The brand has a long history in baseball, and it was Rawlings that first started the Golden Glove awards for defensive skills in baseball.
Their glove-making expertise was easy enough to translate to softball, and Rawlings softball gloves show the same kind of devotion to quality that’s seen in their baseball counterparts.
You have to understand that fastpitch softball gloves are different from baseball gloves in many ways.
For one, softballs are larger than baseballs, so the pockets have to be larger too. This changes the overall design of a fastpitch softball glove from a baseball glove.
The main difference is that fastpitch softball mostly has female players, while baseball is almost exclusive for boys and men.
Since on average the sizes of women’s hands and fingers are smaller, that must be reflected in the fastpitch softball gloves as well.
So why pick a Rawlings fastpitch softball glove?
Here are some highly recommended examples of gloves that should illustrate why the brand is popular among fastpitch softball players who need gloves.
These are all different series, and you’ll find gloves in different size and for different positions.
If you’d like to see all the Rawlings softball gloves I looked at…
Best Rawlings Fastpitch Softball Gloves For 2017
I’ve done the research for you and found the top 5 Rawlings softball gloves for 2017. If you have any questions about these models please let me know by emailing me.
2017 Rawlings Gamer 13″ Fastpitch Softball Glove: GSB130
This is the entry level gloves offered by the brand.
That means that you don’t have to spend too much money to buy yourself a glove fully made of leather.
You won’t have to resort to using inferior synthetic gloves.
Here are some of the more important features
Even though it’s made of leather, it’s virtually game ready right out of the box.
That’s because 80% of the break-in has already been done in the factory, so for the most part the last part of the break in is to mold the leather glove to the precise shape and size of the player.
So you can just play catch with it for a few minutes, and then you can just use this for a real game with no problem.
This is for outfielders, but some infielders may like the basket web that offers a secure pocket that doesn’t let your fingers through when you transfer the ball to your throwing hand. The basket web also works for pitchers as well.
The fit is excellent, and it helps that you don’t just have a conventional back. Instead, it uses an adjustable and non-slip pull strap back that really offers a more customized fit.
It offers various additional touches that really make it a superior glove, especially for an entry level softball glove.
It has a padded thumb loop along with leather finger back linings for a nice soft feel.
Your palm won’t suffer much since the leather palm pad is reinforced. It offers a lot of protection against repeated impact and it’s very comfortable.
The Pro Soft leather used here can be relied on to last a while, and the same goes for the laces. It uses Tennessee tanning rawhide leather lace, which enhance the toughness and structure of the glove.
2017 Rawlings Liberty Advanced 13″ Fastpitch First Base Mitt: RLAFB
The Liberty Advanced series is a bit more expensive than the entry-level Gamer series, and it’s meant for those who are more serious about the game.
Here’s a quick look at the model for 1st base players
This features a full grain leather shell. Leather comes in 3 grades, and full grain is the best of the lot.
It’s of higher grade and it’s heavier, so it offers greater protection, performance, and durability.
To improve it even further, it’s been oil-treated as well. It’s not just for a single season of use.
The problem with full grain leather is that it can take a very long while to break in so that it molds to the shape of your hand.
But Rawlings solves this problem by doing 80% of the break in right in the factory.
It still leaves you with some break in requirements so that it can shape itself to your hand during the last stages of the break in.
This specifically designed for female players, who have smaller hands and fingers on average compared to men.
The protection offered by the glove is terrific. It uses index finger pads as well as the specially made Poron XRD Palm design to minimize the sting as you catch balls to get the runner out at first base.
This uses a single post, double bar web. The open construction makes it lighter, and you can see through it so that you can track the ball as you catch it.
In addition, the web bends more easily so that the ball doesn’t bounce out of the glove.
It again features the adjustable nonslip pull strap so you can really customize the fit for your hand.
How To Break In Your Softball Glove
2017 Rawlings Heart of the Hide 12.5″ Fastpitch Softball First Base Mitt: PROTM8SB
When you go for the Heart of the Hide Rawlings female fastpitch gloves, you’re signaling a deeper commitment to the game.
Of course, perhaps you just have a bigger budget and you want a high quality glove.
If you’re going to use this as a first base player, you’re going to appreciate its fine features.
Here Are 7 Cool Things About This Glove
With the Heart of the Hide Soft Leather Shell, you don’t just get the standard full grain leather that’s the best among the leather for gloves.
You’re now in “best of the best” territory. The hides that Rawlings uses are already topnotch, but for this series they only pick from the top 5% of the bunch.
Like most of the other Rawlings gloves, 80% of the break in has already been done for you.
This will cut down on the break in time considerably, while you still have the opportunity to make sure that it molds to the exact shape of your hand.
The glove uses the special Dual Core Technology that puts in breakpoints that are specific to your 1st base position.
This feature allows you to close the glove on the ball more naturally.
The palm lining is the same as the shell. This means that you can get consistent results throughout the break in period, instead of having the palm area ready while the shell isn’t fully broken in yet.
This feature also allows you to form a natural pocket around the ball, especially during the break in period.
This uses a modified Pro H-Web. It’s an open design meant to cut on the weight and to allow you to track the ball as you catch it.
It also bends more readily for the ball, so that it stays secure in the glove.
It also uses Tennessee tanning rawhide for the laces, and these keep the glove in shape and durable.
For your comfort, it also uses a padded thumb loop.
Fastpitch Softball Catchers Drills
Buy your catchers mitt below, break it in and then practice the drills in the following video.
Rawlings Liberty Advanced 33″ Fastpitch Catcher’s Mitt: RLACM33
Since the Liberty Advanced series offers gloves for every position, you have one for the catcher.
Aside from the obviously larger size of this mitt, it comes with all the other features we’ve already listed here on this list:
It uses topnotch full grain leather, and it’s been oil treated too.
The break is already 80% done, so you only need a shorter time to break this in fully to mold to the shape of your hand.
For a better fit for smaller female players, the hand opening and the finger stalls are slightly smaller as well.
The Poron XRD Palm and the index finger pads keep your hands from hurting even after all those fast pitches every game. It’s an improvement over older designs that didn’t much help with hand injuries.
The modified pro H-web lets you track the pitches, and offers a secure hold on the ball.
The fit us customized by the adjustable, non-slip pull strap back.
2017 Rawlings Shut Out 33″ Fastpitch Catcher’s Mitt: RSOCM33
Is there such a thing as a premium catcher’s mitt with an entry-level price?
There is with Rawlings and the Shut Out model, which is even more affordable than the Gamer series glove we’ve listed here.
Despite that rather suspicious price tag, the list of features seem more like it’s tailor made for a premium model:
It uses a full grain leather shell that’s oil-treated.
It feels ready right out of the box, and that’s due to the standard 80% break in at the factory.
For added strength and durable structure, the laces are all made from leather.
To keep your hands from stinging, the palm and index finger areas have been cushioned.
It uses the modified pro H-web that’s also seen in much more expensive gloves.
The customized fit is brought to you by the adjustable nonslip pull strap back. The hand opening is also smaller so it fits women better.
The balance of the glove is excellent, as it gives you more control and comfort.
Final Words on These Rawlings Fastpitch Softball Gloves
Though Rawlings may be more associated with baseball throughout its long history, there’s no denying the fact that the brand has brought over its superior features into fastpitch softball.
Regardless of what your budget may be, it’s obvious that you can still use a truly terrific glove if you for Rawlings fastpitch softball gloves.
Who knows, with this you just might qualify for the Golden Gloves?