Can You Use A Baseball Glove For Softball?

By Alex Mercer

November 5, 2019

A baseball glove is a smaller glove compared to a softball glove. The baseball glove is smaller because the baseball is smaller in size compared to a softball.

Baseball gloves can be used for softball. Outfield baseball gloves are better suited for softball because they have more surface area to catch the softball. Infield baseball gloves do not have the surface area to handle the large softball.

We break down the pros and cons of using a baseball glove for softball and why you’ll want to purchase an outfield glove.

Are Baseball And Softball Gloves The Same?

Baseball and softball gloves are not the same.

The first reason is that a baseball glove is much smaller than a softball glove. Small gloves mean the ball will barely fit into the baseball glove. This is crucial for outfielders who need the entire palm to secure the pop fly.

Here is the difference in sizing between a baseball and a softball:

baseball softball difference
via baseball angle
Circumference9 Inches12 Inches

The additional 3 inches on the ball may not seem much, much larger than the 9 inches of a baseball. In perspective, pitchers in baseball can throw curveballs using three fingers. Even players with large hands must throw the softball with all five fingers to ensure accuracy in softball.

Wearing A Baseball Glove While Playing Softball

Wearing a baseball glove for softball may be tough to squeeze the actual softball. Having a smaller glove can be beneficial in spinning a double play when playing the infield. However, playing the outfield may be tough to catch the football with the small circumference.

If you’re a former baseball player and make the transition to softball, it will be easier to wear a baseball glove and spin the ball in the infield, like how you would wear a smaller glove in baseball to get the ball out as quickly as possible.

Although it’s great to have a small glove to get the ball out quicker, there is a higher chance the ball will “snow cone” out of it.

What is a snow cone in softball? It’s when the ball slips out of the mitt, and it either falls out or stays just barely in the top of the glove, resembling a snow cone.

A smaller glove and a bigger ball have a higher chance of having snow cone plays, resulting in errors. This is the downside of wearing a baseball glove for softball.

Can Outfielders Wear A Baseball Glove While Playing Softball?

They can, but we wouldn’t advise it—the more room to catch the softball, the better. Having a smaller glove only results in a higher chance of snow coning the ball or having it pop out.

Small baseball gloves trying to catch bigger balls require precise timing to squeeze and secure the ball into the mitt.

However, a larger glove presents more opportunity for the ball to fall securely into the mitt for a secured catch. We recommend outfielders stay away from the baseball glove while playing softball.

See Our Complete List Of Helpful Softball Articles Here.

What’s The Difference Between A Baseball Glove & A Softball Glove?

The main difference between a baseball glove and a softball glove is the size of the mitt. The glove can accommodate the softball size because the softball is bigger in circumference ( by 3 inches).

The main difference between a softball glove and a baseball glove is the inches of the ball-catching surface. Because the softball is bigger than a baseball, it must accommodate the large area of the softball, thus being larger.

Softball gloves typically measure 14″ & 13″ inches. Baseball gloves will measure at 10-12″ and anywhere in between. This is the main difference between the two gloves.

To give you a visual, here is a side by side photo of how baseball gloves differ from softball gloves in size:

difference between baseball and softball gloves
via best10lab

Baseball and softball are two different games. Baseball fields are much larger, and the baseball travels much farther upon contact. Softball is a quicker field/throw game, so the glove must fit the situation.


Baseball and softball gloves vary due to the size of the softball. Baseball gloves may be used for softball purposes, but the risk of the ball popping out of the glove heightens.

Also, softball gloves are not the best for baseball games because a larger glove will help secure a smaller ball. When playing the outfield or infield in baseball, it’s key to have a “feel” for the ball, as it needs to be caught and transitioned out of the glove as fast as possible.

If you’ve completely retired from the game of baseball, we recommend spending a few dollars on the cheaper options we’ve listed above to get a new glove. It will be worth it in the long run.

About the author

Hey There! My Name is Alex and I run Get Hyped Sports. I created this platform to help people find their love for sports and gaming.

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