Markwort Steel Lacing Needles for Baseball Gloves [E9621]
Akadema 48" Rawhide Lacing [E20409]
Rawlings Players Series 9" T-Ball Glove with Ball [E100236]
Augusta Sportswear Adult Tech Gloves (pair) [E107224]
Holloway Infiltrate Dry-Excel Gloves [E107539]
Miken Koalition Series 13" Slowpitch Glove [E112884]
Rawlings Players Series 11" Youth Baseball Glove [E109156]
Youth Stars & Stripes 31" Catcher's Baseball Glove [E112998]
Holloway Bolster Dry Excel Cold Weather Gloves [E114652]
ALL-STAR Baseball Glove Lacing Kits [E14715]
Vinci Infield/Pitcher 11.5" Red Baseball Gloves [E31173]
Easton Z-Flex 10" Youth Baseball Glove ZFX 1001RB [E98348]
Holloway 100% Acrylic Rib Knit Comeback Mittens [E114655]
Louisville Slugger Omaha S5 33.5" Catchers Mitt [E108346]
Holloway 100% Acrylic Rib Knit Comeback Gloves [E97046]
Youth Stars & Stripes 12" Utility Baseball Glove [E112997]
Easton Natural Youth Fastpitch Glove NYFP 1100RB [E98443]
Rawlings Mark Of A Pro 10.5" Youth Baseball Gloves [E109151]
Louisville Slugger Omaha S5 12.75" Baseball Glove [E107925]
Easton Z-Flex 9" Youth Baseball Glove ZFX 901RB [E98343]
Miken Koalition Series 13.5" Slowpitch Glove [E112887]
Louisville Slugger Omaha S5 11.5" Baseball Glove [E108343]
Easton Natural Youth Fastpitch Glove NYFP 1200RB [E98445]
Youth Stars & Stripes 11.5" Infield/Pitcher Glove [E112996]
Louisville Slugger Omaha S5 11.75" Baseball Glove [E107929]
Youth Stars & Stripes 11" Infield/Pitcher Glove [E112995]
Decker Baby Gator 10" Training Baseball Gloves [E107241]
Louisville Slugger Omaha S5 12" Baseball Glove [E107927]
Easton Natural Youth Fastpitch Glove NYFP 1150RB [E98444]
With baseball season just around the corner, it's time to dust off your favorite baseball glove or replace your old one. Maybe your child is just starting out. Your chances of matching yourself or little leaguer with just the right glove requires a little preparation. Knowing how to select a baseball glove, how to break one in, or what the differences are between gloves, should help you get your search for the right glove off to a great start this year.
- How do I select a glove?
- How do I break in my glove?
- How do I care for my glove?
- What's the difference between a baseball glove and a softball glove?
- Can I use a softball glove for baseball?
- Are there baseball and softball gloves for women?
- What are the rules for baseball and softball gloves?
- How do I tighten my baseball or softball glove?
Select a glove that fits: Choose the right-sized glove
General Size Chart:
|4 - 6||10"|
|7 - 9||11"|
|10 - Adult||12" to 13"|
Position-specific glove sizing charts:
Tip: Make sure there is ample hand space for a batting glove to be worn inside.
Selecting a baseball glove with plenty of room is better than one that's too tight. The inside of your glove should have enough room for wearing a batting glove too. When you're shopping, try your glove on with your batting glove. You should always wear one inside your baseball glove to protect the insides from dirt and salts from your hands, which can deteriorate the leather. Your glove should also have enough padding to protect the palm area for catching balls off-center. Make sure your glove is easily adjustable to ensure a snug fit.
Your baseball glove is a part of you, and how you break it in can mean the difference between a glove that serves you well, and one you'll pitch into the trash. Getting it off to a good start will reward you with a well-performing, comfortable glove. Some baseball gloves are pre-broken in, but for a custom fit it's best to do it yourself. You'll know your new glove is broken in right when it's comfortable and performs well.
