When it comes to gearing up for travel softball season, few things are more exciting than the prospect of buying a softball glove. These days there are seemingly infinite options from which softball players can choose, but that can be a little overwhelming for some players and their parents, especially if they are just getting started with the Wheatland Spikes for the first time.
Thankfully it is not all that hard to break down which softball glove a player should buy. Granted, the majority of what one considers when making this purchase is going to be tied to that player’s position, but even that is not as paint-by-numbers as you would think. Here’s a look at what softball players and parents should consider when looking into buying a new softball glove:
1. Pocket Size
When considering the size of a glove’s pocket, it would make sense that an outfielder would need a larger pocket to give themselves a larger catch radius for fly balls, while infielders will want smaller pockets so they can transfer the ball to their throwing hand more quickly when fielding ground balls.
The webbing, which creates the size of those pockets, also comes in a number of different styles. Closed-web style of gloves offer a little more support when making a catch, which is why catchers love them so much, while open-web gloves make for quicker transfer to the throwing hand, which is why infielders tend to select a more open style of webbing.
3. The Back
The back of the glove may not seem particularly important to some softball players, but there are a lot of features back there that matter to players, including wrist adjustments. Many gloves come with some sort of adjustment near the wrist to help make the glove fit as snugly as possible. These adjustors can be Velcro, they can feature a buckle, they can be held together with laces, or they can fasten via D-ring. Some gloves also include a hole for the index finger, which can be good for outfielders who would like a little more support when catching a fly ball.
While nothing smells quite so euphoric as a leather glove, leather gloves are not for every player. It is the most durable and comfortable material for softball gloves, especially when the leather is pre-treated, but it also is heavier than some other options. Gloves with mesh backings, for example, typically are lighter, which is a boon for certain infielders, while synthetic materials are lightest and most affordable, which makes them ideal for younger players.
The reality is that there really are a number of excellent softball mitts out there, so determining which glove to purchase really does come down to taste and, perhaps more importantly, position. Do your research, read reviews and then try a few on. You should have no problem finding a glove that is both affordable and meets your needs a player.