Pickleball has been steadily gaining in popularity since it was created in the mid-1960s. It has become a sport that is played by people of all walks of life – especially families. One of the reasons for this is because it doesn’t cost much to get a pickleball paddle and an official ball.
One piece of equipment has become very prevalent, though – a glove. There are different types to get. Which one would work best for you? What material is best? What style would suit you? What companies make them? How much do they tend to cost?
This relatively small piece of equipment doesn’t have to feel like an overwhelming thing to consider. Here are some things that you should look for when buying a pickleball glove;
Why Get a Pickleball Glove in the First Place?
When you see people playing other racquet sports like tennis or squash, you don’t see them wearing gloves. So why is it better to play pickleball with a glove on your racquet hand?
The main reason is sweat. You do move around while playing and it can cause you to start to perspire. That can wind up on your hand and make gripping the pickleball paddle harder. You might find that you are not able to control where your shot goes as efficiently as when you first started the match.
Another reason is because it can also dampen the vibrations when the ball hits the paddle. That can also help reduce fatigue over the course of playing the game. Lastly, it can help prevent blisters if you play a lot – much like how baseball players wear batting gloves. Your hand will thank you for not subjecting it to wear and tear.
Why Should I Get a Glove That is Made For Pickleball?
Now that you have decided that you want to get a glove – do you need one that was specifically made for pickleball? Couldn’t you use a racquetball glove or a golf glove? There are some schools of thought that you could simply get a golf glove and wear that in place of the pickleball one.
There are a few things to take into consideration. The first is how the glove feels when you put it on and grip the pickleball paddle. Does it feel snug and secure? Does it bunch up in a certain area and increase the possibility that you might get distracted from it or make the grip less comfortable?
If you want to be a serious pickleball player, then you should give serious thought to getting a specific one for that sport. That way, you can have the best experience.
What Material Should The Glove Be Made From?
The glove, especially the part where your palm is, should be made of leather. One popular type of leather is Cabretta, due to not being thick, which increases breathability. You definitely want something that is not going to make your hand sweat while playing. While it is also durable and lightweight, you want to have the rest of the glove made of a flexible material.
That material would best be spandex or something similarly stretchable. You will be moving your hand around while you are playing and you don’t want anything that is stiff or will become stiffer as time goes on. After a while, you want this glove to become an extension of your hand. In other words, you don’t want to even notice that you have it on while playing.
Another thing you want to think about is how well the glove helps you grip the pickleball paddle. Is it made of material that will help you grip the paddle for a longer time and control it even during a long volley? That would put it in the “should buy” category when you are shopping for one.
One warning about certain leathers, though. They can get worn down over time – and you can’t wash them to preserve it. So, you should either ensure that they can be machine washed to keep them clean or buy a few gloves at once so that you don’t have to hastily go out and buy a new one at the last minute should you encounter an issue with one.
Who Do They Make The Glove For?
Both men and women like playing pickleball. Manufacturers make gloves for both genders. This is not a one-type-fits-all piece of equipment. The people who wear it should feel like it was something that was custom-made for them, not an afterthought … or not even thought of at all.
There are different styles. Some gloves cover the entire hand, much like a batting glove or a golf glove. Others have the tips cut off, so that most of the hand is covered. This might be good for those who want to have some feel for how the pickleball paddle is resting in their hand throughout the course of a match.
Browse the selections for these gloves. Do they seem to be made for a feminine hand or is it just a smaller glove that could easily fit a child instead? How do the colors look? It doesn’t hurt to be able to display a sense of style while you are doing a dink on the court.
Who Is The Manufacturer?
You want to get a pickleball glove that is made by a reputable company. If you are familiar with racquet sports or other ones with gloves, you will recognize a lot of manufacturers. They include HEAD, Franklin, and Wilson, just to name a few. There are other companies that have targeted the pickleball market and they have created specific gloves.
What Kind of Reviews Does It Get?
This is another important part of doing your research. It has never been easier to be able to look up what people think about a certain type of glove. Do they say it fits? Do they enjoy playing pickleball while wearing it? Is it durable or do people who buy it find themselves having to get a replacement even with relatively minor usage? Pay attention to those reviews while also listening to your guy about how true these reviews are.
Does this seem like a lot to consider when it comes to buying something that can cost anywhere between $12 to $45 depending on how high end you want to go? Not if you are aiming to make pickleball a long-term part of your sporting regimen. Getting the wrong glove could also make you less inclined to want to play at all.
In terms of maintenance, you can keep the case that the glove comes in and put it back there after using it each time. That can keep dirt from building up on it – if you just toss it in a bag, it can languish there and build up dirt. There are also glove extenders that can help keep the shape of the glove when you are not using it. Wash your gloves on the cold water settings in the washing machine – the hot water will make them shrink. It’s best to air dry it rather than put it in a regular dryer.
If you play pickleball regularly, this is a purchase that you want to make. So, spend that little bit of extra time doing that research and ensure that you are getting the ideal fitting glove that will be a staple in your gym bag when you go to play pickleball. Then you can just focus on improving your game and enjoying the camaraderie among other players.