We have spent more than a hundred hours dissecting the differences in batting gloves. Six major differentiating features can define every batting glove on the market. Below we define each category. Use this information with our Batting Glove Brand and our Batting Gloves Review Page to narrow down your options.
How To Use This Information
Below we walk through the six major differences found within batting gloves. Our experience is that most are unfamiliar with the majority of differences we discuss below, and therefore do not have a preference. We suggest these players study the below and begin to consider the features they may prefer.
Once better batting glove features are decided upon, using our batting glove reviews page will be helpful. As well, the selector guide can help narrow the available choices down to gloves with your favorite options.
References to find the Right Batting Glove
Batting Glove Reviews
Batting Glove Selector Guide
What is the Difference in Batting Gloves
Difference #1: Synthetic or Real
The first decision you need to make when deciding on your batting glove preference is the presence of leather in the palm of the glove. Leather palmed gloves tend to be more expensive than synthetic leather gloves. They also tend to be more durable and stand up better to wet conditions. Some claim leather gloves also feel more comfortable than synthetic batting gloves.
On the whole, we recommend synthetic gloves only to those players who will be playing less than 30 games with those gloves. If for whatever reason, a certain synthetic leather glove type is needed, then a season with more than 30 games might require two sets of the same glove. Or, smarter yet, a home and away pair.
If you are going with a leather glove, you’ll notice sheep and goats’ leather as the most common types. Sheep leather has the reputation for being softer and more durable. It also tends to be more expensive. Top shelf gloves at the MLB level are sheep leather.
Difference #2: Embossed or Smooth Leather
If you are going with a leather palm, then an embossed or smooth palm is the next functional difference you must choose between. Smooth leather, you can imagine, is simply that: smooth. Embossed leather palms come with small markings engraved into the leather palm to add more grip. Most wood bat players prefer embossed leather for the added grip texture.
Only a few players have actually paid attention to the texture of their batting glove’s palm. But, we are confident, once they do they will find they do have a preference. On the whole, we tend to prefer an embossed leather palm. We also understand how others like the softer, skin-like feel of a smooth palmed batting glove.
Difference #3: Palm Padding
A number of batting gloves come with additional padding in the palm of the glove. In terms of functionality and preference, the presence of this feature dramatically reduces the available options to a manageable number. Franklin’s Shock line and Easton’s VRS line are the two most popular batting gloves that offer additional palm padding.
Many players appreciate palm padding for the additional sting dampening it provides. In addition, more padding tends to also mean more warmth, and therefore are preferred by many cold weather players.
Difference #4: Back Hand Padding
Backhand padding for batting gloves serves as a protective layer for the bottom hand in the event of an errant, or not so errant, pitch. It also adds warmth. Some manufacturers, like Slugger and Rawlings, build additional padding on the backhands of a select few lines in their glove repertoire. Xprotex, a less known batting company, makes a living from making batting gloves with massive protection built into the backhand.
EvoShield also makes batting gloves with the option for protection on the backhand, but their process is different. They use a shield protection device that forms to the back of your hand and then slides into the batting glove of your bottom hand.
Difference #5: Sizing Options
Somewhat surprisingly, many batting glove lines do not come in youth sizes. Even fewer come in sizes designed specifically for women’s or girls’ hands. As well, a few lines only come in very select sizes. Once you have decided on the features above and narrowed your selection options to a more manageable few, check to see if the batting glove comes in your size. If you are looking for youth options, expect to only have a few options. If adult medium or large are the right sizes, then expect to still have too many options to count.