You may think all batting gloves were created equal or that batting gloves can’t matter THAT much. This couldn’t be further from the truth. You wouldn’t use a golf glove to take batting practice let alone play in a game.
Having a good grip on the bat is like having a good grip on the baseball – without it you won’t be able to execute. You simply won’t be able to put a good swing on the ball. As coaches often preach, focus on hitting the ball hard, the rest will take care of itself.
|The Best Batting Gloves||Brand||Price|
|Nike Diamond Elite Edge II Batting Gloves|
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|Louisville Slugger BG Protective Batting Glove|
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|Rawlings Workhorse Batting Gloves|
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Why Should You Wear a Batting Glove?
A good batting glove’s main purpose is to improve the grip on the bat. However, batting gloves will also reduce the shock if you miss the sweet spot. If you’ve ever played baseball or softball you know the feeling I’m describing – vibrations shooting up your arm. You know you just missed it.
Somewhat surprisingly thicker batting gloves tend to be cheaper batting gloves. The added material is trying to compensate for the low quality of the material or shoddy manufacturing. This has two repercussions; first you won’t get a good ‘feel’ for the bat and secondly your hands will sweat inside of the glove, which makes it harder to get a good grip on the bat.
Generally speaking, you get what you pay for.
Synthetic Versus Leather Batting Gloves
The two most common types of gloves on the market are synthetic and leather. Often a glove will be a combination of the two; a leather palm and the rest is synthetic.
I’m personally a proponent of gloves with leather palms – sheep skin is my leather of choice. The grip and overall feel you get with leather is hard to beat. However, there are some downsides. For starters much like a fielders mitt, leather takes time to break in. It starts off very rigid until you use it for a while. Using a little glove conditioner or oil can help solve this dilemma. Careful not to overdue it though, as it tends to reduce the overall life of the glove. Finally a good glove made out of leather and synthetic material are often going to be more expensive than a straight synthetic glove.
Having synthetic material on everything EXCEPT the palm is nice for a few reasons. First it provides better flexibility, I find this to particularly important around your knuckles and your thumbs. Synthetics also tend to breath a lot better than leather, as high quality synthetic material wicks away sweat. Even inside of batting gloves, sweaty palms can make it more difficult to get a firm grip on the bat.
The Four Components of a High Quality Batting Glove
Best Batting Gloves for Grip & Feel
Grip and overall feel are the most important aspects when considering which batting gloves to choose. My personal favorite brands are Louisville and Nike, as they have a relatively thin layer of leather, which provides outstanding feel and unsurpassed grip.
Keep in mind, the thinner the leather the less impact the gloves will absorb.
Top Batting Gloves for Flexibility
With the evolution of synthetic material flexibility has become less and less of a focal point when deciding which gloves to purchase. Some brands offer additional padding around the knuckles and fingers, which can reduce the overall flexibility.
Nike Diamond Elite Pro II is a quality glove which offers a ton of flexibility.
Louisville Slugger BG Protective Batting Gloves provide superior wicking performance keeping your hands dry and comfortable. It may not sound like much but you’ll be thankful when the game is on the line.
Durability and Cost
Unless you’re playing in the MLB and receive free batting gloves most of us want two things: for them to stand the test of time and to be reasonably priced.
Rawlings Workhorse Batting Gloves are an incredibly durable glove, with a smaller price tag then some of the competitors.
They’re as rugged as they look. However, they don’t provide as much flexibility and breathability as some of the other lighter gloves.
Choosing the Correct Batting Glove Size
After some trail and error I discovered I was somewhere between a men’s large and extra large. I opted for men’s large, as I prefer a snug fit. Fortunately, there is a better way to do it.
If you’re right handed use your right hand to perform this measurement and if you’re left handed, vice versa.
Measure from the base of your palm to the tip of your middle finger.
Match it up with the corresponding measurement on the chart. If you’re in between a size, as I was (7 3/4”) I would recommend choosing the smaller size. If your glove is loose it makes it difficult to properly grip the baseball bat! Generally, you always want the gloves to be very snug. The material will loosen up over time.
|XS||Under 6 - 3/4"||6-1/4"-6-1/2"||N/A|
*Sizes may slightly vary depending on the manufacturer
Now that you’ve got the correct batting gloves picked out you’re going to want to find a high quality softball bat to take rips with.