Best Softball Gloves – 9 Options for Fastpitch & Slowpitch (Updated 2018)
I get it…
A page outlining the 9 best softball gloves? BORING!
However, if you are anything like me, you’ve probably tried numerous gloves but have never been able to find the one.
Whether that is because of budget, position demands, or durability issues, it doesn’t matter because today is your lucky day!
This page looks at gloves for both fastpitch and slowpitch players at different price points and for different positions.
The goal of this page is to showcase each of these top choices based on feedback received from various vendors. We fully realize that what works for one may not work for another, but are hopeful that this gives you an easier start.
Finding the perfect fit for your playing style and position is as important as finding the best softball bat. There really are a lot of options and styles available, and we are going to try to help you sort out what you really need vs. all the hype.
The Wilson A2000 P12 is the crown jewel of the company’s revolutionary new fast pitch line that will allow any athlete to concentrate on their game and raise it to the next level. Crafted from Pro Stock Leather this glove will continue to go as long as you do while keeping its white and black finish very sharp and crease-free.
The softer steer hide leather will make breaking it in a synch as the days of giant rubber bands and shaving cream are made much simpler. This glove includes the classic Cat Web design in order to hide your grip changes and the unique D-Fusion pads just below the pocket in order to provide more comfort for line drives and dribblers alike. This is added with Wilson’s patented Dual Welting pre-curved finger design to absorb shock and create a “No Sting Catch Zone” in the palm of your hand. These unique improvements allow for you to go after anything hit on the field in comfort without losing a feel for the ball.
Whether you are just starting out in Little League, trying out for your High School varsity squad, or starting on the mound in the Olympics, the A2000 P12 provides a perfect fit for softball players of all ages and at all levels of competition. The brand new Comfort Velcro Wrist Closure provides a comfortable and secure fit every time. This hook and loop closure allows you to worry about what is happening on the field instead of on your hand. Dri-Lex Wrist Lining will keep your hand dry as the ultra-breathable material helps remove sweat and moisture. It won’t matter if it’s the first game or the last, this ground-breaking wrist lining will keep your hands free of excessive sweat all season long. Rain or shine, you’ll be ready.
The Wilson brand has always helped us achieve our potential on the diamond through their masterful designs and innovations. The A2000 P12 Fast Pitch has just raised that bar even higher. If you’re looking for a superior advantage in the field, this glove is for you.
No matter if you play baseball or softball, you’ve probably heard of the Wilson A2000 series as they are the premier “it” choice. In fact, numerous pro athletes use the A2000 today. It’s hard to believe that this glove has been in existence since 1957! And with each and every year it improves even more.
Now although this is arguably the top glove available, it is also one of the most expensive. For slowpitch players, this glove is more reserved for competitive level players who play the game at its highest level.
So, what makes the A2000 so special?
One of the more advanced features has to be the dual-welting system. This system allows the A2000 to have a pre-rounded finger design which allows for increased steadiness in the pocket. It also provides a fielder with unmatched comfort and ability to break-in quick and easily.
Another aspect that should be noted is the high-quality leather applied to the glove. Each piece of leather used in the manufacturing process is hand picked Pro Stock leather to ensure the athlete receives a glove that won’t wear out quickly. After all, if you are spending this amount of money, you want to make sure you are getting a long lasting product!
The other great thing about the slowpitch version of the A2000 is it is actually designed for slowpitch players. Unlike regular versions of the A2000, this one uses a larger pattern, and provides a deeper pocket for those heavier slowpitch balls.
Specially crafted for female athletes, the Rawlings Liberty Advanced takes a huge step forward for anyone looking to raise their fastpitch game and dominate the diamond. This 12″ glove is made from high quality full-grain oil treated leather, which provides much higher fiber strength and durability while also eliminating moisture through improved breathability. The closed Basket Webbing with all-leather lacing will be especially helpful to pitchers and outfielders looking to show off their defensive skills with a glove that can raise their game to new heights.
For those who are in need of an elite level glove on short notice, look no further. Delivered and out of the box already 80% broken-in the Liberty Advanced takes a lot of the grunt work out of preparing for your next game. No more long nights of stuffing your lathered glove under the mattress the week before spring. The deer-tanned cowhide in the inner lining will allow you to shape the glove in any way you see fit for your comfort and style of play. Throughout the course of the season you will also be able to tighten or loosen the grip with the Adjustable Pull Strap near the wrist.
Once opening day finally arrives you will be able to take advantage of many of the gloves new additions and improvements to make sure your glove keeps up with you. The Poron XRD palm padding will help you absorb shock and greatly reduce the force when you catch a screaming line drive up the middle. This new lightweight material will especially be helpful for fastpitch players when lower quality gloves start to give out towards the end of a long season.
