Whenever a softball player steps to the plate for an at-bat, they want to make solid contact with the softball, swinging with maximum power and control. Batting gloves are actually designed to help such performance by enhancing grip and dexterity, which can lead to greater results in the batter’s box.
They can also bring a level of comfort to your game, making you more relaxed and ready to take on the pitch. Learn what to look for in batting gloves so you can take your game to the next level.
WHY WEAR BATTING GLOVES?
Wearing batting gloves can help increase the quality of the grip on the bat and decrease the amount of perspiration on a player’s hands. By maintaining a tight and controlled grip, players can increase their results at the plate.
Batting gloves will also provide a level of protection during play. The gloves can lessen the sting and vibration felt during a hit and can reduce the likelihood of developing blisters during the season. You may also find that they can also be beneficial while running the bases, as batting gloves can protect your hands from friction burns during a slide.
To find the size that is best for you will depend on the length of your hand. To measure the length, start at the base of your palm and measure to the tip of your middle finger on your dominant hand.
For example, if your hand measures 6.5 inches, you would look for a small in men’s, medium in women’s or an XL in youth.
Batting gloves designed specifically for softball players are designed to better fit a woman’s hand.
Your batting glove should be snug, yet comfortable. Loose gloves can lead to slippage and tight gloves can impact movement.
There are two distinct materials used for the palms of batting gloves: leather and synthetic. Both offer distinct benefits.
Leather batting gloves can offer a natural feel and may provide a better grip than their synthetic counterparts. In contrast, synthetic batting gloves offer both comfort and flexibility and can also be easily cleaned.
“Leather gloves provide a classic feel and are a bit more rugged,” Dicks Sporting Goods Associate Jack Heffron said. “Some people go to synthetic gloves for more of a stretch or the feel.”
Some manufacturers make batting gloves with leather palms and synthetic fingers for the best of both worlds.
There are numerous options for batting gloves on the market with many offering distinct features.
Some gloves offer an articulated thumb, which can add to the mobility of the glove. Pre-curved fingers will form a natural curve and will lessen the amount of bunched fabric underneath your knuckles.
There are batting gloves designed specifically with safety in mind. Some styles will have a little extra padding in the palm to absorb vibration while others will have a custom-molded hand shield that fits into the back of the glove to protect from a pitch to the hands.
Deciding on the wrist style of your gloves is also important. Velcro at the wrists allows for a proper fit and can be adjusted quickly at the plate during a player’s at-bat.
“Some gloves have a high-profile wrist for more of a compression feel,” Heffron said. “Some batters tape their wrists so batting gloves try to capture that.”
Batting gloves that simulate having taped wrists will help some batters feel they have added support. “Others might go for a low-profile to make it unrestricted for a full range of motion,” Heffron said. “This gives the feeling of moving around like if you are trying to bunt.”
With these features in mind, you’ll be able to find a pair of gloves that fits your needs and be ready to head to the plate and swing for the fences.