Differences Between Fastpitch and Slowpitch Softball Gloves


Softball is fun; one of the things that makes it that way is its versatility/flexibility. This sport is designed for all ages and genders. More importantly, it is designed for various skill levels. Ideally, there are two types of softball games depending on skills – the Fastpitch and the Slowpitch.

The Fastpitch softball is not so different from the Slowpitch type. However, there are a few differences between them, including their gloves. When it comes to this, you must be aware of the differences between the gloves and pick what’s right for the game.

What are the Differences Between Gloves for Fastpitch and Slowpitch Softball?

Fastpitch softball game is more competitive than its counterpart, but that doesn’t take away the fun from either of them. While the rules vary and regulations binding each, the intended purpose of the game remains the same. Not to dwell much on the differences, let’s look at each of their glove potentials and how they are dissimilar.

Position: The Catcher’s Mitt

The first significant difference between a softpitch and a fast-pitch glove is the Catcher’s Mitt’s catching demand. Ideally, a fastpitch glove uses a modified/re-designed glove that makes it way better for catching. On the other hand, the slowpitch glove doesn’t necessarily need a modification; it could use a utility mitt.

Fastpitch glove uses a catcher’s mitt with a closed web to prevent a hitter from seeing the pitch grip through the softball glove. In that case, the pitch’s speed directed towards the home plate is quite consequential so that the glove can help minimize impact. Overall, the catcher’s mitt is a first-hand detail to tell the difference between a slowpitch and a fastpitch glove on the market.

Slowpitch Catching

While there is a lot of pressure on a fastpitch glove to catch, there is none for slowpitch. It allows you to move at your pace with the glove handling the slow, high-arching pitches conveniently. The slowpitch catching, unlike the fastpitch, also ensures that you don’t have to make a quick transfer.

Ultimately, less pressure on transfer makes the pocket depth inconsequential. Furthermore, this type of softball game leaves base runners positioned until there is contact with the batter. If that ever happens, they could leave the base, but that seldom happens, even with speed issues.

Hand Safety/Protection

Softball was invented while watching the game of baseball – that means there are a few things that are similar about these games. One of them is hand protection. Generally, a fastpitch softball game needs your hands always protected, due to the constant encounter with fast, moving pitches. Some of these pitches go as far as 70 mph, and if not careful, could cause casualties.

For great protection, there is heavy padding in the catcher’s mitts. On the other hand, slowpitch gloves need no padding because the pitches are slow-moving or normal. It is also low-risk.

The Pocket

Another configuration made into a softball glove is the Pocket. It is another factor that strikes a difference between a fastpitch and a slowpitch glove. You will find out that fastpitch gloves have shallower pockets while slowpitch gloves have deeper pockets – there is a reason for that.

A slowpitch glove has more potential to hit fly balls than a fastpitch glove; thus, the glove needs to be deeper to trap the balls. On the other hand, the fastpitch glove doesn’t need to trap balls because the catches are fast-moving; hence, they are shallow. However, pocket depths could vary depending on the manufacturing brand or model.

Break In

Break In is the ability of a softball glove to fit perfectly right for a game. What this means is that you have to put the gloves to the test and be sure it is the right choice for your next game. It wouldn’t be appropriate if you just go ahead to buy softball gloves that you think you need for a game the next day without fully getting yourself used to it.

The break in time could take a couple of days or weeks, but it would come if it is the right thing for you. Besides, being a high-quality fastpitch glove doesn’t necessarily mean it will be perfect; sometimes, a decent quality glove might be all you need. When it comes to slowpitch gloves, you may not face as many problems as the former.


The choice of fastpitch or slowpitch glove sometimes depends on the player’s age. Experienced adults could always go for fastpitch gloves to upscale their skills and become better players. On the contrary, kids are only allowed to use slowpitch gloves because it is more appropriate and convenient.

See here for hand orientation of softball gloves.


Telling the differences between fastpitch and slowpitch softball gloves is a great thing to do because it gives players an idea of what to go for. Additionally, it makes players aware of where they are at improving their skills.