Fastpitch softball is a young man’s game. But slowpitch players are actually adults looking for some weekend recreation.
Still, it doesn’t mean you have to go to the field unprepared, right?
In fact, if you’re in the first or third baseman position, you’d need a dedicated slowpitch glove. Or else, the flyball coming your way is going to hurt pretty bad. But there’s an argument that you can use good fastpitch softball gloves for slow-pitch as well. It is true to some extent. But fastpitch gloves can be expensive. And as a weekend warrior, not many people are keen on spending a lot of moolah.
So, if you want to leave your competition to bite the dust as you pitch and catch your way to glory, you should have the best slow-pitch softball glove by your side. I’ve decided to share my two cents on some of the top-rated slowpitch softball gloves that have served me and my fellow softball groupies for years. By the end of the article, these are the things you’ll get:
- A clear understanding of the top slowpitch softball gloves
- A guide to help you screen different gloves
- My expert recommendation
Sound good? Let’s get started
- Zero Shock palm
- Easy break-in
Top 6 Best slowpitch softball gloves Review
It’s time to put all the 6 gloves I’ve listed against each other and see who comes out on top! Remember, the gloves I’m about to highlight were also thrown into a battle royale and only 6 made the cut. Why? Where did the rest of them go? That’s exactly what I’m about to tell you.
- Type: Infield/ Outfield/ Pitcher/ Catcher
- Size: 12 – 14 inches (33-inch for Catcher’s mitt)
- Material: Full-grain leather
- Throw: Right hand/ Left hand
- Glove Type: Infielder/ Outfielder/ Pitcher
- Size: 11 – 12 inches
- Material: Pleather/ Artificial leather/ Polyvinyl Chloride
- Throw: Right hand/ Left hand
- Glove Type: Infield/ Outfield/ Pitcher/ Catcher
- Size: 13 – 14 inches
- Material: Full-grain leather and Poron XRD padding
- Throw: Right hand/ Left hand
1. Rawlings Player Preferred Slowpitch Softball Glove (Best Overall)
As I just said a moment ago, people don’t want to shell out a lot of big bucks for slowpitch gloves. But it doesn’t mean you get a cheap knockoff that’ll be useless in a few months. The Rawlings Player Preferred hits the sweet spot between price and performance. It’s a budget glove but you’ll love how it feels, how it fits, and how easy it is to break into once you take it out of the box. Let’s look at the details.
The reason behind the comfortable feel of Rawlings Player Preferred is the full-grain cowhide leather. Once I had it on for nearly five hours (back-to-back games) without any discomfort. However, the full-grain leather makes it a bit heavier compared to the top grain. But in the long run, gloves made of full-grain leather have the upper hand when it comes to durability.
The Player Preferred series has a glove for all the positions. Whether you’re an impenetrable infielder, the outstanding outfielder, the perfect pitcher, or a courageous catcher, there’s a glove for everybody. But there’s no 11 – 11.5-inch glove. The lowest you can go is 12-inches. So, chances are, you won’t find a Player Preferred glove for your kid. I’d recommend looking into the Rawlings Sure Catch Youth Softball glove if you want something for your son/daughter.
Anyways, the palm padding is thick enough to handle the impact from flyballs. The balls can keep on coming, and if you catch it properly, you shouldn’t feel a thing. The leather pull-strap makes glove adjustments a breeze as well. But I would’ve been happier if this glove had a Velcro strap instead of the pull-strap. While leather pull-straps are more durable, the Velcro wrist closure has more adjustment options. I lean towards flexibility.
Finally, you won’t have a tough time breaking into the glove. It comes 80% primed. Just get it out, start playing, and after a few games, the glove will be 100% ready to roll. It is worthy of the best men’s slowpitch softball gloves title.
- Impact-resistant palm padding
- Full-grain leather makes the glove highly durable
- Adjustments are easy
- Excellent performance for the price
- No Velcro wrist closure
- Not suitable for kids
2. Franklin Sports Slowpitch Softball Glove (Best Budget)
Nowadays, I’m either coaching youngsters or I’m playing catch with my sons in the backyard. My youngest son wanted to join the party as well. So, I decided to get a really cost-effective glove. That’s how I got a hold of the Franklin Sports Windmill Pro Series. As a budget glove, it has issues. But it’s so cheap that the price point alone makes up for the handful of pitfalls the glove has.
