Softball vs. Baseball Glove: What’s the Difference?

Softball vs. Baseball Glove: What’s the Difference?

Are you an aspiring ball player who’s overwhelmed by the vast selection of gloves and isn’t sure what type to buy? Or maybe you’ve never been a fan of either game, but need to buy someone a glove as a gift without knowing which they would prefer. Whether or not you’re a novice in the world of sports, understanding the various distinctions between softball and baseball gloves will certainly clear any confusion regarding this topic. Whether it’s for yourself or someone else, we’re here to help you make an informed decision on which glove is better suited for them! Let’s take a closer look at why and when these two types should be used in order to get started.

What is a Baseball Glove?

Necessary for every baseball player, a glove is an essential piece of protective gear that offers players comfort and safety while they play. It is designed to help players catch the ball with ease, while providing comfort and protection to their hands and fingers. A baseball glove has four parts: the pocket, webbing, padding, and lacing. The pocket is the curved part that forms the opening for catching; it is traditionally made from leather but can also be made from other materials such as synthetic leather or vinyl.

Webbing helps keep the glove secure on your hand and can be stitched into different patterns depending on how you want to use it. Padding helps protect your hands against impact when catching balls, and keeps them comfortable during game play.

Finally, lacing connects all four parts together, and is traditionally made of leather. It is important to choose a glove with the right type of lacing for the game you are playing; some gloves are designed specifically for softball players while others may be better suited for baseball players.

Ultimately, when you understand the variance between a softball and baseball glove, it will be easier to select one that best matches your requirements! With the right glove, you’ll be able to play comfortably and confidently, no matter which game you’re playing. [1]

What is a Baseball Glove?

What Is a Softball Glove?

A softball glove, also known as a mitt, is designed for the sport of softball. It usually has 12 to 15 inches of padding and an extended webbing that provides protection for the hand and fingers. The shape of the glove differs from that of a baseball glove due to the larger size of a softball which requires more space in order to be able to catch it. Softball gloves are made with thinner material than baseball gloves due to their lighter weight making them easier to maneuver when catching fast-moving balls. They also have shorter finger stalls so players can quickly transition between catching and throwing positions.

Softball gloves come in a variety of styles such as catcher’s mitts, first baseman’s mitts, and infielder’s mitts. Each style is designed to provide the player with optimal protection and flexibility when playing their position on the field. Catcher’s mitts have incredibly deep pockets and heavily reinforced webbing for added protection against powerful throws from a pitcher. First baseman’s mitts feature extra long finger stalls that help players scoop up grounders more quickly. Infielder’s mitts are smaller in size which helps them move faster, giving players increased control over their movements on the diamond. [2]

Can You Use A Baseball Glove For Softball?

While you can use a baseball glove for softball, it isn’t recommended due to the size difference between the two sports. A baseball glove is designed to catch smaller sized balls and therefore doesn’t offer enough padding and protection when catching larger softballs. Its shallow pocket also makes it difficult to grip onto larger balls. Additionally, its longer finger stalls make transitioning between catching and throwing more difficult due to their bulkiness which can slow players down on the field.

In order to play softball safely and effectively, it is important that you use the right equipment for the sport such as a properly sized softball glove. Doing so will ensure that your hands are well protected while giving you greater control over your ball handling skills, making your game that much more enjoyable.

Differences Between Softball and Baseball Gloves

Glove Size

The biggest difference between a softball and baseball glove is the size. Softball gloves are much larger than baseball gloves, typically ranging from 12 inches to 14 inches in circumference whereas baseball gloves generally range from 11 inches to 12 1/2 inches in circumference.

Glove Size

Thumb Position

Another key difference between a softball and baseball glove is the pocket placement. Generally, when playing softball, your thumb should be placed on the opposite side of your index finger when you put on the glove while in a baseball glove, you’ll find that your thumb position will be slightly curved towards the index finger.


Depending on what type of ball you’re playing with (fastpitch or slowpitch), you’ll also find differences in the webbing of the glove. Fastpitch softball gloves usually have an open web to help fielders better see the ball, whereas slowpitch gloves are typically closed or “T-webbed” allowing for a deeper pocket and more support. Baseball gloves tend to have closed webs as they provide better control when catching fastballs thrown at high speeds. [3]

Pocket Size

The size of the pocket for softball gloves tends to be larger than baseball gloves, which helps in catching a bigger ball. Baseball gloves usually have smaller pockets because they are designed to catch smaller balls that travel at faster speeds.


The material of softball gloves tends to be thicker than baseball gloves and they also tend to be made of heavier leather. This is because the larger size requires more padding and support which the heavier leather can provide. On the other hand, baseball gloves are usually made from lighter and softer leather as they don’t need as much padding or support for catching smaller balls moving at higher speeds.


Finally, you’ll also find differences in the traction of softball gloves and baseball gloves. Softball gloves usually have more gripping material on the palm side to help fielders catch balls better. Baseball gloves tend to have less traction as they don’t need as much grip due to the smaller size of the ball they are catching.

