Top 5 Best Softball Gloves: Fastpitch, Slowpitch and Youth Gloves

Playing softball is way better if you are well-equipped with the right arsenals. Among them, the thing that you should prioritize is getting the best softball gloves. 

Of course, that’s not a surprise, though. After all, aside from the bats, a glove is considered the primary tool of every player inside the diamond. In a nutshell, the better your glove is, the higher your chances of performing well in the field. 

There are numerous factors in choosing this particular softball equipment. Primarily, you have to check your position first before you buy a glove. Furthermore, the right glove is the one that fits your hands and wrists snugly. Finally, you should do some checking to know how the glove was constructed. 

If you want some recommendations for the best softball glove for you, then check out the following list.

5 Best Softball Gloves 

1. Wilson A2000 SuperSkin Slowpitch Softball Glove Series

It’s not a personal bias if players say that Wilson A2000 is one of the best softball gloves you can get today. Of course, the reputation that it exudes is preceded by the fact that a top-caliber sporting goods manufacturer crafts it. If you are looking for high-quality slowpitch softball gloves, then the Wilson A2000 is a match made in heaven for you. Specifically, this one is designed for an outfield position, which is pretty evident by its H-web design. This outfield glove offers an excellent fit and support to its users.

The finesse of this softball glove is also due to the fact that it features a White Super Skin lining. The latter is considerably stronger than ordinary leather but offers the benefit of lightness and flexibility. Meanwhile, its entire architecture is constructed from Pro Stock leather, a professional-grade material known for its exceptional feel and durability. Needless to say, there’s still a need for you to break this glove once it arrives at your doorsteps. But once it is broken in, you’ll experience its premium suppleness and comfort. 

Pros
  • Durable but lightweight construction
  • Provides exceptional feel
  • Reduced break in time
Cons
  • Not noticeable drawbacks

DETAILED SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Material – Pro Stock Leather
  • Size – 13.5 inches
  • Position – Outfield
  • Orientation – Left-hand/right-hand

2. Rawlings Liberty Advanced Fastpitch Softball Glove Series

One of the top fastpitch softball gloves out there is the Rawlings Liberty. This one is constructed for professional use. It has a competition-grade quality, which is evident in its handcrafted design and premium-grade leather lacing. Regardless of your position, there’s a glove for you here. Specifically, the Liberty Advanced has a catcher’s mitt, an infielder’s glove, and an outfielder’s glove. It also has a first base glove, if you are curious. Because of its comprehensive provision, many treated this package as a one-stop-shop for many softball players. 

So what does the Rawlings Liberty Advanced have to offer to you? First, it got the correct webbings for every glove position. It can provide you with the right glove, as long as you know your size and role. Second, this softball glove series features balanced patterns to optimize your performance. 

Its adjusted hand openings also guarantee that its fit helps you attain stability and control over the ball. The shell of the glove has been pre-oiled so that it can provide you a game-ready performance. Arguably, it has the right in the claim as the best fastpitch softball glove series today. 

Pros
  • Its wrist strap is better than a standard Velcro wrist strap
  • Available in multiple positions
  • Handcrafted quality; can endure multiple seasons
Cons
  • Not noticeable drawbacks

DETAILED SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Material – Full-grain leather
  • Size – 11.75 inches – 34 inches
  • Position – Infield, outfield, catcher, first base
  • Orientation – Left-hand/right-hand

3. Franklin Sports Baseball and Softball Glove – Field Master

The Field Master series of Franklin Sports is highly recognized in the world of softball. Surely enough, this glove series isn’t the best choice for professional competitions and leagues. But it is more than enough for amateur and youth softball players who want to have a practice glove. iT can also be used by adults if the fit is right. Specifically, all the gloves under this series are tailored from soft synthetic leather. There’s no need to break the glove because they are already supple enough to be played right from the box. 

