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How to Choose a Batting Glove
Buying the perfect batting glove can significantly increase the accuracy and power of your swing. Discovering how you want to benefit from a pair of batting gloves is the first step to figuring out how to choose a batting glove that is perfect for you.
The two main benefits you can gain from batting gloves are increased grip and less impact to the hands when hitting a baseball. Different types of material on the palms of the gloves will provide different benefits to the batter. The palms of batting gloves are made of leather or synthetic material.
Leather Batting Gloves
Most of the batting gloves sold today are made with leather palms, as leather provides great grip and comfort, while also giving the batter a more natural feel when holding onto the bat. Leather also absorbs a great amount of the impact when hitting a baseball, even if you decide to choose a pair of gloves with only a thin layer of leather. This overall gives more accuracy and power to the swing, since one can grip and hold the bat much better than not wearing any gloves at all.
There are some negative aspects to leather palmed batting gloves. First, the batter's palms may become sweaty, especially on a hot day. Leather can also take awhile to loosen up, which will take the batter some time to reach peak performance from the gloves. Finally, leather palmed gloves will be a little bit more expensive than gloves using other materials.
One of the most popular leathers to purchase are Pittards leather, which have incredible durability. A very popular pair of batting gloves made from Pittard leather are the Franklin Neo Classic II batting gloves, which will last for several seasons and provide great flexibility.
Sheepskin leather gloves are also popular, as they tend to be the softest leather gloves and still provide great durability. One great pair of sheepskin gloves are the Easton VRS Pro IV. These are made from Cabretta sheepskin leather and are proven to decrease the shock after hitting a baseball by around 76%, when compared to a basic batting glove.
If you do buy leather batting gloves, be sure to pick up a bottle of Nokona NLT Glove Conditioner. This product is inexpensive and will help restore the leather on your gloves to like new condition, which can help lengthen the overall lifetime of your gloves.
Synthetic Batting Gloves
With synthetic materials, you still get a good amount of grip. You will actually have increased flexibility when compared to batting gloves made with leather. Synthetic materials may not absorb the impact as much as leather when hitting a baseball, but you can find a pair of batting gloves with more padding in the palms to decrease the amount of impact on your hands. This material will actually pull sweat away from your hands, providing a more consistent feel when wearing them over a long period of time.
What you won't get with synthetic material batting gloves is the natural feel when holding onto the baseball bat. Also, you won't get the same amount of durability and length of use with synthetic material, as it is typically not as strong as leather and wear more easily.
If you're looking for a glove made of synthetic material with an enormous amount of grip, one recommendation would be the XproteX Hammr batting gloves. These were created to provide you with no slipping on any type of bat, no matter how hard you swing.
Once you've realized the benefits you want to gain from the batting gloves and then selected the type of material you want to have, it's time to get the correct construction and the perfect size.
Batting Glove Construction and Sizing
The construction of the glove will affect the entire feel you will have when you're holding onto a bat. It is important to have good flexibility. Flexibility comes from the use of elastic material within the gloves. Depending on how much flexibility you want to have, you can purchase gloves with elastic material in specific zones or have gloves with the entire back of the glove will be made from elastic material.
The amount of padding on the palms effects the feel and comfort when hitting a baseball. Some gloves have simply a layer of material between your palms and the bat, while others have an entire layer of foam or foam in specific spots on the palm of the gloves. The more foam that is used, the less impact you'll feel but you'll also decrease the natural feel you'll have when holding onto the bat. The best way to figure out how much padding you want is to try a pair on and pick up a bat. Even though you may not get to hit a ball inside a store, you can still feel how much comfort you'll have and how the gloves feel when holding onto a bat.
Finally, purchasing the correct sized batting gloves is very important. In order to find your size, you need to measure your dominant hand from the base of your palm to the tip of your middle finger. Use this measurement and follow this general guide to find batting gloves that will fit your hand:
- Extra Small 6.75" or less
- Small 6.75" - 7"
- Medium 7" - 7.25"
- Large 7.25"- 7.75"
- Extra Large 7.75" - 8"
- Extra Small 6.25" or 6.5"
- Small 6.5" - 6.75"
- Medium 6.75" - 7"
- Large 7"- 7.5"
- Extra Large 7.5" - 7.75"
- Small 6" or 6.25"
- Medium 6.25" - 6.5"
- Large 6.5" - 6.75"
- Extra Large 6.75"- 7"
Although these measurements are a good guide to start with, it is best to go to a store and try on several pairs before making your purchase. Some companies may make their gloves smaller or larger than others. If you get leather gloves, remember once the leather starts to soften up, they will start to fit a little more loose. It's a good idea to have these snug on your hand, so they wear in and stretch out to fit your hand perfectly.
The perfect fit will have little to no extra material, but they won't restrict your natural movement of your fingers when making a fist. Too loose and the gloves will slip around and they won't be very effective increasing the accuracy and power of your swing. Too tight and you'll have limited movement and you may actually decrease the accuracy and power of your swing. Once you find the perfect pair of gloves, it is important to take care of them and keep them clean in order to maintain their performance benefits.