Best Softball Gloves
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The sport of baseball or softball is all about batting and catching balls. For this reason, most players should find the right equipment to ensure that they are able to bat and catch effectively. In a game of baseball or softball, fielding gloves are one of the most important pieces of equipment a person can have.
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Our Top 10 Recommended Softball Gloves
Every time you go out shopping for a certain product, you come face-to-face with a row of similar products. This makes it hard for you to choose the best. You might be overwhelmed by all the choices. Finding the best softball glove, however, is important to perform well. So, the list below will help you pick the right softball glove.
Types of Gloves
As we mentioned several times throughout this article, the size of the glove and its material are all dependent on the position you play. However, there are other things that you should consider when searching for a glove and this is the type of glove.
Sometimes you may see gloves labeled as ‘youth gloves.’ These are typically cheaper than adult gloves since they come in a smaller size. Just as the name implies, they are often for youth and do not have high-quality leather. They have narrow, small fingers and are specifically for children 12 years and below (unless your hands are small in general).
Also, if you are playing fastpitch softball, the gloves you would use for this version of the sport may be different than slow-pitch or standard baseball. Positions in fastpitch softball require middle infielders, first basemen, and a few outfielders to wear open web gloves. This is because it allows them to transfer the glove to the throwing hand quicker.
Key Features of a Softball Glove
Even if you might be well aware of what a softball glove is (if you didn’t, you probably wouldn’t be reading this article), there are quite a lot of players that aren’t familiar with the details of each feature of a softball glove. So, before buying your glove, it is important to take note of the following parts of a softball glove.
- Webbing – This refers to the part of the glove that is between the thumb area and the rest of the fingers. Usually, this area is designed as a web and is the primary location for where you are supposed to catch the ball. Like a web, it is meant to wrap around the ball.
- Heel – This is the edge of the glove and the part that covers the bottom/base of your palm. A good heel should protect this area of your hand, while also being flexible enough to allow your wrist to move freely.
- Palm – The name of this area is self-explanatory. Just like your hand, it is where your palm is placed. Most players recommend this area be sturdy and flexible enough to hold the ball.
- Fingers – These are the slots where your fingers are supposed to enter. It may take a bit of time to break the glove in, but you should be able to bend your fingers rather comfortably while wearing the glove. The glove, after all, is used to catch a ball and you can only do this by wrapping your fingers fully around.
Key Considerations When Buying Softball Glove
Not every glove that is out on the market is made equally. They differ in size and material. Also, depending on what position you play, the glove will be different as well. There are a lot of factors to consider when buying a softball glove. For this reason, make sure to look at the following information before doing so.
- Type of throw – Before you decide what softball glove you decide to purchase, you should take note of which hand you use to throw the ball. Remember, this is different from knowing which hand the glove is on.
- Pocket size – This refers to the depth of the glove. The size of the pocket differs depending on what position you play on the field. So, make sure you are getting the right glove for your position. An outfielder’s glove would be bigger than a middle infielder, since outfielders may catch a ball with greater ease.
- Webbing – There are many different types of webbings all across softball gloves. The main ones you may see are closed web, dual-post web, modified trapeze web, and single post web. The main difference for each web is that infielders usually have gloves with webbing that have a looser stitch. This gives greater control for getting the ball out quicker and prevents dirt from gathering inside.
- Padding – This is another thing that depends on the position you play. Of course, most players might think the more padding, the better, but this is actually not the case. Catcher’s mitts, for example, should have more padding due to the fact that they need to protect their hands frequently from ‘catching.’ Another factor to consider related to padding is wrist padding.
- Wrist adjustment – In reference to padding, sometimes if it is too thick or inflexible, it can prevent the player from moving their wrist with ease. This is bad for a catcher. Thus, make sure that your glove has proper wrist adjustment that allows you to keep your hand snug in place. A lot of gloves these days use either a Velcro or buckle system.
- Material – Most commonly, softball gloves are of leather, synthetic, or treated the leather material. You can see what the glove is made of on its tag, but keep in mind, even if they all appear similar, their feel is vastly different. The most commonly preferred material is leather because of the durability and comfort. However, people still go for treated leather since they are quicker to break in. Synthetic material is great for younger players because of how cheap it is.
- Proper fit – No matter how great your product is, what kind of material it is of, or how perfect the glove may appear, it means nothing if it does not fit well. Therefore, make sure that the glove fits properly. However, take into mind, every glove will feel tough in the beginning. You need to keep in mind that things get looser as you break it in.
Size Chart for Softball Players by Position
The following chart below will give you a bit of detailed information on what size you might expect for the position you play in correspondence with your age. These are rough estimates and may differ a bit depending on your actual size.
With a lot of products in the market, finding the right softball glove that fits your needs can be difficult. But, with the above information, you are now in a better position to choose which one suits you. Therefore, make sure to look at the key considerations when buying a softball glove to become more selective with your choice. It may be a bit troublesome at first, but it will help you to be a better softball player if you know the details