players who are only learning the game and are on a tight budget. After all, the aim of any of the best youth fastpitch softball gloves is to assist newcomers in learning and improving their game!
2. Shoeless Jane 1175FPHW 11.75-Inch Glove
While the Shoeless Jane fastpitch is the best softball gloves that seem to be antique, they are not. They do as well as, if not better than, any of the other top-rated fastpitch best softball gloves.
The variety of these gloves is one of their best features. You can choose from a variety of sizes and webbing choices. For eg, a third base infielder will benefit from the 11.75-inch H-web Shoeless Jane fastpitch with the best softball gloves. In the outfield, though, a bigger scale would be preferable.
The Shoeless Jane series’ versatility is mirrored by their distinct qualities and form. Each glove is made by hand, resulting in a unique product each time. Each pair of Shoeless Jane is the best softball gloves is exclusive.
These gloves have a velcro wrist band that fits to match several hand sizes.
- There is a wide range of styles and flexibility with various webbing needs and positions.
- To ensure top-notch consistency and results, each piece is hand-cut and made.
- For 12-inch softballs, some glove types might be too thin.
- Velcro wrist bands are more likely to wear out than conventional wrist straps.
The Shoeless Jane fastpitch who is the best softball glove comes in a variety of colors and styles. The fact that they have a retro look and sound is an extra advantage that buyers tend to enjoy.
3. Shoeless Jane 1300FPFB First Base Mitt
Reiterating the qualities that make Shoeless Joe/Jane is the best softball gloves such a great buy, these gloves stand out because they are designed to look and feel like a glove from baseball’s golden era. Every glove is also cut, sewn, and constructed by hand, ensuring a one-of-a-kind fit every time.
This glove is 13 inches long and has an H-web, according to fastpitch’s first base mitt reviews. This is a perfect webbing pattern for the first base because it provides excellent visibility and a tight glove structure to keep short throws to first or a screaming drive down the line under control. These gloves have a velcro wrist strap and are sized especially for female players’ hands.
- Players have grown to love the amazing Shoeless with the best softball gloves that give Joe a look, feel, and results.
- Strong glove construction ensures outstanding, long-term results.
- Male fastpitch is the best softball gloves so that the players can need to search for a glove with a larger hand opening since gloves are made for female players.
- Other positions do not allow for the use of a mitt-style glove.
4. Rawlings Liberty Advanced 13-Inch Glove
The Rawlings Liberty Advanced glove is extremely well-fitting. The opening and finger stalls of the best softball gloves are not only carefully sized to suit a woman’s palm, but the non-slip pullback strap also provides an elastic, flexible fit.
The Rawlings Liberty Advanced glove also has a 70% factory fit, making it almost immediately ready for the big game.
The Rawlings Liberty Advanced not only fits well, but it still performs well over time. The oil-treated leather and durable lacings give these gloves their strength.
Poron XRD Padding is used in the palm and finger pads of this 13-inch outfield glove for added safety. This top fastpitch softball glove for outfielders has an especially deep pocket so you can catch any pop fly or line drive hit to your territory safely.
The webbing on these best softball gloves is in the form of an H. This is excellent for tracking balls in the air, particularly while the sun is present.
- There isn’t much of a break-in period needed.
- Webbing in the form of an H has excellent visibility.
- Lacings made of all-leather offer long-lasting durability and a solid glove construction.
- A deeper pocket is better for catching, but it can be tough to pass the ball to your throwing side.
5. Mizuno Franchise 13-Inch Glove
The Mizuno Franchise’s best softball gloves are jam-packed with functionality and boast a high-end build, making it a must-have on any list of the best softball gloves. The Double Hinge Heel, for example, makes it easier to cover the glove.
The lacings are indeed spectacular. QuickForm and HiLo are the two kinds of shapes. The QuickForm lacings help to tighten the glove’s form, while the HiLo laces provide excellent stability.
Java Leather is used to make each Mizuno Franchise. This leather is said to be ideal for a short break-in time and long-term longevity. Where required, the Parashock Plus Palm Pad is included in these gloves for less sting and improved rebound control.
- The glove has a large pocket and is easy to close.
- Two lacing types include a well-structured, lightweight glove.
- The visibility of a fully closed web style is limited, particularly in the outfield.
- For certain matches, the 13-inch glove pattern might be too big.
