If you’ve been in the field for a long time, you already know. But if you’re just walking in, let me tell you that fastpitch and slow-pitch softball are entirely different games.
So, if the game is different, logic dictates that the gloves should be different as well, right? Not necessarily.
Apart from fastpitch catcher’s gloves, the usual fielder’s gloves are pretty much the same. However, there’s a slight difference in the outfielder’s gloves.
Anyways, I’m going to explain all the nitty-gritty about the difference between fastpitch and slowpitch softball gloves.
So, you can understand what to expect from specific gloves. And once you’ve learned the ropes, be ready to own the field.
What’s the Difference Between Fastpitch and Slowpitch Softball Gloves?
Since we are dealing with two different types of gloves, let me segregate them for you and be as clear as possible.
If you are a fastpitch catcher, then you will be dealing with balls coming in at a speed higher than 60 mph.
So, without a doubt, you need to be equipped with heavily padded mitts. These mitts will in handy in two ways-
- It will cushion the blow when the ball hits the glove, thus giving you the protection and support you will need.
- Since they are bigger in size, it will improve the accuracy and the rate at which you can catch the balls, especially the ground balls.
- If you are an outfielder, you will be catching the ball from a long distance so, to catch them easily you will need a glove with a larger pocket. Preferably, 12 inches or higher.
- If you are an infielder, for example, second base, shortstop, or third base, you can use a relatively smaller glove. You can go for sizes between 11.5 in. to 12 in.
When it comes to what type of glove you want to buy for fastpitch play, you need to pay attention to its quality. The reason behind this is, your glove will be exposed to a lot of wear and tear so a second-hand or a poor-quality glove may not last very long.
Try to get one that is made out of full-grain leather or a steerhide one. You can experiment with it and can see the results yourself.
Note – A word of advice, since you are fast pitching the ball, the way you will be able to win the game is if you are able to hide your grip on the ball. That is a dead giveaway to the hitter. So, to keep them in a state of confusion, get a glove with a closed web.
Here, you don’t necessarily need any additional padding as you do in the fastpitch. Since you will be handling the blunt tosses from the pitcher or the occasional catch from one of the fielders, you are free to use either a fielder’s glove or a utility mitt.
Whether you are an infielder or an outfielder, the dimensions for the gloves are the same as that of a fastpitch.
According to the regulation of the ASA, softballs that are between 14 in. to 16 in. can be used for slow-pitch. So, naturally, you will need a glove with a bigger size. So, grab the largest glove you can get your hands on!
For slowpitch softball gloves you can go in for a nice pair of synthetic leather gloves. They are quite cheap and will last you for a long while.
Can You Use Fastpitch Softball Glove for Slowpitch?
Although in lower league games, the players generally use the same pair of gloves for fastpitch and slowpitch. This applies to some extent only if you are a catcher. But, if you are a pitcher, then the story is different, you need specific gloves for the fastpitch game.
A fast-pitch softball pitcher has to conceal the ball from the hitter. If the seams are visible, then you are tipping off the hitter the way you are pitching. So, to avoid leaking the information, your glove needs to have solid webbing, something that you don’t find in a slow-pitch glove.
In a slow-pitch game, as the name suggests, you will be pitching the ball slowly so it doesn’t matter if the hitter gets a hint of how you are going to throw.
What Type of Glove Do I Need for The Game?
As I mentioned a couple of times, quality always precedes quantity. Once you equip yourself with the right kind of gear, you win half of the battle.
Not only does it improve your accuracy in the game, but you also feel more in control of your actions which, trust me, is a very important factor. Below, I would like to mention some of my favorite gloves that I believe will serve you well.
My Favorite Fastpitch Softball Glove
Wilson A2000 Fastpitch Glove Series
If you are looking for a sleek sporty looking glove that’ll also handle the pressure of fastpitch softball, the A2000 series is the one to look into. It is available for both right- and left-hand throws. And, also for different positions, such as – infield, outfield, pitcher, and utility.
For age groups between 8 to 9 years, glove sizes between 11” to 12” are available. And for `12 years above, you can find- 11.5″ – 12″ for infield, 12″ – 12.5″ for the outfield, 12″ – 12.5″ for the pitcher, and only 12″ for utility positions.
The material is, of course, made out of leather. In fact, it is Pro Stock Leather, to be exact. This particular type of leather is twice stronger than the regular ones. And, it has SuperSkin that makes it half as heavy as the usual gloves. So, you can wear it for hours without feeling the brunt of its weight. Moreover, it is very durable and will definitely weather the storm.
The glove has Victory web and you can break in easily. The glove is styled in three different patterns. First, in black and white model with Vegas Gold outer lining. Second, in white and navy with red outer lining. And the last, in white and grey.
For the glove to fit your wrist, there is a Velcro closure. With this, you needn’t worry about having a petite wrist, you can wear the glove as tight as you want and still feel comfortable.
If you are wondering about the padding, then don’t worry, it has honeycomb cell padding which makes it very flexible and has no sting catch zone. For the outfielder glove, there is dual welting for a well-dented pocket.
- Glove Type: Infield/Outfield/Pitcher
- Material: Pro Stock Leather
- Size: 11”- 12.5”
- Hand Orientation: Right- and Left-hand throw
My Favorite Slow-pitch Softball Glove
Rawlings Player Preferred Glove Series
Sometimes I like it when my glove has an ‘old-school’ touch to it. For slow pitching, the Rawlings Glove series is great. It is brown in color and is available for adults.
Although it is not necessary for a slow-pitch glove to have additional padding, this series, however, has zero-shock palm padding to protect your hand from impact while catching. Also, it is already 80% factory break-in, so you can easily break in completely and get it ready in time for the game.
It has a conventional back and Velcro loop strap so you can adjust the tightness of the glove. You can also get the strap customized. If you are more comfortable using a pull strap, then you can easily get one. Just make sure that you get the one that is the most convenient for you.
Coming to the material, it is made out of leather entirely, even the laces are made out of leather. The outer shell is both soft and flexible. The same goes for the inner lining. These factors not only make it easy for you to wear but also boost your performance rate while playing.
Both right- and left-hand throwing gloves are available. As for the webbing, for the 12″ size, it is basket web; for 12.5″, it is a single post double bar; for 13″ you have Pro H web, and for the 33″ there is 1-piece solid web.
- Glove Type: Infield/Outfield/Pitcher/Catcher
- Material: Full-grain Leather
- Size: 12-14” (33” for Catcher’s mitt)
- Hand Orientation: Right- and left- hand throw
A Few Words of Wisdom
Now that you know what is the difference between fastpitch and slow-pitch softball gloves, I’d still like to a little recap before I leave. So, before you purchase your glove, you need to be sure what type of game you are choosing it for.
Because if it is a slow pitch game, then the size, the padding and the webbing of the glove do not make much of a difference. But, if it’s for a fastpitch then the story is different. You need a well-pocketed, closely webbed, and padded glove.
I have mentioned a top fastpitch softball glove as well as a slow pitch one. So, you can either get one from here or just check out some fastpitch softball glove reviews when you get the time.
I hope I’ve covered everything there is about the differences between fast-pitch and slow-pitch gloves. Hope you can use this info to up your game. Cheers!