best fastpitch softball gloves guide

The 10 Best Fastpitch Softball Gloves 2020

This guide will discuss how to select the best fastpitch softball gloves. Every position player faces unique challenges and they need the right glove to assist in carrying out these duties.

In other words, if you want to be a great defensive player, then you need the very best fastpitch glove for your position. This requires reading fastpitch softball gloves reviews and buying guides (like this one) to gain a fuller understanding of what to look for in a glove.

This guide will start with fastpitch softball glove reviews of the top-rated fastpitch gloves on the market. Then, we’ll cover such topics as:

Top 10 Best Fastpitch Softball Glove Reviews 2020

For any player looking to gain a competitive edge in their defense on the field, having the right fastpitch softball glove on your hand is a critical step. With all of the brands, styles and other factors to consider when shopping for the best fastpitch softball gloves, we thought it necessary to breakdown some of the top fastpitch softball glove products and discuss their pros, cons and what position each glove is best for.

We always try and include a range of products to cover different player needs. We pay particular attention to prices and try and showcase options at all levels of play and across the pricing spectrum. It’s practically guaranteed that you’ll find a glove suitable to your needs in our list.

Here are the best fastpitch softball gloves 2020:

  1. Mizuno Prospect GXS102 Youth Catcher’s Mitt
  2. Shoeless Jane 1175FPHW 11.75-Inch Glove
  3. Shoeless Jane 1300FPFB First Base Mitt
  4. Rawlings Liberty Advanced 13-Inch Glove
  5. Mizuno Franchise 13-Inch Glove
  6. Wilson A2000 12.5-Inch Glove
  7. Wilson A1000 12-Inch Glove
  8. Mizuno MVP Prime Glove
  9. Nokona Walnut 12.5-Inch Glove
  10. Nokona X2 Buckaroo 12-Inch Glove

1. Mizuno Prospect GXS102 Youth Catcher’s Mitt

Catcher’s mitts, especially at the youth level of fastpitch softball, should make a player’s job behind the plate easier. Mizuno understands this very well and has built this glove to really help a youth player learn the fundamentals of catching.

The Thumb Cut Hinge feature makes it easier for young fastpitch softball catchers to slam the glove shut on each pitch, which improves timing and comfortability at the dish. It also promotes flexibility in the mitt.

Meanwhile, the ButterSoft Palm Liner and Full Grain Leather Shell help add durability and comfort, two qualities that are must-haves in a top-rated youth fastpitch catcher’s mitt.

The MZO Lining adds another layer of comfort behind the plate by effectively wicking away sweat and maintaining a great fit all game long.

  • Thumb Cut Hing empowers young catchers to snap the mitt shut.
  • MZO Lining eliminates problems caused by sweat inside the mitt.
  • ButterSoft Palm Liner has an exceptional feel that young players will love.
  • The glove openings may be too small for older players with larger hands.
  • Some catcher’s prefer a closed webbing, but the Mizuno Prospect Select has an H-web.

This may be the best youth fastpitch softball catcher’s mitt for players that are just starting to learn softball and are playing on a budget. After all, the purpose of any of the best youth fastpitch softball gloves is to help beginners learn the game and improve!

2. Shoeless Jane 1175FPHW 11.75-Inch Glove

Shoeless Jane fastpitch softball gloves may look vintage, but they are anything but. They perform just like any of the other top-rated fastpitch softball gloves, maybe even better.

What’s nice about these gloves is the variety they offer. There are a few different sizes and webbing options to choose from. For example, the 11.75-inch, H-web Shoeless Jane fastpitch glove would be ideal for a third base infielder. A larger size, however, would be great in the outfield.

The versatility of the Shoeless Jane series is mirrored by their unique qualities and structure. Every glove is made individually by hand, which creates a truly distinct product every time. No two Shoeless Jane gloves are exactly the same.

These gloves adjust with a velcro wrist strap to accommodate a range of different hand sizes.

  • Lots of versatility and models for all different webbing preferences and positions.
  • Hand cut and crafted to ensure top-notch quality and performance.
  • Some glove styles may be too small for 12-inch softballs.
  • Velcro wrist strap can wear out easier than more traditional straps.

The Shoeless Jane fastpitch softball glove gives players a lot of options to choose from. And, their vintage look and feel is just an added bonus that buyers seem to adore.