Interestingly enough, the Field Master Softball Gloves features a contour-fit system. The latter is a thumb-adjustment mechanism that enables players to tighten or loosen the fit of the glove. Because of this, the glove will suit your needs, regardless of the size of your wrist. Surprisingly, its index finger pad is well-built!

When it comes to durability, I have no qualms when it comes to the Field Master. They are made to mimic the performance of authentic leather gloves. Hence, they can withstand a decent amount of use and abuse. 

Pros
  • No break-in required
  • Features decent durability
  • Customizable and adjustable fit
Cons
  • Suitable for practice purposes only

DETAILED SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Material – Synthetic leather
  • Size – 11 inches – 14 inches
  • Position – Utility, pitcher
  • Orientation – Left-hand/right-hand

4. Rawlings Player Preferred Softball Glove Series

Needless to say, Rawlings is one of the finest manufacturers of softball and baseball amenities. In fact, it would be ridiculous if this brand is not included in this list. A testament of its finesse is the Preferred Softball Glove Series. 

This particular line excels for slowpitch and recreational games. Hence, if you are looking for a slowpitch softball glove, then you should check this series out. By the way, keep in mind that Rawling Player Preferred is intended for adult players. Don’t be surprised if they aren’t a youth softball glove. 

Of course, Player Preferred has some qualities that are pretty amusing for its price. One of its notable features is its Zero Shock palm padding that protects its users from solid impacts and stings. Moreover, it has a non-slip back with a pull-type wrist strap for a customizable fit. Interestingly enough, the glove has a basket web that may allow you to play various positions inside the field. And for the record, this one is available in both left-hand and right-hand orientation.

Pros
  • Provides sufficient protection
  • Offers hassle-free fitting
  • Comes with decent durability
Cons
  • You would need a lot of glove oil for its break in

DETAILED SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Material – Full grain leather
  • Size – 12 inches – 33 inches
  • Position – Utility, first base, catcher
  • Orientation – Left-hand/right-hand

5. Mizuno Franchise Fastpitch Softball Glove Series

The Mizuno Franchise Fastpitch Softball Glove Series must be included in this list. Just as its name suggests, this Mizuno Series is all about fastpitch softball gloves. Specifically, this unit offers one of the finest catcher’s mitts out there. Its high-quality full grain leather shell makes it durable and supple enough. It requires break-ins, but it is not as extensive as its other gloves. Moreover, it comes with superb leather lace binding that enhances its durability and longevity. 

Of course, given that this is a Mizuno softball glove, it is not a surprise that it features a Parashock Palm Pad; the latter improves the glove’s impact absorption so that its users won’t feel sharp stings. 

With its V-Flex Notch wrist wrap, fitting it to your hands wouldn’t be a problem. The fact that it comes with a double hinge heel guarantees that it has a wide and deep pocket for catching balls. Overall, I will not argue if many claim it to be one of the best fastpitch softball gloves given its quality and affordable pricing. If you want another alternative for the best fastpitch glove, check out the Mizuno Prime Elite. 

Pros
  • Hassle-free fitting and closure
  • Arrives at an almost game-ready performance
  • Can endure multiple seasons
Cons
  • Somewhat heavy

DETAILED SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Material – Full grain leather
  • Size – 34 inches
  • Position – Catcher’s mitt
  • Orientation – Left-hand/right-hand

How To Choose The Best Softball Gloves

How To Choose The Best Softball Gloves

Choosing the right mitt or glove can be a daunting task since there are so many factors that come into play. Of course, if you aren’t that familiar with these considerations, you’ll end up having a glove that doesn’t fit your needs and personal preferences. Do you want the best youth softball gloves for your youth players, or do you want something that can tackle competitions and leagues? Do you want the top fastpitch softball gloves? Or are you in need of a high-quality slowpitch glove?

Regardless of your requirements, it is essential that you understand that there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to these gloves. You need to refine your search to ensure that you can get the right softball glove.

Here are some of those factors that you need to take into account. 

Anatomy Of A Softball Glove

All of the parts that form the softball glove have a purpose. Hence, it is essential that you are aware of these components and the role they perform in your glove’s architecture. 

