When compared with the history of other baseball equipment, batting gloves are actually a fairly recent development in the game. They have only been utilized for the past 70 years despite the game of baseball being around for almost 180 years.
Ironically, the first batting glove that was ever worn was actually a pair of golf gloves. The pioneering player noticed the formation of blisters on his hands and made the innovative adjustment on the recommendation of his manager. Since then, batting gloves have grown exponentially in popularity and today are used by almost every player.
While they are not required for play, they are multi-functional both within the sport of baseball and outside of it. In fact, many customers purchase them and never even use them for baseball. In this review, however, we will be focusing on their application to baseball, but we will note their multi-sport dynamism if it reflects an important characteristic of the gloves.
We will begin by covering the basics, noting important distinctions and terminology associated with batting gloves. Then we will discuss the pros and cons of the Typhoon III series by Easton, highlighting Easton’s reputation as a provider of baseball equipment. We will then compare this product with similar ones on the market before concluding with our final take of their worthiness for purchase.
What is a Batting Glove?
A batting glove is a covering that goes over either one hand or both hands and is utilized by baseball players when they are batting. It is usually made of leather or some combination of leather and other synthetic fabrics.
The primary purpose is to facilitate a better grip on the bat so that players can better control how they hit the ball. Additionally, they offer a layer of protection in case the ball hits a player’s hands or if the players hands become exposed when diving into a base.
Aluminum bats can cause painful vibrations in the hands after contact with the ball. Batting gloves can help absorb these kinds of shocks and prevent extensive injuries that might sideline players.
In recent years, due to developments in the weight of baseball gloves and their comfort, some players in the outfield have also used them as an additional layer beneath their catching glove. This allows for extra insulation during cold weather as well as increased comfortability depending on the catching glove they are using.
This usage in the outfield also allows players to choose their catching gloves solely on the basis of performance and flexibility, and to mitigate any discomfort that arises by using the batting gloves as an initial layer of support.
Individuals looking for any kind of hand protection also utilize batting gloves outside the sport of baseball. Specifically, many people use them when riding motorcycles, when playing other sports like cricket, or even when performing various tasks like gardening or woodworking. While they are designed specifically for the sport of baseball, this multidimensionality reflects their durable construction and reliability.
They are especially popular for baseball during cold weather when the hand is more tender and sensitive. In these climates, an improper swing or errant ball could result in an injury.
Baseball gloves can also be popular in warmer weather to help prevent sweat from affecting a batter’s swing and contact with the ball. In this sense, how heavy or light they are as well as the ventilation technology embedded within them is a crucial factor when choosing a pair to purchase.
Lastly, they can be used as a kind of brace when a player has a preexisting hand injury. This allows the player to continue playing, or at the very least, continue practicing and honing his skills. Batting gloves also extend a player’s ability to train for longer periods of time, as eventually the hand will get tired of constantly swinging and holding a bat if it is not protected with some kind of material.
What Makes Easton’s Gloves Unique?
Easton produces a series of batting gloves called Typhoon III. These are purchased as a pair and come in three different color schemes: white/red, white/navy, and all black. They come in adult and youth sizes, but here we will be focusing on the adult pair. This pair comes in small, medium, large, or extra-large.
What makes these gloves so unique is the price, which ranges anywhere from $6 to $12 depending on where you purchase them. This reduced price is partly because they are an older model of gloves from 2013, but they are still effective and usable.
They feature a leather palm with a synthetic thumb for added durability. The leather at the palm is relatively thin compared to other more expensive batting gloves, but this could be a benefit if you are looking for something lightweight.
Most reviewers claim that these gloves are perfect for occasional usage and get the job done, namely by absorbing any shock from hitting and by providing a decent grip.
Also, because these gloves are so thin and light, they are ideal for playing in warmer weather when the hands tend to get sweaty. If you were to use heavier gloves, this could negatively impact your performance.
Each size is a pretty snug fit with little room for wiggling or moving, so if you want something a bit looser, then you will have to order up a size.
One of the most unique things about these gloves is their multifunctionality. Even though they are meant for baseball, almost half of the reviewers on Amazon have lauded their application to other activities. Thus, because they are so cheap, you could easily buy several pairs which would prevent you from ever worrying about having to maintain or clean them.
What Are Some Cons of Easton’s Gloves
The main con of Easton’s gloves is that they are relatively low-quality when compared with other products on the marketplace. They are not ideal for a serious player looking to develop his game or one that is involved in a high-intensity league.
They also feature very little padding and are more suited for just gripping the bat, not fully protecting the hand. Multiple customers have complained the after using them extensively for a period of time, part of the leather began to fade and they had to purchase a new pair.
