If you’re new to slow pitch, the Easton Salvo Series may not be familiar to you. But, if you’ve spent any time in the game, you will have either seen them in play or experienced them first hand. The Salvo series has earned its reputation of provide a functional mix of value and quality, and the current-generation first-base mitts continue that tradition.

These mitts provide the best of materials for durability and longevity, while keeping costs down with a functional mesh backing. Do not be confused, though: The Easton Salvo Series SVSM3 first base mitts are a compromise only in the sense that they bring superior material and functionality into the hands of the softball player on a budget. You will never know you saved money on your mitt until you check your bank statement.

Features

  • High quality 365 steerhide leather provides great feel
  • LOCK DOWN wrist strap keeps the mitt secure
  • Open, single-post web provides great visibility
  • VRS Shock Pad takes the sting out of hard throws
  • Nylon mesh backing in strategic locations, saves weight and cash
  • Easton’s DOUBLE DEEP pocket provides forgiveness for secure catches

Advantages

365 Steerhide Leather

Steerhide is a tough and tight-grained option for softball gloves. If properly treated, it will last for years. This durability comes at a cost beyond the monetary, though. The SVSM3 requires an extended break-in period to get to game-ready pliability, and is stiff off the shelf. It is also heavy, though the weight is mitigated in this model thanks to the mesh backing. Once broken in, there will be no more durable glove, nor one with better feel, on any diamond.

VRS Shock Pad

Many gloves and mitts intended for the slow-pitch market come with little to no padding whatsoever. First basemen, though, will receive the hardest throws on the slow-pitch field with the greatest regularity. To this end, Easton included its cushioning VRS Shock Pad in these mitts. While the padding is not as thick as it is on first-base mitts meant for baseball, it is still functional. It reduces the painful sting of the hardest throws, though it does not eliminate it.

Extra Large Pocket

The DOUBLE DEEP pocket on the SVSM3 is truly enormous. At any other position on the soft-pitch field, a pocket of this size might be a liability, even in the outfield. Throws made to first base bring their own set of variables, though, and players at that position must make concessions. The larger the pocket, the more forgiving it will be when the mitt is positioned just millimeters from the optimal location. When throws are offline or skipped, the larger pocket provides forgiveness that will make everyone in the infield look better.

Disadvantages

Mesh Backing

To what extent a nylon mesh backing is a disadvantage is up to the individual. It certainly adds a bit of flexibility to a new glove, while providing cooling air flow. However, there is nothing to be done to increase the mesh’s lifespan. It will last as long as it lasts, it saves weight and dirt will get into the openings. An all-steerhide glove would be longer-lasting, though inevitably more expensive, investment.

Not for Fastpitch or Large Hands

The fingerstalls in the SVSM3 mitt are larger than usually found on a fastpitch glove, so it would be a good option for girls with large hands. The hand opening, though, is on the small side. This creates a slight mismatch between the hand opening and fingerstall sizes that may confound male players with large hands. That group of player should find the interior comfortable, though never roomy, but taking the mitt off and putting it on might be frustrating.

Requires Extended Break In

The 365 steerhide in the SVSM4 is treated, and the mesh backing is already flexible, so the length of break in on these Easton mitts is a bit confusing. Once it is ready for play, the SVSM3 becomes pliable, providing excellent feel and superior strength. The issue is that breaking the glove in properly may take weeks of repeated use and oiling. This is not the glove you want to purchase the day of the big game.

Verdict

When money is no object, finding the perfect softball glove is a simpler task. Players who need value as well as quality often have a tougher time finding perfection. The Easton SVSM3 manages to provide players with superior quality at a reasonable cost. The compromises players must make to put one in play have nothing to do with playability, which will be impressive. If you play first base and you want a quality mitt, you already likely know that your options are limited. With the SVSM3, you get quality and durability where you need it, and affordable synthetics where you don’t.

Still looking for the perfect slowpitch glove?  Check out our picks for the best ones here.

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