Breaking in a baseball glove can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to half a season, depending on how often you use it. With patience and a little know-how, your glove will endure many seasons. There are basically three phases to breaking in your new glove.
You'll need to:
Condition the Leather
The first thing you'll want to do when breaking in a baseball glove is to soften it. You can do this by lubricating it. A new leather glove will feel very stiff at first. You'll need to apply a special glove conditioner. Lexol and Kelley leather products are good; they condition the leather without coating it and weighing it down. Put a little of the oil on a sponge or clean cloth and apply it to the hinge and palm areas, fingers, back, and strings of your glove. Work it in, and then remove any excess oil. Lubricate your glove a couple times a year to keep it soft, and prevent cracking.
Now, work your glove. Put your glove on and flex it at the hinge, the spot that allows your glove to open and close, usually found at the base of the little finger pad, near the heel. Remove your glove, and gently keep folding your glove back and forth at the hinge. Do this several times, or as often as it takes until it softens.
Shape the Glove
Next, you'll want to shape your baseball glove. Place a ball inside the glove, and securely wrap it with a band to form a pocket, and store it overnight at room temperature. You should always store your glove when you're not using it, and get in the habit of tucking a ball in the pocket and wrapping it securely to retain its shape.
These first two phases of breaking in a baseball glove prepare your glove for use. And now you're ready to use it!
Break it in
Now you should just get out and play a lot of catch in your new baseball glove! Use your glove at least once a day, because this will help to form the pocket for a custom fit. Some people like to use a special round mallet to prepare the pocket of the glove for catching the ball. Others like to punch it. Either way, the idea is to form a nice deep pocket for catching the ball. While you're playing, keep flexing your glove at the hinges as often as you can, even between catches, until opening and closing the glove feels natural and comfortable.
Hopefully we've covered some helpful tips for breaking in a baseball glove. Remember, the three phases of breaking in your glove are: softening the leather, shaping your glove, and using it. It could take a couple weeks, or up to half a season depending on how often you use your glove. In any case, when it comes down to baseball there's nothing like a great, custom-fitting baseball glove.
Though leather baseball gloves are tough and durable, they're made from an organic hide that's naturally vulnerable to deterioration. The right baseball glove care will extend the life of your glove, and reward you with years of use.
First of all, take a look at what the glove manufacturer's care instructions say. For your general information, we've provided a few practical tips for routine maintenance for keeping your baseball glove in great shape.
Break in your glove naturally. Best way to break in your glove is to play ball with it! Don't try and force your glove using the old home remedies such as soaking, lubricating, baking, beating, etc. which will do nothing more than wreck your glove.
Make baseball glove care a routine. Regular maintenance of your glove in between uses, or at least once per season, will keep your glove in top condition.
Clean your baseball glove after each use. Remove it from your equipment bag, wipe the dirt and debris off with a clean rag, and store it on a shelf.
Store your glove between uses on a shelf in a cool dry place, or at room temperature. Don't leave your glove sitting around outside, near a heater, or in your equipment bag.
Keep your glove dry. If your glove gets wet, dry if off as well as you can with a clean absorbent rag and let it naturally air dry. Be aware that air drying tends to stiffen the leather. Don't worry; it should soften again naturally with use. Do not blow dry it, put it near a furnace, or in the dryer as this can dry the leather out and make it crack. Apply a safe leather conditioner to the glove after it has dried to soften it.
Protect the inside of your glove. Sweat and dirt from your hands can take a toll on the inside of your glove. Protect it by wearing a light glove, such as your batting glove, inside of your baseball glove.
Clean and condition your baseball glove using safe leather product, such as Lexol leather cleaner and conditioner, or Kelley Glovolution. Some people recommend using a lanolin shaving cream! Don't spit on your glove, as the material in your saliva can deteriorate it.
