Your fingers, hand and wrist can get injured when sliding into a base. A tool to help protect this critical part of your body is a sliding mitt.
Our pick for best sliding mitt for baseball and softball is made by a quality brand, and it will do a great job of keeping your hand safe on the base paths.
Keep scrolling to see our reviews and learn more about each of our top picks…
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Sliding mitts (also referred to as baseball oven mitts or sliding gloves) are a relatively new piece of equipment in the game. They first appeared in the big leagues in the late 2000s when former player Scott Podsednik started using one.
They are now prevalent not only in the majors but across multiple levels of baseball and softball. Seriously, whenever I have an MLB game on TV, it seems like every time a player gets on base they’re putting on a sliding mitt.If you or your child play baseball or fastpitch softball, even at a young age, you may want to consider adding this small piece of equipment to your bat bag.
Purpose of Sliding Mitts
The purpose of a sliding mitt for baseball and softball players is to prevent injury to the hand and fingers.
When sliding head first, a runner is exposed to the risk of injury in various ways.
While stealing, the runner is sprinting to the bag at full speed and could jam or break fingers when they reach base on a headfirst slide. This type of injury is more common than you may think.
Also, the ball could strike the hand of a runner or a defensive player could come down on the runner’s hand with their glove too fast and too hard.
Worst case, a player's cleats could smash down on an unprotected, outstretched hand.
Sliding mitts were designed to protect a runner's fingers and hand from getting badly hurt in these types of scenarios.
As a reminder, there is a risk of injury to the fingers and hand not just when stealing but also when leading off and quickly sliding back to a base.
Which Hand do I Use a Sliding Mitt On?
There is no hard and fast rule for which hand to wear a sliding mitt on. It's for whichever hand you feel most comfortable sliding with.
In the real world, we typically see players use sliding mitts on their dominant hand.
Again, we ask players to simply use it on the hand they feel most comfortable with.
Rules for Using Sliding Mitts
There are many different leagues in baseball and softball, and specific rules may vary by league.
Interestingly, in Major League Baseball, there are no rules about sliding mitts. In fact, it's one of the more noticeable gaps in the MLB's rule book.
At this point, we are not aware of any league rules regulating the design, size or permissibility of sliding mitts.
Obviously that could change, especially as sliding mitts get more and more popular in the game. Leagues could feel the need to start regulating them in the future.
What is the Best Sliding Mitt for Baseball and Softball?
Based on our research, the best sliding mitt for baseball and fastpitch softball players is made by EvoShield, and we explain why below.
The list of each of our key picks is shown below. In short, we believe the best softball and baseball sliding mitts are the following:
- Top Pick: EvoShield
- Runner Up: Tru Pro
- Honorable Mention: Tucci
Keep scrolling down to learn more in each review...
Top Pick: EvoShield Sliding Mitt
EvoShield is a popular brand well known for making high-quality protective gear. It's no surprise that their sliding mitt is top quality as well.
This sliding mitt has rigid plates on both the top and bottom sides of the hand. Their purpose is to help prevent fingers from jamming and to help prevent fractures to the small bones in the fingers, hand and wrist.
EvoShield's mitt has two types of straps on it. There is a "protective stabilization strap" on each side of the wrist and "compression straps" designed to keep the mitt on the hand properly. You can adjust the strap as needed to change the amount of tightness around your wrist.
They come in multiple solid colors and the EvoShield logo appears in two places: at the tip of the mitt (above the fingers) and on the wrist strap. They have only one size and they are available for each hand separately.
Made by a great brand
Very high level of quality
Contains two different straps which compress and stabilize the hand
Has a thumb hole, giving you the flexibility to keep the thumb in or out
Great protective features - all that you'd need in a sliding mitt
You can't use it on both hands - each one is made either for the left or the right hand
Picture of the Back of EvoShield's Mitt
Runner Up: Tru Pro Sliding Mitt
Similar to the EvoShield version, the Tru Pro sliding mitt has tough, protective, exterior plates on each side of the hand. It does not have a thumb hole but is enclosed on each side.
The Tru Pro mitt is made primarily of a flexible neoprene material with elastic at the bottom. It has a velcro strap around the wrist which secures the mitt to your hand.
Unlike EvoShield's mitt, Tru Pro's sliding glove is designed to be worn on either the left or the right hand. It comes in two sizes: Youth (10"L x 4.75"W) and Adult (11"L x 5.5"W).
Additionally, it is made in a few different colors and it’s less expensive than EvoShield's mitt. It's for these reasons that Tru Pro comes in a close second on our list of top sliding mitts.
Stiff, rigid protective shields placed in the right areas
Velcro strap allows for quick removal and customized tightness
Able to be used on either hand
Fairly cheap; more affordable than some other options
Ventilation could be better
Honorable Mention: Tucci Sliding Mitt
Tucci is a model of sports equipment made by Schutt, a company well known for manufacturing protective gear across a number of different sports.
The Tucci sliding glove features a built-in shield for your fingers made out of a very hard plastic material.
It's secured to your hand with a wrist strap, similar to how the other mitts on our list are enclosed. Tucci's logo appears in white on the wrist strap.
This sliding mitt comes in only one size and they are made in a few different colors.
Good quality mitt made with a tough, protective plastic
Developed by Schutt, a popular baseball and sports gear maker
Can be used on either hand
We wish the strap was a bit larger
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