I’ve already highlighted the affordable nature of the glove. So, it’s time I show you the other features. First of all, the glove is lightweight. I knew my youngest son could never take the weight of a full-grain leather glove. But he did just fine with the Windmill Pro. However, I had to use a rubber band to keep the glove from falling off of his hand.
The movement is easy. When I tried it on, I could always get the incoming ball to hit the pocket instead of the sides because of the swift movement. There’s an adjustable wrist closure that does allow you to make it tight. But there’s a catch. The closure is so basic that it won’t go further than the allotted range. That’s why I had to rely on a rubber band to keep it together.
Still, from all the gloves I’ve bought for me and people around me, the Windmill Pro is actually a cost-effective yet decent glove for people with small hands. The other good thing about the glove is the soft texture of the pocket. I’ve had a go with it for a couple of days and the glove was fully ready and primed. So, you don’t have to put in any extra effort to break the glove in.
This glove has a few problems that you have to contend with. There isn’t a ton of sizing options. It comes in only 11 and 12 inches. Besides, the glove isn’t made of leather. The material used for this glove is synthetic leather otherwise known as artificial leather. So, the glove’s going to be slippery. If you don’t get the hang of using this glove, you’ll have a tough time keeping the ball in the pocket before it slips out.
However, the Windmill Pro is a basic starter glove meant for people who just want to have fun and nothing else. There’s not even a single professional feature in this glove. And I would only recommend this to someone who wants a laidback and totally casual experience.
- Affordable glove for adults and kids
- Easy to move around with the lightweight glove
- Zero effort required for break-in
- A reasonable starter glove for weekend warriors
- Made with pleasure ergo has durability issues
- Doesn't have different size options
3. Miken Pro Series Slowpitch Softball Glove
Till now, the reviews revolved around budget-friendly gloves because most slowpitch players don’t want a competitive experience. However, in the herd of casuals, there are a number of hardcore slow-pitch enthusiasts, and the Miken Pro Series glove is right up their alley. The moment I took this glove out of the glove I didn’t see anything special. However, the first game I played with it changed my mind.
When a fastball comes your way and you catch it, you’ll instantly feel the impact. However, the Poron XRD palm padding of this glove withstands impact like a pro. I did some research on Poron XRD later and realized why it felt as good as it did in the field.
You see, Poron XRD is one of the best materials that make a glove lightweight and durable. In short, the impact protection you get from this material is just on another league. The Poron XRD alone justifies the high price of the Miken Pro. Apart from this, the glove has full-grain leather. As you know, full-grain leathers are better, stronger, and more comfortable.
The pull-strap adjustment system is also pretty good. You already know that I’m a fan of the Velcro wrist strap. But I think the pull-strap of the Miken Pro is in some ways better than the other pull-straps I’ve encountered.
You don’t have a ton of options in this glove. For instance, I was kind of stuck with only H-web patterns. There aren’t any Basket-web, I-web, or Trapeze. The size variety isn’t really spectacular either. So, the Miken team should really look into adding more treats to the plate.
One more thing. The customer support of the Miken Pro needs to step it up if they want loyal long-term customers. Why? Because while there are two hand variations available, complaints about getting the wrong hand orientation are common against the Miken Pro. However, I didn’t face any such issues. Anyways, most complaints I’ve seen are from a year or two ago. So, I believe the support team has turned it around now.
Overall, the Miken Pro is an incredible glove for both laidback chaps and competition aficionados. The glove is geared towards professionals that’s why it costs more than the two gloves I’ve already mentioned. Trust me – the Poron XRD padding alone makes it the best men’s softball glove.
