Batting gloves are the key to creating a loving, glue-like bond between your hands and the handle of the bat. They are important equipment. Batting gloves are an extension of your hands and provide the right feel and grip to aid a solid swing. A well-fitted, fresh pair of hitting gloves is a welcome feel when stepping up to the plate for some serious ball slamming business. In this best batting gloves equipment guide, Dugout Debate covers all the bases: we provide an overview of some of the best youth batting gloves, best softball batting gloves, and best baseball batting gloves. We also provide a few tips on what makes a great pair of batting gloves and what to look for.
- 1 Comparison Table: 15 Best Batting Gloves of 2017
- 2 Why Hitters Wear Batting Gloves
- 3 Selecting the Right Pair of Batting Gloves
- 4 Synthetic Versus Leather: What Makes for the Best Batting Gloves?
- 5 Choosing the Right Batting Glove Size
- 6 The Best Softball Batting Gloves
- 7 The Best Baseball Batting Gloves
- 8 The Best Youth Batting Gloves
Comparison Table: 15 Best Batting Gloves of 2017
Here is a selection of the most popular batting gloves for softball and baseball this season. If you’re looking for youth batting gloves or gloves for very small hands skip to our last section ‘The Best Youth Batting Gloves’.
Why Hitters Wear Batting Gloves
For most players, it’s pretty obvious why it is beneficial to wear batting gloves. The main purpose of batting gloves is to provide hitters with a secure and consistent grip on the bat handle. Batting gloves will also help reduce the shock of making contact with the ball outside of the barrel’s sweet spot. If you’ve hit some baseballs or softballs you know the feeling of vibrations shooting up your arms reminding you of the line drive that could have been. Batting gloves will also provide protection from scratches and cuts when sliding on base paths.
Batting gloves are especially useful for newer hitters that have not developed upper-palm calluses that are naturally acquired through batting practice repetition. For the new player, going bananas at the batting cage at the start of the season could result in painful blisters. That might even mean temporarily missing out on some practice time. Batting gloves are designed to prevent the worst of these hand injuries that occur from heavy batting practice.
Selecting the Right Pair of Batting Gloves
There are a handful of leading companies supplying hitters with the best batting gloves: Easton, DeMarini, Cutters, Mizuno, Louisville, Jordan, Marucci, Worth, Under Armour, and the two most popular Nike and Franklin. Nike and Franklin are the top dogs by far in the batting glove category, followed by Under Armour who is steadily gaining share. The bottom line is, all of these sportswear manufacturers make high-quality products and it’s hard to go wrong with one of them. Keep in mind that even some of the top brands have some “fluke” models and we steer clear of those in the best batting gloves section.
Unfortunately, it’s easy to lose a pair of these or wear one out during the course of an active season. If you are prone to losing things you may want to consider purchasing a cheaper pair, though they are probably going to wear out a lot faster than some of the best-made batting gloves. This is because they incorporate less expensive stitching resulting in rips and tears. Additionally, less expensive batting gloves tend to be thicker which means a less firm grip. Thick gloves can also cause your hands to get sweaty making your hands slide around inside the gloves. The extra sweat will build up and when the gloves dry out they will be hard and brittle causing them to be uncomfortable your next time up at the plate.
Just for fun, here are the most popular batting gloves seen in the MLB:
For these reasons, we encourage hitters to look for batting gloves with the following characteristics:
- Tact. Located along the palms and fingers, this sticky material helps the hands grip the bat.
- Padding. Some gloves feature high-impact resistant padding on the hands and fingers. The downside is that it will make the gloves more heavy and thick.
- Comfort. Softness, fit, and feel are the most important factors.
- Lightweight. There’s no need to have bulky batting gloves unless you’re purchasing an additional pair of batting gloves for cold weather conditions.
- Thin leather. Contributes to light weight and steady grip. Leather typically performs better than synthetics, though there are still some great synthetic gloves available.
- Breathable material. Helps the gloves dry out faster. Material with moisture wicking properties provides exceptional performance on extra hot days.
- Tight fit. This ensures a quality grip on the bat.
- Durable. You want gloves that are going to hold together for at least a season, this is mainly affected by the stitching used by the manufacturer.
- Style. Some players like unique styles or their gloves to match the team’s colors.
Synthetic Versus Leather: What Makes for the Best Batting Gloves?
These are the two most common types of batting glove material. Oftentimes, manufacturers will use a combination of both. Most hitters are proponents of leather, because of its longevity and how it ages well. Also, most people favor the feel and grip of leather over synthetic. Sheepskin is one of the highest quality leathers used to make batting gloves. The downsides to leather gloves are that they take a period of time to sufficiently break in and form to your hands. They can feel awfully rigid, like a brand new mitt that hasn’t yet seen the field. Just like with mitts, you can use oil or a special glove conditioner to solve this problem.
Synthetics are nice because they don’t require a break-in period. They provide better flexibility, which is particularly helpful around fingers, thumbs, and knuckles. That is why many manufacturers stick with the leather palm and synthetic finger design. Generally they are also more breathable. High-quality synthetics are also built with moisture-wicking fibers keeping your hands dry and primed for action.
Choosing the Right Batting Glove Size
Many times players will discover what size they are from a little trial and error. Their hands end up swimming in too loose of gloves or they nearly cut off their circulation with a super tight pair until their next round of purchasing a new pair. Fortunately, there is a better way to do it.
