The world’s greatest debates have spanned generations and crossed cultural boundaries. Topics like the chicken or the egg, the existence of other life forms in the universe, or whether or not a hot dog should be considered a sandwich have dominated conversations for years. But a new-age discussion has recently begun to pick up steam, particularly on the diamond. Parents and kids alike are trying to determine if they should buy a glove made from only leather materials OR a glove made from Wilson’s SuperSkin technology.
Wilson’s Baseball & Softball Gloves
As we all know, Wilson is a leader in glove innovation. Wilson continues to raise the bar in terms of performance, aesthetics, and durability. It’s why they dominate glove sales around the world (and on our site). But the question we are trying to answer today is whether or not you should buy a leather glove or a glove made from their SuperSkin technology. To start this debate, we need to look at all of the details, including what SuperSkin is and how it can benefit your player.
How Was SuperSkin Created?
A few years ago, we posted an article regarding the pros and cons of SuperSkin. Within the article, we discussed how and why SuperSkin materials were created.
To summarize, Barry Bonds was looking for a lightweight outfield glove. The leather gloves he had been using weren’t cutting it for the Giants’ iconic left fielder. So Bonds went to Wilson and made his request for a lighter glove that wouldn’t sacrifice performance or durability.
The seemingly impossible task was handed off to notable glove guru, Shigeaki Aso, who turned out to be just the man for the job. After countless hours of trial and error, it finally hit him. Aso’s co-worker had been working on a new exterior material for waterproof basketballs. The material afforded extra grip while remaining lightweight. Aso was quickly able to utilize the same materials to make Bonds his dream glove.
What is SuperSkin?
Leather gloves will naturally absorb moisture from the air and perspiration from your hand causing them to gain weight over time. SuperSkin is a microfiber material designed to be lightweight, durable, and water-resistant. Unlike leather, SuperSkin is specifically designed to not absorb moisture which allows it to remain lightweight season-after-season.
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The SuperSkin Advantage
Wilson gloves with SuperSkin technology offer benefits that leather gloves simply cannot provide. The benefits of SuperSkin gloves include:
- Water-repellent materials
- Lighter than any other leather on the market
- Noticeably shorter break-in period than other elite gloves
- Longer-lasting durability
- Remains cleaner through repetitive use
Wilson Leather Gloves
For the baseball and softball purists of the world, trying on a brand-new A2000 leather glove is the ultimate feeling. The whole experience is packed with sensory overload. From the smell to the feel to the look, it’s like Christmas morning.
Taking a look at what a leather glove can do for a player provides us with a better perspective for the debate. Given that SuperSkin gloves will be half the weight, yet twice as strong, means that leather models will be heavier by nature. But wouldn’t everyone want a lighter glove? Surprisingly, no. There are actually quite a few players that call in and request a heavier glove. These players are looking for gloves that feel and perform similarly to all the other gloves they’ve ever used during their playing careers. This leads up to our next point...
Leather gloves provide a sense of comfort and nostalgia. It’s a generation gap that spans across the decades. Leather gloves have always been the norm in the game of baseball and softball and while the look and functionality of the “standard” models have evolved, the core construction and purpose remain the same. Build a leather glove, from the strongest hide, to perform at the highest level, while ensuring the safety of every ballplayer.
Leather vs. SuperSkin Break-In
When it comes to breaking in a leather glove versus breaking in a glove with SuperSkin, we have not seen a noticeable difference between the two. That doesn’t mean a difference does not exist, just that the break-in requirements should not be a determining factor for anyone deciding between the two.
To conclude the debate, we believe that SuperSkin gloves are here to stay. They will not force leather gloves out of the market, or likely even take the spotlight within the next few decades, but every serious ballplayer should consider purchasing a SuperSkin glove the next time they are in the market for a brand-new glove. The advantages are simply too impressive to overlook. We anticipate that other manufacturers will continue to try and imitate the materials used in SuperSkin, but for the time being, nobody but Wilson has cracked the code.