For bat and ball game enthusiasts, one fascinating question sparks debates here and there – what’s the difference between softball and baseball gloves?
To the naked eye, especially those who haven’t played both sports, it may seem that baseball and softball gloves are the same. This myth has been going on in the community for the longest time.
In this article, we’ll highlight the topic of softball gloves vs. baseball gloves. We’ll also guide you on properly picking the best glove size so you can be properly armored in the diamond. Scroll down to learn more!
Table of Contents
- What Are Softball and Baseball Gloves?
- Similarities Between Baseball and Softball Gloves
- Quick Comparison at a Glance: Baseball Fitting Vs. Fastpitch Fitting
- Exploring the Differences Between Baseball and Softball Gloves
- Difference Between a Slowpitch and Fastpitch Glove
- Pros and Cons: Weighing the Benefits and Drawbacks of Baseball and Softball Gloves
- Finding Your Perfect Fit: Tips for Choosing the Right Baseball or Softball Glove
- Crossing Over: Can You Use a Baseball Glove for Softball, or Softball Glove for Baseball?
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Softball and Baseball Gloves?
1. Baseball Glove
A baseball glove is a large leather glove that baseball players use to protect their hands from injury. There are different types of baseball gloves:
- Catcher’s Mitt – A specialized baseball glove worn by catchers or the players who receive throws delivered by the pitcher. A catcher’s mitt is designed to provide more protection in the thumb and pinky for high-speed pitches.
- Inflieder’s Gloves – Second baseman, shortstops, and third basemen wear this kind of gloves. They have shallow pockets that can be efficient in fielding baseballs.
- First Baseman’s Mitts – First baseman mitts are specially designed to have large and deep pockets. As the name suggests, this glove is worn by first basemen.
- Outfieleder’s Gloves – Left fielders, center fielders, and right fielders wear this kind of gloves. They are larger than infielder gloves and help players secure the ball more efficiently.
- Pitcher’s Gloves – The gloves used by pitchers and infielders have similar specifications, and size preference is the only thing that differentiates them. However, pitcher gloves have a unique webbing design that conceals the ball from the batter’s view.
2. Softball Gloves
Like baseball gloves, softball gloves are created to aid players while protecting their hands from the ball’s impact. But this time, they are used for catching softballs.
These gloves have a larger and longer build than baseball gloves to suit the bigger size of the softball. Moreover, they are typically designed with advanced technology. They are specialized tools that can help players elevate their performance on the field.
Similarities Between Baseball and Softball Gloves
Are baseball and softball gloves the same? These two types of gloves are similar. As we mentioned, they both serve the same purpose: to protect a player’s hand from injury.
Moreover, they both have a similar general shape. In addition, they are typically made from similar types of leather. Both gloves often incorporate comparable technologies that enhance player comfort and performance on the field.
Quick Comparison at a Glance: Baseball Fitting Vs. Fastpitch Fitting
There are many differences between softball gloves and baseball gloves. But the biggest factor that sets them apart is their size.
Suppose you’re a baseball player that’s transitioning to baseball or vice versa. In that case, you may find that your gloves won’t feel as comfortable on the field. This is because what size fits you in baseball isn’t necessarily the best size you can use for softball.
To help you better see the difference between softball and baseball gloves, we have a comprehensive size chart you can use.
|Sport||Age||Catcher||First Base||Second Base/Short Stop||Third Base||Pitcher||Outfield|
|Fastpitch Softball||Under 7||29.5-30”||11.5”||8-10.5”||8-10.5”||8-10.5”||9-11 “|
|Fastpitch Softball||8-10 years old||30-32”||11.5-12”||10.5-11.25”||10.5-11.5”||10.5-11.5“||10-12”|
|FastPitch Softball||11-13 years old||31-32.5”||12-13”||11.25-12”||11.75-12.5”||11.5-12.5”||11.75-12.5“|
|FastPitch Softball||Over 14||33-35”||12-13”||11.5-12.5”||11.75-12.5”||11.5-12.5 “||12-13”|
|SlowPitch Softball||12-13”||11.5-12.5”||11.75-13” “||11.5-13”||12-15”|
|Youth Baseball||Under 8||29.5-30”||11.5”||8-10.5”||8-10.5”||8-10.5”||9-10.5”|
|Youth Baseball||8-10 years old||30-31”||11.5-12”||10.5-11.25”||10.5-11.5”||10.5-11.5”||10-12”|
|Youth Baseball||11-13 years old||30-32.5”||11.5-12”||11-11.5”||11-11.75”||11.5-12”||11.75-12.75”|
|Adult Baseball||Over 13||32-34.5”||12-13”||11.25-11.5”||11.5-12”||11.5-12”||12-13”|
Exploring the Differences Between Baseball and Softball Gloves
Men’s baseball is different from softball. It’s only appropriate that the equipment used in these two sports are distinct. Besides the sizing we’ve mentioned earlier, what are the main differences between softball and baseball gloves?
