Last updated on June 21st, 2023 at 11:10 am
Most people get confused between softball and baseball gloves due to their similar visual appearance. But there are certain differences between softball and baseball gloves that might be minor, but are responsible for the efficient performance in the respective games. Even though both of these gloves have their differences, you can still use a baseball glove for softball and vice versa, but the specific glove for the game is preferable.
While watching a baseball match, you might wonder if you have the same glove but play softball. Therefore, a similar-looking glove might not be the ideal one for you. Although there are some similarities between both of the gloves, they are not entirely the same.
The baseball and softball gloves differ due to the variation of the size of the balls used in each game. Along with the size, various other factors, including design, pocket depth, and fitting of the glove, make these gloves different from each other. Therefore, if something has let you wonder if softball and baseball gloves are the same, they are pretty much not.
For your convenience, we have provided a complete guide on softball vs. baseball gloves that will help clear any confusion that you have. We have listed all the factors and information in detail that you might surely need before choosing a glove for you.
Table of Contents
What is a Baseball Glove?
A baseball glove also referred to as the defending team’s player wears a baseball mitt to catch and throw the ball efficiently. These gloves are usually made out of leather or synthetic leather that makes them durable and efficient. These gloves are made out of thick and tough leather; they are stiff and require breaking in. Once they are broken inefficiently, they assist the players in catching and fielding the ball hits thrown at them by other teammates or the batter.
What is a Softball Glove?
If you are curious about what a softball looks like, it is important to know that it is larger than a baseball. As the ball used in softball is bigger, the gloves used in this game are also larger and longer than the traditional baseball gloves. Softball gloves are either fastpitch or Slowpitch. Also, the ideal softball glove for a particular player depends upon their preferences, comfort, and position in the game. You cannot use the same glove for all the positions or gaming styles; therefore, you will have to consider these factors to ensure a worthy purchase while choosing a baseball or a softball glove.
There are two types of softball gloves that are Slowpitch and fastpitch softball gloves. Now, let’s discuss the difference between Slowpitch and fastpitch softball gloves;
- Slowpitch has only one pitch, while in the case of fastpitch, there is quite a variation.
- In fastpitch softball, the pitchers must hide their fingers on the ball. Therefore, these gloves
- feature a closed web.
Types of Baseball and Softball Gloves
There are various types of baseball and softball gloves that are specific for different positions in the game. Moreover, you will have to choose between left-hand throw gloves and right-hand throw gloves according to your hand orientation. The various types of gloves for different positions include;
The players in the catcher position use catcher’s mitts, and these gloves resemble the pair of winter gloves. These gloves do not have fingers separated which makes them similar to the mitts.
These gloves are usually longer than other gloves and possess a deeper pocket. This construction assists the players in picking up the ground balls and catching the fly balls more conveniently.
The infielder’s glove is usually smaller with a shallower pocket concerning the first baseman’s mitt. These gloves possess an open webbing that enables the dirt to pass through them whenever the player catches a ground ball.
First Baseman’s Mitts
The first baseman’s mitts are also referred to as ‘mitts’; they resemble the catcher’s mitt in comparing the winter mitts. Moreover, these mitts are more extended and broader than the outfielder’s and the infielder’s gloves. Therefore, they assist the player in picking up the balls thrown by infielders.
These gloves are usually smaller and have a closed webbing. The closed webbing ensures that the ball is concealed so that the pitcher’s move is not revealed.
Softball Glove Vs. Baseball Glove
The difference between softball and baseball gloves even hide in their similarities as well. A factor that might be looking visually similar in both the gloves might still have a slight difference that you need to know. Following are some differences of both of the gloves;
Although both gloves might have similar colors, lacing, and even are made of the same material, i.e., leather or synthetic leather, they might differ in their designs. The balls used in both sports play a significant role in their plans. As the softball is slightly larger, around 12” than the baseball of approximately 9”, the gloves used for catching these balls will differ in size and design.
As the baseball is more minor, the baseball gloves are made with a smaller and longer pocket, while the softball gloves possess a shorter and deeper pocket as the ball is more giant. Another dissimilarity in the design of both gloves is the web. Baseball gloves have more versatile web designs as their pocket is not very deep. Pitchers for both games use gloves that feature a closed web to conceal their throw. In the case of a softball glove, the web is present more profoundly in the pocket in contrast with the baseball glove.
If you are looking at baseball and softball players on the TV or the game field, you might think that both gloves are equal in size. Undoubtedly, it seems that way while witnessing the gloves from a distance or not comparing them side to side. Both of these gloves differ in length, and if you are wondering if can you use a baseball glove for softball, you can, but it won’t be as suitable.
The size range of baseball gloves starts from 9” (youth) and goes till 13” (adults, outfielder’s glove). The infielders and pitchers’ glove size ranges from 11” and 12”. At the same time, a traditional fastpitch softball glove ranges from 11.5” (infielder) to 13” (outfielder). The baseball catcher’s glove size ranges from 32” to 34.5” in the catcher’s mitts. While the softball catcher’s gloves are slightly more significant with a size range of 33” to 35”. Moreover, the baseball catcher’s glove also features thicker padding for extra protection against high-speed balls.
The fittings of the glove also vary in both sports because of the preference of players. As both games have their own rules and style, the gloves require different fits if the players want to perform efficiently in the game field. Confirmation of both gloves to the player’s hand might be the same, while the fittings might differ. Moreover, as females usually use fastpitch gloves, these gloves feature a smaller opening for the hand. While in the case of baseball gloves, the opening is larger as the player’s hands are larger.
Softball players tend to use gloves that provide a tighter fit to the player’s hand. As the stricter fitting enables the player to have greater control over the ball, all the softball players prefer this fitting. Along with the tight fitting, the softball or fastpitch gloves also feature a Velcro strap back for comfortable fitting. On the other hand, baseball players prefer gloves that are not as fit and help them feel relaxed. These gloves also feature a Velcro strap back to adjust the glove according to their preferences.
Q: Can softball players use baseball gloves?
Softball players can use baseball gloves, but they should keep in mind that the size of these gloves differs, and you might not be able to perform as efficiently in the game. Also, if you have to buy a new glove, you should consider purchasing the game-specific one as it will suit you more and enhance your performance in the game.
Q: Should you use a softball to break in a baseball glove?
Yes, you can surely use a softball to break in a baseball glove. Also, it is preferred by professional players because softball helps ensure a larger pocket.
Q: Can you use a baseball catcher mitt for fastpitch softball?
No, you cannot use a baseball catcher mitt for fastpitch softball as it will significantly affect your performance.
Most people get confused between baseball and softball gloves due to their similar appearance. Even though you can use a baseball glove for softball and vice versa, you might not be able to play as efficiently, and thus the difference between softball and baseball gloves cannot be denied. The significant difference between both gloves is their size because the size of the ball in both games varies. Still, there are undoubtedly other factors mentioned above that contribute to the dissimilarities.
Therefore, if you were confused about both of these gloves and were curious about the difference between softball and baseball gloves, we have provided enough information above. This information can help you clear all your confusion, and you can choose the particular glove according to your game requirements.