Webbing

One of the striking features of a softball mitt and glove is its webbings. Essentially, the web is the one that optimizes your control over the ball. It is available in two general designs: close and open web. If you are a pitcher, you will get a glove with a closed web. If you are a fielder, you typically need an open web. 

A closed web hides your pitches. On the flipside, open webs enable stability and control in catching balls. They also prevent you from scooping too much dirt and dust. 

Pocket 

It is also essential that you inspect the glove’s pocket. Essentially, the pocket is where you hold and catch balls. It is also a pivotal point between the thumb and fingers. Shallow pockets are essential for an infielder glove. Meanwhile, a deep pocket is desirable for pitcher’s and catcher’s mitts. Typically, an outfield glove requires a broad pocket structure.

Back

In the context of baseball and softball, the “back” is the space dedicated to the index finger. It can either be closed or open, depending on the design of the glove. Specifically, open backs provide ample space for wrist and hand flexibility. On the other hand, a closed-back is ideal if you are seeking stability.

Wrist

There are different mechanisms for wrist adjustment, such as a D-ring fastener, hook-and-loop, buckle system, and Velcro wrist strap. A Velcro wrist closure is considered to be the most popular.  Regardless of your preferences, make sure that the wrist adjustment gives you a snug and secure fit. 

Heel

This one refers to the lower portion of the softball glove. Its role is to protect your hand’s bottom part from potential injuries. 

Palm

The palm is not the pocket; that’s something that you have to keep in mind. The palm is the area underneath the leather. Precisely, it is the padding that provides protection against impact. Compared to baseball mitts and gloves, a glove for softball doesn’t require extra padding. After all, balls don’t travel at high speeds in softball. That’s even true if you are playing fastpitch. 

Materials 

When choosing softball or baseball gloves, you have to pay attention to the materials used in their construction. It doesn’t matter if you are looking for fastpitch softball gloves or youth softball gloves; as long as they are made from high-quality materials, you can expect the best from them. 

And for me, the objectivity of the material’s quality surpasses a player’s personal preference. For example, a glove with a quick break in time is preferred by youth players. . 

  • Synthetic leather – A synthetic glove is made to mimic the performance of genuine leather. Hence, it is quite wrong to say that they are “real” leather. Keep in mind that synthetic gloves are lightweight and easy to close. They have a non-existent break in period, too. But at the same time, their “feel” and durability just pale in comparison to the real thing. 
  • Cowhide and pigskin – These are considered to be standard entry-level leathers. Gloves made from these materials are either semi-lightweight or heavy. They have a decent break-in time. In fact, you can break them in quicker than those premium leathers. Hence, they are suitable for youth players. 
  • Kip leather – A kip leather is a lighter version of cowhide. It is supple and a popular option for youth softball and baseball. Kip leather gloves provide optimal movement and flexibility of the hand. 
  • Full-grain leather – Pro Series gloves are made from this material. They have extensive break-in time. But once it is over, you’ll be astonished by their superb durability and performance. 
  • Steerhide leather – One should know that Steerhide leather gloves are heavy. In fact, this is the heaviest material used in constructing softball gloves. They aren’t easy to soften. Its break-in time isn’t the fastest. But again, it is a preferred choice because of its insane durability and strength.

Best Fastpitch Softball Gloves vs. Best Slowpitch Softball Gloves

Slowpitch Softball Gloves

If you are a beginner, you have to decide first whether you want to become a slowpitch or fastpitch player. 

If you decide to become a slowpitch player, you may need a large glove-especially if you are going to play as a catcher or pitcher. After all, slowpitch softball uses larger balls than fastpitch softball. 

But things are different for fastpitch players. 

Meanwhile, the best fastpitch softball gloves are made from rugged leather. In this way, they can handle the rigidity of the game. It lets them handle the wear-and-tear process without degrading quickly. Keep in mind that synthetic leather will not survive a season in fastpitch softball. In fact, if you use an already worn leather, it might still suffer the same fate. 

