A baseball glove is arguably the most important accessory for most players. But despite that, most players have little to no knowledge about the different parts of a baseball glove.
For example, not many people know what an inlay is on a baseball glove, nor do people understand its function. Take my word for it, though – it’s a game-changer when it comes to the feel of the glove.
In short, the inlay is a small strip of leather inserted into the finger areas for durability and shape retention.
However, since you are here, I can assume that you want to learn more, and I respect that. So, in this article, I will delve further into the subject and give you a clearer idea of the different parts of the glove, including inlay. With that said, let’s hop in.
What Are The Parts Of A Baseball Glove?
Generally speaking, a baseball glove consists of six parts. So, before I talk about the inlay and what it does, let me talk a bit about the main sections of a baseball glove.
For many players, webbing is the most important part of the glove. The web in a baseball glove is a tightly woven piece of leather that connects the fingers and the gloves. When you catch a ball using a baseball glove, you are, in fact, catching it on the web.
Baseball gloves can feature different web designs to give you an edge depending on your preferred playing position. Take a look at my article on different baseball glove web types if you want to know more about it.
The hinge section of the glove allows you to open or close it.
The lacings are there to help the glove retain its shape and improve its break-in. Typically, baseball gloves come with leather lacings.
The heel refers to the lower part of the glove when you are looking at the palm. Its primary purpose is to protect your hand against impact.
The palm is considered a separate section that sits just above the heel. It comes with thick padding to protect your hand.
· Wrist Adjustment:
The wrist adjustment is an optional part of a baseball glove that allows you to do exactly what it says – adjust the fitting around the wrist. However, this section is not available in entry-level baseball gloves.
What Is Glove Inlay On A Baseball Glove?
While inlays are not present in all baseball gloves, that doesn’t mean they are not important. In fact, if you want a truly high-end baseball glove that will last you a few seasons easily, it’s best to get a glove with inlays. So that begs the question – what exactly is it, and what does it even do?
Simply put, the inlay on a baseball glove refers to a small leather strip that is inserted into the gloves, more specifically, the finger areas. The main purpose of the glove inlay is to reinforce critical wear areas and boost the longevity of your baseball glove.
Apart from boosting durability, the inlay also adds a bit of stiffness to the glove. Now you should already know all about how baseball gloves lose their shape over time. Because of the added stiffness that comes from the inlay, the glove can retain its shape for longer.
On top of that, the glove inlay also offers some level of protection in the thumb, pinky, and index finger areas for the player. These are the three fingers that typically come with inlays. And since it’s essentially an extra layer of leather padding, it can protect your fingers from the impact of catching the ball.
The inlay can also help when you are breaking in your new glove. Since the inlay keeps the glove in shape, you will be able to break it in faster without damaging the leather. This is something that doesn’t get talked about too often, but personally, it’s one of the main reasons why I love a glove with inlays.
So long story short – if you want your glove to last longer and retain its shape, then going with one that has glove inlays is a great idea. It’s also quick to break in and offers better protection for your fingers when you are playing.
What Is A Kip Palm Liner On A Baseball Glove
These days, many manufacturers allow the user to customize their baseball gloves when they are buying one to help the player get the most out of their investment. This means you often get the option to modify the webbing, the lacing, or sometimes even the palm line in your new glove.
Now, many players prefer to go with Kip leather Palm liner for their new gloves instead of the standard sheep skin or cowhide leather that often comes with it as an upgrade. For those that don’t know, Kip leather is the best type of leather there is. In fact, between Kip leather and Steerhide leather, I would probably go with Kip.
Kip leather is softer, easier to break in, lighter, and also lasts a lot longer than other types of leather. But then again, a Kip leather glove is pretty expensive. So, while everyone wants one, not everyone can afford it.
Going with a Kip leather palm liner seems like the next best option here. It makes your glove lighter and offers better protection. Of course, it will also cost a bit more, but if you ask me, the slight bump in price is worth it.
Some Parting Wisdom
Understanding the basic anatomy of a baseball glove might not seem like it matters to most players. But that’s not the right way to look at things, to be honest. The more you know about your gloves, the better you can decide which features to focus on when you are picking one up.
I hope the things that I discussed in this article will help you understand the importance of inlays on a baseball glove. Good luck!