At first glance, you wouldn’t think there’s a lot to getting a new baseball glove. However, once you dig deep and try to get a glove that meets your every requirement and gives you the best playing experience possible, you will notice how things get complicated.
A baseball glove has a lot of small sections that enhance certain aspects of the game. For example, the webbing in the glove decides how quickly you can pick up the ball, how easily you can catch it, or even how fast you can throw it to the bases. Needless to say, you need to think about the web design carefully when you are buying a new glove.
So, let’s talk about webbing. Or rather, let’s talk about two specific webbing types – the I-web and the H-web. Why? Because people often seem to confuse the two web designs, and since they are pretty similar looking, I understand the misconception.
But then again, there are quite a lot of differences between them. I’m going to highlight the key differences between I-web and H-web so that you have an easier time deciding between the two web types.
I-web vs H-web Baseball Gloves: Quick Overview
Here’s a brief chart outlining the core differences between the two webbing types. However, the chart does not include details. Read more to know the full story. But for a shorter version, that’ll help.
|Grip||Weak due to shallow pocket||Better due to deep pocket|
|Flexibility||Better used for infield||Can be used for both infield and outfield|
|Size||11-12 inches||11.75-12.75 inches|
What Is An I-Web Baseball Glove?
An I-web glove gets its name because the webbing closely resembles the English alphabet “I.” Basically, in this design, you get two horizontal leather strips in the palm area with a single vertical leather stripe connecting them through the center. This is an open web design that allows the player to transfer the ball quickly from the glove to the throwing hand.
I-web gloves are almost exclusively used by middle infielders only. If you are a middle infielder who doesn’t like using a closed/basket web glove, then an I-web glove is perfect for you. This glove webbing also lets you scoop the ball easily from the ground and block out the sun’s glare if you are catching a fly ball.
What Is An H-Web Baseball Glove?
The H-web design is also known as dual post webbing. While middle infielders prefer going with an I-web glove, the H-web is the choice of webbing for most outfielders and third basemen. In this design, there are two vertical strips of leather on the palm area, and a single horizontal leather strip connects them through the center. When you think about it – it’s pretty similar to the I-web design.
Similar to I-webs, the H-web gloves also allow you to block out the glare from the Sun. But it has a deeper pocket which means you will be able to catch and grip the ball with better efficiency. Outfielders like using it since it lets them catch fly balls with less effort.
What are the Differences between H-web and I-web gloves?
The H-web and I-web gloves are pretty similar in design. For one thing, both of them are open-web designs. And of all the baseball glove web types, these two are the only ones named after an alphabet.
But in baseball, even the slightest bit of difference can mean a lot. Now that you understand the basic design of the two types of webbing, let’s talk about what sets them apart.
· Player Position
The main difference between the two webs is how they are used by players playing in different positions. While the I-web is used solely by middle infielders, the H-web is used by many outfielders and third basemen. A middle infielder with an H-web glove will have a hard time relaying the ball.
An H-web glove offers a better grip due to its deeper pocket compared to an I-web glove. The sturdy and flexible design of the H-web makes it easier for you to capture the ball and reduces the chance of fumbles. That’s why most outfielders prefer going with this design.
· Ball Transfer
Relaying the ball is not necessary for all defensive positions in baseball. But when it comes to middle infielders, it is necessary to throw the ball as fast as possible to the bases when you catch. Due to the openness of the I-web design, transferring the ball is much easier with it once you scoop it out off the ground.
While both of the web designs keep the glove pretty flexible, the H-web edges ahead only slightly. This is mostly credited to the fact that an H-web glove comes with a deeper pocket.
Can You use I-web as an outfielder?
Frankly, you can use any glove for any position if you are playing the game casually. I mean, nobody is there to bench you if you mess up, right? But for a player involved in competitive baseball, it’s different. You would want a glove that is specifically designed for your playing position.
In that case, no, using an I-web glove as an outfielder is really not a wise idea. Since an I-web glove has a shallow pocket, you will have a hard time gripping high balls even if you manage to catch them.
With the key differences out of the way, let me address some of the common questions people have asked me in the past about I-web and H-web gloves. If you want to know more about baseball gloves and their small nuances, I would recommend giving my blog a read.
Are H-web gloves good?
Yes, H-web gloves are pretty great if you are playing on the outfield or as a third baseman. Its deep pocket, flexible yet sturdy structure, and ability to block out the glare from the Sun all come in handy when you are playing in those specific positions. And the gripping strength of this type of web is also pretty impressive.
However, this glove is not meant for any other positions apart from the third basemen and the outfield. So, if you are playing in any other position with an H-web glove, you will not have a very good experience with it.
Is an H-web good for the outfield?
Yes, it is. The ideal glove for outfielders is one that comes with an open webbing that lets them track the ball in the air through the glove while blocking the light and has a deep pocket that helps them grip the ball when they catch it. The H-web design allows the glove to do both things at once, making it a great choice for outfielders.
The modified trapeze or closed web can also be a valid alternative for an outfielder, but H-web is significantly better if you ask me.
Now That We’re Here
When I first started carefully considering the different sections of a glove, I got pretty overwhelmed. I won’t lie – there’s a lot to learn here. And if you are just starting out your baseball career, it’s okay if you don’t get it all on your first try.
But it is important to learn and gather as much knowledge as you can. Understanding the smaller sections, such as the glove webs or the glove inlays, will help you choose a glove that serves you better and helps you become a better player.
Think of it this way – even if you get the most expensive baseball glove in the market, it will not help you much if you are not playing in that position. Instead, going with a high-quality glove that’s catered to your playing position will help you perform better in the long run.
I hope my discussion on the differences between I-web and H-web could help you shed some of the confusion that might have haunted you about it. You should now be able to understand why people put their hours in with one type of glove. Cheers!