There may not be a more reflex-dependent game in sports than fastpitch softball. With only 43 feet to react on each pitch and 60 feet to throw out a runner on a ground ball, you can’t hesitate. Every action you perform must be precise. There’s no time for missteps or pauses to think. Even so much as a bobble of the ball can be the difference between an out and an error. It makes finding the right softball glove for a fastpitch player essential.
To help you shop for your next softball glove, let’s look at how to buy the proper glove size for the player in your life.
Understanding Fastpitch Glove Sizing
Finding the right glove size comes down to three main factors: Age, Position, and Player Preference. If you can apply these three factors to the player you are shopping for, you should seamlessly find the right glove size to meet your needs.
The age of your softball player will determine the size of the glove you are needing. Younger players will need smaller gloves, while older players will need larger gloves. On the surface, it may seem straightforward to most, but there’s a little more depth to it than that.
Younger softball players often do not have a primary position or a preference in glove size. As a result, you can often find yourself shopping for a size entirely based on a player’s age. For general guidance, we recommend:
- 9” to 11.5” for softball players under the age of 8
- 10” to 12” for softball players between the ages of 10 and 14
- 11.5” to 13” for softball players in high school or beyond
These are just general guidelines to glove sizing for softball by age. Each player will be different and perform better with varying sizes of gloves.
Like baseball, fastpitch softball glove sizes vary based on the position your player plays on the diamond. If your player doesn’t play a primary position, be sure to shop for a utility softball glove designed to be effective at any position.
If you are in the market for an infield glove for softball, you will want to look for something smaller and easier to control. A smaller glove will create faster transfers on ground balls and double plays. Infield gloves will often feature I-Webs, H-Webs, and Closed Webs to deliver a consistent pocket for every catch. The following is general guidance if you are looking for a glove size based on your infielder’s age:
- 9” to 11” for infielders under the age of 8
- 10” to 11.5” for infielders between the ages of 10 and 14
- 11.5” to 12.5” for infielders in high school or beyond
Pro Tip: Softball pitchers should look for a closed webbed glove between 11 and 12.5” in size.
Unlike their infield teammates, outfield gloves for softball should be among the largest gloves on the field. Outfielders are less dependent on needing to get the ball out of their glove as fast as possible, so they often choose to benefit from a bigger pocket that can chase down and secure fly balls. The most popular web types for softball outfielders are H-Webs, Basket Webs, or Fully Closed Webs. The following is general guidance if you are looking for a glove size based on your outfielder’s age:
- 10.5” to 11.5” for outfielders under the age of 8
- 11.5” to 12” for outfielders between the ages of 10 and 14
- 12” to 13” for outfielders in high school or beyond
Pro Tip: Utility players should look for a glove between 11.5” and 12.5” in size.
Most players will say something along the lines of ‘I don’t care when asked what size softball glove they like. However, if your player does care, you will want to factor this into your glove search. Players like a smaller, most controllable glove can take a quarter to half-inch off the recommended sizing. You can add a quarter to half-inch for players that prefer a larger glove size. Ultimately, your softball player should have the final say (to a degree) on the glove they wear. As long as it does not hinder their ability to play the position, there is nothing wrong with straying beyond these size guidelines.
Trusted Glove Prep
Now when you checkout at JustGloves, you can add Trusted Glove Prep to your purchase. If you choose to add our glove prepping service, our team of Glove Experts will prepare your glove to be properly broken in. This includes professionally applied glove oil, intentional leather softening actions, and a glove that arrives ready to break in perfectly to your non-throwing hand. (Note: Throughout the entire process, we will never place our hands inside your glove.) Learn More
We’re current and former ballplayers ourselves, and we understand the challenges that come with shopping for a new glove online. To alleviate some of these obstacles, we have created a program to allow you 100 days to decide whether or not your glove purchase compliments your game. Glove Assurance is three simple words: Buy, Try, Apply.
Buy - Choose your next glove from JustGloves. At checkout, add Glove Assurance to your purchase.
Try - Use your new glove however you want. Put it to the test to truly determine whether it’s the glove you want. Break it in, play catch, even bust it out for your next game! If it’s not the glove you had hoped for, send it back with our shipping label, and we’ll refund you the entire cost of the glove.
Apply - If it is the glove for you, we’ll send you a credit (valid for one year) equal to the cost of Glove Assurance. You can use this credit any way you want, including buying a new bat over at JustBats!
Finding your next perfectly sized softball glove is just a click or call away. We have an entire team of experts ready to assist you with any questions or needs you may have. They are available via phone (1-866-321-4568), email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Live Chat. We’re JustGloves, and we’re with you from Click to Catch!