Best Batting Gloves 2017: Best Brands and Top Rated Glove Reviews

It is up for debate who wore the first pair of batting gloves. In some reports, it was the Giants’ slugger Bobby Thomson, who is responsible for the sport’s most famous homerun – the shot heard round the world – to clinch the National League pennant in 1951.

Other baseball people remember that Boston’s Ted Williams wore a golf glove during batting practice.

best batting gloves - guide

Williams was a hitting guru and constantly looked for an edge at the plate; he’d certainly be looking at the best batting gloves available.

The first player to wear gloves during an actual game was Ken Harrelson. Allegedly, he wore the gloves because he was not expecting to play that day, so he played 27 holes of golf in the morning.

When game time came and he found himself on the roster, he used his golf gloves to protect his blistered hands.

Regardless of who the first player was, nearly every hitter in Major League Baseball uses batting gloves today.

Contemporary batting gloves are typically made from a combination of leather and synthetic materials and are designed to improve comfort and grip while swinging the bat.

They also help absorb the force of hitting the ball and protect the hands from painful blisters and inside pitches.

At the professional levels of play, many players coat the handles of the bat with pine tar; the batting gloves prevent players from having to touch this sticky concoction directly.

While they are not required, only a handful of professional players abstain from using them. Thus, batting gloves are considered an essential piece of equipment.

Top Batting Gloves You Should Consider Buying

Franklin CFX Pro
Franklin CFX Pro Batting Gloves
Under Armour Yard
Under Armour Yard Batting Gloves
LS Series 5 Pro
Louisville Slugger Series 5 Pro

When choosing a brand or style of batting gloves, it is important to know what to look for. Top of the line gloves are typically thinner, which helps prevent the hands from sweating and thus weakening the overall grip.

The other important aspect to look for is the actual stitching. You may not realize it, but swinging a baseball bat creates a lot of friction on the hands. Poorly stitched gloves will tear and rip easily under this level of friction.

Other components to look for are where on the hands or wrists the gloves Velcro and do they offer any kind of shielding for the back of your hands.

Here are some of the top styles and brands of best baseball batting gloves.

Nike

Nike and their swish logo are possibly the most recognizable brand when it comes to sport-inspired clothing and equipment.

Their trendsetting sportswear is designed specifically for athletes of all levels and their batting gloves are no exception.

Nike understands that different players look for different qualities in their batting gloves, so they have a variety of different styles that highlight these different desires.

Overall, they use a thin leather construction to offer a durable glove that allows the batter to feel the handle of the bat.

Due to the lightweight design, they do not cause the hands to sweat much and compromise the fit of the gloves.

Nike batting gloves fasten with Velcro at the lower part of the wrist, which provides a secure fit on the hand.

Nike offers a variety of styles and colors that allow the consumer to pick a look that fits their uniform or shows off their personal flair.

The most popular styles include the Vapor, MVP, Diamond and N1. Each style supports a different play style.

For example, the Vapor line is customized for maximum breathability and grip, while the N1 series has reinforced padding for superior protection.

Best Nike Batting Gloves

Nike MVP Pro Elite Review

At the professional levels, two Nike batting gloves standout as the best: the MVP Pro Elite and the Diamond Elite. Not only are these the most popular choices by pro athletes, but they also offer some of the best features.

The MVP Pro Elite batting gloves are made with incredible care and high quality materials, including sheepskin leather, which provides greater grip, durability and flex than some of the other popular leathers.

Nike Adult MVP Elite Batting Gloves

Aside from this superior construction, the batting gloves also have an excellent design. From the wide, articulated wrist strap for a better fit, to the thumb gusset for better grip and feel of the bat at the plate.

Every part of the MVP Pro Elite has been carefully looked at and enhanced to fit the specific needs of high-level play.

Despite their higher-than-average price point, the gloves are built to last, which means you could get multiple seasons out of them, which makes them even more value than replacing a less durable pair each spring.

Nike Diamond Elite II Review

In contrast, the Nike Diamond Elite II batting gloves are more affordable and have similar performance-enhancing features.

While the Diamond Elite II may not have sheepskin leather, their genuine leather and synthetic leather blend is as close to the real thing as you can get and equally durable and comfortable on the hands.

Nike Diamond Elite Pro II Adult Baseball Batting Gloves

Aside from the leather, these batting gloves also implement a mesh material in key areas to help improve breathability and flexibility.

This ventilated mesh, especially on the back of the hands, helps keep them cool and dry.