Reshape your glove. At least once a season place a softball in the pocket of your glove, and wrap it with a binder. Tighten or retie the laces in the fingers and web of your glove; best to use square and overhand knots.
Check in between the fingers of your gloves for open seams and palms, and check for broken laces. If you find any, have them repaired as soon as possible to prevent injury and mishaps.
How to Clean your Baseball Glove:
A little tender loving care between uses or at least once a season, and you'll have a glove that lasts you many seasons.
Here's what to do:
- Brush the dirt and dust off your glove with a light brush.
- Use a damp cloth or sponge to apply a small amount of glove leather cleaner; Lexol leather cleaner is good. Wipe the entire glove with it.
- Remove the cleaner from the glove with a damp cloth or sponge, and allow to air dry.
- Rub in an oil product safe for baseball glove leather, such as Lexol leather conditioner, Kelley Glovolution, or a lanolin-based product to the entire glove, and store.
Use too much leather cleaner or your glove will never forgive you!
Over oil, or use oil conditioners such as linseed oil, mink oil, neatsfoot oil, silicon, or petroleum-based products as the oil will to tend to close the pores and build up on the glove. Your best bet is to stick with products known to be safe for baseball glove leather, or follow your manufacturer's recommendations.
Baseball glove leather is organic and vulnerable to deterioration over time. Glove leather requires care, and regular maintenance to keep it performing well. Remember to break your glove in naturally, store at room or cool temperatures indoors after games and practices, and in between seasons. Don't heat-dry your glove, and keep it clean and conditioned with safe products - preferably those specifically designed for glove leather. With the right baseball glove care, you'll be enjoying your glove for many seasons to come!
Baseball and softball are similar games requiring similar equipment. Gloves are designed to simply retrieve the ball during games. So what's the difference between the two gloves? The main differences have to do with size and design, in order to accommodate a larger ball and a little different pitching style.
Gloves all look the same to me; what's the difference?
Baseball and softball gloves share the same basic glove features involving construction, webbing, and materials, but with variations in size. Both softball and baseball gloves are available in full-grain leather, or synthetic materials. Manufacturers of both styles of baseball make position-specific gloves, such as catchers and first baseman mitts. Baseball and softball gloves are both sized according to infield and outfield positions. You can also buy all-position gloves for both kinds of ball play.
Unlike baseball, softball gloves offer specific sizes for fastpitch and slowpitch. What's the difference between fastpitch and slowpitch softball?
Fastpitch and slowpitch softball
The difference is the speed and style of the pitch.
Fastpitch is closer to baseball and is the most competitive form of softball, played by both men and women. Underhand balls are thrown hard at speeds of up to 85 mph, and at distances of up to 46 feet. Pitchers use a windmill style of pitching the ball with a low arc.
Slowpitch is the most common recreation form of softball in which an underhand ball is pitched slower, and with a higher arc. The two styles use similar gloves, but with a few subtle differences
Fastpitch softball gloves vs. slowpitch softball gloves
Size of balls (slowpitch being a little larger than fastpitch), and pitching styles command slight design variations. Because slowpitch batters tend to hit balls toward the outfield, slowpitch gloves have slightly larger webbing and pockets to make catching easier on outfielders. Since fastpitch softballs travel more quickly, batters tend to hit ground balls in the infield more than toward the outfield, so fastpitch glove pockets are a little deeper to allow infielders to more easily catch ground balls.
Getting back to the differences between baseball and softball gloves. They mainly involve:
Softball gloves are larger in order to deal with larger balls. Widths vary from 12 to 15 inches depending on the position the glove is used for, and the style of ball. Fastpitch and slowpitch softball use different sizes of balls; balls measuring 10 to 12 inches in circumference for fastpitch, 12 to 14-inches for slowpitch, compared to baseballs measuring about 9 inches in circumference.
