It is not always easy to find the best softball glove even if you are a professional player. This is because there are so many kinds of products in the market. We understand the debacle you are in, and therefore we have provided you in this article with all the necessary information to make an informed decision.
In this article, you shall find brief reviews of top five softball gloves, the top softball glove brands, types of gloves and much more information. The article therefore contains all the information you will need to make a good buying decision.
REVIEWS OF THE BEST SOFTBALL GLOVE RECOMMENDED BY US
There are numerous softball gloves on the market, so much so that it is easy to get confused, or worse, to make a bad decision. Apart from so many products clamoring for your attention, marketers and advertisers will also say anything to sell their wares. If you are not careful, you may be buying something which is wholly unsuitable for you at the cost of money. For this reason, you need to know what are some of the parameters and features which makes a product good. We have carried out a a market research and have arrived at the 5 best softball gloves:
The Nokona WS-1400C Walnut Softball Glove 14 Inch is on the first on our list because it is one of the best in the market. It comes packed with a number of features. The product also has warm reviews from users on Amazon. But you do not need to take our word for it. See for yourself! The product is suitable for right handed throwers only.
First of all, let us see what the material is of. The glove is made of vintage walnut leather, which is quite a popular type of leather in the USA, and is known for its good quality and durability.
Secondly, it has dual straps on the back, which makes fastening the gloves on your hand easier and faster. This is an important feature because when you are in the middle of the game and are adjusting the gloves, you want to do so as fast as possible but in the correct manner.
It has a full lace perimeter. This provides optimal protection to you, increases the glove’s surface area and binds the leather glove’s edges.
Its unique closed web feature enables you to catch a ball tightly, even it is coming in full speed.
This product is suitable for both right handed and left handed throwers. It is available in just one size range and comes in only one color. Its black color looks good and trendy on it. The product comes packed with a lot of essential features.
First of all, the gloves come in a size of 12.5”. It is therefore good enough for junior to the intermediate level players. Although the gloves are only in one hand size, the size is such that many can wear it without having it too tight on their hands.
Secondly, the Victory Web is one of its most fantastic features. The webbing is firm enough to enable to catch without breaking a sweat but is also comfortable.
Thirdly, the leather from which the gloves are made is Pro Stock Leather, which comes along with the Superskin. The Superskin makes the leather comparatively light. This also enables the leather to remain long lasting, which in turn makes this product economical.
Fourthly, wearing these gloves is super easy and fast, thanks to its loop wrist closure and the comfort hook. As you can understand, the Comfort Hook is so given so that it becomes easier to use it, and so that there is no discomfort.
This particular product has more than one delightful feature, which makes it a favorite among the amateurs. The glove showcases a 12.5 inch faspitch pattern, which is aesthetically appealing, stylish, and at the same time enables you to throw the ball harder. The glove is quite comfortable and can be worn for a long time.
Secondly, the product comes with a Woven Web feature which is there to ensure that your hands effectively cup around the ball, and not drop it.
Thirdly, unlike many other products of its class, this one comes with a double tanned leather shell leather. Such a high quality comes with its own advantages. For instance, your hands get more protection than the average products. The leather makes the product more durable as well.
Fourthly, these gloves come with custom fitted pull straps. This means that you can adjust the tightness or the gloves according to your hand size. So are your hands too big or smaller than the glove’s size? Just use the straps!
Fifthly, in order to give your hands yet more protection, the Worth Liberty Advanced Softball Gloves come with palm and index finger pads.
For more professional players, we have this fantastic product. It is available at a pattern size of 34 inches. Unlike many other products on the market, this is genuinely one of the professional grade. However, it can just as well be worn by someone who desires to improve his or her game. Now, let us come to its many features. The product’s color combination is quite attractive and is one of its greatest features.
First of all, we have the Bio Throwback Leather. This is one of the finest leather varieties ever used on sport gloves. Bio Throwback Gloves are highly durable and offer a great amount of protection to your hands.
Secondly, your palms shall be further protected by the Ultra palm liner feature. This aids the glove to absorb impact, thereby keeping your hands safe.
