3 Things to Consider When Buying Your Softball Gloves

Position matters

It is a terrible mistake to choose gloves that do not fit with your position because gloves are designed to best fit a specific position. Pitcher‘s gloves are lighter than others, while infield requires shorter with shallow pockets gloves.

First base, outfield and pitcher have open pocket gloves; while infield and catcher have closed pocket style. These differences are reasonable because each position requires different main functions and skills in the game. A catcher plays in a semi-crouched position behind home plate and receives pitches thrown by the pitcher, their gloves have closed pocket and do not have separately cut fingers like other positions so that they can be attached with the most lacing and take the most abuse without breaking. A pitcher constantly catching ball, throws the softball from the center of the diamond to the catcher, therefore their gloves are designed lighter.

Outfield’s gloves are longer and deeper because they catch and field flying balls, line drives, and ground balls hit into the outfield. The larger size and deep pocket also helps the ball stay in the glove when catching high-flying balls.

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Picking the right size

Hands differ in sizes, so do softball gloves. A properly chosen-size glove helps players control the ball and play at his best performance. The shortest size is 8 inches, the longest size can go up to 15 inches, and the measurement of a catcher’s mitt goes as high as high as 35 inches.

The size are usually tagged on the glove but you can also measure it manually. Common sense of checking a proper size is that you feel snug after properly adjusted your glove. An important thing to remember is that your glove should not be too tight, because you may need some space for wearing battling glove. It is better to try your glove on with your battling glove while you are shopping because your estimation of space needed might not be accurate.

Below are the table of recommended glove sizes for a specific player according to the age, gender, and position. But remember that measurements in the chart are only guidelines and can’t fit with all cases, the most important factor is the comfort and you should try on several sizes to find one that most comfortable with your hands.

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Age Infield Outfield Catcher
Under 8 years 9″-10.5″ 10″-11.5″ 31″
9 – 13 Years 10.5″-11.5″ 11.5″-12.5″ 31″
Over 13 Years 11.75″-12.5″ 12.75″-14″ 32″

Leather quality and price

Gloves’ leather varies with quality and, of course, with price. There are five common types of leather used in making softball gloves: synthetic, cowhide, pigskin, full-grain, and steer hide. Synthetic, cowhide and pigskin leather is used in youth games. They are cheaper but less durable. Full-grain leather softball gloves is used in adult gloves and catcher’s mitts. Steer hide leather is known for its heavy weight and durability. Full grain and steer hide gloves both requires a break-in period before actual playing. The better material comes with higher price, but you can find a decent quality glove for less money that way by buying a used one. That is not a bad idea especially for the first glove.

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