3. Shoeless Jane 1300FPFB First Base Mitt

Recap what we’ve already discussed about the qualities that make Shoeless Joe/Jane gloves an incredible buy, these gloves stand out because they are made to look and feel like a glove used in baseball’s golden era. And, every glove is hand cut, sewn and constructed, which guarantees a unique fit each time.

According to fastpitch first base mitt reviews, this glove measures 13 inches and has an H-web. This is a great webbing style for first base because it offers good visibility and a strong glove structure to rein in those fast throws to first or a screaming drive down the line. These gloves have a velcro wrist strap and their fit is designed for the hands of female players.

  • The awesome Shoeless Joe look, feel and performance that players have come to love.
  • Strong glove structure for stellar, long-lasting performance.
  • Gloves are designed for female players, male fastpitch softball players may need to look for a glove with a bigger hand opening.
  • Mitt-style glove isn’t usable at other positions.

If you want the best fastpitch first base mitt that also looks and feels incredible, then there is no better option than the Shoeless Jane 13-inch first base mitt.

4. Rawlings Liberty Advanced 13-Inch Glove

The Rawlings Liberty Advanced glove has an exceptional fit. Not only are the glove’s opening and fingers stalls carefully sized to match a woman’s hand, but the non-slip pull back strap also creates an adjustable, customizable fit.

And, the Rawlings Liberty Advanced glove has a 70% factory fit, so the glove is ready for the big game almost immediately.

Aside from the fit, the Rawlings Liberty Advanced also delivers on long-lasting performance. The strength of these gloves comes from the oil-treated leather and resilient lacings.

For protection, this 13-inch outfield glove utilizes Poron XRD Padding in the palm and finger pads. The pocket of this top fastpitch softball glove for outfielders is extra deep, so you can securely catch every pop fly or line drive hit to your territory.

This glove has a large, H-shape webbing. This is great for tracking balls in the air, especially when you need to battle the sun.

  • Very little break-in time needed.
  • H-shaped webbing offers great visibility.
  • All-leather lacings provide ample durability and strong glove structure.
  • Deeper pocket is great for catching, but can make transferring the ball to your throwing hand difficult.

This is arguably the best fastpitch softball glove for playing in the outfield because of its large size and deep pocket. You’ll catch practically anything that you’re able to get to.

5. Mizuno Franchise 13-Inch Glove

The Mizuno Franchise glove is packed with features and a top-level design that make it a must-include on any list of the top fastpitch softball gloves. For example, the Double Hinge Heel make the glove easier to close.

The lacings are also a marvel. There are two different types: QuickForm and HiLo. The QuickForm lacings help tighten the form of the glove, while the HiLo laces provide stellar flexibility.

Each Mizuno Franchise is made from Java Leather material. This leather is reportedly good at giving players an easy break-in and seasons-long durability. These gloves also feature the Parashock Plus Palm Pad for less sting and better rebound control, when necessary.

These are some of the best fastpitch gloves for pitchers and outfielders.

  • Wide pocket and easy to close glove.
  • Two styles of lacings for a well structured, flexible glove.
  • Fully closed web style limits visibility, especially in the outfield.
  • 13-inch glove pattern may be too big for some players.

When it comes to shopping for good, cheap fastpitch softball gloves, a lot of players find themselves buying the Mizuno Franchise because they pack so many features and design elements into a low price.

6. Wilson A2000 12.5-Inch Glove

You can’t have a conversation about the best softball gloves or the best baseball gloves without eventually coming around to the Wilson A2000. These gloves have dominated the games at all levels.

The Wilson A2000 has fastpitch glove models available for all positions and preferences. The 12.5-inch model is great for outfielders, while infielders may prefer smaller sizes.

The White SuperSkin and Pro Stock leather materials produce a glove that is comfortable, strong and lightweight, all at the same time!

For added comfort, the velcro wrist closure creates a firm and secure grip, so the glove is always where it needs to be. And, to eliminate potential glove sting, the Honeycomb cell padding offers a no-sting zone.

  • A very versatile glove that suits all players.
  • High quality materials ensure a comfortable, light and durable glove.
  • Honeycomb padding for reduced glove sting.
  • On the higher end of the price spectrum.
  • White and light gray leathers dirty quickly.