Thirdly, the gloves come with a clever Powerlock closure. One of the common complaints of people who wear sport gloves is that while these are comfortable, they are loose. This poses a great problem when in the middle of a game, and when the gloves need to be adjusted.
This product is perfect for your little tykes to learn softball with! With the stylish color combination, your kids won’t be able to stay away from this pair! Now, although this is suitable for the kids, that does not mean that does not provide any safety.
First of all, we have the Shock Absorbing Palm Padding. This protects one of your hand’s most vulnerable parts: the palm. As you know, the palm is composed of numerous small bones. A sufficient force can shatter it. That is why it needs protection, which this glove provides in ample quantity.
Secondly, the wrist strap enables you to snap the gloves as tightly around your hands as you need it to be.
Thirdly, the glove itself is made from high quality cowhide and is therefore quite durable. It also gives you the benefit of flexibility. If you are thinking that the gloves shall be too heavy, fret not, because the cowhide reduces its weight to a great extent.
WHAT ARE THE BEST SOFTBALL GLOVE BRANDS
Nokona is one of the best known American brands. This brand is reliable as it has provided high quality products since 1934. Nokona provides you with numerous product lines such as professional baseball gloves, youth baseball gloves, fast pitch gloves and much more.
Firstly, one of the best things about their gloves is that you can personalize them to a great extent.
Secondly, a large variety of leathers are used for making these gloves, making them high quality items. Leather varieties include buffalo, synthetic, kangaroo etc.
The only con worth saying here is that the products of this brand are expensive, even at the junior level. Junior level gloves cost between $300-400 while the ones for adults are a bit higher.
The products from Wilson are known for their style and high performance. These are as visually appealing as they are protective of your hands. Another unique point about the softball gloves of Wilson is that most of these are game models for well known professional baseball players such as Dustin Pedroia, Brandon Phillips and Carlos Correa. The brand has made some of the most popular products on the market. Now let us see what are the pros and cons of these items.
Firstly, all of the products of Wilson are of pro-stocked leather. This is the best quality leather you will ever get for gloves. These are known for their high tensile strength, comfort and durability.
Secondly, these gloves have all the necessary features to make wearing them comfortable. For instance, we have the H web pattern on the gloves, which make catching easier, a soft lining on the wrist area for sweat absorption, a utility pocket and padded make.
Thirdly, apart from durability and features, Wilson softball gloves have an unrivaled style quotient. This is possible due to their superb color combinations.
Fourthly, all of the gloves are made in such a way that breaking in or adjusting is easier.
Wilson Gloves are very pricy, but that is what you need to give in exchange for a high quality product. On an average, these are well above $300. As such, these cost a lot, but once you do buy them, you shall see that these have more value for money.
Easton brand products have a no-bs attitude. These are not too flashy or brightly colored, but are more masculine in appearance. Many of their softball gloves have a color combination of black and various shades of brown. Let us come to the pros and cons of this brand’s products.
First of all, these gloves are built for high performance and durability. These are very comfortable and fasten around your hand tightly, which reduces the risk of the gloves slipping off.
Secondly, on Easton softball gloves, you will be able to find features which you won’t find in other products. For instance, in Easton gloves, you will find features such as finger padding, loops and protective leather.
There are two disadvantages with the products of Easton, popular as they are.
First of all, there are not many stylish color combinations. If you are looking for great looks, you may get disappointed.
Secondly, while the price is much less than the products of Nokona and Wilson, it is still high. On an average, you can expect the products to cost around 250 dollars. These high performance gloves may cost less than other brand items, but these still may be expensive to many.
Mizuno has its heart at all the right places. Its gloves have features which have made it a crowd favorite. Want to know why? Read on and see the pros and cons.
First of all, this brand has one of the largest product and color range. Its range of color combination is especially fantastic and pleasantly staggering, so much so that you shall be spoilt for choice.These are stylish and look quite professional.
Secondly, these are generally inexpensive, although it has elite products in $350. Normally, its products range from $60. Therefore, there are quite affordable.
Thirdly, unlike many products, even of the top brands, you will find softball gloves for all the game positions such as infielder, outfielder, catcher and pitcher.
The products may not have features as good as the previous ones. However, they do come with useful features such as power lock double hinge hell and others.
