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The right softball glove can help you catch softballs while protecting your hands from the impact. But in addition to the glove’s style, you need to consider its size and fit. Without factoring these, even the best softball glove won’t make you the star of upcoming matches.
But First, Which Type of Glove Do You Need?
Before you begin measuring your new softball glove, you need to decide which glove you need. There are five types of gloves you may be shopping for:
- Catcher Gloves – Catcher gloves are made differently. In addition to being stiff, they don’t have separately cut fingers. Moreover, a softball catcher’s mitt features a deeper pocket and thinner sidewalls. If you’re playing slowpitch, you can skip this glove since the remaining four can handle the slower, higher-arching pitches.
- First Base Gloves – While similar to catcher’s gloves, first base gloves have longer fingers that are firm and don’t bend backwards. They also have less padding and are quite flexible yet sturdy.
- Infield Gloves – Infield gloves are used by first base, second base, third base, or shortstop players. They’re visibly smaller and have a small pocket to get the ball out quickly. Just keep in mind that the pockets will differ based on position. For example, third base gloves have a closed pocket to handle hard hit balls.
- Outfield Gloves – Outfield gloves are large gloves that provide the range and reach to cover more space. They feature a deep pocket and either an H-web or a trapeze web.
- Pitcher Gloves – Pitcher gloves prioritize comfort over performance. Their most prominent feature is a closed web that hides the ball from batters. For a slowpitch player, this may not be a priority since the grip isn’t important for disrupting the hitter’s timing. That’s why they choose gloves according to the other positions they play.
And since you were promised a comprehensive guide, here are some options you can check out.
Youth Sized Gloves
With the basics covered, its’ time to choose the glove. For that, you should be familiar with the size ranges of gloves used in different positions.
Now, Let’s Help You Measure Softball Gloves Like a Pro
Fastpitch Softball Glove Sizes
- Pitcher: 11.5 – 12.5″
- Catcher: 33 – 35″
- First Base: 12 – 13″
- Second Base / Short Stop: 11.5 – 12.5″
- Third Base: 11.75 – 12.5″
- Outfield: 12 – 13″
Softpitch Softball Glove Sizes
- First Base: 31-32.5″
- Pitcher: 12.5 – 13″
- Second Base / Short Stop: 11.5 – 12.5″
- Third Base: 12.5-13″
- Outfield: 15-15.5″
If you’re buying the glove for your young one, you’ll need to consider a different set of size ranges. The following are the fastpitch softball glove size estimates for kids according to their age range.
While the ranges will be specified on the gloves, it won’t hurt to measure the one you wish to buy. One way to pull this off is by using string and a ruler. Here’s how you can use this method.
|Age||Catcher||Pitcher||First Base||Second Base / Short Stop||Third Base||Outfield|
|Under 7 Years||29.5 – 30″||8 – 10.5″||11.5″||8 – 10.5″||8 – 10.5″||9 – 11″|
|8-10 Years||30 – 32″||10.5 – 11.5″||11.5 – 12″||10.5 – 11.25″||10.5 – 11.5″||10 – 12″|
|11-13 Years||31 – 32.5″||11.5 – 12.5″||12 – 13″||11.25 – 12″||11.75 – 12.5″||11.75 – 12.5″|
- Take a piece of string and place it on top of the index finger.
- Run the string down inside the glove. Make sure it’s in contact with the leather for a precise measurement. Mark that point where the string touches the base of the heel.
- Place the string on top of the ruler. Compare the measured length with the recommended size.
Have Some Tips to Pick a Softball Glove that Fits Perfectly
With the necessary measurements in mind, it’s time to check if the glove fits properly. First, you should have the measurement of your hand. For that, measure the length from the tip of your index finger to the top of your wrist.
Next, take the following tips into consideration.
- Keep in mind that you don’t need all five fingers to fit in the glove. This is because catching with your whole hand will be hard on your wrist. Instead, you should be able to comfortably jam two fingers in the pinky slot. As for your remaining fingers, push them to the outside of the glove.
- For the best fit, your wrist should ideally be exposed. This will allow your wrist to move easily and give you more control of the ball.
- Choose a glove that fits you snugly. If it’s too tight, the glove will make you uncomfortable. Meanwhile, a floppy glove will prevent you from catching properly.
- Whether you’re picking the glove for yourself or a youth, make sure it fits your current hand measurement. Don’t buy a glove that you can grow into.
- Factor in the size of your wrist. Young players or those with smaller hands should preferably go for gloves with adjustable wrist straps.
- Remember that some materials such as leather will feel stiff at first. So, you’ll need to spend some time breaking it.
You’re Now a Click/Drive Away from the Perfect Softball Glove
The right way to measure softball gloves – check.
The size ranges for each glove based on age and position – check.
Tips to get the best fitting glove for your next game – check.
You’re now ready to get your own perfectly fitting glove. Just remember to take into consideration other equally important factors such as padding and webbing.
And before you go – best of luck on your next game!
Learn more tips to choose the best glove for you in this video by JustGloves
Here are all the glove recommendations sorted by price to help get you started:
Want to learn how to clean and maintain your gloves in perfect shape? Read our guide How to Clean a Softball Glove