Best Softball Gloves for 2023: Fastpitch & Slowpitch Glove Reviews
If you are on the hunt for a new softball glove and need a little help narrowing down your choices, we have you covered. In this article, we will be taking a closer look at the best softball gloves for 2023, which include fastpitch gloves, slowpitch gloves and youth softball gloves. Not only that, but we take a deeper dive into the best gloves for certain positions, such as best outfield gloves, infield gloves, and gloves for pitchers. To finish up we will answer a few commonly asked questions regarding softball gloves. Enjoy!
Best Fastpitch Softball Gloves
Fastpitch gloves are basically baseball gloves in all aspects including quality of leather, durability and overall performance. The few key differences include a bigger, deeper web to catch softballs, and typically, a smaller hand slot to better fit the female hand. Below we will review what we believe are the 5 best fastpitch softball gloves for 2023, based on overall quality, performance, style, durability and functionality.
Rawlings’ Liberty Advanced 12.5” Fastpitch Softball Glove is one of the best gloves you can buy as a fastpitch softball player. Liberty Advanced gloves feature full-grain leather to enhance the glove’s durability, while still providing players with a quick break-in time. Pull-strap closures on the wrist give the player a custom fit and enhance comfortability so the ball player can focus on making plays.
- Double-Laced Basket Webbing provides durability
- Full-grain leather and a quick break-in time
- Pull-strap closures give the player a custom fit and enhanced durability
Rawlings Heart of the Hide gloves are some of the best quality you will see on the diamond. Heart of the Hide gloves feature full-grain leather to enhance durability and a padded thumb sleeve for added comfort. For a custom fit, Rawlings has added pull-strap closures on the wrist to give the player a custom fit and make quick adjustments.
- Full-grain leather for durability and a padded thumb sleeve for comfort
- Pull-strap closures for a perfect fit
- Quick break-in time, creating a game-ready feel
More affordable than the Liberty Advanced or Heart of the Hide series is the Rawlings R9 series. Although more affordable, this glove still features soft-tumble, full-grain leather to provide the player with premium quality and allow an easier break-in process. This particular R9 glove includes Rawlings ContoUR fit, meaning it has lower finger stalls and a shorter finger arc length.
- Padded thumb loop and palm pad for added comfort
- ContoUR fit provides lower finger stalls and shorter finger arc length
- Boa hand opening for a soft, but durable, feel to these gloves
Rawlings Liberty Advanced series gloves are premium quality and made for softball players looking for a durable and high-performing glove. Full-grain leather is featured on the palm and backhand of this glove, making it one of the premier gloves for fastpitch softball players. Pull-strap closures on the wrist opening also give the player a better fit that is tailored to their hand.
- Full-grain leather on the palm and backhand
- Pull-strap closure for a fit tailored to the player
- Quick and easy break-in for a game-ready feel
Easton’s Signature Series line of fastpitch softball gloves does not sacrifice quality! These gloves are handcrafted and feature Premium Reserve USA Steerhide and pro-grade rawhide laces. This adds unrivaled quality and durability to the glove as it is also paired with full-leather binding, welting, and lining for a premiere glove in fastpitch softball.
- Premium Reserve USA Steerhide enhances quality and durability
- Pull-strap wrist closure gives the player a custom fit
- Pro-grade rawhide laces add durability and help maintain the glove over time
With how many balls a catcher handles every day, they need a quality glove. The Rawlings Liberty Advanced 34” Catcher’s Mitt is an extremely durable and high-quality catcher’s mitt. Quality full-grain leather on this mitt will give the player a long-lasting glove, while the pull-strap closures on the wrist ensure a snug fit that is customized to the player.
- Full-grain leather throughout Liberty Advanced gloves
- Pull-strap closure on the wrist tailors the glove to the player
- A quick and easy break-in period
Best Outfield Glove
Best Infield Glove
Rawlings R9 Series 12.5" Fastpitch Softball Glove - 2021 Model
The all new R9 Series baseball gloves are the best gloves on the market at this price point. This series features soft, durable all-leather shells designed to be game-ready. With pro style patterns and a reinforced palm pad for impact reduction, this series is perfect for the Select player.
Best Pitcher's Glove
Best Slowpitch Softball Gloves
Slowpitch softball gloves are very similar to fastpitch softball gloves in size, but typically are constructed with slightly lower quality leathers. This is just to ensure quick break in times to adults in slowpitch leagues who only play once or twice a week. Some slowpitch gloves can sometimes be even longer and have even deeper pockets than fastpitch gloves. Below we will review the 5 best slowpitch softball gloves for 2023, based on overall quality, performance, style, durability and functionality.
1. Mizuno MVP Prime 12.5" Slowpitch Softball Glove - 2022 Model
Considerations when buying a softball glove
There are many things to consider when selecting a softball glove that will be best for you. Included in this will be glove size, web style, and leather type. Most importantly, you will want to first decide which position on the field you are going to play, then you can get started on the rest!
How to find the right size glove
Once you have decided which position you will be playing, it will be much easier to narrow down the correct size glove you will need. Infielders typically use a smaller glove to help with quick ball transfers to the throwing hand, and outfielders typically use a longer glove with a bigger web to make securely catching fly balls much easier.
Most of the time, infielders will use a glove that ranges anywhere between 11.5 – 12.5-inches. Outfielders on the other hand will use glove sizes that typically range between 12.5 – 15-inches. For a much more in-depth guide to choosing the right size glove for you, check out our baseball and softball glove sizing guide!
Are softball gloves bigger than baseball gloves?
The actual length of softball gloves tends to be fairly similar to that of baseball gloves. The main difference between the two gloves are the size of the pocket. Baseballs are 9-inches and softballs are 11-12-inches, therefore, the pocket of softball gloves are going to be bigger and deeper than that of a baseball glove.
Can you use a slowpitch glove for fastpitch softball?
Fastpitch balls are smaller than most slowpitch balls, so you would have no issue catching them with your slowpitch glove. However, fastpitch gloves tend to have higher quality leather due to higher frequency of games played on average, so it is possible a slowpitch glove would not very long if it were used in many fastpitch games.
If you are on the hunt for a new softball glove and need a little help narrowing down your choices, we have you covered. In this article we will be taking a closer look at the best softball gloves for 2023, which include fastpitch gloves, slowpitch gloves and youth softball gloves. Not only that, but we take a deeper dive into the best gloves for certain positions, such as best outfield gloves, infield gloves, and gloves for pitchers. To finish up we will answer a few commonly asked questions regarding softball gloves. Enjoy!