To perform at your finest on the field?
You must have the correct softball glove!
To catch and keep the ball, softball players must have a good grip on it, making the correct glove an essential gear.
It is equally vital to select the appropriate glove for your particular position.
No one would want to hear you going on about your glove for that misfield, would they?
It’s also not a good idea to drop a caught ball and blame it on an ill-fitting glove.
You’ll need to be aware of the most crucial variables to consider when purchasing a softball glove, including anything from measuring your glove to selecting the appropriate webbing and glove characteristics for your position, among other things.
Continue reading to find out what the softball glove you want to choose should be like.
Types Of Softball Gloves
Softball gloves are not all the same; you may need different softball gloves based on your needs.
On The Basis Of Web
In terms of ball control, the web design of your glove is crucial. There are two types of web styles: open and closed.
There are gaps in open web gloves in certain places, but there are none in closed webbing designs. Each type has further types.
The following are the many sorts of softball gloves based on the various types of web designs:
- H-Web: The name of this design comes from two leather strips that form an “H” pattern. H-webs are usually more durable and adaptable. At high and fly balls, it enables fielders to see through the webbing.
- I-Web: The I-Web is another open design in which the web is shaped like the letter “I, “Fielders will be able to catch and return the ball faster due to this webbing.
- Cross-Web: Made of horizontal and vertical strips of leather woven together, the single post web offers flexibility and maximum visibility.
- Basket Web: This web design is closed, and due to the obvious flexibility of the basket woven fabric that supports the web, these sorts of webs are simpler to shut.
- Trapeze Web: This is another closed glove with the deepest pocket. There are two lace interlacings on each side of a thin leather strap, which connects them.
- Modified Trap Web: It’s similar to the traditional trap web, except the modified trap has a section of leather along the top to add stability to the baseball glove. It is a closed web design.
- Two-Piece Web: These webs are a closed type made up of two leather strips tied together.
Choosing A Softball Glove
Several factors determine what gloves are suitable for you. Let us discuss them briefly.
1. For Different Positions
The position is an important factor for selecting a glove in softball, as every position has a different role.
Picking the right softball glove for your position may help you improve your performance.
Pitcher’s gloves should aid in pitch control, gripping, and tipping prevention. The pitchers need to keep their grip on the ball hidden so that hitters aren’t tipped off about the upcoming delivery.
Pitcher gloves are available in sizes ranging from 11.5 to 13 inches for adults. To keep the delivery hidden, the web design of these gloves should be closed like in basket webs.
The gloves should be of a proper size so that the player can fully control them because their main job is to throw balls, not field them.
When choosing a glove for this position, the main thing to think about is mobility and control. A catcher’s glove is meant to put the fingers closer together, sacrificing flexibility for safety.
For players aged 12 and under, a glove measuring 32.5 inches or less is normal, whereas players 13 and over need catcher’s mitts of 33 or 34 inches or more so that you can have a big-sized pocket for the larger ball throughout the game.
Infielders should opt for a glove with a smaller size.
Gloves with a wider open web design and shallow pocket help middle infielders(shortstops and second basemen) rapidly and easily remove the ball off their glove. They benefit from I-webs, H-webs, and cross webs.
Third basemen often have to deal with some of the most hard-hit ground balls or fastballs in the match, so a glove with a deeper pocket seems the best choice.
Outfielders have the option of choosing between a closed or open web pattern.
Outfielders wear the biggest gloves, which are typically 12′′ to 13′′ long from base to fingertip. The average adult size for outfield positions is 12-15 inches.
The glove’s big size helps players to have a wider fielding range, which may be beneficial while leaping for a ball or reaching out to catch a difficult gap shot.
1.5 Utility Player
If you’ll be alternating among infield and outfield positions, go for an average-sized glove: not too long to obstruct rapid transfers from ball to hand, but not too short of making outfield catches tough.
For increased mobility, get gloves with an open back, and the web design should preferably be closed for compensating the lack of support due to an open back.
Your choice also depends on the material you want.
- Synthetic: Gloves made of synthetic material are a common lighter choice among young players. These tend to be cheaper.
- Full-Grain Leather: The glove is harder and bulkier than comparable leather gloves, requiring additional time to break it in. This material is durable but takes time to break-in.
- Kip Skin Leather: This material is common among young players since it lets them move about and has a wide range of motion.
- Steerhide Leather: Softball gloves made of steer hide are the heaviest. Steerhide is tougher than cowhide, and it’s stiffer, heavier, and longer-lasting than other leathers.
Although this glove is difficult to break-in, it is nonetheless made of high-quality materials and is a favorite option among professional players.
3. Proper Fitting
Your softball glove’s fit is critical to your capacity to hold the ball or move it from glove to hand.
Measure in inches from the top of your forefinger to the beginning of your wrist for accurate size.
The fit of your glove should be tight. Pick a size that suits your hand right now, not something you imagine you’ll grow into.
To check the fit, hold a ball and make all the necessary movements that you will make on the field while playing and check its comfort level.
In a nutshell, whether a bat or a glove, whatever you are choosing, comfort is what matters the most.
While playing softball, a softball glove should behave like an extension of your hand and should not seem foreign to you.
In addition to providing comfort, gloves should also provide you with the flexibility, mobility, and grip necessary for your position or game.
It may not seem crucial at the time of purchase, but when you fail to turn a dual play by a fraction of a second, you’ll wish you had taken the time to think about it.