- Lightweight glove can be used to go for quick catches
- An easy pull-strap adjustment option
- Poron XRD padding makes it highly resistant to impact
- Suitable for professional slow-pitch games
- Not many options to choose from
- Price is a bit higher than other gloves
4. Mizuno Premier Slowpitch Softball Glove (Budget- Friendly)
If you’ve taken the budget off-road before, you already know that it can get a bit shaky. Once you walk through that path, you’ll definitely come across a few Mizuno gloves. And the Mizuno Premier Slowpitch Gloves comes with the well-known, loved, and signature Mizuno price point. So, I highlighted the “price point” so much because that’s the most striking feature of this glove. But there’s more to it.
For starters, the 13-inch H-web pattern is excellent for infielders. It’s an amazing slowpitch softball first base glove. Sure, you may think that a 13-incher is 1-2 inches overkill. But the thing is, for slowpitch softball, you need a deeper pocket. The 13-inch H-webbed infielder’s glove has the deep pocket you would want to catch flyballs with ease.
The palm padding of this glove is not too shabby either. It shouldn’t hurt you or cause a shockwave if you can snag the ball inside the pocket. However, if it hits the sides instead of the pocket, it will sting a little. Nothing major, though. You can soldier through it. Apart from the H-web, there’s the Tartan U web that you can use for pitching as well. I know that there’s no point in hiding the ball in slowpitch because the speed of the ball won’t startle the hitter. But you can still pull some tricks like the backspin and catch the hitter off-guard if the ball is hidden.
The build quality is way better than what I’d expect from a glove in the $50 range. The inside or palm area has a full-grain leather and the outer layer has pigskin. I’m not a big fan of pigskin because it’s not as durable as rawhide or steerhide.
Considering the price of this glove, I don’t mind the pigskin outer layer too much. Plus, the glove feels comfortable and snug. That’s what’s important. So, if a casual slowpitch game is on your mind and you want to enjoy it without dipping deep into your savings, give the Mizuno Premier a shot.
- Really comfortable with a deep pocket
- Will last a long time if maintained properly
- One of the cheap slow-pitch softball gloves in the market
- Available for all positions with a range of size options
- People with big hands can feel discomfort
- The outer layer isn't as durable as the inner padding
5. EASTON EL JEFE Slowpitch Softball Glove
Our instincts often tell us not to go too big or too little. It’s a kind of “moderate” city. The same thing happens with slowpitch gloves as well. The Easton EL JEFE is the perfect example of hitting the right balance between price and performance. Let me tell you why. I was really impressed with the pocket design of this glove. It’s hard to find pockets dedicated to softball players.
Because most manufacturers try to maintain some vestiges of a baseball glove. That’s where the Easton EL JEFE excels. So, the deep pocket makes it pretty easy to catch incoming flyballs.
The leather is not too shabby as well. After putting in a ton of hours into the glove, I can say with confidence that the leather is from quality steer. However, you won’t get the premium feel of Rawlings or Wilson. But you’re paying one-third of the price. So, it’s a win in my books.
The break-in process is easier compared to a lot of other full-grain leather gloves. Sure, you need to give it time and maybe try a few break-in techniques to get it all set. But it doesn’t mean you need to have hours of playtime before the glove reaches its prime.
Plenty of size and webbing options are available as well. As you know, I’m a big fan of flexibility. There’s the trapeze web, the H-web, dual-bar single post, and dual bar H-web. Also, the size ranges from 12.5 to 14 inches. I would’ve preferred having an I-web glove in the list as well for infielders. But that’s okay. It’s easy to see where the ball is going in a slow-pitch game. So, you don’t need the visibility that I-web offers.
It’s not all sunshine in the Easton EL JEFE dugout. I didn’t like the palm padding of the glove. In fact, one time I was using it as an infielder’s fastpitch glove and the ball hit my palm real hard. It took me a few minutes to recover.
So, all I can say is that, don’t use it as a utility glove because it isn’t. The padding is a clear signal that it’s meant for slow-pitch games. If you can tinker with the padding and add some extra layers, you should be able to use it for other games without too much trouble.