Even though they are cheap, the constant reinvestments could add up over time, not to mention the frustrating element of having to wait for a new pair to come in the mail. Many players might be better off just investing in a more expensive pair that lasts longer.
Easton’s gloves are also not ideal for use in colder climates because the hands will need something with more insulation to help maximize flexibility and movement.
One particular coach who reviewed Easton’s gloves on Amazon commented that they were the worst pair of he had ever used. While this seems like a slight exaggeration, it’s still a telling indication that they can be very hit-or-miss.
Easton’s gloves also feature a soft spot will minimal padding that exposes the area between the index finger and the thumb. This might be the most crucial part of the hand to protect to ensure an optimum performance. If this area becomes tender or develops blisters, then it would be very difficult continue playing or training.
What is the Public Perception of Easton?
Easton is generally very trusted within the market for sports equipment, as they have been selling products for almost 80 years. Their products range from top-of-the-line equipment to the cheapest and lowest quality.
Yet, because they specialize in only equipment for baseball and softball, even their lowest quality goods can be trusted as reliable. Some companies produce equipment for sports with a focus on training, aesthetic, or cost, and ignore subtle details of the game that will influence performance. Easton has been working in this industry for so long that they are experts at production and understand the niceties of the game.
Only several Major League Players are sponsored by this company. They are generally utilized most by players in lower-league settings who are interested in some combination of affordability and durability.
How Do Easton’s Gloves Compare to Products from Competitors?
In this section, we compare Easton’s batting gloves to gloves offered by other companies.
Under Armour Clean-Up VI Batting Glove
This pair of batting gloves from Under Armour, called Clean-Up VI, ranges from $25 to $30 depending on the vendor you select. They are significantly more expensive then Easton’s but also offer a higher-quality goatskin leather which is more breathable, comfortable and durable.
Additionally, there are perforations on the side of the fingers which allow air to come in and out of the glove. This is especially good for summer play but makes these gloves potentially unfeasible for usage in the winter.
These gloves also offer what Under Armour calls HeatGearon technology which wicks sweat away from the hands and also allows the gloves to stretch during play. This is a considerable upgrade to Easton’s Typhoon III series which is tight and functional but lacks the ability to adapt to movement. Under Armour’s Clean-Up pair of gloves is also considerably more efficient at regulating heat and sweat.
Another benefit of Under Armour’s gloves over Easton’s is that Under Armour’s offer 9 different color variations, which essentially guarantees that a player will be able to match his batting gloves to the rest of his uniform.
Franklin Sports MLB Powerstrap Batting Gloves
This pair of gloves from Franklin sports, called MLB Powerstrap, costs about $38 and are made of sheepskin leather, which is superior when it comes to comfort. The leather on the palm of the gloves is designed to follow the curvature of the human hand, and extensive research has been performed by Franklin Sports into the anatomy of an athlete’s hand.
The particular focus of these gloves is the snugness of the fit, specifically on the wrist area of the hand. Franklin Sports calls the strap on this series a “Powerstrap” which they claim requires no adjustments to be made at the plate. This is significant because it allows the player to focus on the game and upcoming pitch rather than the details of his gear.
Easton Z7 Hyperskin Batting Gloves
This series from Easton, called the Z7 Hyperskin, ranges anywhere from $20 to $30 depending on the size and color you choose. These are a much higher-quality option than the Typhoon III, as they offer a more comfortable goatskin leather palm as well as flexible material on the back of the gloves called Lycra. This lycra material is both flexible and strong, and makes the gloves adaptable as well as durable.
This pair of gloves is also significant because they were the featured batting gloves of the 2016 College World Series as well as the 2016 Little League World Series. This means they are trusted by the most serious leagues and can be relied upon for their longevity and protection.
What We Think About Easton’s Gloves
We think that Easton’s Typhoon III series batting gloves are really only worthwhile if you are looking for something cheap and functional without many features. They certainly protect your hands, but the padding is minimal, and we fear that an over-reliance on this cheaper pair of gloves could result in a potential injury.
They might be fine for lower-league play where the balls do not travel as fast, but any kind of higher-level league play would warrant a more expensive pair of gloves made from more durable leather. Good options would be the Clean-up VI series from Under Armour, the MLB Powerstrap from Franklin Sports, or the Z7 Hyperskin from Easton.
If you are looking for something that you can rely on season after season, then you should avoid Easton’s Typhoon III series.
If you are looking for a simple pair of baseball gloves that are also multi-functional, then Easton’s Typhoon III series might be ideal, especially for such a low price.