Overall, even though there are a few differences between softball and baseball gloves, both provide players with great protection when playing either game. It is important for players to choose a glove that fits their needs and provides them with the most comfort so they can perform at their best level. [4]


How the Baseball Glove and Softball Glove Fit

One of the most notable differences between baseball and softball gloves is the fit. Baseball gloves are typically worn on one hand, while softball gloves are designed to be worn on both hands. The reason for this difference is that a baseball glove is made with a pocket at the top, which allows it to easily catch hard-thrown balls from a distance. By contrast, softball gloves have larger pockets in order to accommodate smaller and softer balls thrown from shorter distances. Additionally, because of their size and shape, softball gloves fit more snugly than baseball gloves when put on both hands.

Do You Need A Different Glove For Softball?

The simple answer is yes. Although some people may be able to use a baseball glove for softball, there are several differences between the two gloves that make them more suitable for their respective sports. For example, softball gloves tend to have a larger pocket than baseball gloves in order to accommodate the larger size of a softball. Additionally, the shape and depth of the pocket varies depending on whether it’s meant for an infielder or an outfielder.

Moreover, the material used in constructing a softball glove tends to be thicker and softer than that found in baseball gloves since they need extra padding to protect players’ hands from hard shots off the bat. Softball gloves also typically have longer fingers than baseball gloves since they must cover more of the player’s hand.

So whether you’re just starting out in softball or are a seasoned pro, it pays to invest in a glove designed for the sport. The right glove can help you execute plays with confidence and may even provide extra comfort as you field your position. With the proper care, a good softball glove can last for many years, so don’t skimp on quality when making your purchase! [5]

Is A 13 Inch Glove Good For Softball?

The answer to this question depends on the age and skill level of the player. A 13-inch glove is generally suitable for younger players, as well as those just starting out in softball. Such a glove is typically lightweight, providing an easier time catching the ball and handling it with accuracy. However, more experienced players may find that this size glove does not provide them with enough control over their throws and catches.

Therefore, those looking for better performance should consider a larger size such as 14 or 15 inches to gain more power behind their throws and catches. 

Ultimately, when deciding what size glove is best for you or your child, it’s important to keep in mind the individual’s age, skill level and position they intend to play. The most important feature of a glove is fit, as even the best performing glove won’t have good results if it doesn’t fit properly.

To find out what size glove will be the most successful for your player, it’s best to go and try on different sizes in store. This way, you can determine which one fits comfortably while allowing maximum control. If you’re still not sure after trying on a few gloves, reach out to an experienced softball coach who will be able to provide advice on what may work best for you or your child’s skill level and position. Ultimately, with a bit of trial and error, you’ll find the perfect size glove that provides great performance when playing softball.

Is A 13 Inch Glove

Difference Between Softball And Baseball

The most obvious difference between softball and baseball is the size of the ball. Softballs are much larger than baseballs, which makes them easier to handle and hit for players that may not have as much experience with either game. Baseballs also have a tighter, more rigid stitching than softballs, making them more difficult to catch and throw.

In addition to the size of the ball, there are differences in how gloves are made for both sports. Baseball gloves are crafted from thicker leather material whereas softball gloves tend to be much lighter and flexible due to their larger size. The shape of a softball glove also tends to feature deeper pockets than a baseball glove since it needs more room for catching and holding on to the bigger ball.

The pitching style for both sports is also different. Baseballs are thrown with an overhand motion and higher speed than softballs, which are typically pitched from a shorter distance and in a more underhanded motion. As a result, baseball gloves often feature extra padding on the thumb to provide added protection when catching high-speed pitches.

Ultimately, softball vs baseball gloves have been designed to suit the unique needs of each game, providing protection and comfort so that players can perform their best. Depending on your skill level and playing style, either type of glove may be better suited for you. No matter what type of glove you choose though, it’s important to make sure it fits properly so that you can enjoy the game to its fullest. [6]

Tips on Choosing Baseball or Softball Gloves

When shopping for a baseball or softball glove, there are some important considerations to keep in mind.

  1. Size: The size of the glove you need depends on the age and skill level of the player. Generally, most youth players require a smaller glove than adults do. Make sure to measure your hand and determine the right fit before making a purchase.
  2. Materials: The material used in gloves can vary significantly between brands, as well as between different models within each brand. Some gloves have leather palms while others feature synthetic materials such as polyester or nylon fabric. Be sure to check out what kind of material is offered when selecting a glove so that you choose one that suits your needs best.
  3. Quality: As with any sport-related item, you generally get what you pay for when it comes to gloves. Be sure to read reviews and research the brand before making a purchase so that you are getting the best quality glove for your money.

It is important to keep these tips in mind when selecting a baseball or softball glove. By doing so, you can ensure that you have the right equipment for whatever level of play you are engaging in. With the right glove, playing catch has never been more enjoyable!