The mesh around the thumb, on the other hand, improves flex for a better grip around the handle of the bat. This translates into more control and hitting precision at the plate.

Instead of the more traditional, singular velcro strap, the Nike Diamond Elite II uses separate pieces of velcro.

This creates a more customizable feel around the bottom of the hand and wrist and an overall lighter batting glove.

Franklin

If popularity is any measure of the quality of the batting gloves, then Franklin takes the gold medal. It is the most popular brand among professional baseball athletes.

Their gloves have everything going for them – soft leather that is breathable and dries quickly when sweated into, a snug fight that tightens at the lower wrist and innovative stitching that delivers a comfortable feel while holding a bat.

While Franklin does not offer the numerous colors and styles that Nike and other brands do, Franklin batting gloves are much more affordable; even their premier gloves.

Franklin also makes a Cold Weather Batting Glove line that is specifically designed to perform well at the plate during cold weather.

They are the only sporting-goods company that manufacturers batting gloves that are made just for lower temperature ball games.

Thus, the Franklin Cold Weather Batting Glove is ideal for hitters who are playing in fall ball leagues or in colder regions.

Best Franklin Batting Gloves

Franklin CFX Pro Series Review

Used by the likes of some of Baseball’s greatest, like Dustin Pedroia, Evan Longoria, Edwin Encarnacion and others, the Franklin CFX Pro Series are some of the best batting gloves on the market.

The gloves deliver on all of Franklin’s promises for improved performance, grip on the bat (under any weather condition) and comfort.

Franklin Sports MLB CFX Pro Batting Gloves

Similar to the Nike MVP Pro Elite series, these Franklin Batting Gloves are also made with sheepskin leather, which delivers continuous softness and grip.

Where synthetic leathers will begin to lose their tactility, the high-quality sheepskin leather will hold all season long and beyond.

The CFX Pro Series gloves are also some of the most flexible batting gloves you can find. Thanks to the floating thumb technology, Neoprene bridge and Tectonic fit inserts, you can have customized flex throughout the whole glove.

Despite usually being rather plain in the style department, the CFX Pro Series has a lot of different color options to fit your uniform or personal style.

Franklin Pro Classic Series Review

Again, Franklin has been known for making the finest batting gloves for years now. Their Pro Classic Series of batting gloves is a look back at the gloves that started it all.

While some equipment manufacturers have endorsements by current professional athletes, the Pro Classic has the likes of Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt, as well as Kirby Puckett, Cal Ripken and other former greats.

Franklin Pro Classic Batting Glove

The design is simple, yet emanates perfection. After all, the greats expect the very best batting gloves. With sheepskin leather and pro-grade spandex, the gloves provide all of the best in comfort, flexibility and durability.

The Quad-flex creasing and strategic stitching eliminates material build up between the fingers, in the crease of the thumb and, most importantly, between palm and bat handle. Thus, you are always ensured a great, comfortable grip with the bat.

The Pro Classic Series lacks the numerous style options, as the CFX Pro Series, but delivers a timeless, classic look instead.

Under Armour

In recent years, Under Armour (UA) has made huge strives to become a leader in sports equipment and clothing.

Their batting gloves come in a variety of styles and colors that allow any player to customize their look and stand out.

Compared to the competitors, Under Armour batting gloves tend to be a little bit thicker. While this helps protect the hand and increase the shock absorption, it does not offer the breathability and bat-feel as other gloves.

Some of the best qualities of these batting gloves are in their materials. While many glove manufacturers use sheep or calfskin leather, UA uses goatskin.

Goatskin is better resistant to abrasions and tears; it’s also easier to stretch. Thus, their batting gloves using this material have a tendency to have a form fit that may be tight at first, before it stretches to the contour of the hand.

Despite being a relatively new player on the market, Under Armour makes some of the top batting gloves out there. Their most popular batting gloves are the Cage and Under Armour Yard series.

Best Under Armour Batting Gloves

Under Armour Cage Review

The Under Armour Cage gloves feature goatskin leather to offer a durable glove that is sturdy, but does not sacrifice grip or comfort. As mentioned above, it also gives a form fit, but it may take a few games to break in.

Aside from the goatskin leather, the Cage batting gloves also implement extra padding around the palm. These cushions are strategically placed, as to not interfere with the player’s grip on the bat.

Under Armour Men's Cage Baseball Batting Gloves

These extra pads aim to reduce potential soreness from unpleasant bat feedback, especially on balls struck close to the handle of the bat.