The Worth brand is less known that its counterparts on this list. However, it is still popular, mainly because of its economic and affordable price structure.
The foremost advantage of Worth softball gloves is that these are way cheaper than Nokona, Easton and Wilson products. On an average, you will need to shed around a 100 dollars. However, you want a customized glove, then the price can go up to $259.
Secondly, there is not much choice in color combination, but the performance and shock absorption capability of the gloves is commendable. You get past pitch, slow pitch and professional level baseball gloves.
There are no real cons to speak of. However, the products of other brands are easily better than the ones from Worth.
TYPES OF SOFTBALL GLOVE
There are 5 types of softball gloves. Many people, especially those who have not played a game of softball or baseball in their life, are of the opinion that gloves for all players are the same. But this is a big mistake. There are several field positions in a softball game, which dictates the use of different types of sport gloves. These gloves are position specific. For instance, the gloves worn by a catcher shall not work with an Outfielder just like an Outfielder cannot wear the gloves of a batsman.
A Catcher’s gloves are also called Catcher’s Mitts. The major difference it has from other gloves is that in it, there is no separate room for each finger. You insert your entire hand till the wrist inside and clutch the ball. This is actually an advantage and not uncomfortable at all. Such an arrangement allows catchers to catch the balls which travel fast Catcher’s mitts are also very strong or durable. Many people in a Catcher position tend to buy new gloves just before a big game for better performance. But the truth is that their old ones will give just as good performance. These are quite sturdy. Catcher’s Mitts have pockets which are deeper than the ones in baseball Catcher’s gloves. The side wall lining is thinner here as well. This is made in order to hold a larger size ball.
It is easy to confuse between Catcher’s and First Baseman’s gloves. These look very similar. However, if you closely and carefully, you will notice that there are several differences. For instance, Catcher’s Mitts have more padding. The ones of a first baseman, however, is stronger and is larger. It can be used to scoop up the ball. Its pocket is deeper.
The gloves of a Pitcher make up in comfort what it looses in protection. The is an advantage because the Pitcher needs to throw hard. With excessive padding, this is hard anyways. That is what makes these mitts exceptional. You may be wondering why high comfort factor is so essential. This is so because the Pitcher needs to constantly throw and catch balls, sometimes at a close distance. Pitcher’s gloves are not heavy.
Infield gloves can be distinguished from the others due to its small size. These are small as the Infielder needs to scoop up the ball and take to the base in order to get the batsman out. Therefore, these are lighter as well. It comes with an open pocket, mostly a dual post webbing, a trapeze stringed ball pocket etc.
Outfield gloves are larger in size that most others because they are used to catch balls in mid air. This is why these are deeper, with bigger pockets and are longer as well. Other than this, the fingers have extra support and protection, which is essential as the ball travels at great speed at this distance.
SOFTBALL GLOVE VS BASEBALL GLOVE
There are subtle differences between a softball glove and a baseball glove ]. This is important to know because although the sports are almost the same, they are not completely so. Here are the differences:
Firstly, there is a considerable size difference. In baseball, the gloves are between 10 inches to 12.75 inches. Softball gloves are larger and range from 11.5 inches to 13 inches. Professional softball gloves reach 15 inches.
Secondly, the designs on these two gloves are different. This is dependent on the size of the ball. AT baseball games, the ball is of the size 9 inches. Fast pitch and softball games use 11 inches to 12 inch balls. This also translates to the fact that the pockets are larger in the latter case. However, this also means that the pocket size of a baseball glove is larger than a softball game glove height-wise.
Thirdly, there is the question of the size of the wearer’s hands. Fastpitch gloves are made especially for women players in mind. As such, the size is smaller because generally the size of women’s hands is smaller than that of men. In the case of baseball and softball games, the gloves generally have wider hand openings.
When it comes to cost, baseball gloves cost between 50 dollars to 600 dollars. Softball costs under 120 dollars normally.
SLOW PITCH SOFTBALL GLOVES
There are particular positions in a baseball game that requires a different glove. For instance, in this case of slow pitch softball gloves [http://web.archive.org/web/20160719233759/http://www.fulltimesoftball.com/best-slowpitch-softball-glove/], the webbings are different for various positions. For instance, in the case of outfielders the gloves come with deeper pockets in order to catch balls travelling at fast speeds, in the case of mid fielders, the gloves have 2 piece shallow pockets for catching the ball and in the case of the pitcher the pocket is in the form of a ‘basket’.