Tips on Choosing Baseball

Benefits and Cons of Softball Glove

The benefits of softball gloves are many, as they offer a more snug fit and can also be used to catch fast pitches. Softball gloves generally have deeper pockets than baseball gloves—which makes them ideal for catching both overhand throws and ground-balls alike. Additionally, the back of a softball glove usually has extra padding, making it easier to catch hard-hit line drives. The design of the leather on a softball glove is also designed differently in comparison to baseball gloves—the laces are thicker and create a tighter webbing that gives players better control.

On the other hand, some cons come with using softball gloves instead of baseball mitts. One issue is that because the glove fits so tightly, it can be hard to break in. As they are made of thicker leather, softball gloves can take a while to get used to and become comfortable with. Furthermore, the extra padding on the back of the glove can make some people feel like their hands are constantly sweating as they play. Additionally, because softball gloves have deeper pockets than baseball gloves—it’s not as easy to snag balls that come into the infield quickly.

Though there are downsides to using a softball glove over a baseball mitt, it all depends on personal preference and many players find them beneficial for their game. It’s a good idea to try out different types of gloves before committing to one type; this way you can determine which glove is best suited for your playing style. Ultimately, the decision of whether to use a softball or baseball glove comes down to what kind of game you are playing.  If you’re looking for more control and stability while catching, then using a softball glove would be beneficial—but if you want something that’s easier to break in and offers more flexibility when fielding ground-balls, then a regular baseball mitt might be best. Whatever type of glove you decide on, just make sure it fits properly and helps improve your play! [7]


Are baseball and softball gloves the same?

No, baseball and softball gloves differ in size, webbing, and padding. Baseball gloves are usually much larger than softball gloves. Baseball gloves also have a deeper pocket to accommodate the larger ball and typically feature an open webbing between the thumb and forefinger for easier catchability. Softball gloves often come with closed webs which offer extra protection when catching fast-moving balls. The padding in each glove is also slightly different – baseball gloves often contain thicker padding around the fingers while softball gloves may have more extensive padding on the palm side of the glove to help absorb impact from harder-thrown balls.

Are baseball and softball gloves the same?

What type of glove should I buy if I’m playing both sports?

It depends on what feel you prefer. If you want a glove that can handle both sports, you might consider getting one with an adjustable strap to accommodate your hand size while playing either sport. Additionally, if you prefer the feel of a thicker glove for baseball and a lighter glove with more flexibility for softball, there are multi-sport gloves available which offer various levels of padding and webbing.

Are leather gloves better than synthetic ones?

It depends on personal preference. Leather gloves often provide a higher quality feel when gripping the ball due to their durability and better fit. However, some players find that synthetic materials are less stiff and allow for more flexibility when fielding balls. Ultimately, it is up to each individual player to decide what works best for them depending on their style of play.

Can I use a softball glove for baseball and vice versa?

Yes, you can use either type of glove for the other sport, but keep in mind that certain factors like size, padding and webbing may not be ideal for both sports. If you plan on using one glove to play both sports, consider investing in a multi-sport glove with an adjustable fit so that you can easily switch between playing baseball or softball.

Why are softball gloves so big?

Softball gloves tend to be bigger than baseball gloves because they need to accommodate a larger ball. Additionally, the padding in softball gloves is often thicker and more extensive around the palm side of the glove to help absorb impact from harder-thrown balls.

Do you need a special glove when pitching in softball?

Yes, you do. Softball gloves are different from baseball gloves in several ways. Softball gloves have a deeper pocket than baseball gloves because the ball is larger and heavier than a baseball. This allows pitchers to grip the ball securely when throwing. The webbing of softball gloves is also thicker and higher than baseball gloves, which helps them retain their shape over time and gives players better control when catching the ball. Softball infielder’s gloves can be slightly longer than those designed for baseball players due to the greater distance between bases in softball compared to baseball. Additionally, some softball infielders prefer an open design that lacks any finger stalls on the thumb side of the glove so they can easily scoop up grounders and throw quickly to the bases. Finally, softball gloves are usually made of heavier leather than baseball gloves, which makes them more durable but also heavier in weight.

What color glove is illegal for pitchers?

In most leagues, a pitcher’s glove cannot be white or gray. This is to make it easier for the umpires and opposing players to see the ball in the glove when the pitcher winds up and throws. Therefore, while you may find some gloves designed specifically for pitchers that are white or gray, they are not legal in many organized games. Additionally, any glove that is altered from its original form may be banned from play even if it meets all other standards – so check with your league rules before using an altered glove.



At the end of the day, whether to choose a softball or baseball glove comes down to personal preference and what type of game you are playing. Baseball gloves are designed specifically for use in a game of baseball, while softball gloves can be adjusted slightly to play either sport. If you’re looking for an all-purpose pair of gloves, then opting for a softer glove may be best suited for your needs as it is easier to break in and more comfortable than a stiffer baseball mitt. Ultimately, the choice between a softball or baseball glove should come down to your own preferences and needs as an athlete.

No matter which option you choose, both types of gloves will ensure that your hands remain protected and secure during each game. With the right glove in your possession, you can take your performance to the next level and help lead your team to victory! So make sure to thoroughly consider all of the factors discussed above when deciding between a softball or baseball glove for yourself.

Good luck and have fun!