Synthetic Vs Leather Baseball Gloves | Which One is Better

Baseball is one of the most popular sports among kids and adults alike in the country. Now, skill and dedication can only get you so far in the game – you also need to make sure you are equipped well for it. And to play the game, there’s one piece of equipment that you can’t go without – your baseball glove.

The thing is, there are a lot of gloves – at least enough to easily overwhelm any newcomer to the sport. And one of the first dilemmas you will face in your hunt for the best baseball glove is choosing between synthetic vs leather baseball gloves.

On the one side, leather is the classic material for gloves offering amazing durability and control. And then you have synthetic leather gloves that often feature an unbeatable and require no breaking in. So, which one do you go for? What does one glove offer that the other one doesn’t?

Well, to know that, you need to dig deep. And that’s where I aim to lend a helping hand. In this article, I will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of both leather and synthetic baseball gloves and help you figure out which one is the better fit for you. So, let’s get started.

Synthetic Vs Leather Baseball Gloves – Comparison

If you want a clearer picture of the two types of gloves, you can read through the entire article. I discuss the perks and pitfalls of both glove types in detail. However, not a lot of people need so much detail. So, this is basically a TLDR.

Synthetic Vs Leather Baseball Gloves

First of all, you need to figure out exactly what it is that you are trying to get out of the glove that you want to buy. As you can see, there are some strengths and weaknesses to both material types. So, focus on the strengths, and you will have a better idea of which glove is the right choice.

· Durability

Leather glove wins over synthetic gloves by a mile when it comes to durability. If you treat your glove well, you can easily make your leather glove last a couple of seasons even when you use it regularly. And with synthetic gloves, you will be lucky to make it last a full season.

· Ease of Maintenance

Leather gloves require a lot of maintenance. You need to condition them regularly and store your gloves in their proper place. In comparison, synthetic gloves require no such maintenance at all. But after a while, though, synthetic gloves will start to wear out.

· Break-in Period

Most leather gloves out there require a bit of breaking in before it becomes comfortable in your hands. On the other hand, synthetic gloves are game-ready the moment you take them out of the box.

· Water resistance

While both synthetic and leather gloves can resist water, too much exposure can damage your leather gloves. Synthetic gloves typically are not harmed when exposed to water.

· Overall Feel

A leather glove feels better in your hand after you break it in. But the quality of the leather also matters here. One of the main downsides of synthetic leather gloves is that they don’t feel as good as real leather gloves.

· Price

While there certainly are some affordable leather gloves out there, synthetic gloves generally cost a lot less. So if budget is your main concern, synthetic gloves take the cake.

Leather Baseball Gloves (An In-depth Discussion)

Traditionally, leather has been the material of choice for most players and glove manufacturers. As the name suggests, leather gloves are made from animal leather, such as cowhide, steer hide, or even Kip. The manufacturers treat the leather and shape it into a glove for you to buy.

Leather Baseball Gloves

Leather gloves are known for their durability and control, making them a must-have if you want to play the sport at a professional level. And a hidden feature of a leather baseball glove is that the more you play with it, the better it feels in your hand. The leather starts molding to the shape of your hand over time, giving you a better grip and control.

Leather gloves can also resist water to some extent. However, if you keep exposing your leather glove to wet conditions, it will start absorbing the moisture and get heavier after a while. And while leather gloves are pretty durable, they require a lot of maintenance.

For instance, you need to know to take care of your baseball gloves the right way if you want to make your leather glove last. Proper storage is essential for this type of glove, and if you are the type to simply toss your glove in the locker after a game or a practice session, then your glove will not survive for long.

Now leather gloves can come in different price ranges depending on the quality of the leather. A high-end baseball glove can easily cost you upwards of 300 dollars. But if you want something affordable, you can also find cheap leather gloves that cost under a hundred dollars.

That being said, though, most of the leather gloves out there cost significantly more than synthetic leather gloves. So, if you are on a tight budget and you cannot afford to spend close to a hundred bucks, a synthetic glove might be the better choice for you.

Synthetic Baseball Gloves (An In-depth Discussion)

On the other end of the spectrum, you get synthetic leather gloves, which some might say are the perfect entry-level baseball gloves for beginners. These gloves are a lot cheaper than real leather gloves, which begs the question – is it even worth buying?

Well, yes, to some people. Of course, if you want to play at a competitive level, I wouldn’t recommend going with a synthetic baseball glove. They are not as durable as their leather counterparts. But they do bring some nice advantages to the table.

Synthetic Baseball Gloves

I’ve already said that they are cheaper than leather gloves. But apart from that, they also come with virtually no break-in time. That means you can start using the glove comfortably the moment you get your hands on it. And since they are quite flexible out of the box, they also feel quite comfortable.

Now, I don’t want to set your expectations up too high, though the feel of this type of glove still pales compared to the grip and response you will get with a real leather baseball glove. Another benefit of this type of glove is that they are highly water resistant.

Since synthetic gloves are made with materials like vinyl, nylon, or artificial leather that can repel water, you won’t have to worry about damaging your glove if you play out in the rain.

Of course, the main disadvantage of a synthetic glove is that it’s not as durable as leather gloves. They wear out pretty fast, and you might have to switch to a new glove near the end of the season. On the bright side, though, they don’t require as much maintenance as leather gloves.

In fact, even if you toss your glove in the locker after you are done using it for the day, it should be fine. You don’t have to deal with the material drying up which is pretty common with leather gloves that are not properly maintained. So, for casuals who just want to play the game, these gloves are pretty great.

Now That We’re Here

To be honest, there is a world of difference between a synthetic and a leather baseball glove, and anyone who has tried out both types knows it. And though most will agree that leather gloves are, in fact, better, synthetic gloves in the right situation are also quite impressive.

For instance, it doesn’t seem very practical for a casual player who wants to simply play a game or two over the weekends to spend hundreds of dollars on a high-quality leather baseball glove. For him, going with a decent synthetic baseball glove under 50 dollars would definitely be the better option.

That being said, if you are someone who takes his games seriously or plays in high-school or adult leagues, then synthetic baseball gloves shouldn’t even be an option for you. While they are great for the casuals, for a serious player, they are little more than a fun little gimmick.

I hope my in-depth comparison between synthetic and leather baseball gloves could help eliminate any confusion you had between the two types of gloves. Now you should have an easier time picking out the perfect glove for yourself. Cheers!

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