For ventilation purposes, Under Armour added perforations on the bottom of the fingers. And, for a tight fit, the wrist straps are molded for an especially snug, locked fit around the bottom of the hand and wrist.

While there aren’t many color or style options for the Under Armour Cage batting gloves, they do feature a locker tag on the inside of the glove, that allows you to personally identify them.

Under Armour Yard Review

Alternatively, Under Armour also offers the Under Armour Yard series of batting gloves. While the Cage gloves have few style options, these batting gloves feature multiple color options. And, the Yard series uses the more traditional sheepskin leather in its construction.

The Yard series offers a greater ventilation solution, thanks to the HeatGear® technology on the back of the gloves. This helps wick sweat to keep the hitter’s hands dry.

Under Armour Men's Yard Batting Gloves

The material itself also dries fast, so you don’t have to worry about the gloves being damp and encrusted after play.

Also on the top of the gloves are synthetic overlays, which further protect the tops of your hands alongside the already protective and durable leather.

This protective covering helps reduce the blow from getting hit by an inside pitch on the hands and isn’t bulky or protruding.

Compared to the Cage batting gloves, these are a little softer to the feel and more protective, but it is hard to beat the form fit of the Cage gloves. Either way, these both have a strong bid as some of the best batting gloves out there.

Louisville Slugger

While Louisville Slugger is best known for making perfect baseball bats, they also make a decent pair of batting gloves.

Their gloves tend to run a little thicker than most. However, despite being made with a little extra leather, the gloves remain breathable.

The soft leather is durable and dries well after becoming wet, which allows the Louisville batting gloves to return to their original shape and feel for a long-lasting, secure fit. Most of their gloves have at least six different styles and color schemes to satisfy any player’s stylistic needs.

Louisville Slugger makes gloves for different levels of play. So, whether you are at the top levels of your game or just starting out, they have gloves that fit your needs (and your hands).

Often, the highest levels of competition demand better materials, like Cabretta leather or high-quality composite materials, and protective features.

This is not to say that the more affordable offerings by Louisville Slugger are made with cheap materials and lack any design elements.

Simply put, you don’t need top end materials and features for your batting gloves, unless you are facing top pitching.

Best Louisville Slugger Batting Gloves

Louisville Slugger Advanced Design Batting Gloves

The BGPG14-A Advanced Design Batting Gloves are the company’s premier batting glove and are made from a combination of a composite material and sheepskin Cabretta leather.

The composite material is engineered to be impact-resistant, which helps protect the entire hand from balls. It also bolsters the integrity of the gloves, as they are less prone to tearing or heavy wear.

Louisville Slugger Adult Advanced Design Batting Gloves

The Cabretta leather is a super breathable material, which is comfortable and soft on the hands and fingers. It is also impressively durable, as high end batting gloves should be. Thus, they are sure to last all season long and beyond.

The BGP14-A Advanced Design Batting Gloves utilize Lycra stretch zones and a neoprene-TPR (thermoplastic rubber) wrist strap to give a tight, but comfortable, fit on the player’s hand and wrist.

The stretch zones also eliminate the chance of material bunching between the fingers, palms or thumbs.

Louisville Slugger Series 5 Pro Batting Gloves

At the lower price end is Louisville Slugger’s BGS514-A Series 5 batting gloves, which come in a variety of colors.

However, they do not feature the top-of-the-line materials and design as the BGPG14-A Advanced Design gloves and are thus less protective on the hands.

Louisville Slugger Adult Series 5 Pro Batting Gloves

That said, most semi-professional or youth leagues won’t face the high-speed pitches that the hands need to be protected against.

The thick goatskin leather used in the construction of the Series 5 may not be specifically engineered like the composite/Cabretta leather construction of Louisville’s premier batting gloves, but it is notably durable and resistant to tears and abrasions.

Goatskin is also a very stretchable leather, which, along with the same Lycra stretch zones and an elastic stretch straps on the wrist,  offer a great fit on any hand.

It is worth noting again that goatskin’s stretchable properties means it may take some time for that form fit to take, well, form. They may require a break-in period before they cease feeling tight.

Adidas

Similar to Nike, Adidas is known for selling sport-inspired clothing and equipment. They have batting gloves in youth and adult sizes.

They also have the same attraction to different designs, colors and patterns that Nike has. This makes Adidas an ideal choice for players that enjoy standing out or having an extra level of style.