By combining complete comfort with the flexibility you need to always feel the ball in your glove the Rawlings Liberty Advanced Fastpitch Series takes a huge step forward for the sport of softball.
Our top choice for all position players is the Worth Toxic Lite which is available in 13”, 13.5”, and 14” glove sizes. Why do we consider this model to be one of the best fastpitch softball gloves around? For starters it is one of the lightest ones available which makes a huge difference on a player. With a lighter glove, you can react quicker and not be weighed down by a bulky uncomfortable thing hanging from around your wrist. Although it is used by more competitive level players, the price tag allows just about anyone (even casual players) to easily own it and enjoy the benefits. Some of the other top features include:
Full grain leather lining and laces for even more durability and strength
Use of Worth’s Pro Mesh backing for quick break in and lighter weight
If you play first base, you know that there are many things you need to do differently than everyone else on the field. Because the position is so unique, you also need a glove to fit the rigors of your position. As far as 1st base gloves go, for we feel like the Easton SVS 3 Salvo is the way to go. Some of the reasons why include:
Great brand name – let’s face it there are not many better than Easton
Tremendous value – the glove is middle of the road in terms of cost
Lightweight, game-ready, and a larger pocket tailored for the position
Adjustable strap to provide a custom fit to every player
Extra protection in the palm area
We feel that the Salvo SVS 3 should be considered the best valued glove on the market and would make an excellent companion for any player playing first base.
If you consider yourself a cut above the rest on the softball diamond and need state of the art equipment to help you light up the field, the Easton Synergy Elite Fastpitch glove is exactly what you are looking for. Made with Easton’s exclusive deer-tanned 365 cowhide leather, this glove will remain durable for years to come while also being versatile enough to be game ready the first time you put it on with little breaking-in needed. The added black, green, and white color scheme will give you an inimitable look as the other team will be too busy staring at your mitt instead of watching the ball.
The 33’ mitt allows players to catch just about anything thrown from your pitcher. From heat that is high and outside to sinking breaking balls that fall of the end of the table, the Synergy Elite mitt will help you catch just about anything. The classic Woven Web design will make sure nothing slips out of your grasp while the VRS pocket pads take the sting out of any ball you go for.
This reasonably priced mitt doesn’t stop at just improving performance, but it also allows for unbelievable comfort all season long. The patented Lock-Down Velcro Wrist Strap can be easily adjusted for a more personalized and comfortable fit. Whether you’re just starting out in little league or named the starting catcher for game 1 of the Women’s College World Series, this innovative design feature will fit the hand of any female athlete. Inside the glove, the hog hide palm padding and the innovative Super-Strong Sponge Tricot in the finger lining will help you absorb shock as you take fastball after fastball.
The catcher position is considered the general of the diamond and no leader would ever prepare for battle without the proper equipment. The Easton Synergy Elite Catcher’s mitt can be what is needed for a female athlete to show her true skill and passion. Play ball!
Ahhh the catcher, arguably the most unique position in all of softball (let alone any sport). In all seriousness however, playing behind the plate presents many unique challenges that are not experienced by other positions. Not only will you be catching the ball the most during any given game, but you are also expected not to drop the ball in any circumstance. The Worth Liberty Advanced Series catchers mitt has been one of the most sought after gloves for players that want to crouch behind home plate. Although more expensive than the average catchers mitt, we feel the extra features included will knock your socks off. The things we like about the Liberty Series include:
Comfort – made from comfortable leather on the inside and outside, many players believe Liberty series provide a unique and great feel
Durability – something that many like about the Liberty series is its ability to keep the same shape after multiple seasons. Using strong material for laces allows for the shape and glove to be as durable as possible
More protection – Brand new for the Advanced Series, a new PORON XRD palm padding has been added to keep your hands protected while absorbing impact from even the highest of speeds.
In my opinion, the Wilson A2000 is the best slowpitch softball glove available. However, as mentioned in its review, it is far from cheap.
For those players looking for a quality product without paying as much hard-earned dollars, the Louisville TPS series should be a good candidate.
I know for me back when I played I couldn’t stand the break-in period required to use my glove effectively. And if you look on the web, there are numerous different techniques that people say will make this process faster. The great thing about the TPS slowpitch gloves is that they are game ready right off the shelf. So no more putting you glove into an oven, or trying to loosen it up in any other random way!
TPS gloves are lined with high quality leather laces which ensures that it will retain its shape and performance for numerous seasons. Depending on how much you play, it may be the last glove you’ll ever need to purchase.
One of the final aspects on the TPS glove worth noting is the ability for it to be used by many players (i.e. many hand sizes). On the back of the wrist area, a dual cinch strap has been added. This strap allows a player to loosen or tighten the area to ensure that a comfortable fit can be used by anyone. I know in the past when I have used a glove that was too big for me that my performance certainly suffered. It just didn’t feel right.