Use a ruling or measuring tape and measure the distance from the base of your palm to the tip of your middle finger. Then, use our chart below to determine the best size for you. If you find that you’re hand length is right between two sizes, we recommend opting for the smaller size for a snug fit. This is because loose gloves can result in a loose grip on the bat. Not only is that dangerous but it is going to be less than ideal for optimal hitting. Also, remember the material will loosen up after time. So a new pair that feels just a little too tight is ideal.
|XS||Under 6 – 3/4″||6-1/4″-6-1/2″||N/A|
The Best Softball Batting Gloves
#1 Worth Legit Fastpitch Batting Gloves: These batting gloves offer one of the best grips for fast pitch players. The Duratac leather palm is printed with silicone texture for the ultimate performance. They are light weight gloves, with a skin tight snug feel that’s preferred by most hitters. There are three color options available: orange, grey/lime, and a more standard grey white.
#2 Easton Synergy II Women’s Fastpitch Batting Gloves: One of the most popular batting gloves for fastpitch players, these are colorful and bright. It has plenty of vented material strategically located throughout the glove. The Synergy II incorporates both genuine leather and synthetic for good durability and performance.
#3 DeMarini SuperLight Women’s Batting Gloves: These batting gloves are a straightforward, no frills design. They are all one piece, with perforations in the leather for ventilation. We like them because they are thin, lightweight, and you can hardly feel them once they are broken in. They are just what batting gloves should be: comfortable and offer a great grip to the bat handle.
#4 Nike Imara II Women’s Batting Gloves: If you’re a loyal Nike follower, these may be the batting gloves for you. They come in all white and pink and white versions. The design is solid, with flex zones, elastic wristband, ventilated mesh, leather palm, and synthetic cover. The downside is that they will get dirty fast.
#5 Under Armour Radar III Women’s Batting Glove: Under Armor offers the Radar III in eight cool color options. They also implemented their HeatGear tech on the back that reduces moisture buildup. The contoured wrist enclosure is very comfortable, and allows the player to further customize the fit. These use the staple of most Under Armor gloves: goatskin leather.
#6 Mizuno Finch Softball Women’s Batting Gloves: Endorsed by Jennie Finch herself, the Finch batting globves are 50 percent leather, 40 percent lycra, and 10 percent synthetic. The leather palm and flex mesh make this pair of gloves a solid grip with just the right amount of flexibility.
#7 DeMarini Digi Camo Batting Glove: These camo styled gloves are great for all players softball and baseball. They have a classic design with a smooth leather palm. Relief lines run along the knuckles and fingers for superior flex. As DeMarini jokes, “Even though these gloves are camo, people will notice.”
The Best Baseball Batting Gloves
#1 Easton Adult Typhoon III Batting Gloves: Easton is a well-known manufacturer at bats and when they tried their hand at batting gloves they have reached a level of success envied by most sportswear companies. What we like about Easton’s batting gloves is you can tell there isn’t a lot of markup here. They don’t hype these gloves, what they offer is a durable, functional, and genuine leather pair of gloves for a quarter of the price of some of the other best pairs.
#2 Nike MVP Elite Pro Adult Batting Gloves: The MVP batting gloves are a sexy pair of gloves, sure to be an eye catcher. The question is whether or not you can stomach the price tag. They are arguably the most comfortable batting glove on the market. These gloves are made from premium sheepskin leather, providing the highest level of comfort and one of the best grips money can buy. The mesh panels help keep hands cool even while snugly embraced by the soft leather.
#3 Under Armour Men’s UA Clean-Up Batting Gloves: These gloves are elegantly styled and are known for superior performance. They are a sleek looking pair of gloves, stamped with the distinguishing UA logo. There are a few interesting features that make these stand out from the rest of the pack. Most prominently, these gloves use goatskin leather known for its durability. The HeatGear tech by Under Armour helps wick sweat and dries quickly. This tech matched with the perforations that add extra ventilation help keep your hands cool even during the hottest summer days.
#4 Franklin Sports Neo Classic II Adult: The floating thumb technology helps with the glove staying flexible in one of the most troublesome batting glove areas. These gloves are licensed by the Major League of Baseball. They come in 5 different color options.
#5 Under Armour Yard Undeniable Adult Batting Gloves: Striker camo print and Pittard’s cabretta leather—whats not to love about these gloves? The grip on these gloves is insane, you’ll have to have your first base coach peel your hands off the handle once you make it to first.
#6 Marucci Elite Adult Batting Gloves: Available in 5 team colors, Marucci’s batting gloves offer a nice balance of comfort and grip. They call their design the “Big League Grip.”
#7 Louisville Slugger Advanced Design Adult Batting Gloves: If you’re interested in some protective padding, these slugger gloves may fit the bill. They are still slim enough not to appear like a bulky set of hockey gloves either.
#8 Franklin Adult Cold Weather Batting Glove. This pair of batting gloves is particularly designed for cold weather conditions. Made from sheepskin leather, they are thick enough to keep the coldest of hands from going numb on those freezing days or cold morning games.
#9 Notable Mention: Franklin Custom Batting Gloves: If you’re team has unique colors and you want to match (or you have you’re own crazy style) you can customize your own batting gloves at Franklin.