Most of their available batting gloves feature pre-curved fingers for a more natural fit that requires less time to break in.

With double synthetic leather on the palms, they achieve a superior grip on the bat. This is important at the plate because it allows the hitter to maintain full control of their swing.

The majority of their gloves are made with a flexible and breathable material that helps keep sweat out. Not only does this ensure that your hands remain dry inside the gloves, but it also helps keep the batting gloves themselves dry and sweat-free, which helps them maintain their integrity and fit.

The downside to Adidas’ batting gloves is they do not provide any extra protection to the fingertips or back of the hand, which leaves the hitter vulnerable to painful inside pitches, especially at higher levels of play.

Best Adidas Batting Gloves

Adidas Adizero 2.0 Review

For the best batting gloves that Adidas has to offer, you have to look no further than the Adizero 2.0. These batting gloves offer everything a premier pair of batting gloves needs: performance, durability, comfort, style and grip.

For grip and comfort, the AdiZero 2.0 batting gloves use high end PittardsⓇ Leather in the construction.

This material is both tacky, thereby enhancing the gloves ability to grip the bat, and also soft and comfortable on your hands and fingertips. The palms and fingertips are textured for even more hold.

Adidas AdiZero 2.0 batting gloves

It is also very lightweight, which means your hands (and bat speed) aren’t hampered by cumbersome gloves.

This ultra-light design is helped by the Elite back-of-hand construction, which is made from a super breathable and extra light material.

The Adizero 2.0 batting gloves have five different color options, including a trendy,  multi-color pattern that puts word of encouragement (such as ‘confident,’ ‘dress louder’ and ‘elusive’) literally at your fingertips.

Adidas Trilogy Batting Gloves

Adidas also offers the Trilogy series of batting gloves. They too have five different color options (although lack the multi-color option), but a slightly more simplistic design.

That said, they still offer a number of performance-enhancing features that make these gloves a good option for the best baseball batting gloves to buy.

Adidas Trilogy Batting Gloves

True to Adidas’ batting gloves, the Trilogy series has the pre-curved fingers, which deliver that natural fit. This tight, natural fit is further helped by the adjustable wrist strap and flex material on the back of the hand.

All together, these features offer a snug fit that eliminates bunching in key areas and ultimately deliver a superior grip as well.

Overall, the Trilogy batting gloves are certainly more affordable, but are still a well-made pair of batting gloves. They still use genuine leather in the construction and have performance-enhancing features, which makes them a great buy.

EvoShield

While EvoShield is a lesser-known company compared to Nike, Adidas and other brands, they offer some innovative features that cannot be found in competitors.

Perhaps the most impressive part of EvoShield batting gloves’ design is their custom-molding hand shields. The thin gel mold starts out soft and inserts into a concealed pocket on the back of the gloves.

Within just thirty minutes of wearing the gloves, the soft gel begins to react and harden. When it is finished, it will be a protective shield customized to the exact shape and curvature of the user’s hand. No other batting glove offers such a unique shell for the back of the hand.

Apart from the custom molding, EvoShield also uses high-quality materials in the construction of its batting gloves.

The hand back is made from a carefully engineered PowerStretch fabric that expels moisture, while maintaining a snug fit that does not restrict movement.

The palm is high-grade leather made by Pittards and features EvoShield’s specially crafted grip pattern that gives players a masterful handle on the bat.

Their pro batting gloves feature different colors in a digital camouflage pattern, which gives them a modern look that stands out on the field.

EvoShield batting gloves’ main drawback is their high price range. In addition, one pair only includes a single shielding mold, meant for the the lead batting hand. Other molds have to be purchased separately.

Best EvoShield Batting Gloves

Evoshield Protective/Performance Batting Gloves

EvoShield batting gloves are different than other brands’ products. As a relatively new company, they don’t have nearly as many product lines and series of batting gloves as their competitors.

They differentiate their batting gloves between Protection (those with the custom, protective mold insert) and Performance (those without the shielding).

It is also important to make sure you are looking at the Evoshield Protective (or Performance) Batting Gloves 2.0.

EvoShield Protective Batting Gloves

EvoShield Protective Batting Gloves

These gloves are an improvement over EvoShield’s first stab at making batting gloves. Specifically, they are designed to be thinner and thereby more breathable than the 2.0’s predecessor.