You don’t need us to tell you that the Wilson A2000 is a good fastpitch softball glove. These are one of the most popular gloves on the market for a reason.

7. Wilson A1000 12-Inch Glove

The Wilson A2000 is a favorite glove for players at all positions, but it is a little expensive. This Wilson A1000 model appears to carry that same legacy, but at a cheaper price point. With models and sizes for all player positions, anyone can use the Wilson A1000 fastpitch softball glove.

Each model fits its position perfectly. For example, the 12-inch model is an ideal size for infielders. And, the Dual Post webbing offers a shallow pocket for easier transfers and good visibility when battling the sun. Alternatively, the larger 12.5-inch Wilson A1000 is better suited for outfielders and has a deeper pocket.

The gloves feature the same Pro Stock design as the A2000’s and are constructed from soft leather for supreme comfort and quick break-in. And, that soft leather will mold to your hand for a totally unique fit. For even more comfort, the glove adjusts with a custom lacing system.

  • Designed for excellent comfort and fit.
  • Various models to suit all positions and player preferences.
  • Limited color options to choose from.
  • Soft leather isn’t always the most durable.

Wilson is a leader in baseball and softball gloves. The Wilson A1000 carries on the tradition by being of the most comfortable gloves for players at all positions, and at an affordable price.

8. Mizuno MVP Prime Glove

The Mizuno MVP Prime is one of the most popular, and most affordable fastpitch gloves available. At almost half the price of options like the Wilson A2000, the MVP Prime still maintains a pro-level quality, particularly in the lacings.

Similar to other models listed, the Mizuno MVP Prime has various sizing and webbing options to appeal to players at different positions.

This glove features Bio Soft leather for a smooth, comfortable feel. You won’t want to take the glove off! Despite the soft, oiled texture, the glove remains firm and will only elevate a player’s performance in the field. The center pocket design creatures a unique break-in point that improves ball control inside the glove.

To guarantee fit, Mizuno designed the MVP Prime with gender-engineered sizing. This ensures that the gloves fit perfectly on a female player’s hands; it is arguably the best fastpitch softball glove for small hands.

  • Pro-quality features for an affordable price.
  • Smooth, firm Bio Soft leather creates superb feel, comfort and performance.
  • Versatile sizing and webbing options.
  • May not suit a player with large hands.
  • Soft, white leather can have durability issues and be hard to keep clean.

The Mizuno MVP Prime may be the best softball glove for the money. It has a lot of pro-level features, but at an affordable price point.

9. Nokona Walnut 12.5-Inch Glove

If you’re looking for high-quality fastpitch softball gloves that will last the longest, then you’re in the right part of our fastpitch glove reviews! One of the big reasons that people love these gloves is Nokona’s Walnut Crunch Leather. This special walnut leather is incredibly durable and stable.

Each Nokona Walnut glove is made by hand in the USA. They are meticulously crafted to be the appropriate size for the women athletes that play fastpitch softball. From there, the player can adjust her fit with the velcro wrist strap.

The softball pattern used by Nokona to create the Walnut 12.5-inch fastpitch glove has a deep pocket to effectively catch and field the larger softballs. The glove is also designed to be versatile and usable by players at almost every position.

  • Walnut Crunch Leather allows this Nokona fastpitch softball glove to last for many seasons.
  • Customizable fit that is made for female softball player hands.
  • Versatile design that can be used effectively in the infield or outfield.
  • Deep pocket appropriate for softballs.
  • Not a true infield or outfield glove.
  • Glove is proven to last, but the price may not be manageable by all players.
  • Will be incredibly tight fitting on a male fastpitch softball player’s hand.

The Nokona Walnut 12.5-inch fastpitch softball glove is not cheap, but its incredible durability means you won’t have to replace it for many seasons.

10. Nokona X2 Buckaroo 12-Inch Glove

The Nokona X2 Buckaroo Series Fastpitch Glove has an expensive price tag, but don’t let that deter you just yet. Its price is well deserved considering the amazing features packed into this fastpitch softball glove.

First, the glove is made from top-quality Stampede Steerhide and Kangaroo leathers. Kangaroo leather in particular is great for baseball and softball gloves because it is extremely lightweight, yet ultra-durable. The Stampede Steerhide leather only adds to this durability to create an incredibly long-lasting glove.