- Larger pockets; adult gloves range from 11-1/2 inches to 14 inches
- Fastpitch (adult)
- Infield - 11-3/4 inches to 12-1/2 inches
- Outfield - 12-1/2 inches to 13 inches
- Slowpitch (adult)
- Infield - 12 inches to 12-3/4 inches
- Outfield - 12-3/4 inches to 14 inches
Baseball gloves are smaller than softball gloves. Adult gloves range from 10-1/2 inches to 13 inches wide.
- Smaller pockets to catch baseballs measuring about 9 inches in circumference
- Infield - 10-1/2 inches to 11-1/2 inches
- Outfield - 12 inches to 13 inches
- Softball gloves have deeper, rounder pockets than baseball's glove's shallower, longer pockets. Catchers and first basemen mitts are larger and more padded.
Finger chambers, webbing, and other features
- Baseball gloves tend to have larger hand openings and finger chambers than softball gloves. Fastpitch gloves often feature Velcro straps for quick adjusting.
- Both gloves feature two kinds of webbing - open and closed. Open webbing allows others to see the ball, closed webbing allows players to hide the ball. Outfielders and third basemen tend to like open webbing, while other players such as pitchers often like it closed.
- For both kinds of gloves, quality and prices are going to vary according to manufacturer, construction, technology, and features. Generally, high-end baseball gloves tend to be pricier than premium softball gloves. The price of a baseball glove can range anywhere from $10 up to $400 or more. Whereas softball gloves start at about $20, and top off at about $200.
Yes. While you would not use a baseball glove for softball due to the softball's larger size, it is possible to use a softball glove for baseball. If you play both baseball and softball and prefer just one glove, an all-position softball glove should do the trick. Or you could buy a 12-inch baseball glove which is about the same size as an all-position softball glove. Also, a softball infielder glove is comparable to a baseball utility glove.
Yes. Baseball is not just a man's sport! With the ever-increasing popularity of women's leagues in several different countries, there are baseball and softball gloves specifically designed to fit a woman's fingers and bone structure.
Baseball (From 2012 Edition of Official Baseball Rules, published by Major League Baseball).
- The catcher's mitt may not be more than 38 inches in circumference, nor more than 15-1/2 inches from top to bottom
- Space between thumb and finger section may not be more than six inches at the top of the glove, four inches at the bottom of the thumb
- Web cannot be more than seven inches across the top; six inches from top to thumb crotch
- First baseman glove may not exceed 12 inches from top to bottom; 8 inches across the palm
- Space between thumb and finger sections cannot exceed four inches at the top of mitt, 3-1/2 inches at the base of the thumb crotch
- Web cannot exceed 5 inches from top to base of thumb crotch
- Fielders other than first baseman and catcher, may wear a glove
- Glove may not exceed 12 inches from top to heel of glove
- Cannot exceed 7-3/4 inches wide from the base of the first finger to outer edge of little finger
- Pitcher's glove (other than piping) may not be white, gray, or distracting
Softball (From Official Rules of Softball, published by the International Softball Federation Playing Rules Committee).
- Any player may wear a glove, but only the catcher and first baseman may wear mitts
- Top lacing, webbing, or other device between the thumb and the body of the glove worn by first baseman, catcher, or fielder may not exceed 5 inches in length.
- Color of the glove or mitt worn by any player can be any combination of colors provided colors are not the same as the ball.
For the safety and performance of your glove, it's important to regularly check for loose or broken laces. While your glove performs better as you break it in, over time the laces stretch or break and your glove may not fit as well. Following these simple steps can ensure that your glove and your hand remain a perfect match.
- Untie knots of loose laces one section at a time
- Pull the ends of the laces firmly, adjusting them to your comfort
- Retie each lace securely
- Continue to check your glove periodically for loose or broken laces
- Replace broken laces
At Epic Sports, we carry affordable, genuine leather replacement laces in a variety of lengths, as well as lacing needles to get the job done with ease. Check out our complete line of accessories at our baseball glove menu!