This new material has a lower profile and utilizes Velcro straps for a tighter fit. Despite being made from a thinner material, the EvoShield 2.o batting gloves remain durable and the Protection series are some of the best batting gloves out there for protecting your hands. There is no reason that an inside pitch should take you out of the game

Aside from the Protection’s custom-molded shield that disperses every impact on the back of your hand, the gloves also have a variety of features.

Evoshield Performance Batting Gloves

Evoshield Performance Batting Gloves

For example, both are made with Pittards leather material, especially on the palm area of the gloves. This helps improve their tacky grip when a hitter is holding their bat.

The Velcro wrist straps of the EvoShield 2.0 batting gloves use a sleep pull tab design to secure the straps. It also makes it easy and fast to take off, which is especially important if you have to change equipment quickly and get back into the field.

Lastly, it is worth mentioning that the EvoShield 2.0 Protective gloves have 13 different style options, which puts them in the same realm as Nike or Adidas. They are also available in a youth model, but it has far fewer color options.

Best Youth Batting Gloves

Knowing the best youth batting gloves to choose for your son or daughter can be difficult because there are so many options out there.

The majority of the above options have youth models or, at the very least, run small enough to fit a younger hitter.

That said, often the more expensive, high end batting gloves are superfluous at the early levels of play.

best youth batting gloves for your child

Typically, the biggest components to the good batting gloves are their grip and protective qualities.

While grip is always important, young players don’t have the bat speed or power to compromise their grip during their swing.

Protection is also less important because pitchers in youth leagues don’t throw hard enough for their pitches to potentially cause damage to a hitter’s hands.

The best qualities to look for in youth batting gloves are their durability and fit. Kids grow fast, which means they are going to quickly outgrow any sporting equipment you buy them.

When it comes to their batting gloves, buying a little big is okay, just make sure they have a sturdy wrist strap that allows you to tighten and control the fit of the gloves.

Durability is important because you want to ensure the gloves last. The best batting gloves don’t begin fraying or tearing after heavy use. Often this comes down to the type of materials used, but the silent killer of batting gloves is actually sweat.

Without the ability to wick sweat away, not only do the hands get clammy, but all of that moisture is absorbed into the fibers of the gloves. Overtime, this will cause them to deteriorate and become brittle.

Thus, your best option, when shopping for a young player, is to find the batting gloves that are more affordable and use lower quality, but still semi-tacky and extra durable, materials.

Our pick for the best batting gloves for youth players has to be the Louisville Slugger BGS514-A Series 5.

Louisville Slugger Youth Series 5 Pro Batting Gloves

With the Lycra stretch zones paired with the already stretchable qualities of the goatskin leather, these batting gloves have a lot of room to grow into it.

Additionally, they provide a good balance between price and quality; while you aren’t spending a ton of money, you are still getting a durable, long-lasting goatskin leather material.

The Adidas Trilogy batting gloves make a similar case and are a good runner up, if you can’t get your hands on the BGS514-A Series 5. These gloves are also a good mix between quality materials and a low price.

Conclusion

Whether it was due to hitting expert Ted Williams, the mythic Bobby Thomson or poor Ken Harrelson’s calloused golf hands, the batting glove has evolved from an inventive trick by hitters trying to get an edge to a fundamental component of any baseball player’s equipment.

Each brand and style of batting gloves offers its own advantages and disadvantages. As aforementioned, the type of batting glove really depends on the player’s preference and their level of play.

For example, at a youth or high school level, back of the hand protection is not as necessary at a semi or pro-level because the pitching is much slower. However, affordability might be more of a selling point in these leagues.

Other aspects, such as the type and thickness of the palms vary from player to player; some hitters prefer thin leather that allows them to feel the handle of the bat and others like padded leather for more shock absorption upon contact.

Whatever the preference is, the most universally crucial aspects of a good pair of batting gloves revolve around the quality of the materials and their breathability.

When making a purchasing decision, price is always a relevant matter. However, sometimes the cheaper batting gloves use less reliable materials and tend to rip more easily.

For example, Adidas’ cheapest batting gloves use synthetic leather on the palm, which is not as durable as the genuine leather featured in their mid-to-upper range of gloves.

While spending less money is always tempting, it may be wiser to shell out a little more for a glove that will stand the test of time. Breathability is equally important. If batting gloves cannot properly expel sweat from the hands, the grip is compromised.

In addition, moisture build-up in the fibers of the gloves will cause them to harden and lose flexibility. Not only does this create an uncomfortable fit on the hands, but it also increases the chance that they will tear.