Softball Gloves by Position — What’s the Difference?

Last updated on April 13, 2023

Every position on the field has a specific role, and certain jobs that it must fulfill. Because of this, every player must have the correct size glove and proper webbing. Still not exactly sure where to start? Have no fear, we’ve got you covered.


In fastpitch, infielders typically want to wear a 11.5”-12.5” glove. This will allow for quick glove-to-hand transfers and just enough pocket-space to field the ground ball without it popping out. Second-basemen and shortstops should use a glove on the smaller side of that range (11.5”-11.75”), while third basemen should look to wear a 11.75-12.5”. With a smaller glove, you do have to make sure to use two hands when catching pop-ups so the ball doesn’t come out, (you should do this regardless). First basemen should use a first-base mitt. These mitts come in a size 12”-13”. It is dependent upon the preference of the player on whether you want to go a little bigger, or a little smaller. Infield gloves should sport a I or H web, or something with a somewhat open back.


Outfielders need a bigger pocket to secure fly balls. This is the case in slowpitch, fastpitch, and even baseball. Outfielders usually use a 12”-14” sized glove, which gives the player more room for error when it comes catching the ball. You don’t have to catch the ball perfectly every time if the pocket is big enough. With a 12” glove or bigger, you can be off by a little bit and still come up with the catch, (you can catch it in the palm/bottom of pocket, snowcone-style, etc). Get a glove that has a closed web for extra support when making catches.


For those who make the decision to venture behind the plate, a catcher’s mitt is a necessity. It will protect your glove-hand from injury due to catching pitches at high-velocities. Simply put, catchers have to use catcher’s mitts. Catchers can select sizes from a 33” to a 35”, (or as small as a 29.5” for younger players). 33” mitts will allow for quick transfers behind the plate when throwing to bases, while a 35” will ensure the ball will not pop out of the pocket.


Pitchers should use an 11.5-12.5” glove. Make sure that your glove has a closed web so that the batter can’t see your pitch-grips. Go for the size that feels most comfortable, and that you can field ground balls and bunts with.


Slowpitch players are sometimes expected to play multiple positions. If this is the case, you may be in the market for a multi-purpose glove. You would want to buy a glove that is around a size 13” if you are a utility player. If not, go for the same glove size that is listed above at each position.

Now that you know what glove to play, have a look at our reviews in order to figure out the best glove for you.

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