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Can You Use a Softball Glove in Baseball?

When it comes to being a baseball player, the list of equipment you need to purchase upfront can seem pretty long. It's therefore no surprise that some players try to get away with using a softball glove instead of finding a new baseball glove.

But trust us—you shouldn’t bother. And here’s why:

Are Softball and Baseball Gloves the Same?

No, not at all—softball and baseball gloves differ in a few key ways.

For starters, softball gloves are just too big to catch a baseball effectively. They’re designed with longer fingers to help fielders catch those big softballs. The palm of a softball glove is also larger than that of a baseball glove, providing more surface area to help secure the ball.

Baseball gloves have smaller pockets to help fielders grip the smaller baseball. This is because a softball is approximately 3 inches larger in circumference than a baseball.

That might not seem like much when we're talking circumference, but it makes a big difference when you’re trying to catch a softball—or throw one with any degree of accuracy.

And even if you could manage to catch or even get a grip on a baseball with a softball glove, you wouldn't be able to grab it and throw it with the same kind of velocity or precision.

The Snowcone Factor

Trying to throw a softball with a baseball glove is a recipe for disaster—or at least a recipe for a snowcone. A snowcone is when the ball slips out of the mitt, but barely stays in the fingertips of the glove, resembling the shape of—you guessed it—a snowcone.

Not only will you be unable to properly grip the softball with a baseball glove, but the longer fingers on a softball glove will get in the way when you try to throw the ball.

So, while you might be able to get away with using a softball glove in baseball in a pinch, it's not going to be ideal—or even very effective at all. It's better to just invest in the right gear for each sport.

“But, Wouldn’t it Work ‘Good Enough’?”

Well, to answer the original question: Can you use a softball glove in baseball?Yes, technically.

Will a baseball glove work in softball? Yes, technically. It is possible to catch a softball with a baseball glove.

But should you do either of these things? No—it's not recommended at all.

Look at it this way:

Can you use a cricket bat in place of a baseball bat? Technically, yes. (Rules aside.)Both are bat and ball games.

But would you want to use a cricket bat in a baseball game? Probably not.

The same goes for using a softball glove in baseball—it might work in a pinch, but you’re not going to be as successful as you would be if you were using the proper equipment.

If you're serious about either game save yourself the headache and just get a baseball glove if you're playing baseball. And find yourself a good softball glove if you're playing softball.

The Bottom Line

Using a softball glove for a baseball glove is like playing while wearing shoes that are a size and a half too big—they might stay on your feet, but you’re probably going to trip and fall a lot.

So, just like you should wear shoes that fit properly, you should use a glove that’s designed for the sport you’re playing.

Whether you’re playing softball or baseball, the last thing you want is a snowcone. (Well, at least not until after the game.) Do yourself a favor—and get the right gear for the right sport.