- Glove Type: Infielder/ Outfielder/ Pitcher
- Size: 12.5 – 14 inches
- Material: Diamond Steer Leather
- Throw: Right hand/ Left hand
- Excellent price-to-performance ratio
- Strong glove that could take a beating
- Easy to break-in
- Flexible glove with a number of size/position options
- The palm padding isn't thick
- No I-web or Basket-web available
6. Wilson A2000 SuperSkin Slowpitch Softball Glove
Before I get into the last glove, let me tell you- this is the most expensive glove on the list (for a good reason). All the other slow-pitch gloves I’ve talked about are between $50-$150. However, the Wilson A2000 is more than $250. So, if you feel like taking your game to the next level, this glove is the real deal.
The reason the A2000 Softball glove stands apart is the signature Pro Stock leather. Pro Stock leather comes from the US steerhide. So, it’s thicker, stronger, and more durable. Simply put, it’s a cut above the rest. The only material that comes close to the quality of this is the full-grain leather of Rawlings.
Besides, the padding is fantastic. I just told you about how the padding of the Easton EL JEFE couldn’t handle the impact of fastballs. Well, the A2000 is the complete opposite. The lining, the padding, the laces, everything just comes together. Even when you catch a ball that doesn’t hit the pocket as you want to, the glove will protect your hands from an aftershock.
One more thing I love about premium Wilson gloves is the Velcro wrist closure. Compared to the pull-strap, Velcro gives you a lot more adjustment options. You can tighten or loosen the glove and make it hit the sweet spot for maximum comfort.
The White Super Skin is a new weapon in the Wilson arsenal. Usually, there is a widespread complaint about Wilson gloves. That it’s a bit heavy. However, Wilson has addressed the issue with Super Skin. It’s lighter than their usual steerhide gloves, but the quality and durability are still there.
The Wilson A2000 softball glove has one unforgivable downfall. There is zero, and I repeat- zero flexibility. You only get two different sizes- 13 and 13.5 inches. Plus, it’s only a left-hand throw. So, a lot of players won’t even get the chance of trying out this amazing glove. But the A2000 softball glove is relatively new. Wilson a2000 is a 2020 model.
Still, if you’re a left-hand outfielder who wants to get a big-boy glove to get your footing on the big-boy leagues, the Wilson A2000 is definitely worth the money. It’s still in somewhat of a beta stage. And in a couple of months, there might be new iterations. So, once Wilson gives more options, sizes, and webbing styles, I think this glove would own the slow-pitch world. And even become the best slow pitch softball glove for outfield.
- Glove Type: Outfield/ Infield
- Size: 13 – 13.5 inches
- Material: Pro Stock Leather (US Steerhide)
- Throw: Left hand
- Pro Stock Leather makes this glove a king of durability
- Lightweight glove thanks to the Super Skin
- Thick padding can withstand superfast projectiles
- Velcro closure = more adjustment options
- Only left-hand throw
- Limited sizing options (only half an inch)
How to Choose the Best Slowpitch Softball Gloves
If you’ve been on the hunt for a new slowpitch glove, you know how it gets. The thousands of options, the sponsored ads, the confusing features- it’s all a big mess. So, the only way to slide past this inconvenience station is to know the features.
Now that I’ve reviewed the best slowpitch softball gloves, I’m going to show you why I’ve selected each of them. The factors I’m going to put down will help you differentiate between a “good” and a “bad” glove. If you pay close attention, just by following my buying principles, you’ll be able to identify great (pro-tier) gloves that don’t cost a fortune.
The shape, size, and depth of the pocket should be the first thing on your priority list. Pocket depth is the key differentiator between fastpitch and slowpitch gloves. So, always check if the pockets are deep enough.
Usually, slow-pitch gloves need to be deeper because of the constant flyballs. All the gloves I’ve listed here are dedicated slowpitch gloves. So, you don’t have to worry about the pocket design. However, if you want to venture out on your own, just keep your eyes peeled when it comes to glove depth.
Focus on Build Quality
I know that slowpitch is more of a casual game compared to fastpitch. But that doesn’t mean you have to settle for a glove that’ll die in a couple of months’ time. So, always pay close attention to the build quality of the glove. Without a doubt, leather is the best material you can ask for. However, there are variations in leather as well. Keep that in mind.
