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Baseball

Best Softball Glove

Softball gloves are manufactured in a variety of sizes, designs, and types. They can be made for a specific position of for a certain level you play. You can find gloves for under $20 or over $200. For young players just starting out, there is no need to spend anywhere near $100. A good, basic glove can be purchased for around $30 or $40 that will allow the young player to properly learn the game. However, if you are an advanced player, you will most likely want a glove that is made of top-quality leather and offers innovative features. These gloves will cost you quite a bit more.

When buying a glove, the first thing yo should do is determine the level of play – beginner or advanced, beer league or competitive travel team. Next, you can look for gloves that are specific to the type of softball – fastpitch or slowpitch – but these gloves are really interchangeable and can be used for both if needed. Your next consideration is budget. How much can you afford to spend? Even if you are playing on a competitive team, you still want to stay within your budget. Forcing your family to go without food for a week so you can have a top-of the-line glove is not worth it! Many good gloves can be found in the $75- $125 range.

After determining your budget, figure out what position you will usually play. Gloves can be different for infielders and outfielders, and first basemen and catchers have their own specific gloves (though slowpitch catchers do not really need a catchers mitt). Then you can decide what style you want. Styles include, closed or open back, deep or shallow pocket, a variety of web styles, and different type of wrist adjustments. These are generally a matter of personal preference – so know what you like before you buy.

Once you have your new glove, make sure to break it in properly. Use some good glove oil, play catch for a few days before you use in a game, and treat your glove with loving care at all times. It is your best friend in the field. Now that you know how to buy a new glove, check out our lists for some great information on the best gloves on the market today.

Nokona X2 Elite Fastpitch Softball Catchers Mitt RHT X2F-3250C

The Nokona X2 Elite Fastpitch catcher's mitt is the highest performance glove on the market. The X2 is made from a proprietary blend of Stampede cowhide leather, a new full grain, full oil steer hide leather, and Kangaroo leather which is strong, durable and light weight. The leather blend means less break-in time for the glove, since it’s softer than most other glove leathers, but durable and will stand up to repeated use.

The X2 is also made using the Nokona Nolera Composite padding system, which offers an extra thick area of padding giving players extra cushion for the high speed pitches received at this position. Made using the Texas trap webbing, this unique webbing allows the mitt to wrap around the ball when it comes in contact with the webbing, keeping it in the glove.

Unlike other gloves, when catcher's are blocking a low pitch, the Nokona does not flex backwards, keeping the ball from getting past the pitcher. This gives catcher's better catching performance. The top of the line glove does come with a top of the line price around $450, but offers the best performance, quality and durability on the market.

Louisville Slugger FGXPBN5 Xeno Pro Brown Catchers Glove

The Louisville Slugger Xeno Pro fastpitch catcher's mitt is another great choice for catcher's. Made using double oiled premium grade buffalo leather, the mitt is soft for easy break-in but durable and will hold up season after season. It is made using fastpitch player patters, for maximum performance. The mitt also has full leather linings for a professional feel and added comfort.

Made using a closed back and velcro strap keep the mitt in place during every fast pitch, solid throw and passed ball. The unique H web is an engineered large deep pocket to expand catching range, giving players the largest area possible to trap the ball. It comes with a soft lining and extra padding to absorb the sting of pitches and bad hops. The Xeno Pro is ready to use right off the shelf, with minimal break in.

Nokona Buckaroo Closed Web Fastpitch BKF-3250

The Nokona Buckaroo BKR-3250 is one of the best fastpitch catcher's mitts on the market. A  Nokona blends Walnut Crunch and Kangaroo leather which makes for a lightweight, yet sturdy glove. Walnut Crunch is a unique leather made from steer hide that is thick and strong enough to add body to the glove to give it a solid, yet deep pocket, while the Kangaroo leather makes the glove light weight and increases durability. It has a closed web and backing with a deep Texas trap web. When a ball hits the mitt, it wraps around the ball, keeping it in the glove.

Unlike other gloves when catcher's are blocking a low pitch, the Nokona does not flex backwards, allowing it to get past the pitcher and translates to better performance. It also features shaped and reinforced padding designed specifically for fastpitch playing which makes scooping easy and is also versatile enough to be used at first base. The Buckaroo is a favorite among Division 1 college athletes and elite players.

Easton Core Series ECGFP 2000 Fastpitch Catchers Mitt

The Easton 33 is a high quality fastpitch catcher's mitt made using professional grade leather. It is a prosoft leather engineered using fastpitch specific patterns, including the frequency of where the ball lands, palm and hand movement. The leather is durable and will last for several seasons. The Easton 33 is also made using USA-tanned rawhide laces, a prograde lacing with 100-pound tensile strength. This means the lacing is strength tested giving the glove high quality durability.