Fastpitch softball gloves.
FAST PITCH SOFTBALL GLOVES
likewise, are made for a specific set of position players. For instance, in the case of first base fielders, outfielders and mid infielders, the web is in open formation which allows you to transfer the ball faster to your free hand. In the case of pitchers and third base personnel, the web is in close formation so that the players may be able to shield incoming balls while catching them properly. What sets fastpitch gloves apart is that these have a unique webbing system.
THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A SOFTBALL GLOVE
Choosing softball glove right position
Before choosing a softball glove , you need to determine which position you shall be playing for. It is of no use and a waste of money if buy one and then find out that you cannot play at the position. Remember, these gloves are quite an investment. The most economic ones come at $80 at an average, although there are cheaper ones as well. That is why you need to determine your playing position and then check out the products’s feature.
Types of throwing
There are two types of throwing, so to speak, and you need to know about these terms before making a purchase. You will see that the terms refer to the hand used when pitching the ball. It has nothing to do with the glove directly.
+ RHT: Right hand thrower refers to the person who throws the ball with his right hand and wears his glove on the left hand.
+ LHT: Left hand thrower refers to the person who pitches with his left hand and therefore wears glove on this right hand.
Most gloves are made from synthetic leathers, while others are made from authentic ones. Synthetic leather is needed if you are playing at casual games. These are much desired due to their glossy appearance. These are comparatively cheaper and give good performance.
Real leathers are from pigskin and cowhide. These are premium quality items and provide you with the best performance. It has numerous advantages as well. For instance, cowhide is one of the easiest to adjust of break into. As for price, pig skin gloves are quite economical.
Padding depends on the position you are playing. There are some positions which require gloves with more padding than others. For instance, Catchers require the most padding and protection. Catcher’s gloves are the most heavily padded. Outfielders and Infielders glovers have moderate padding. The gloves of the Pitcher have minimum padding, but makes up in comfort.
In some gloves you will find extra protective padding while in others there are none. This depends on the position you are playing for as well. For instance, a Catcher’s glove does not have separate space for each finger. It is made in such a way that you can grab the ball faster. It aso comes with maximum padding. Finger padding can also be found with the gloves of Infielders and Outfielders. There are no finger padding in a Pitcher’s glove.
If you are playing as a Catcher, then you need to be prepared for a weightier glove. This is so because it is most padded, since you need to catch the ball without hurting your hand. Gloves for Outfielders and Infielders have medium padding and therefore medium weight. Gloves of Pitchers have minimum weight.
When it comes to size, a Catcher’s mitts are the largest. Gloves worn by players on the first Base are next. Next come gloves for players of second base, third base, pitchers and outfielders in decreasing order.
There are some gloves in which the heel part is well padded, while in others the heel part has a ligh layer of padding and protection.
Back of glove
Some gloves have more protection and padding on the back while others do not. This requires a bit of experimentation. While you are at the store, wear the gloves and feel whether it gives a good protection from the back.
This is self explanatory. If you want to find one which is more towards being tight around your hand, or if you want a more loose fitting one, there are products which shall satisfy you. This varies according to the brand as well as depending on the position.
There are many kinds of webbing configurations to be seen in baseball and softball gloves. These include, but are not limited to, Trapeze webbings, Modified Trapese Webbings, Closed and Open webs, single and dual post webbings, basket weave, the I webbing and much more. The type of webbing you want depends for the position you are playing for. For instance, the best webbing configuration for the position of a Pitcher, the best webbing configuration is the Basket Weave or Basket Web.
There are some gloves which come with some wrist adjustments for making wearing comfortable. These offer a snug fit, which allows players to wear and take them with the greatest of ease. Wrist adjustments can be made of Velcro, a ring system or even a buckle system.
In this article, you have seen some of the best products on the market currently and the top most brands which are completely reliable and provide high quality materials. You have also got a highly detailed Buying Guide, with whose help you can get the best softball glove of your choice.