When you look at a baseball glove and a softball glove, they may look even identical; however, that is not the case. There are various differences between the two, so you really need to know whether you can or should use a baseball glove for softball.
Generally, you can use a baseball glove for softball, but it isn’t optimal. A baseball glove is smaller than a softball glove because a baseball is only 9 inches in circumference, whereas a softball is 12 inches. Meaning, it’s hard to catch a softball with a baseball glove.
There are some instances where it’s more reasonable to use a baseball glove for softball, and in other situations, it definitely shouldn’t. More on that after we have determined what exactly are the differences between a baseball and softball glove, so you can understand why you should or shouldn’t use a baseball glove for softball.
What’s the Difference Between a Baseball and Softball Glove?
Generally, there are five differences between a baseball and softball glove, and the most important one is the size.
The main difference between the two gloves is the size, as a baseball is smaller than a softball. A regulation baseball is 9 inches in circumference, and a softball is 12 inches in circumference.
When you look at a baseball and a softball glove side by side, the size difference might not look much, but it’s still 25%, which is noticeable when you play softball with a baseball glove.
When it comes to baseball and softball gloves, a standard size is 11-11.75 inches, whereas a standard size in softball gloves is 12-13 inches. Of course, the size varies between infield and outfield players, and even more so between catchers mitt’s and so on.
To give you a general idea of the glove standard sizes in baseball and softball, take a look at the table below, and you will understand why it is difficult to play softball with a baseball glove.
|Sport||Catcher’s Mitt||First Baseman’s Mitt||Pitcher’s Glove||Infielder’s Glove||Outfielder’s Glove|
As you can see, the size differences doesen’t look like much, but they are enough to notice it. Playing softball with a baseball glove is easier when you are an infielder; however, if you are an outfielder and try to play softball with a baseball glove, things will get difficult as the catches are far harder than as an infielder.
The pocket design and size are also different between baseball and softball gloves.
The baseball glove’s pocket is less deep but also longer because the baseball itself is small but travels at higher speed, whereas the pocket on a softball glove is deeper yet shorter.
When you think about it, a softball glove needs a wide and deep pocket, whereas it’s good for a baseball pocket to be more shallow and long.
Walls are also different between the two gloves. In fact, a softball glove has smaller walls than a baseball glove. Again, this is because of the ball size difference between baseballs and softballs. In addition, the fact that baseballs travel at much higher speed requires bigger walls on a baseball glove.
The webbing on a baseball glove is naturally smaller than on a softball glove, making it harder to use it for softball. There are differences between models and positions, but on average, it can make catching a softball with a baseball glove quite difficult.
In addition, there are much more web styles and designs on baseball gloves than on softball gloves. So, depending on your taste, it is easier to find a glove that is pleasing to you from baseball gloves than it is for softball gloves.
Both sports have been evolving since they were invented, and certain preferences among the players have been formed.
For this reason, softball gloves are often included with velcro strap backs as the players like and are more accustomed to tight gloves. Having a tighter glove helps the players have better control of the ball, and given the size of the ball, it makes sense.
On the other hand, baseball players like the gloves looser on their hands. If you have ever watched baseball, it looks very satisfying when the ball hits the pocket on the glove, and it gives back a little as they are looser.
When You Should and Shouldn’t Use a Baseball Glove For Softball?
There are various situations when you can use a baseball glove for softball without a second thought. Also, there are situations that you definitely should get a glove just for softball, such as the Rawlings Liberty Fastpitch Glove.
What are these situations? Well, stick with me, and I’ll tell you!
Generally, you can and even should use a baseball bat for softball if you already have a softball bat and don’t take it too seriously.
- You already have a baseball glove
If you already own a baseball glove but not a softball glove and want to take it for a spin to play softball, you definitely can.
This will save you a small or large amount of money, depending on your quality standards, as a softball glove can cost between $20 to $400.
In addition to the money saved, you have probably used the baseball glove before, so it is already well broken-in, fitting you perfectly as it has conformed to your hand’s shape.
- You are a recreational player
Another instance where it might not be worth it to buy a different softball glove is if you don’t take softball that seriously.
If you go playing softball from time to time with only fun on your mind, instead of fierce competition, then you should use your baseball glove for that.
Then there are times when you shouldn’t use a baseball glove for softball. This is when you want to maximize your performance and take softball seriously.
- You take softball seriously
If softball isn’t just another hobby for you, but you want to shine on the field, then get a softball glove instead of just using a baseball glove for it.
There is a reason why there are different gloves for baseball and softball, so if you take softball seriously, you should get a glove for it.
- You want to maximize your performance
As baseballs are 25% smaller than softballs, a baseball glove is far from optimal for softball. So, to maximize your performance, catches, and speed, you need a specific softball glove.
In this situation, you should also know your softball position to get just the right glove for you!
My Favorite Softball Equipment
Thanks for reading this article. I hope it brought you great value that you can implement into your own life! Here are my top softball equipment recommendations that I think will take your game to the next level.
- Bat: My favorite certified fastpitch softball bat is the Easton Ghost. This bat has a double-barrel construction which is incredible if you are looking for a great feel and are a fan of satisfying pop and sound. The handle is a great bonus as it’s great to hold on to and very thin. The technology used for this bat provides great durability and flexibility. This bat comes in various styles and sizes.
- Softball: The best softballs, in my opinion, are the Franklin Sports Official Softballs. These affordable yet official featured balls are perfect for practice if you want to train with a similar ball as in a real game. These balls have the official 12-inch circumference and weight. The yellow color makes it easy to spot, and the flat seams enable minimal air resistance so that they will fly consistently and far.
- Glove: Rawlings Liberty Advanced Fastpitch Glove should be introduced to every softball player. The 12.5″ size makes it a breeze to catch and secure softballs. The glove is very comfortable as it’s made from full-grain leather, and the pull-staps will perfect the fit. The design is breathtaking as well. Be prepared for a little break-in time tho.
- Fan Equipment: If you’re a fan more than a player, you don’t want to miss Fan Equipment by Fanatics. You can find items from various sports that bear your favorite team’s logo, such as jerseys, gift ideas, or other surprising things.