The Easton 33 also features extra layers of leather providing padding to the palm to avoid sting and bruising, especially since catchers see the ball more often than other positions. The velcro wrist feature keeps the glove locked down with less movement during play and will help it fit smaller hands for the best stability and comfort. The webbing, while not as trap focused, is a solid split web design to help catcher's trap balls consistently.

Mizuno Classic Fastpitch GSX33

The Mizuno Classic GSX33 Fastpitch catcher's glove is made using a high quality throwback leather that is naturally pre-oiled. This gives the glove a rugged, durable fit with a natural softness that will hold its shape through years of use. The Classic Series is engineered using fastpitch patterns, creating wrist and finger stalls that are uniquely designed for the female hand. Constructed with vertically laced heel and pre-curved felt, not only make it easier for players to break-in the glove, but also secure the ball when caught.

The Classic GSX33 also features a deep pocket designed for the larger ball and will help prevent passed balls and hold the ball at each catch. Ultra soft Para Shock pro-palm liner offers catcher's shock absorption and comfort, softness and excellent fit to prevent stinging during catching. The Power Lock is a Mizuno feature that offers comfort and most secure fit on the hand to prevent slippage and movement.

Nokona Buckaroo Black Softball Glove

The Nokona Buckaroo Black BKF-117-BLK fastpitch softball glove is a top of the line glove made using a blend of Walnut Crunch and kangaroo leather. The Walnut Crunch leather is a high-quality, steer hide leather that makes for a lightweight yet sturdy glove. Additionally, the durability of this specialized leather provides the glove a firm body and form for a solid pocket. The kangaroo leather meanwhile ensures the glove is strong and durable enough to stand up to the rigors of repetitive plays. The Buckaroo series is engineered using fastpitch specific patterns, features a deep H-web pocket to field the ball easier (while reducing break in time), and includes a Ristankor closure strap to ensure the glove is secured to the hand with a snug fit. This stellar glove is made in both infield and outfield versions.

Wilson A2000 IF-SS Superskin Infield Fastpitch Softball Glove

The Wilson A2000 softball glove is made using durable pro-stock leather with Super Skin which makes the glove lighter. The dual post web design offers players a versatile pocket which is great for dual position players such as middle fielders and pitchers. Wilson also makes good use of their Custom Fit System with this selection to accurately determine hand positioning in the glove for added comfort and ease of use. The Rebuilt Comfort Velcro Wrist closures offer players a secure fit and the DriLex lining wicks moisture from the wrist to prevent slipping and chaffing. The D-fusion pad gives players a no-sting area for added comfort and protection from the impact of fast balls.

Nokona X2 Elite Series 1200 Baseball Glove

The Nokona X2F-1200 Elite is made using a combination of Nokona proprietary Stampede and Kangaroo leathers. The Stampede is high-quality steer hide leather which lends good structure and overall stability to the glove while the kangaroo leather makes for a much more durable glove. It features the Nolera Composite Padding System to lessen the sting of balls hit hard to the player, an added comfort for players in specific positions where this is most likely to happen. Nokona is one of the few gloves that boasts a short break-in time, advertising the gloves as being ready right off the shelf; in fact, most players will only have to spend a weekend breaking them in. The X2 also features a strap closure to ensure the glove stays put on the hand while the closed back and closed web help make this glove a long-lasting glove offering top fielding performance.

Louisville Slugger Xeno Pro

The durable Louisville Slugger Xeno Pro is made using double-oiled, premium leather for unmatched softness and pliability. This glove was designed using player-preferred, fastpitch patterns which creates a unique shape based on the movements of these particular players. The glove also features full leather linings for a high quality feel with a closed back with stay-put Velcro strap. There’s also a checkmate web which offers players a deep pocket that translates to high performance during fielding. Lastly, the quality of this selection leather surpassing most other options, giving players a glove that will stand up to the rigors of repeated use.

12.5" Core Series Fastpitch Glove by Easton

The Easton ECGFP1250 (IF/IOPitcher) fastpitch softball glove is a quality glove made using pro soft steer hide leather to make the glove durable while allowing for an easy break-in period. It’s engineered using fastpitch specific patterns and hand movements to ensure the best performance game after game. Versatile enough for infield, outfield, and pitchers to use, the gloves also features a wide deep pocket design also ensures consistency during fielding for easy softball scooping. This glove has been made using USA-tanned rawhide pro-grade laces which offer 100 pound tensile strength for unmatched strength and comfort with every play you make.

Martha Garcia
Martha Garcia is a freelance writer living in the greater Los Angeles area. She is passionate about health and sports. She has played softball and basketball for more than 20 years, using her love of the sports to coach both boys and girls teams of all ages, and continues to play co-ed softball managing a local team. She enjoys learning about new things, staying healthy and active and inspiring others to improve their lives.
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