If fastpitch players want to get the most value from their money, I suggest that they get a fastpitch glove that is made from full-grain and Steerhide leather. Gloves made from these materials are considered to be the best fastpitch gloves. 

Gloves By Position

If you want to excel inside the diamond, you would really need to pick the best gloves intended for your position. Specifically, the performance of a glove depends on how and when it is used.

Suppose you have an expensive glove. Sure, that would make you slightly proud and gritty. But if the glove itself is not suitable for the position you are playing, then it would just inhibit your performance.

Great gloves aren’t always popular gloves. Instead, they are the gloves that have been picked and appropriately sized. 

  • Pitcher’s glove – A pitcher would want to have gloves designed to have closed webs and deep pockets. In this way, the player would be able to conceal the pitch. These features also guarantee that the player can have an enhanced grip over the ball. 
  • Catcher’s mitt – When choosing a catcher’s mitt, you have to prioritize the following: control and mobility. You want to ensure that the glove will not cause the ball to bounce once it lands in the pocket. At the same time, it should be flexible and responsive enough to seize speeding throws. Most of the time, these mitts have open webbings so that they can easily fit the ball.
  • Infielder glove – Opposite to outfielders, infielders want a shallow pocket. A great glove for infielders should let them do quick releases, especially during clutch plays. If you are playing in this position, you have to prioritize those that have a closed web. In this way, you can catch the ball more securely. 
  • Outfielder glove – It is crucial that outfielders should wear gloves with deep pockets. In this way, they can easily handle fly balls. Interestingly, other players would want open webs in their gloves (such as a dual post web) for enhanced visibility. But others would want to get a closed web for stability and support. 
  • First base mitt – First base gloves are longer than any other type of gloves in the field. In fact, you should call them a first base mitt because of their sheer size. They usually feature a shallow pocket to prevent delays in ball transfers. 

Sizing

Of course, you also have to mind the size. If you want to ensure this, try wearing the glove and see if you can squeeze it. If you can close it with no problems, that’s the right size for you. But if you are having difficulties, then move to another size instead.

Fastpitch Gloves Sizing Chart
AgePositionFastpitch Glove Size
8 years old and belowInfield9 inches – 10.75 inches
8 years old and belowOutfield10 inches – 11.2 inches
9 – 13 years oldInfield10.5 inches – 11.5 inches
9 – 13 years oldOutfield11.5 inches – 12.2 inches
14 years old and aboveInfield11.75 inches – 12.5 inches
14 years old and aboveOutfield12.75 inches – 14 inches
Slowpitch Gloves Sizing Chart
AgePositionSlowptich Glove Size
14 years old and aboveInfield12 inches – 12.75 inches
14 years old and aboveOutfield12.5 inches – 14 inches

In Summary

There’s a lot of things that we can surmise here. First, the top softball gloves are distinct from the competition to the quality of their build. Fundamentally, their premium leather makes them withstand wear and tear and constant use. They can last multiple seasons and can provide ample support to their users.

Moreover, they have a quick break-in, especially if you pick a glove made from naturally supple leather. If you are searching for youth gloves, Kip leather or cowhide leather are your best choices. The top gloves for amateur players should have an index finger pad for added protection. In a nutshell, leather makes things better!

A slowpitch and fastpitch glove differ from one another. Hence, you should pick a glove that is meant for either of these games. For instance, the Mizuno Prime Elite is designed for slowpitch, while Rawlings Liberty Advanced is considered one of the best fastpitch gloves. 

You should also mind the way you play. Know which is your throwing hand because it well you assess the correct orientation for the glove. 

There are a lot of promising softball gloves for 2021 that I was not able to list here. Whether you are looking for a fastpitch glove or slowpitch mitt, I am pretty sure that there’s an option for you. Just follow the guide that I included here, and you will be able to refine your choices. 

That’s it for now. If you have other questions that are related to softball mitts, feel free to ask me in the comment section below.

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