Purchasing the correct size softball gloves can be pretty challenging. We recommend you look at several other things and not just select the size that fits your hand at the first trial.
First things first, softball glove sizes vary by position. Secondly, you absolutely want to remember the softball glove’s various parts. For instance, how will the different web styles impact the overall size of the softball glove you end up with?
This article will give you valuable tips to aid you in selecting the perfect size softball glove for flexibility, comfort, and stability.
Parts of a Softball Glove
The first move towards acquiring the right softball glove is understanding parts of the gloves and their roles. This way, you will know the size that suits your position best and the type that will serve you well while playing.
Let’s take a closer look at the parts of a softball glove in detail.
The web design on a softball glove is critical in ball control. There are two main styles to watch out for:
- The open web design,
- Closed web design.
The design you settle for is entirely your decision; make a wise one. We recommend that you go for something that also matches your playing position. Pitchers love to go for closed webs; to help them hide the ball easily. On the other hand, infielders prefer the open web.
The pocket is also vital to ball control, just like the webbing. The pockets are essential for linking the fingers and thumb, an aspect that boosts ball control on impact. Typically, infielders love shallow pockets, while outfielders prefer deeper pockets.
This is the space reserved for the index finger. For the back, you can go for closed or open designs. If you go for the open back, you will have adequate space for your hand. Open backs also allow for flexibility. On the other hand, if you are after boosted stability, you want to go for a closed-back.
These are the little finger openings on your softball gloves.
The palm area of your softball glove should have padding. The padding below the leather protects you from injury or impact.
This is the lower part of the glove. It shields the bottom part of your hand from impact.
This is one vital factor to remember while shopping for a softball glove. This feature allows for a proper and comfortable fit.
Luckily, they come in various styles, such as:
- buckle systems,
- lace adjustments,
- D-string fasteners.
You can select a type that is easier to adjust and fits you well.
Softball Web Types
You have a choice of either an open or closed-style web. The good thing is that so many styles fall under these two categories. Usually, we recommend choosing the web, depending on your playing position. Use these styles as an inspiration for selecting the perfect fit for your softball gloves.
Under this category, the options you have to include:
- Basket style: Pitchers often opt for this type of closed web gloves. The fitting of this glove is suitable for increased flexibility.
- H-web: These types of gloves have two strips of leather that form the letter h. They are popular among both infielders and outfielders.
- I-web: This open style has a web that forms the letter “I.” They come with a shallow pocket, thus attractive to infielders.
- Modified Trap: This is one versatile style as multiple positions can comfortably use it. You will love the strip of leather on its top as it adds more support and structure to the glove.
- Trapeze: If you are looking for a glove with one of the deepest pockets, you want to go for the Trapeze style. Outfielders commonly use them.
- Two-piece: These closed-style webs have two strips of leather laced together. They are super strong and durable. This is a great style to help pitchers effectively hide the ball.
- Cross: This is an open style for increased visibility.
First Base Web Types
Here are first-base web types that could be a good fit for you:
- Single post: This popular web type is excellent for first base mitts and allows for increased visibility and flexibility. These come with two strips of leather in a vertical post.
- Modified H-web: These are almost similar to H-Web. They have an added top part that facilitates a more prominent catch radius.
- Dual bar webs: These kinds have horizontal bars stitched together into a pocket. This is ideal for trapping the ball.
Here are catchers’ webs that may be a good fit for you:
- Half-moon: These have a tight pocket and reduced visibility. They are, however, more flexible than fully closed styles.
- One piece: Just like their name suggests, these web styles come with one large piece of leather, which laces around the pocket’s exterior.
How Should a Softball Glove Fit?
Now that you know the parts of your softball gloves and how they can affect the fitting, we will look at how your final choice should feel against your hand.
First, how the gloves fit will affect your ability to catch and transfer the ball.
Here are steps to help you get proper sizing:
- Measure from the tip of your index finger downwards to the start of your wrist,
- Ensure you use a flexible tape measure to cater to all the curves,
- Use a string if you do not have a tailor’s tape measure,
- The measurements should ideally be in inches. If you are measuring another dimension, be sure to convert it into inches.
Results: if you get 12 inches and below, the glove is great for infielders. Anything above 12 is great for outfielders. The glove you choose should fit snugly but not tightly.
Important Things to remember while shopping for a softball glove
N/B: For youth players (below 10), subtract two inches from the glove measurements of these positions to get their appropriate size. Also, choose a glove that fits you when buying and is not something you will grow into. If the glove is oversized, it will slow down your ability to remove the ball.
Remember that the first baseman’s fastpitch softball mitts range from 11 inches to 15.
Note: we measure Catcher’s fastpitch softball mitts around their circumference. 30 inches for a fastpitch softball catcher’s mitt, which is considered youth size. They can go higher to 35 inches.
Typically, the catcher’s mitts have the largest circumference. On the other hand, the first basements have the longest. However, if you are an infielder, you will want to go with a shorter length as this makes it easy to transfer the ball from the glove to the hand.
While measuring, ensure the glove is in contact with the tape measure. It should curve along the glove for more accuracy. You also want to go down a couple of inches to ensure you get a good fit for fielder gloves and first base mitts.
For the catcher’s mitt, leave a small allowance around the circumference, probably something your pinky finger will fit in. This will ensure you get a perfect size and not something tight.
Also, remember to select a glove with material that you can easily clean. Since it’s not advisable to clean your gloves in a washing machine, you need to identify quick ways to keep your gloves in mint condition, especially for people who play regularly.
Slow Pitch vs. Fast Pitch
While trying to get the right size softball glove, ask yourself whether you are a slow or fast-pitch player. You will most likely prefer a larger glove if you are a slow-pitch player, especially a pitcher or catcher. This will be ideal in accommodating the size of the ball.
On the other hand, if you are a fastpitch player, you want to get a glove with solid leather. The solid leather is great for absorbing the impact. This will help in adapting to wear and tear. Remember that you will have to replace your gloves if they succumb to any slight wear and tear.
People Also Ask
Why do softball players wear batting gloves?
Batting gloves are great for increasing the grip quality on the bat. Additionally, it also reduces sweat accumulating on your hand while playing. It is also ideal for protection while playing.
How often should you get a new softball glove?
It’s best to replace your softball glove when you notice signs of wear and tear. Many times, it depends on how heavily you use the glove. It does not matter, even if it is one small tear; you need to get a glove afterward. If you keep on playing with it, you could injure yourself.
However, typically, there is no specific time range on how long you should take to replace your softball glove. You are good to keep using it as long as the glove is still catching the ball well and has no tear.