Difference Between a Baseball Glove and Softball Glove

While baseball gloves and softball gloves may look a lot alike, they are actually very different. Softball gloves are not exactly the same as baseball gloves, and if you are going to be playing these sports, it’s important to know the difference between the two. 

Choosing the best glove can help you play better baseball, and softball. So when the time comes to choose between the two, be sure to keep these points below in mind.

Size

One of the biggest differences between softball gloves and baseball gloves is the size. If you look at both types of gloves, the size difference becomes quite obvious. 

Softball gloves are two to three inches larger than an average baseball glove, which has a lot to do with the fact that softballs are larger than baseballs. 

Baseball players use a smaller glove to catch the smaller ball, but softball players need to use a larger glove to catch the ball.

Webbing

The webbing of these gloves is also different. Most softball gloves have more webbing, or webbing that is larger and more spread out, than baseball gloves. 

Because softballs are so large, it takes a larger area to catch and hold onto the ball. You may not be able to see a big difference in the webbing, but when you open the baseball glove or slip your hand inside, you will notice that the baseball glove web is different to the softball glove webbing. 

Design

The overall design of baseball gloves and softball gloves can be very different too—some gloves have a clear design difference and others are more subtle. 

You may notice that a baseball glove has a tighter, more compact design, while the softball glove is more spread out. 

The pocket of a regulation baseball glove is narrow and long. A regulation softball glove is short and slightly more narrow in the pocket than the baseball mitt, with a deeper pocket.

Openings

The openings in a softball mitt and baseball glove are also different. The opening of softball gloves is usually smaller because they tend to be worn more by women. 

Women have smaller hands, so it’s important for the opening to be small so the softball glove doesn’t slip off the hand while playing and running around the softball field. 

This is also important for softball pitchers with fastpitch gloves. The larger ball doesn’t affect the opening, but the deeper pocket can help make the glove fit tighter. 

A tighter-fitting glove for fastpitch softball players can mean a smaller opening.

Since baseball gloves are more likely to be worn by men, the openings are often larger, to fit their hands more easily. Glove size can vary by baseball player or softball player, but the openings tend to stay about the same size. 

A typical baseball glove will have a larger opening but still fit well around a player’s hand.

A velcro strap is usually found on both gloves to help tighten or loosen the gloves to fit as needed. 

Some gloves also have hook-and-loop closures that allow players to adjust them to find the best glove fit. An outfield glove should fit snugly so players can move around and toss the ball quickly during the game. 

Preference

While there is a difference between a baseball glove and a softball glove, that doesn’t mean players can’t wear the glove they like the most. A softball catcher’s gloves, as well as pitchers’ gloves, tend to have more specific designs; however, baseball and softball players have a right to choose the gloves they feel the most comfortable with. 

That could mean wearing baseball and softball gloves for the opposite sports.

Softball and baseball gloves are similar enough that baseball players can use a softball glove without any problem; similarly, softball players can use a baseball glove if they choose. 

The shallow pocket and closed webbing of a baseball glove will still allow players to catch a larger softball. Although a softball glove can have a closed web, baseball players can still use them to catch a baseball with ease.

Baseball and softball gloves are easily interchangeable for games. As long as you have the sports equipment that fits well and feels the most comfortable to you, the main difference between a baseball glove and softball glove isn’t necessarily important. 

Where To Shop

Whether you decide to buy a baseball glove or a softball glove, you will need to research where to buy the best glove.

Check out the sporting goods stores near you where you’ll find a wide variety of softball and baseball gloves. 

It’s easy to find a baseball glove and a softball glove that will fit well, regardless of different hand sizes. If you are having a hard time choosing the correct glove, rather ask a store employee to help you find the one that fits best so you can perform well in your games.

Having the perfect glove plays a huge role in game performance, so take your time and be sure to understand the main differences between both types of gloves before you go shopping for one.

How To Choose The Right Glove 

When the time comes to choose the right glove, you need to think about all the points above. Knowing which gloves have pockets that run deeper, are slightly longer, or significantly larger, can help you decide which type you need. 

Remember, that while there are many differences between baseball and softball gloves, the main differences are in how they fit. 

You may also want to think about the material of the glove. While leather is the most common material used, there are also some synthetic options. 

The material can determine how comfortable the softball glove or baseball glove feels when you are wearing it. 

Price is also something to keep in mind when choosing the ideal glove for your game. If you plan to play ball on a budget, you will want to choose an affordable option that will allow you to perform well whether playing softball or baseball. 

If you need to choose one type of glove for both sports, choose a softball glove that has closed webs, or a larger web, so it can catch a softball more easily.

Versatility can also be a big factor to consider when choosing the best glove. The pocket of both types of gloves can be different, but only one works best for all balls and both types of games. 

A larger softball will not fit in a baseball glove as easily. Also keep in mind that a softball glove will have a pocket with more padding, so the balls are less likely to hurt your hand when they hit the leather. 

This can be particularly helpful to infielders who are catching a ball at closer range and full force. Some people don’t mind feeling the ball hit inside the glove, but others start to feel pain if they play often or when they are first starting out and using a new glove.

Conclusion

Knowing the differences between baseball gloves and softball gloves can help you choose the best one for your ball game. Infielders and outfielders alike need to consider everything about both types of gloves so they can choose the one with the right pocket, fit, and padding to help them play better. 

The next time you are looking for a glove for a game, be sure to keep the above tips in mind.