If you're a catcher who is dealing with the impact of sting when receiving pitches, you have a few options that can help.
One option is a catchers finger pad, and in this article we'll discuss what they are and our top product recommendations.
Scroll below for more details…
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An Overview of Catcher's Finger Pads
One thing that persistently irritates many catchers is the sting they feel on their catching hand when receiving pitches.
Sting can not only cause pain, but in its extreme, can also cause catchers to lose confidence which can lead to worsening performance behind the plate.
What can be done to deal with sting?
A catcher can always invest in a new catcher's mitt.
However, catcher's mitts can only offer so much padding over the palm and they typically aren't an antidote to sting on their own.
A catcher can also get a padded inner glove to wear underneath their mitt.
While an excellent solution to combat sting, some catchers do not like to wear a glove inside their mitt, especially if it creates a tight and crowded feel inside the mitt.
If that's you, and you're not interested in getting an inner padded glove, then we'd suggest using a catchers finger pad.
These are an accessory that fits over the index finger and middle finger or palm (depending on the product's design). They typically have a thinner profile than padded gloves have.
In practice, this means it is usually quite easy to get your hand in and out of a catcher's mitt while using a catchers finger guard.
This article showcases two catcher finger guard products that we would recommend for both baseball and fastpitch softball catchers looking to combat sting when playing behind the plate.
Top Catcher's Finger Pads
If you're interested in buying a finger guard to help prevent sting when catching, then there are two products that we'd recommend: the All Star protective finger pad and the Palmgard protective glove insert.
Each are good solutions to fighting back against sting, though your interest in using one over the other may vary based on your personal situation and/or preference.
Read on to learn more about each finger guard.
All Star Protective Finger Pad
A great solution for helping catchers play with less sting
The All Star catchers index finger protector – also called the finger impact sleeve or protective glove sponge – is a helpful tool for your catching hand. It comes in handy whether you're using a baseball glove or a softball glove.
This pad is made using a combination of leather and elastic mesh. The protective material covers from the bottom/base of the middle finger on the catching hand all the way up to the top of the index finger.
You put it on by simply sliding the sleeve over your index finger and pulling it down until you are unable to pull it any further.
Though the pad covers just the index finger and not the middle finger, the padding is curved to cover the upper palm area around both the index and middle fingers.
That area of coverage is helpful in our opinion because that can be one of the most painful spots on the hand when receiving a pitch.
This protective finger sleeve is incredibly lightweight and easy to slip on and off.
In terms of its appearance, it is completely white on the palm side and white and black with the All Star logo in black on the back of the hand.
It is sold in two sizes (adult and youth) and it also is available for both right hand and left handed throwers.
Protects the index finger and upper palm of the catching hand
Made using a lightweight leather and mesh combo
Material is breathable and comes with a few ventilation holes on the index finger
Designed to slip on and off quickly
The leather could be thicker (although some like the thin, low-profile design)
The Back Side of the All Star Finger Pad
Palmgard “Sting Stopper” Protective Glove Insert
Another good catchers finger protector option for fighting sting
The Palmgard glove insert is built with a sponge like mesh material that is designed to absorb shock.
Unlike the All Star finger pad, the Palmgard version covers both the index and middle finger as well as the upper palm area of both fingers.
This catcher finger guard will work on either the left or right hand and it comes in all black.
It has two expandable, elastic straps on the back side of each finger which is used to secure the pad to the two fingers.
This type of design makes it easy to get on and off – simply slip the index and middle fingers through the two straps around each finger and pull it down.
Palmgard’s catchers finger guard insert is also lightweight and breathable. It is not large or bulky and it quickly slips into most catcher’s mitts without any issues.
Impact absorbing padding that covers both the index and middle fingers
Padding also covers the upper palm at the base of both fingers
Built using a breathable, sponge and mesh type of material
Connects to the hand using four elastic straps – two around each finger
“Ambidextrous” design – can be used on either hand
Typically priced pretty low
The protective pads don’t cover the tips of the index and middle fingers
The Back Side of the Palmgard Sting Stopper
Frequently Asked Questions About Catchers Finger Pads
Question: Between the two, which is better to use to reduce sting: a padded inner glove or a finger protector?
Answer: We think a padded inner glove is a better choice because they typically have thicker padding and provide broader coverage across the hand. However, finger pads are still a great option, especially if you're most interested in a low profile padding option.
Question: What should I do with the finger pad between innings?
Answer: It's totally up to you, but generally you can simply toss it back in your catcher's bag or you can rest it inside the finger stall of your catcher's mitt while it's laying in the dugout.
Question: Do pro catchers use finger pads when catching?
Answer: Yes, we have seen some pro catchers wearing index finger pads. One example of a pro catcher that wears one is Gary Sanchez of the New York Mets.
That's A Wrap!
We appreciate you taking the time to read this article and we hope it was helpful.
If you have any questions or comments, please get in touch with us by going to our contact page or by emailing scott (at) catchershome (dot) com.