What's The Difference Between a Baseball Glove and Softball Glove?

Posted by JustBallGloves.com on Mar 29, 2018 2:27:47 PM

Baseball Gloves v Softball Gloves - Blog

Have you ever been watching the World Series or the NCAA College Softball Championships and you see a close up of the pitcher’s glove and wondered, Wow that glove looks exactly like mine!?

Sure, the glove on TV has the exact same colorway, similar lacing, and is broken into perfection. But, you're a baseball player watching Jennie Finch. Or, maybe you're a softball player watching Felix Hernandez. Are they really using your glove? JustBallGloves.com receives plenty of inquiries regarding softball gloves and baseball gloves, so we decided to answer the question at hand.There are a few similarities between the gloves but they are not, in fact, the same. Here are four main differences between baseball gloves and softball gloves.

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The Design

Baseball Gloves | Softball Gloves

Gloves are similar looking with color, lacing, and leather, but one of the main differences between baseball and softball gloves is the design. The ball, for both sports, plays a huge role. A regulation baseball is only 9” and a regulation softball is about 12”. So, baseball gloves are made with a smaller and longer pocket since the ball is smaller,  whereas the pocket of a softball glove is deeper and shorter since the ball is larger. For example, if you had a 12-inch baseball and softball glove side-by-side the baseball glove would be taller because the softball pocket is much deeper which makes the glove wider that is it tall.

Another thing to note in the design is the web of these gloves. Baseball gloves tend to be more versatile with its webs since the pocket isn’t as deep, unlike the softball gloves. Pitchers for both sports need a closed web to hide the ball but the web in a softball glove will tend to run deeper in the pocket than a baseball glove.

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The Size

Glove Sizing Chart

Even though it may look like the gloves are the same size on TV, that isn’t always the case when it comes to baseball vs. softball. The size range of a typical baseball glove goes anywhere from 9” (youth) to 13” (outfielders glove). Usually, infielders and pitchers gloves are in the 11” to 12” range and anything above that is considered an outfielders glove. A typical Fastpitch softball glove ranges in size anywhere from 11.5” (infielder) to 13” (outfielder).

For catchers mitts there is also a difference in size. Baseball catcher’s gloves are sized anywhere from 32” to 34.5” whereas softball catcher’s gloves are a bit bigger ranging from 33” to 35” since the size of the ball is bigger in softball. Also, baseball catcher’s gloves tend to have more padding to them than softball catcher’s gloves for more protection due to the ball coming in at higher speeds compared to the lower speeds of a softball.

The Player

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Baseball and softball players are all different. They have all have their own pre-game rituals and superstitions. As far as gloves go, each player likes their glove a certain way.

Most softball players like to have the glove as tight to their hand as possible, which is why most of these gloves are designed with a velcro strap so players can adjust the tightness to their liking. On the other hand, most baseball players like their gloves a little more relaxed fitting compared to softball. This is why baseball gloves are constructed with a standard conventional back with no velcro included. Some players both softball and baseball love a broken in glove lathered with oil and broken in with a wooden mallet and some prefer a glove straight out of the box. All players are different, they prefer different qualities and styles of all types of gloves.

The Feel

Tips For Selecting A Glove

Each baseball and softball glove is geared toward how big a player's hand is. Fastpitch softball gloves tend to have a smaller opening for the reason that most females hands are generally smaller than males. So, most manufacturers of Fastpitch gloves design these gloves with smaller hand openings to gear toward the overall consensus of their target market. On the other hand, for baseball and slow pitch softball players, these gloves are made with a bigger opening since their hands are usually bigger than that of a softball player. A number of these gloves openings are also lined with a soft fur-like material to add comfort for players.

To sum it all up for you, even though baseball and softball gloves have similar styles and colors, there is quite a bit of difference between the two.

  • Baseball gloves usually have a more shallow pocket due to the ball being smaller and a taller profile depending on if it is an infield or outfield glove.
  • Fastpitch softball gloves typically have a deeper, rounder pocket due to the softball being bigger in than a baseball.
  • Fastpitch softball players typically like to have the velcro adjustment straps on their gloves due to most players liking the tight firm feel when they put their glove on. 

So next time you tune in to a game and you see a glove that looks exactly like yours, you'll know the difference between a baseball glove and softball glove.

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Now it's your turn, we want to hear from you. Have you ever mistaken a baseball glove from a softball glove? What kind of glove do you use? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below. If you have any questions, please give our Customer Coaches a call at 866-321-4568 or Live Chat now. They are available 24/7 and will be there for you from click to catch! 

Topics: Uncategorized, Baseball Gloves, Softball Gloves