Men’s vs. Women’s Softball Gloves – Is There Really a Difference?


Most sports have clearly defined gender lines, and this because of obvious reasons. Men have different physical features from women, and competition cannot happen on a level playing ground. This is why sports authorities always have gender-specific competitions and sports gear manufacturers by producing two sets of equipment for every sport. However, when it comes to softball, the gender line is blurred even though it still exists. There are two kinds of softball; fastpitch softball and slowpitch softball. Women tend to play fastpitch softball while men tend to play slowpitch softball. The equipment used in golf balls is not gendered specific. However, when softball manufacturers brand a softball product as a piece of fastpitch equipment, softballers generally associate it with being meant for women. When a product is branded as a slow pitch product, we also assume it is meant for men. If we want to figure out the difference between men’s softball gloves and women’s softball gloves, we should check out the differences between fastpitch gloves and slowpitch gloves. In this article, we have outlined some of the major differences between these products. Enjoy!

Differences between fastpitch (Women’s) softball glove and Slowpitch (Men’s) softball glove

This section outlined and explained the most noticeable differences between fastpitch softball gloves and slowpitch softball gloves.

  1. Fit

The most noticeable difference between fastpitch softball gloves and slowpitch softball gloves is the fit of the gloves. Fastpitch gloves are intended for women, and they are often designed with tighter, smaller hand openings. The assumption is men have bigger hands, and they might not fit them in fastpitch gloves. This is also the case with slowpitch gloves. The finger openings are wider and might be a little too loose to function effectively for a lady. However, you should know that this is not a compulsory standard. If you are a man with small fingers, you can use fastpitch gloves, and if you are a woman with relatively large hands, you can use slowpitch gloves.

  1. Padding

Softball is a lot like baseball, where you have to catch hard, incoming throws. In fastpitch softball, the ball is thrown faster and with more energy than slowpitch softball. For this reason, fastpitch gloves are designed with much more padding than slowpitch gloves. However, we cannot deny that even though slowpitch softball is played in a relaxed setting, the throws can still come very hard. It doesn’t make logical sense to reduce the padding on the slowpitch glove, and one can only conclude that the padding is meant for men because they can withstand more force and catch the ball with more energy.

  1. Size

According to the National Softball Association, the maximum length allowed for any softball glove is 15 inches. Fastpitch gloves are generally measured between 12 and 13 inches, while slowpitch gloves are measured at 15 inches. This points to the fact that men have longer hands and need more space inside their gloves to contain their fingers. However, some women with large hands might require a softball glove longer than the 13 inches designed for fastpitch gloves.

  1. Pockets

Another difference between a fastpitch softball glove and a slowpitch softball glove is the pocket. Fastpitch softball gloves are designed with shallow pockets, allowing for less space for you to catch the ball. This is probably because fastpitch softball is regarded as a competitive game. However, Slowpitch softball gloves are produced with deep pockets that allow for more relaxation and leeway to trap the ball as you like. The correlation of this feature with gender is not quite clear because women are generally favored when manufacturing sports gear, and this occurrence seems a little paradoxical.


The playing equipment of the athlete heavily influences most games. However, softball majorly relies on the skills and training of the player. If you are a good softballer and you use average equipment, you would still perform excellently on the field. You should know that any softball glove will work perfectly for you as long as it fits your hand. If you are a male softballer and your hand fits perfectly into a fastpitch glove, you should go ahead and purchase it. Likewise, if you are a female softballer and you are most comfortable in a slowpitch glove, that is what you should use. The gender dichotomy is mostly non-existent, and we have only outlined these differences to help you make the most accurate choice. Cheers!