When it comes to finding decent, inexpensive fast-pitch softball gloves, many players opt for the Mizuno Franchise because it offers too many features and design elements for such a low price.
Here are the 5 Best Slowpitch Softball Gloves
1. Mizuno MVP Prime 13″ Slowpitch Softball Glove – Black/Smoke – 2019 Model
The Mizuno MVP Prime SE series is designed for players who want to improve their game. The MVP Prime SE slowpitch softball glove features Center Pocket shaped patterns and Bio Soft Leather, as well as patent-pending Heel Flex technology, which offers a more compact and forgiving heel for the ultimate in feel and results. This glove’s 13-inch length makes it ideal for almost any position on the field, making it a very flexible choice.
- Because of its scale, it can be used at any location on the ground.
- High standards of stability and comfort
- The colorway is sleek black and smoke grey.
- Breaking in is simple and fast.
- After a lot of use, it will become floppy and lose its form.
- In the palm field, there isn’t enough padding.
2. Mizuno Premier Series 12″ Slowpitch Softball Glove – Black/Gold – 2019 Model
The Parashock + Palm Pad in this Mizuno Premier Series slowpitch softball glove helps to improve impact absorption, and PowerLock technology is used to ensure the fastest and most comfortable match possible.
The glove also has an UltraSoft Pro Palm Liner, which gives it a great feel and a soft finish. This slowpitch is the best softball glove is a perfect fit for any infielder, measuring 12-inches and featuring a Pro-H web. The leather is thick and sturdy, and it will last for many seasons to buy the best softball gloves.
- Leather that is thick and long-lasting.
- It retains its form and can be used for many seasons.
- Quite relaxing.
- The palm and thumb provide a lot of padding.
- It can take some time to get used to.
- The lace is a little flimsy.
3. Mizuno MVP Prime 12.5″ Slowpitch Softball Glove – Black/Smoke – 2019 Model
With a Middle Pocket, The MVP Prime not only has Designed Patterns and Bio Soft Leather but also has patent-pending Heel Flex technology, which gives the heel a more compact and accommodating feel for the best in feel and performance with the best softball gloves. Its PlusGrip Thumb offers extra padding in the thumb slot for added support.
This glove, which is 12.5 inches long and features a single-post network, is ideal for both infielders and outfielders.
Unique web design that works well for both infielders and outfielders.
- A web template that is exclusive and trendy
- The palm and thumb have a lot of padding.
- Sizes can be seen in the infield or outfield.
- The lace is a little flimsy.
- It’s difficult to shape
4. Nokona X2 Elite X2-1300 13″ Slowpitch Softball Glove
Nokona’s X2 elite value, ready-to-play, position-specific series is built with Nokona’s patented top-grain Stampede Steerhide and Kangaroo leathers, requiring limited break-in time while retaining great structure and shape, it is also the best softball gloves.
A fine balance between high quality and efficiency. With a 13-inch length and a closed web design, this is the best softball glove that is suitable for almost any spot on the field, but pitchers will prefer it.
Steerhide and Kangaroo leather are incredibly convenient.
- The palm and thumb have a lot of padding.
- Sizes can be seen in the infield or outfield.
- High-quality leather that is both comfortable and long-lasting.
- It can take some time to get used to.
- When you pull it out of the box, it’s incredibly rigid.
5. Mizuno MVP Series 13″ Slowpitch Softball Glove – 2019 Model
Mizuno MVP slowpitch is made of game-ready, full-grain bio throwback leather for long-lasting longevity, with the best softball gloves-specific center pocket style patterns for the most flexible break-in.
This glove’s 13-inch length is ideal for outfielders, but it can also be used by infielders who want a somewhat longer glove. This glove’s Pro-H web style is built to be effortlessly broken in while remaining solid and sturdy.
This glove is built with a Para shock + Palm Pad to help improve impact absorption
on and comes in a black colorway with Mizunos’ regular tan stitching.
Additionally, the use of an Ultra Soft Pro Palm Liner gives the glove a great texture and a soft finish.
Effect absorption is considerably increased by the use of a palm cushion.
- It’s incredibly simple to mound and break in.
- There’s a lot of insulation in the hand.
- After a lot of use, it will become floppy and lose its form.
- Over time, lace will become flimsy.