Next, the Nolera Composite Padding System helps keep the player’s hand protected and helps soften hard thrown or hit balls. And finally, the adjustable back-of-hand closure delivers that ideal, snug fit that players want.

  • One of the most durable fastpitch softball gloves available.
  • Nolera Composite Padding System removes the fear of painful glove sting.
  • Adjustable closure for a customized fit.
  • A very expensive glove.
  • Doesn’t have a number of model options like other products.

Nokona gloves guarantee quality and this glove is no different. While the X2 Buckaroo Series has a high price tag, the durable leathers will keep the glove alive for seasons to come.

What to Look for in the Best Fastpitch Softball Gloves

Now that we’ve discussed the fastpitch softball gloves reviews, it’s important to also recognize the key qualities to look for when shopping for fastpitch softball gloves and mitts.

Leather

Largely, the price and quality of a glove is determined by the type, or grade, of leather used. Expensive gloves will use more exotic leathers, which cost more, but are typically stronger and more durable. Low-quality or youth gloves, on the other hand, will use cheaper leathers or synthetic materials.

Webbing

Different players look for webbings that fit their position and personal preferences. Some players like a glove that can open really wide, as this makes it easier to catch fly balls on the run. Infielders, on the other hand, may prefer a glove with a shallower pocket/webbing, as this makes it easy to quickly transfer the ball and try and turn two.

Mitt vs. Glove

People often use these terms interchangeably, but there is actually a difference between a softball mitt and a softball glove. Gloves have individual finger stalls, whereas mitts are one contiguous piece of leather. Also, mitts are exclusively designed for first base and catcher positions. The shovel-like design of a mitt is helpful for scooping balls in the dirt, which is a frequent occurrence at these posts.

Comfort

Comfort is rarely a priority, when it comes to choosing a glove, but it is an important quality to consider. During hot day games, having a glove that can wick moisture away and keep your hand from sweating is a big benefit. Some gloves also use a softer leather, as certain players like the feel that this gives to their hand inside the glove.

Size and Fit

The right size can help ensure that you have a solid fitting glove. Different positions also call for bigger or smaller gloves. Outfielders tend to like a large glove, while infielders (save for first base and some third base players) opt for a smaller, lighter glove.

How to Size a Fastpitch Softball Glove

Again, sizing is important and can depend on the physical size of your hand and also your position. This is an average fastpitch softball glove size chart. That said, each measurement is just a recommendation. The best way to know if a softball glove will provide that excellent fit that you want is to try it on before making a final purchasing decision.

Recommended Fastpitch Glove Size

(Note: These sizes are for players age 13+)

How to Find the Best Affordable Fastpitch Softball Gloves

Fastpitch softball gloves can be expensive, especially at the highest levels of the game. No player wants to break the bank buying a new glove, which is why it’s important to know where to look and when to find the best money-saving opportunities.

Online Versus In-Store

This is a big debate when it comes to buying any type of sporting equipment. Shopping online typically yields better prices and a wider selection of products/brands. When you shop in-store, you’re limited to only what’s available and in stock by that vendor. On the plus side, when you shop in person, you have the opportunity to physically try the product on, see how it fits and so on.

To get the best deal on the right fastpitch softball glove, you may want to consider conducting some research at your local sporting goods store and trying some gloves on. Then, make a purchase online, where the prices are lower.

When to Buy

To save the most money, it is recommended to shop for a glove during the offseason, as this is when sports stores will heavily discount these products.

You may be able to find better prices if you wait for a large sale in the offseason, such as around Christmas or Thanksgiving. If you need a glove in the middle of a season, however, you can try and holdout for a Memorial Day or July 4th sale.

Online stores run sales and discounts all the time. It may just be a matter of waiting until the price on your favorite glove drops.

Best Brands for Fastpitch Softball Gloves

There’s a number of different manufacturers and brands within the space of fastpitch softball gloves. Some of these companies have huge reputations that span multiple different sports and beyond, while others exist solely in the glove industry.

Rawlings

It’s hard to picture a world of baseball or softball without the Rawlings brand. This is one of the most recognizable names in the sport, especially when it comes to manufacturing gloves. Their Heart of the Hide series is one of the most popular, across both softball and baseball.

Wilson

Wilson is right at the top of the list with Rawlings. The Wilson A2000, in particular, is one of the best-selling fastpitch gloves on the market today.