If you want a powerhouse of a glove, go for steerhide. The Pro Stock Leather of A2000 is an example of the steerhide’s potential. Steerhide leather is expensive. So, for people who want to cut down on expenses, I’d recommend looking into the rawhide/cowhide. The Rawlings Player Preferred is a good example.
Finally, if you want to have some Sunday chill and don’t want to go beyond $30-$40, getting a synthetic leather or pleather glove will work just fine.
Don’t Lose Sight of Size/Position Flexibility
A lot of peeps set their crosshairs on a particular glove only to end up disappointed. Why? Because it’s either only a left-hand throw, or it doesn’t come in the design that fits the position they play.
So, when you’re busy lining up the build quality and pocket design, don’t lose sight of the position flexibility. However, the glove variation doesn’t really matter in slow-pitch. But having a particular webbing style and size that fits perfectly will improve your gameplay.
The Rawlings slowpitch softball gloves have different webbing styles and sizes as well.
Easy to Break-in
This only applies to you if you’re worried about breaking in the glove. If you’re not, you can simply look past it. However, I’ve seen the struggle of breaking a glove in. Even after years of playing catch and pounding the pocket, some people just don’t get it done.
However, if you follow the right techniques or take your glove to a glove manufacturer, you’ll have it primed and ready.
The other- arguably easier- way to do it is to get a glove with a 70-90% factory break-in. The build quality will be somewhat compromised on an easy-to-break-in glove, but you’ll get to enjoy all the benefits right out of the box.
It’s okay to get a bit confused during a slowpitch glove hunt. So, I’m going to answer a few common questions that’ll help you see things clearly.
What is the best glove for slowpitch softball?
The answer to this question will depend on what you want from the glove. If you want a glove within a reasonable budget without losing your competitive edge, the Rawlings Player Preferred would be the best option.
However, if you want to snag a high-end glove for tourneys, the Wilson Super Skin or the Rawlings Heart of the Hide will be the “best” slowpitch glove.
How big should a slow-pitch softball glove be?
A slow-pitch ball is 12 inches. So, the glove you need has to be big enough to catch the ball. Most adult players can work with 12 to 13-inch gloves. However, if you’re looking for a youth softball glove, I’d recommend sticking to 11.5-12.5 inches.
Can I use a baseball glove for slowpitch softball?
For casual Saturday night fun or Sunday evening hoorah, be my guest. As long as you want to have fun, you can use your baseball glove for slowpitch softball.
However, if performance is of any concern to you, getting the best slowpitch softball glove is going to be a much better option.
What is the best brand of softball gloves?
A lot of brands have made their name in the world of softball gloves. I’m just going to name a few here-
Each brand has something unique to offer. So, it’s difficult to label one particular brand as the “best brand”. However, statistically speaking, Rawlings has the upper hand over all the other brands when it comes to professional preference.
Make Slowpitch Your Bitch
Slowpitch softball is becoming increasingly popular despite the longstanding dominance of fastpitch. Every day more leagues and new tournaments are taking place. If you want to get into the action, you need the best slowpitch softball glove.
You can always treat slow-pitch as a source of weekend entertainment as well. Actually, that’s what most people do. Still, getting a top-notch glove will only add more fun and comfort to the procedure.
I level with the sentiment of casuals not wanting to spend a ton of green for a slow-pitch glove. If you’re on the more-fun and less-competition end, I’d recommend looking into the Rawlings Player Preferred. It’s an excellent all-around glove. This glove won’t take a swipe at your wallet. And you’ll get more than satisfactory performance.
If you want a softball glove capable enough to handle the pressure of the major leagues, try the Wilson Super Skin or the Miken Pro Series. The Wilson Super Skin is a bit limited in size and hand orientation. However, the Miken Pro Series has a lot of options.
So, I hope this article has helped you in knowing, identifying, and assessing top-tier slow-pitch gloves. Now go out there and play some ball. Cheers!