9 Insider Secrets for Nailing the Perfect Size Softball Glove

Last updated on March 19, 2024

Gear up and get ready to dominate the diamond! Choosing the right size softball glove depends on your position on the field. From the hefty mitts of catchers to the nimble gloves of infielders, each position demands a specific level of reach, protection, and maneuverability. Let’s dive into the ideal glove sizes for different softball positions.

Different Positions, Different Sizes

First basemen need gloves with thinner padding and added length for catching infield throws, while second basemen need smaller gloves to quickly transition from catching to making throws. Third basemen require larger gloves to more easily snag quick hits to the “hot corner,” while shortstops need gloves that are neither large nor small to handle ground balls and make quick throws. Outfielders need lots of length and a deep pocket to secure catches through diving plays or potential crashes with the wall. If you’re unsure about what position you’ll be playing, a general and multipurpose glove, like a middle infield glove, would be a good choice.

So, what size softball glove do I need exactly?

Choosing the right size of softball glove is crucial for players of all ages and positions. As a general rule, youth-sized gloves are recommended for younger players to help them achieve better control. Buying a larger glove for a child to grow into doesn’t necessarily help develop their skills in their game.

For players aged 6 and under, a glove size between 9 and 10 inches is generally recommended for all positions. For ages 7 to 9, a glove size between 10 and 11.5 inches is ideal for all positions. As players get older, the size of the glove needed will vary depending on their position.

Infielders aged 10 to 14 may fit well with 11.5 to 12.5-inch gloves, while outfielders can opt for 12 to 13 inches. For players aged 15 and up, infielders may fit well with 12 to 13-inch gloves, while outfielders may use 12.5 to 14-inch gloves.

Softball Glove Sizing Chart

Fastpitch Gloves

AgeCatcher*First BaseMiddle InfieldThird BasePitcherOutfield
7 and under29.5-30″11.5″10″-11″10″-11″9.5″-10.5″10.5″-11.5″
14 and over32-35″12-13″11.5″-12.5″11.75″-13″11.75″-12.75″12″-13.5″
*Catcher’s mitts are measured by circumference.

Slowpitch Gloves

AgeFirst BaseMiddle InfieldThird BasePitcher
14 and over12-13″11.5-12.5″11.75-13″11.5-13″

To measure a softball glove’s size, measure from the top of the index finger to the bottom of the glove. Be sure to measure the entire length of the glove, including the pocket. The diagram below shows how to measure a softball glove’s size:

softball glove sizing diagram

The Basic Parts of a Softball Glove


The pocket is the central part of the glove that catches the ball. The depth of the pocket is determined by the position played. Infielders benefit from shallower pockets, which allow for quick retrieval and throwing of the ball. Outfielders require deeper pockets to catch the ball while it is in flight. Softball glove pockets are relatively deeper to accommodate the larger ball.


Webbing is the area between the thumb and fingers of the glove. The decision to choose a glove with webbing is determined by both player preference and position. Open webbing allows for quick retrieval of the ball, which is an advantage for infielders. Outfielders and third base players benefit more from closed or tightly woven webbing. Pitchers can also hide the ball from the batter using this type of webbing.


The back of the glove wraps across the back of your hand and is either open or closed. The decision to choose an open or closed back is a matter of preference for the player. An open back gives you more flexibility, which is beneficial for infielders. A closed back, on the other hand, gives outfielders more support.

Additional Considerations

When choosing a softball glove, it’s important to consider the amount of padding based on your spot on the diamond. Catchers typically require the thickest padding to protect their hands from fast-moving pitches, while gloves for other positions are now designed with increased padding to reduce palm shock and enhance comfort on the field. Also, softball gloves are typically made of leather which offers serious benefits in terms of feel, durability, and affordability. For more details on these features and additional tips for choosing the right softball glove, check out our full guide to a glove’s important features.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the differences between fastpitch and slowpitch softball gloves?

The difference between fastpitch and slowpitch gloves stems from the different paces that the two games have. Fastpitch gloves are made for the fast-paced game, designed for quick snaps and secure catches with their snug fit and shallower pockets. Slowpitch gloves, on the other hand, suit the slower game speed, focusing more on comfort and larger pockets for easy fielding.

Are there specific gloves recommended for utility players?

Utility players, who cover multiple spots, should look for gloves that are pretty much the Swiss Army knife of softball gloves. They strike a balance with a design that’s not too deep or too shallow, making them great for playing anywhere on the field. Between a 12″-12.5″ would be the ideal range to still be versatile all over the diamond.

How do you break in a softball glove?

To break in your glove, it’s all about softening the leather and shaping it to your hand. Start with a bit of leather conditioner to keep it supple. Spend time flexing the glove, working the fingers, and playing catch to naturally shape it. It’s a bit like breaking in a new pair of shoes – it takes time, but it’s worth it for the perfect fit and feel on the field.

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