Growing up I played both baseball and football. In both sports, I chose to use gloves. In football, I played wide receiver and used gloves to help me catch passes and maintain possession of the ball. In baseball, I used batting gloves to help me with my grip when swinging.
Gloves serve a lot of the same purpose between football and baseball, but the gloves used in each sport are made in different ways. This difference in gloves makes a lot of people wonder – what’s the difference between baseball batting gloves and football gloves?
Batting gloves are designed to help baseball players improve their grip on the bat, which helps improve their swing. Football gloves are designed to help football players catch and maintain the ball. Football gloves are usually stickier than batting gloves.
There are some other differences between football gloves and batting gloves. In this article, we’ll explore all the differences between baseball batting gloves and football gloves.
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- Differences Between Batting Gloves and Football Gloves
- Football Gloves are Stickier than Batting Gloves
- Football Gloves Stink More than Batting Gloves
- Different Materials Are Used for Football and Baseball Batting Gloves
- Batting Gloves Have More Padding Than Football Gloves
- Football Gloves Provide More Traction Than Batting Gloves
- Batting Gloves Weigh More Than Football Gloves
- Football Gloves Provide More Flexibility Than Batting Gloves
- Football and Batting Gloves Use Different Sizing Charts
- Batting Gloves Tend to Cost More Than Football Gloves
- Football Gloves Can be Made for Specific Positions
- Can Baseball Batting Gloves Be Used for Football?
- Can Football Gloves Be Used for Baseball?
Differences Between Batting Gloves and Football Gloves
It’s no secret that football and baseball batting gloves are designed for different sports. For that reason, they differ in terms of functionality, material, padding, grip, weight, flexibility, stickiness, cost, and weight. Let’s explore each of those topics in more detail.
Football Gloves are Stickier than Batting Gloves
In terms of stickiness, there’s no doubt that football gloves have an advantage. The palms of football gloves have a lot more grip than batting gloves. This extra grip help players catch and control the ball.
On the other hand, baseball batting gloves are designed for maximum protection, so they don’t have this layer of special coating.
Most modern football gloves come with sticky silicone prints on the palms and fingers, which help you catch wet balls with ease.
I also know from playing both sports that the stickiness of football gloves lasts a lot longer than the initial stickiness you get from brand-new batting gloves.
Football Gloves Stink More than Batting Gloves
In high school, I played both baseball and football and I can tell your from experience that football gloves tend to give off more of a bad odor than batting gloves do. In fact, I remember most football equipment smelling pretty bad.
This also makes sense when you compare the use of gloves in each sport.
Football players and baseball players both practice frequently, but football players will almost never take their gloves off during practice or games. In baseball, players only wear their batting gloves while they’re batting.
So football players are constantly using their gloves while baseball players infrequently use their batting gloves. And it makes sense that the more you use your glove, the stinkier it will be.
Eventually, both batting gloves and football gloves will stink as they get used, but the gloves of football players stink a lot quicker than any baseball player’s batting gloves. This is especially true for players who don’t wash their gloves.
Different Materials Are Used for Football and Baseball Batting Gloves
Batting gloves are made of leather, synthetic leather, or a mix of both. The material highly affects protection and grip. For instance, leather provides a natural feel and nice grip, while synthetic gloves offer better flexibility and durability but not the best grip.
Hybrid gloves are the middle ground because the palms are made of leather while the fingers are made of synthetic leather. That design provides pretty much everything; durability, grip, and flexibility.
On the other hand, football gloves are made of leather, synthetic leather, latex, and neoprene. Football gloves should provide stickiness alongside protection, grip, and flexibility.
That’s why football gloves have a sticky palm made of a tacky rubber-like material to help players control the ball. This material also makes things much easier for players in cold and wet conditions.
For more information on the materials in baseball batting gloves, I recommend reading my other article on what materials are used in batting gloves.
Batting Gloves Have More Padding Than Football Gloves
Regarding padding, baseball batting gloves provide more protection than football gloves. Why? Because batting gloves have more padding on the palm and thumb area to absorb the impact from the ball.
Meanwhile, football gloves are designed to help the player catch and grip the ball while running and tackling. So that additional padding in football gloves is not needed. In fact, that additional padding could cause players to lose their grip on the football and create more fumbles.
When baseball players hit the ball, a high amount of force is transmitted to the player’s hand through the bat. Inadequate padding won’t absorb that impact and most of the force will go to the hand. On colder days, these vibrations from the bat are what cause a player’s hands to sting when hitting a pitch.
If you’re interested in why bats will sometimes sting a player’s hand, I recommended reading my article on why bats sting your hands.
Football Gloves Provide More Traction Than Batting Gloves
When it comes to grip, football gloves provide more grip and traction than baseball batting gloves.
The surface of a football glove is designed to grip the ball, as it has many small lumps and bumps.
On the other hand, baseball batting gloves have a relatively smoother surface, which doesn’t provide as much grip as a football glove.
Although, this only describes the function of football and batting gloves out of the box. Baseball players also have the advantage of using pine tar to help make their bat handles stickier. And a lot of baseball players use pine tar with their batting gloves.
Read my article about if pine tar can ruin batting gloves to learn more about how players use pine tar with batting gloves and the proper way to apply pine tar to a bat when you’re using batting gloves.
