At first glance, it seems that there is no difference between baseball and softball gloves or between fastpitch and slowpitch softball gloves. However, the more experienced and higher level the players achieve, the more significant those differences become. Therefore, if you have intention to develop a professional softball career, it’s fundamental to understand those differences because a wrong choice of glove could negatively affect your performance.’
Differences between baseball and softball gloves
The first difference is because of size of the ball. In both baseball and softball, main use of glove is to catch the ball; the ball used in baseball is 9 inches and it’s 11 inches in softball. Therefore, the size and pocket design of these 2 kinds of gloves should be different, so the glove can catch the ball perfectly in each type of sport. Using bigger ball, softball has bigger glove and deeper pocket. Normally, a softball glove’s length is raging from 11.5 inches to 15 inches while baseball’s one is from 10 inches to 12.75 inches.
Secondly, most of sport glove makers are focusing more on baseball market, so they put more investment and effort to make high-quality baseball glove. It leads to significant gap between price of softball and baseball gloves. Averagely, a softball glove (slowpitch or fastpitch) costs from 50 USD to 200 USD but there are not many softball gloves which have higher price than 120 USD. On the other hand, a high quality baseball glove could cost up to 600 USD.
Differences between slowpitch and fastpitch softball gloves
The differences between slowpitch and fastpitch softball glove are not easy to recognize. Sometimes, slowpitch and fastpitch softball glove are even interchangeable. However, there are 2 main differences.
The most noticeable difference between slowpitch and fastpitch softball glove is the catcher glove. As indicated in its name, the pitches in slowpitch softball are slow, so catcher in slowpitch softball doesn’t necessarily need a special glove to protect their hand. In contracts, fastpitch catchers have to deal with flying ball in high speed and as a result, they must need durable and strong gloves with more padding.
Fastpitch softball does require a lot of strong and fast movement. Therefore, its gloves requires better strength and durability than slowpitch one. That is the reason why most of fastpitch players have tendency to choose leather gloves rather than synthetic ones. In contrast, it’s not necessary for a slowpitch player to invest much money for a durable and super high quality glove. In this case, a synthetic glove which is lighter in weight and much cheaper than leather one is a good and reasonable choice.
In conclusion, understanding differences between many types of gloves available in the market is important. Your hand could be injured if you use a slowpitch softball glove to play as a catcher in a fastpitch match. It’s better to collect as much information of the glove you intent to buy and try to figure out if it match well with the sport you are playing or not. The more adequate information you have, the better decision you could make.