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 play. Outfield gloves 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 the baseball glove is much smaller than a softball glove. Small gloves means the ball will barely fit into the baseball glove. This is crucial for outfielders who need the entire palm to secure the a pop fly.
Here is the difference in sizing between a baseball and a softball:
|Circumference||9 Inches||12 Inches|
The additional 3 inches on the ball may not seem like much, much larger compared to the 9 inches of a baseball. In perspective, pitchers in baseball are able to throw curve-balls using 3 fingers. In softball, even players with large hands must throw the softball with all 5 fingers to ensure accuracy.
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 you’re making the transition to softball, it will be easier to wear a baseball glove and spin the ball in the infield. Similar to how you would wear a smaller glove in baseball to get the ball out as quick 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 mitt, resembling a snow cone. See the picture below for reference.
A smaller glove and a bigger ball has a higher chance of having snow cone plays, which can result in errors. This 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.
A larger glove however, presents more opportunity for the ball to fall securely into the mitt for a secured catch. This is why we recommend outfields stay away from the baseball glove while playing softball.
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. Because the softball is bigger in circumference ( by 3 inches) the glove must accommodate the size of the softball.
The main difference between a softball glove and a baseball glove is the inches of the ball catching surface. Due to the fact the softball is bigger than a baseball, it must accomodate the large area of the softball, thus being larger.
Softball gloves typically measure in at 14″ & 13″ inches. Baseball gloves will measure in at 10-12″, and anywhere in between. This is the main difference between the two gloves, as they both are made for the same purpose of catching the ball that is hit to them.
To give you a visual, here is a side by side photo of how baseball gloves differ from softball gloves in size:
The game of baseball and softball are two different games. Baseball fields are much larger and the baseball travels much farther upon contact. Softball is more of a quicker field/throw game so the glove must fit the situation.
What Are The Best Softball Gloves?
Wilson A360 Slowpitch Glove
This glove is a great starter slow pitch glove as it has a closed weave web, and is available for both right and left handed throwers. It comes with a standard 14″ pocket, however if you want to shrink the size down ( if you’re in the field, or even have a smaller hand), a 13″ glove is available.
The best place to purchase this glove for a relatively low price is here on Amazon.
Franklin Sports Softball Mitt
The Franklin softball glove is a great option for softball players of all ages because of it’s durability. Easy to break in, adjustable thumb strap and it has a wide variety of purchasing options.
They have a 12″, 13″ and a 14″ basket web glove available for players with all different hand sizes.
We found the cheapest Franklin glove here on Amazon.
Louisville Slugger 2019 Xeno Fast Pitch Glove Series
The last glove on our list is more the more advance player. The Louisville Slugger 2019 Xeno Fastpitch Glove is a stylish glove that comes equipped with memory foam that wraps the wrist lining.
Louisville Slugger offers a 13″, 12″ and also a 33″ inch glove for catchers who need to secure the ball during fast pitch.
The Louisville Slugger 2019 Xeno Fast Pitch Glove can be found here on Amazon.
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 for the long run.