Batting Gloves Weigh More Than Football Gloves
Since baseball batting gloves have extra padding, they’re heavier than football gloves. That’s because baseball players need their gloves to absorb the shock of hard-hit balls.
While the weight difference between football gloves and batting gloves is not very big, it is pretty noticeable if you’re trying out football gloves and batting gloves at the same time.
The extra padding in batting gloves also makes them feel bulkier than football gloves.
Football Gloves Provide More Flexibility Than Batting Gloves
When describing a glove as being “flexible”, people tend to describe gloves that are tighter-fitting.
For example, the latex gloves you see doctors wearing would be considered very flexible while the big leather safety gloves that welders use would not be very flexible. And while it may be good for gloves to be flexible, it doesn’t mean that a very flexible glove (like a latex glove worn by doctors) would be good to be worn for sports.
In football, flexibility is crucial for players so football gloves are designed to be more flexible than batting gloves. Football players need to catch high-velocity balls while tackling and pushing opponents. It’s difficult to do all of that with bulky gloves.
On the other hand, durability, and grip are important for baseball players. For that reason, batting gloves have extra padding in the fingers and the palm area, which makes them less flexible.
While baseball batting gloves may be less flexible, they do help absorb some of the shock from hitting a pitch.
Football and Batting Gloves Use Different Sizing Charts
Sizing your glove is important for both baseball and football. It’s all about ensuring you have a glove that fits your hand well and provides you with the best range of motion.
For batting gloves, you’ll want to measure your hand from the base of your palm to the tip of your middle finger. Then compare this measurement to a chart with size information for various brands and models.
On the other hand, I found two different ways to measure what size football glove you should get.
According to InvictusGloves, one way to measure your hand for football gloves is to measure from the bottom of your palm to the tip of your middle finger (similar to baseball). According to Nike, you’ll also want to measure around the circumference of your hand directly, below the knuckles.
Batting Gloves Tend to Cost More Than Football Gloves
Football gloves are usually cheaper than batting gloves. Part of the reason is there are more manufacturers of football gloves than baseball batting gloves.
Additionally, football gloves have fewer features and materials than their baseball counterparts, making them simpler and, thus, lower-priced.
The flip side is that if you plan on using your glove for a long time – which is the goal for both football and baseball players – baseball batting gloves tend to last longer. Many brands offer high-quality materials and construction that resist wear and tear quite well.
Plus there are more options available (so you can find one that suits your needs), and they usually come with some additional features like extra padding or shock absorbers.
I have found success with two quality batting gloves. My favorite batting gloves so far are these Bruce Bolt batting gloves you can get on Amazon. But Bruce Bolt batting gloves tend to be more expensive so I’ll go with these Marucci Signature batting gloves on Amazon if I’m looking for a quality pair of batting gloves, but don’t want to spend as much.
Football Gloves Can be Made for Specific Positions
Batting gloves primarily serve one purpose – to help baseball players grip and swing the bat. On the other hand, there are several types of football gloves based on what position you’re playing.
Receiver gloves are mostly for wide receivers and running backs, as their design provides extra grip for catching high-velocity passes. Plus, they’re lightweight with minimal padding to provide more flexibility and a wide range of motion.
These gloves are specifically for players on the offensive or defensive line. They have extra padding to protect hands while blocking or tackling. The palms also have a heavy-duty grip, so the player’s hands don’t slip during tough contact in the game.
This type is the middle ground between receiver and lineman gloves. They’re suitable for players who don’t contact the ball too often but still need protection and grip, such as linebackers and running backs.
Can Baseball Batting Gloves Be Used for Football?
Batting gloves and football gloves seem to serve a lot of the same purpose. They are designed to help with grip and add a layer of protection to players’ hands. But can you use your batting gloves in football?
Football players are allowed to use baseball batting gloves, but few football players do. Football gloves and batting gloves are designed differently and football players get more benefits out of using football gloves than they do with batting gloves.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t wear batting gloves for football.
Batting gloves aren’t as sticky as football gloves, but that doesn’t really matter if you’re a football player who plays on the line. So I can see a scenario where a lineman chooses to use their baseball batting gloves instead of football gloves.
But at the same time, I haven’t played football in many years so I wouldn’t be able to list all the reasons why this is a bad idea or a good idea. You could always ask some teammates or your coach for their opinions about using batting gloves for football.
Can Football Gloves Be Used for Baseball?
With the designs and features of gloves for football and baseball having a lot in common, a lot of people wonder if they can use their football gloves for baseball.
In general, baseball players can use football gloves, but few baseball players do. A majority of baseball players choose to wear batting gloves because batting gloves have more features designed for baseball players, like additional padding in the thumb and fingers.
You can use football gloves for baseball, but it’s not optimal. Football gloves have a tacky, sticky coating that helps grab and hold the ball. This coating makes them unsuitable for use when swinging a bat.
The tackiness is great for catching a football, but it would interfere with gripping the bat and could make you lose control of it during a swing.
Besides, football gloves offer less padding and protection than batting gloves. That’s why they might not be optimal for hitting high-velocity pitches and helping with absorbing some of the shock from the ball.
In general, I don’t recommend wearing football gloves for baseball. But at the same time, there are no rules against it. Most baseball players play a lot of games so you have a lot of time to experiment with which gloves work best for you.