In summary, for those looking for a good quality brand without breaking the bank as much as the Wilson A2000, the TPS series might be exactly what you are looking for.
This last choice is dedicated to youth softball players who are approximately 10 and under. The important thing to consider when purchasing a youth softball glove is that you are more than likely still growing. You certainly don’t want to pick up an expensive glove only to have it not fit next season. That is where the Mizuno Prospect Series comes in. This glove has been designed to help younger players learn the game properly in that it aids in teaching proper technique that coaches are constantly talking about. Using Power Close, when a player catches the ball, the glove is actually designed to help perform that last “closing” action for you. Now you can really impress your coach! Other great features include:
Wider pocket so there is more area to catch the ball
Better palm lining to reduce sting and soreness
Closed back so it can be used for any position around the field (very important for youth softball)
How to find the best softball gloves? A brief guide
No two softball players are the same which makes this task even more difficult. Although we can’t provide you with reviews on every single softball glove used in 2018, we have provided you with what we feel is the top resource when it comes to finding the top one for your specific position. Below we provide what we feel are your top options along with a review for each. We then also provide a bit of a buyer’s guide or things we feel are important to look at when making your decision.
So where do you start? Well it comes down to a few of basic things:
Are you right or left handed?
What position do you play?
How much web do you need?
How deep a pocket?
Do you need an open back or a closed?
As mentioned in the introduction section, there is so much to consider when finding a new glove. From the webbing to the amount of padding and everything in between the process can become complicated quickly. Below we describe some of these options to hopefully get you thinking on what you might be after. While this is by no means a definitive discourse on the glove it is a great starting point to get you in the right direction for choosing an option that will best suit your needs. While learning about them is a plus, getting out there and trying them for yourself is definitely the next step in making you not only a great catcher, but a well-rounded player overall.
Differences between fastpitch and softball gloves
One of the first things you may be wondering when coming to this page is what the difference is between a fastpitch and a slowpitch softball glove. In all honesty however, they really are one in the same and do not differ from each other. You’ll notice many websites separate them into two different categories, however I believe this is for simplicity so that each player can choose the sport they play instead of having them mixed. If you were to get really technical one glove that is slightly different between fastpitch and slowpitch disciplines could be the catchers mitt. Although again, a catchers mitt for fastpitch can still be used for slowpitch it may not be entirely necessary. As the name describes, fastpitch pitcher can hurl the softball at incredible speeds which in turn can lead to passed balls. Therefore a fastpitch catcher is better off using a mitt to account for these situations. In slowpitch however, really any glove could do at the catcher position.
All gloves, whether they are softball or baseball, have a connective web between the thumb and the fingers. This web is set up in different patterns and tightness that changes based on position and personal preference. But basically there are two differing types, the closed and the open web. The closed web has a tighter lacing and is generally used by catchers, pitchers and in field. The tighter weave is excellent for quick snags and short hits where you don’t need to line up the ball. The open web has a looser weave and is designed more for infield and outfield play. It allows the catcher to see through the webbing and easily line up pop flies and higher hits, plus the webbing is loose enough to make sure you can quickly transfer the ball from the catching hand to the throwing arm and get the ball back in the infield as fast as possible.
The wrist enclosure of the glove is usually referred to as the back. It is definitely more about personal preference though and unlike the pocket or web it has little to do with position. The two basic types of back are the open and the closed. Open back gloves have a space in the material that allows for greater mobility in the wrist and help for speedy ball turn around and hand mobility. Even though it is a personal preference we do see it a lot more in the infield to insure quicker plays. The closed black glove is far more rigid and sometimes has a hole that allows the index finger to rest outside the glove, for added support. You tend to see this type more in the field as it allows more support for the catch which is really needed in deep power hits and pop flys.
While most people think of the pocket of the glove as the area where it is caught in the netting, its actually just below. It is a small indent in the glove, right over the palm, where the ball falls after it is caught in the webbing. There are two types of pocket, the shallow and the deeper, and this depth is an excellent indicator of the position and use of the glove. Shallow pockets are used mostly for infield play as they allow for faster plays and getting the ball back to the plate before the runner. Generally shallow pockets are used most for quick grabs and transfers to the throwing hand. Deep pockets are better in the outfield and add to the player’s skill by helping hold onto fly balls and hard hit fielders. This little advantage can make a huge difference across a full team and an entire season, so making sure that everyone’s pocket depth is according to their playing style can make the difference to a team that is as dramatic as winning a couple or winning a conference.
A great video from Wilson Sports highlighting some of these options is provided below:
We hope that this page has helped you better figure out the best softball gloves for your needs. Do you have any better ideas when it comes to our choices? If so, do not hesitate to let us know by using our Contact form or by leaving a comment below. Thanks again for stopping by!