Great Ideas for Choosing the Perfect Softball Glove for Your Game

Softball is a sport that demands precision, skill, and the right equipment. One of the most critical tools in a player’s arsenal is their glove. Whether you’re a seasoned player or a beginner looking to take up the sport, finding the perfect softball glove can make all the difference in your performance on the field. 

Still, there are quite a few essential factors to consider when choosing the ideal glove for softball that suits your needs. Let’s help you find the right fit for you that will help you achieve peak performance.

Glove Size and Fit

Measure Your Hand

The first step in selecting the perfect glove for softball is determining the right size for your hand. Measure the circumference of your hand, starting at the base of your palm and going around the widest part of your hand. Use this measurement as a guideline when searching for a glove.

Consider Your Age and Position

Younger players typically need smaller gloves, while older players generally require larger gloves. Additionally, players in different positions have specific glove preferences. Infielders may prefer a smaller, more maneuverable glove for quick plays, while outfielders often opt for larger gloves to cover more ground.

Try Before You Buy

Whenever possible, try on gloves in-store or borrow a teammate’s glove to gauge how it feels on your hand. The perfect fit should be snug but not uncomfortable, with enough room for flexibility and movement.

softball player holding a softball with his glove

Glove Materials


Leather remains the most popular and durable material for softball mitts. Full-grain leather offers superior durability and performance, while top-grain leather strikes a balance between durability and affordability. Synthetic leather gloves are a budget-friendly alternative, though they may not last as long as genuine leather gloves.


Mesh-backed gloves provide excellent breathability, making them ideal for hot weather conditions. While they might not be as durable as full leather gloves, they offer a lighter and more flexible option, especially for younger players.

softball glove palced on a table

Webbing Styles

Closed Web

A glove with closed webbing features tightly woven leather or synthetic material, providing better ball security and concealing the ball from the batter’s view. It is commonly preferred by pitchers and infielders.

Open Web

Gloves with open webbing offer better visibility through the glove, making them ideal for outfielders who need to track fly balls. They also allow for quicker ball transfer, which can be crucial for double plays.


The H-web design combines elements of both closed and open webs, providing a balance of ball security and visibility. This style is popular among utility players who need versatility in their glove performance.

a female softball catcher catching a softball

Position-Specific Gloves

Pitcher’s Gloves

Pitchers typically use a closed-web glove to conceal their grip and maintain a competitive advantage. These gloves have a deep pocket, enabling them to hide the ball effectively.

Infielder’s Gloves

Infielders need quick hands and a secure grip on the ball for lightning-fast plays. Smaller gloves with shallow pockets allow for quick ball retrieval and better control.

Outfielder’s Gloves

Outfielders require a larger glove with a deep pocket to handle high-flying balls and cover more ground in the field.

Catcher’s Gloves

Catcher’s gloves are unique, with extra padding and a distinct shape to protect the hand from the high-speed pitches thrown by pitchers.

a female softball catcher catching a softball

Breaking in Your New Glove

Playing Catch

The most traditional method of breaking in a new glove is playing catch with a friend or teammate. Repeatedly catching and throwing the ball helps soften the leather and mould it to your hand.

Glove Conditioner

Glove conditioners or oils can be applied to the glove to speed up the breaking-in process. However, use them sparingly to avoid over-saturation and damage to the leather.

Softening Techniques

Some players use steam, hot water, or microwave methods to soften their gloves. These techniques should be approached with caution, as excessive heat can damage the glove and void the manufacturer’s warranty.

3 pairs of softball gloves placed on a softball field

Maintaining and Caring for Your Glove

Keep It Dry

Avoid leaving your glove in damp or wet conditions, as moisture can cause the leather to deteriorate. After playing in wet weather, wipe off any excess water and allow it to air dry naturally.

Clean It Regularly

Periodically clean your glove with a damp cloth to remove dirt and sweat. Avoid using harsh chemicals or soaking the glove, as this can damage the leather.

Store It Properly

When not in use, store your glove in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Avoid stacking heavy objects on top of the glove, as this can deform the pocket and shape.

The bottom line is, a softball glove is more than just a piece of equipment; it’s an extension of the player’s hand and a crucial tool for success on the field. Remember to invest time in breaking in your new glove properly and practice proper care and maintenance to ensure its longevity and optimal performance. A well-chosen and well-cared-for glove will undoubtedly enhance your performance and enjoyment of the game.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.