1. Softball Gloves Buying Guide
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How to buy a softball glove

how to buy a softball glove

A softball glove buying guide

Softball is a fun outdoor sport, and gloves are an essential part of softball gear. There are a number of factors to consider when determining which softball glove is right for you.

>> Consider softball glove size

When thinking about how to choose a softball glove, first consider softball glove sizes. To determine glove size, measure from the top of the index pocket of the glove to the heel bottom. For adults, size is differentiated by gender.

The chart below is for male and female youth. Youth softball gloves are designed with smaller finger and wrist openings than adult gloves and with oversized pockets.






Under 7 8" - 10.5" 8" - 10.5" 9" - 11" 29.5" - 30"
8 - 10 10.5" - 11.5" 10.5" - 11.5" 10" - 12" 30" - 32"
11 - 13 11.25" - 12.5" 11.5" - 12.5" 11.75" - 12.5"

31" - 32.5"

This chart is for adult males:





11.5" - 13" 11.5" - 12.5" 12" - 13" 33" - 35"

The chart below is for adult females. Female softball gloves are designed with narrower finger and smaller wrist openings than male gloves.





11.5" - 12.5" 11.5 "- 12" 11.5" - 12" 32" - 34"

When considering how to buy a softball glove, gender, age and position are all important factors. When trying gloves on, make sure the glove fits comfortably and properly to give you the best control of the softball.

>> Fast pitch vs. slow pitch

When deciding on the best softball glove to buy, consider the difference between fast pitch and slow pitch games. The charts above are for fast pitch gloves. Gloves for slow pitch softball are different: they are wider and longer than gloves for fast pitch. See the following chart for slow pitch softball glove sizes.





11.5" - 13" 11.5" - 13" 12" - 15" 33" - 35"

>> Are you left-handed or right-handed?

When considering how to buy a softball glove, think about which hand you are buying the softball glove for. Softball gloves are made for the less dominant hand so that you can throw with your dominant hand. If you use you left hand to throw, buy a right-handed softball glove, and vice versa.

>> Consider the construction of the glove

softball glove sizes

When figuring out how to buy a softball glove, think of the construction and design of the glove. Webbing is used to catch the ball. It comes in two different styles: open and closed. Open webbing provides better visibility and faster throws and is best suited for outfielders and middle infielders. Closed webbing gives support and stability so you can catch better and is best for pitchers and first basemen. Pockets hold the ball after you catch it. Pockets can be either shallow or deep, which determines how long it takes to move the ball to your throwing hand. Shallow pockets are better for fast plays and are great for middle infielders, while deep pockets are good for catching fly balls and fast-moving balls and are well-suited for outfielders.

The wrist closure has a strap that can be open or closed. An open back glove offers more flexible movement and better handling of the ball. It is good for middle infielders. In contrast, a closed back glove strengthens and supports the glove. This design is great for outfielders. Wrist adjustment helps the glove fit properly on your hand. The wrist adjustment can be a D-ring fastener, a Velcro strap, lacing or a buckle. Take the construction of the glove into consideration so you can make an informed decision and buy the best softball glove for you.

>> Consider the position you play

When thinking about how to buy a softball glove, consider the position you play. A softball glove design typically determines its use. Because different positions require different types of softball gloves, it is important to look at each position individually.

  • Outfielder softball gloves are usually larger and longer than other gloves. This allows you to catch softballs more easily and reach higher. This type of glove also has open webbing, which lets you see the ball better, deep pockets that give you a better hold of the ball and a closed back that strengthens and supports the glove.
  • Infielder softball gloves have shallow pockets for faster and more flexible control of the ball and open backs for better wrist movement. This type of glove is best for throwing the ball fast and for stopping fast-moving balls. First base gloves have more padding for protection and are longer to better retrieve the ball. Second base gloves are slightly smaller so you can handle and throw the ball faster. Third base gloves are longer and have closed webs to handle catching a fast-moving ball.
  • There are no special pitcher softball gloves. It is all about personal preference. However, consider softball gloves with closed webbing to prevent the hitter from seeing the ball as you pitch. This can be an advantage.
  • Catcher softball gloves are really mitts. They are wide with shallow pockets, and they are thicker and more padded than other types of softball gloves. This glove is great for quick throws and easy handling of the ball. It offers the most protection of any glove.

There are many softball glove brands to choose from.

>> Consider the material your glove is made out of

softball glove brands

When determining how to buy a softball glove, consider the different materials gloves can be made out of. Synthetic leather gloves are good only for T-ball. When shopping for this material, avoid gloves that look shiny and plastic. Some synthetic gloves may feature a leather palm. Gloves made out of cowhide or pigskin can be broken in faster than gloves from other materials. They are also easier to handle and are more flexible. That is why they are ideal for younger softball players.

Full-grain leather gloves take time to break in, but they are heavy, strong and durable. They are designed for adult players and especially for catchers. Gloves made out of steer hide are also strong and durable. They take longer to break in, but much like full-grain leather, they offer top-notch performance. Different softball brands vary in quality. Typically, however, top-rated softball gloves are made out of leather because leather gloves are preferred for team sports gear in competitive games and leagues.

>> Keep your glove in top condition

After you figure out how to buy a softball glove, make sure you take good care of it. Consider a glove steamer to help you break in your new glove. Also, think about adding specialized oil to your softball accessories to clean and maintain your glove.

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