There’s nothing more frustrating than showing up to a game without your trusty glove. Whether you’re playing slowpitch or fastpitch softball, you need the right equipment to compete at your best. In this article, we’ll take a look at the best softball gloves on the market and explore some of the features that make them so popular. We’ll also discuss how to choose the right glove for you and offer some tips on breaking it in properly.
Features to look for in a good softball glove include:
- A snug fit that doesn’t constrict your hand or wrist
- A broken-in feel that allows you to grip the ball easily
- Plenty of padding on the back and sides of the hand to protect your knuckles and fingers
- The webbing that’s strong and easy to grip
- A comfortable fit that doesn’t cause hand fatigue
- It’s also important to think about the type of softball you’ll be playing. Slowpitch gloves are larger and have a deeper pocket, making them ideal for catching fly balls. Fastpitch gloves are smaller and more agile, perfect for players who need to make quick catches and throws.
- No matter what type of softball you’re playing, it’s important to find a glove that feels comfortable and fits your hand well. Take the time to try on different gloves before you make a purchase, and don’t be afraid to ask for help from a salesperson. They can help you find the perfect glove for your needs.
- Once you’ve found the perfect glove, it’s important to take care of it properly. Make sure to clean and store it in a cool, dry place when you’re not using it. This will help ensure that your glove lasts for years to come.
Tips for Buying the Best Softball Gloves
When it comes to buying softball gloves, there are a few key things you need to keep in mind. Here are some tips to help you choose the best glove for your needs:
- Fit is key: Make sure that the glove fits well and is comfortable. It should be snug enough to keep the ball in, but not too tight that it’s uncomfortable to wear.
- Break-in time: A new glove will need to be broken in before it’s ready for use. How long this takes depends on the material and construction of the glove.
- Webbing: The webbing on a softball glove is what helps you catch the ball. There are a few different types of webbing, so choose the one that works best for you.
- Material: Gloves are made from a variety of materials, including leather, synthetic materials, and blends. Choose the material that is most comfortable for you.
- Back: The back of a softball glove can be made from a variety of materials, including leather, synthetic materials, and blends. Choose the back material that is most comfortable for you.
- Wrist change: Some gloves have a wrist strap that can be adjusted to fit your hand size and comfort level.
Once you’ve considered all of these factors, it’s time to start shopping! The best softball gloves are out there, and you’re sure to find one that fits your needs.
Q:1 What are the best softball gloves?
A: The best softball gloves vary depending on your playing style. For slowpitch, a larger glove with more padding is ideal. For fastpitch, you’ll want a smaller glove that gives you better control and feel for the ball. No matter what type of softball you’re playing, make sure to choose a glove that’s comfortable and fits well.
Q:2 What are the features of a good softball glove?
A: There are several things you should look for in a good softball glove. The most important thing is to find a glove that fits your hand properly. It should be snug, but not too tight. The glove should also be broken in, so it’s comfortable to use. You’ll also want to consider the type of webbing on the glove. A closed web is best for control, while an open web gives you more flexibility.
Q:3 How do I break in my softball glove?
A: There are several ways to break in your softball glove. One way is to use a ball and glove conditioner. Another way is to play catch with a friend. Be sure to work the glove in all directions, so it’s flexible enough to move easily.
Q:4 What type of gloves do I need for slowpitch or fastpitch softball?
A: It depends on the type of softball you’re playing. For slowpitch, you’ll want a larger glove with more padding. For fastpitch, you’ll want a smaller glove that gives you better control and feel for the ball. No matter what type of softball you’re playing, make sure to choose a glove that’s comfortable and fits well.
Q:5 What is the back of a softball glove called?
A: The back of a softball glove is usually made from cowhide or pigskin. It provides extra protection for your hand and helps to absorb the shock of the ball hitting your mitt.
Q:6 What is the difference between a slowpitch and a fastpitch glove?
A: The main difference between a slowpitch and a fastpitch glove is size. A slowpitch glove is larger, while a fastpitch glove is smaller. This allows you to have better control over the ball when pitching or batting.
Q:7 What is the difference between a catcher’s mitt and a softball glove?
A: A catcher’s mitt is larger than a regular softball glove, and it has extra padding to protect the catcher’s hand. It also has a deeper pocket to catch balls thrown by the pitcher.
Q:8 Where do I find the best softball gloves?
A: You can find the best softball gloves at your local sporting goods store or online. Be sure to try on several different gloves to find the one that fits you best.
We hope this article has helped you learn more about the best softball gloves and how to choose the right one.
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