There are some notable differences when it comes to designing baseball gloves versus softball gloves. Let’s talk about baseball gloves first.
- Baseball glove
As we mentioned, baseball gloves tend to be shorter in length, typically measuring between 11.25 to 13 inches.
In addition, the pockets of baseball gloves are wider and deeper than those found in softball gloves. This is because baseballs are smaller than softballs. Regarding webbing, baseball gloves have a smaller web than softball gloves.
- Softball glove
On the other hand, softball gloves are longer than baseball gloves, measuring between 11.5” to 15”. You might ask, “Why are softball gloves so big?” Well, they have wider and deeper pockets to accommodate the larger size of a softball.
Softball gloves also feature a larger webbing design, which is intended to assist players in catching the larger ball.
2. Glove Entry
As you may know, softball is mostly played by females, while males mostly play baseball.
Because of this, the opening of softball gloves is often designed to be smaller than baseball gloves to fit female hands appropriately.
What’s more, the majority of softball gloves have closures on the back. This is to accommodate female players who need to adjust their gloves easily.
On the other hand, most baseball gloves have larger openings and do not come with closures at the back.
3. Glove Weight and Feel
The weight and padding of baseball mitts vs. softball mitts or gloves also differ in some ways. Softball gloves tend to have more padding since softballs are larger and can be more harmful to the hand upon impact.
In contrast, baseball gloves are lighter and less padded due to the smaller and lighter nature of baseballs.
Another key difference between baseball and softball gloves is the overall fit and feel.
Baseball gloves are designed to fit more snugly on the hand, allowing for greater control and flexibility when handling the smaller baseball.
Now, how should a softball glove fit? Softball gloves, on the other hand, are designed with a looser fit to accommodate the larger softball and to provide more space for catching.
This looser fit also allows for easier removal of the glove from the hand, as softball players need to be able to quickly grab the ball and throw it.
Additionally, softball gloves tend to have more finger stalls than baseball gloves, which can help with gripping the ball and enhancing the overall feel of the glove.
Difference Between a Slowpitch and Fastpitch Glove
Now, what should you keep in mind when looking for a fastpitch softball or slowpitch softball glove?
Slowpitch gloves are designed to handle larger, heavier softballs and feature a larger pocket with closed webbing to keep the ball secure.
Fastpitch gloves, on the other hand, have a shallower pocket and open webbing to allow players to track the ball more easily and make quick ball transfers.
While both types of gloves are made from similar materials, slowpitch gloves are typically heavier and bulkier to accommodate the larger ball size.
In contrast, fastpitch gloves are lighter and more flexible to allow for quick movement on the field. It’s important for players to understand these differences and choose the right type of glove to match their playing style and skill level.
Pros and Cons: Weighing the Benefits and Drawbacks of Baseball and Softball Gloves
Now that we’re able to compare and contrast baseball gloves and softball gloves, let’s do a quick overview of their pros and cons.
Finding Your Perfect Fit: Tips for Choosing the Right Baseball or Softball Glove
Choosing the right softball vs. baseball glove can make a huge difference in your game. In this section, we’ll guide you on how to choose the perfect glove for you.
1. How to measure
When it comes to getting the right fit for your baseball or softball glove, the measurement process can be tricky.
To make it easier, start by placing the tape measure at the top of your index finger and follow it down, tracing the contour of the glove until you reach the bottom of the heel.
Don’t forget to keep the tape measure in contact with the glove the whole time! But if you’re measuring a catcher’s mitt, simply wrap the tape measure around the circumference of the mitt to get the right size.
2. How to size
Whether you’re looking for an adult or youth softball glove, you’ll be guided by our chart in picking the recommended size.
Crossing Over: Can You Use a Baseball Glove for Softball, or Softball Glove for Baseball?
Often, we hear questions like, “Can you use a softball glove for baseball?” Technically, the answer would be yes. However, using a softball glove for baseball is not recommended for a proper game.
The same thing goes for using a baseball glove for softball. Although you can use a baseball catcher’s mitt for softball, it’s not recommended as baseball gloves may not provide the support needed to catch larger, heavier softballs.
Let’s say you use a 12 baseball glove for softball; you may not be able to catch the softball properly as the glove is not designed for it.
Frequently Asked Questions
What hand does a softball glove go on?
This will depend on a player’s dominant throwing hand. If the player throws right, then the gloves should be worn on the left hand.
We’ve mentioned the difference between softball and baseball gloves in this article, and we hope that this information has helped you in choosing the right glove for your game.
Remember to consider factors such as the position you play, the size of the ball you’re catching, and the fit of the glove. Also, keep in mind that you can always look at our baseball chart whenever you’re shopping for a new glove.
At the end of the day, the most important thing is that you have fun, no matter the glove you’re wearing in your hand. Good luck!
Rogers is a hardcore baseball enthusiast. He joined Nations Baseball as a writer to share his knowledge and help others realize their passions for the sport. Roger is striving towards becoming a coach at his local baseball club.