Mizuno

When it comes to performance, Mizuno is a top competitor. They may not have the color options of other brands, but they more than make up for this with their simplistic, yet effective designs. And, they have options for players of all ages and skill levels.

Nokona

Nokona may not be a household brand, but they’ve been in the glove-making industry for over 80 years. They predominantly use USA leathers and their products are handmade in Nokona’s birthplace, a small Texas town. An american product for America’s past time.

Shoeless Joe

It’s hard to talk about fastpitch softball glove brands without mentioning Shoeless Joe. Their Shoeless Jane lineup are some of the best women’s softball gloves available. The leathers of Shoeless Joe gloves are aged and rubbed to appear and feel vintage. Their gloves are known for having very short break in periods.

Best Fastpitch Softball Gloves by Position

The final thing to consider, when shopping for a glove, is the webbing and how your position affects the type of glove you want to look for. It’s more than just the size. You want to have a glove that helps you handle all of your position’s responsibilities. Glove webbing is one of the tools that can help a player perform these duties.

First Base

As mentioned before, first base players use a specific, mitt-style glove. These mitts are larger to create a bigger target and make it easier to pick and scoop balls out of the dirt. For webbing, it’s common to see first base players with an H-shape webbing or single post design. These webbing styles are sturdy and offer good visibility for the glove’s user. Other first base mitts use a closed design because this helps the glove maintain its shape and structure for longer.

Catcher

Catcher is another position that uses a speciality mitt. As expected, the best fastpitch catcher’s mitt will be larger and have a lot more padding around the pocket to protect the catcher’s hand.

Most catcher’s mitts have a closed webbing, as this adds more strength to the glove and heightens the protection. Other players feel that the best fastpitch softball catcher’s mitt should have webbing with some visibility, as it helps the player see the ball all the way into the pocket.

Middle Infielder

Second base and shortstop players face a lot of hard hit ground balls. They need to be quick and nimble, which requires a smaller glove with a shallow pocket. This design makes it easier to flash the leather and make those great stops or flawless double-play transfers. Infielders like gloves with I-web designs. This is a good, lightweight webbing that has good durability.

Third Base

The hot corner, as it is appropriately named, has to face some of the hardest hit balls. Just like middle infielders, third base players need a glove that they can move quickly. Some players find that the best third base glove for fastpitch softball is the same, smaller I-web style as middle infielders. Other third base players like a larger glove with a sturdier pocket, to ensure those sharp line drives don’t bend back the top of the glove and escape to the outfield.

Pitcher

Pitchers don’t rely on their gloves as much as other players. However, their gloves do have an important role: to mask the grip on pitches. You don’t want the batter to spot how you are holding the softball or what your grip may be, as this can give them information on what to look for.

Thus, pitchers always want to use a closed web design, to ensure they don’t tip their pitches or accidentally give the batter any information.

Outfield

Unlike the infield that faces a lot of hard ground balls, the outfield is typically ranging to catch fly balls. They need a glove that they can open wide and cover a lot of ground with. For these reasons, this position likes an H-web or trapeze style webbing. These gloves offer moderate visibility, but lots of catching surface.

Conclusions

We hope that this fastpitch softball glove buying guide has been a valuable resource for you and your shopping needs. Again, our goal in creating this guide was to connect people with information about buying the best fastpitch softball gloves, while also supplying a wide selection of fastpitch softball gloves reviews for players to mull over.

That said, our reviews are simply our recommendations. Every player is unique and looks for different qualities or factors when shopping for softball mitts and gloves. Thus, we suggest that you also look at gloves not included in our list, as you may find that glass slipper fit that you’re after!

With the prices of fastpitch softball gloves reaching as high as $300, we know how overwhelming it can be to find the right, affordable choice for the best fastpitch softball gloves.

Hopefully, we’ve made your buying journey a little easier by providing you with well-researched fastpitch softball glove reviews and answers to commonly asked questions about softball gloves.

We encourage you to check back to this page again, as it will be updated in the future as new products and options for top fastpitch softball gloves hit the market. We also hope that you’ll explore some of our other buying guides for your other softball equipment needs.

As always, we suggest that you try on and test out any fastpitch softball glove products, before making a final buy. Even if a glove looks great on paper, it may not feel so great once you’ve put it on.