Our Top Pick for 2016: Under Armour Men’s UA Clean Up Batting Gloves
Read our full review.
Baseball players the world over know what it’s like to hit without batting gloves. They’ve spent the endless hours in the cage. They’ve taken the swings. They’ve inherited the deep hand blisters that nag and hinder their performance. Every baseball player learns fairly quickly that hitting without batting gloves is ultimately a poor decision. But, what many baseball players don’t understand is that not all batting gloves are created equally. Too many players spend far too much money on shoddy gloves with poor grip-ability, comfort, and durability. You don’t want to spend a bunch of money on cheaply-made gloves that will fall apart and give up on you after a couple of weeks. You don’t want gloves that will lose their grip as soon as they face a little friction. And, you don’t want to focus on clammy, sweaty hands when you’re trying to focus on hitting a baseball. The batting gloves reviewed here are at the top of their class, and will put all of these worries to rest.
Table of contents
- #1 Gold Pick (1st Place Winner)
- #2 Silver Pick (2nd Place Runner-Up)
- #3 Bronze Pick (3rd Place)
- #4 Budget Pick (Best Cheap)
Genuine Leather Palm
Exceptional Grip And Feel
Embossed Synthetic Overlays
Floating Thumb Technology
Goatskin Leather Palm
Flexible Velcro Units
Contoured Wrist Closure
Improved Thumb Flex Zone
#1 Gold pick (Winner): Under Armour Men’s UA Clean Up Batting Gloves
In 1996, working out of his grandmother’s basement, Under Armour founder Kevin Plank made his first sporting goods sale as a budding entrepreneur. Now, 20 years down the line, Plank has turned Under Armour into a household name, and also one of the top names in the sporting goods industry. Much of this success comes from the fact that Under Armour is focused on the functionality and usefulness of its products just as much as it’s focused on the visual appeal of its products. It’s this attention to functionality that creates great products like Under Armour’s Men’s UA Clean Up Batting Gloves, the premier batting gloves of their time.
The Clean Ups are, to put it simply, the gold standard of batting gloves. They earn this distinction for a number of reasons; some of these reasons being supreme comfort, relentless durability and never-ending grip.
First, let’s talk about the comfort and functionality of the gloves. Made from a stretchable, synthetic material that allows for total flexibility of the hand, they provide batters with the perfect feel and touch needed to perform at the plate. This is made possible, in part, due to the palm of the glove, which is made from goatskin leather, providing a soft, but sure grip that allows for maximum control of the bat. Owners also stated that the gloves had excellent shock absorption. On the palm side, the fingers of the glove have many small perforations that give the hand breathing room, and prevent heat and sweat from building up. The Velcro wrist closure is also vital in ensuring the perfect fit of the glove, as it prevents slippage. Adding all of this together equals a well-designed glove with a comfortable and reliable fit.
The gloves are lauded by many for their durability, as they have eclipsed the expectations of many who have purchased them. A bevy of owners happily state that they wanted gloves that would survive an entire season, and that these gloves lasted, in some cases, up to 3 seasons. This is due, in part, to the tough goatskin leather palms that can take a beating and still maintain their grip-ability. This is also due, in part, to synthetic overlays that line the upper hand of the glove, giving it extra structure and stability.
Cost-wise, the gloves are priced reasonably, and a great many buyers have said that they have bought several pairs for this very reason. Buyers also appreciate the variety of the gloves and like the fact that they come in a bevy of different colors, including green, yellow, orange, red, pink, blue, purple, maroon and black. Many owners of the gloves found this, in particular, to be a selling point as it allowed them to match with the colors of their team.
One small issue reported by many owners of the gloves is that they leave black stains on your hands after using them. But, most owners also reported that this only happens the first few times that they are worn and that the stains can be easily washed off, so it’s not a major hurdle to get around.
All in all, Under Armour’s Clean Up Batting gloves are at the top of the batting glove totem pole. Their expert functionality, endless durability, fair cost, and superb touch and feel make them the best batting gloves on the market. They’re the perfect fit for any level of baseball or softball player. Whether you’re a cage-rat who gets 500 swings in a day, or a casual player who just wants to ensure your grip on the bat, these gloves are a great product, and a great investment.
#2 Silver pick (Runner-up): Franklin Sports Neo Classic Series Batting Gloves
View it on Amazon for $21.86*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.
Franklin Sports has a long history of making great batting gloves. In fact, they made the first pair of gloves that were strictly intended for batting when they made some for Hall-of-Famer Mike Schmidt before the 1983 season. It was this early innovation and exposure that propelled Franklin batting gloves to the title of the Official Batting Gloves of Major League Baseball. Today, Franklin’s premier batting glove, and one of the top-notch batting gloves on the market is their Neo Classic batting glove.
While the Neo Classic is best known for its Pearl/White color scheme, it also comes in a variety of other schemes. These schemes are Pearl/Black, Black/Black, Red/Red, Royal/Royal, Black/White, Navy/Navy, Royal/White, Black/Optic Yellow, Gray/Royal, Red/White, Purple/White, Red, and White. Each pair sports a sewn-on Franklin logo on the non-palm side of the glove, and a Major League Baseball logo on the wrist closure. The gloves are reasonably priced, and their combination of price and quality is what makes them so popular.
Like the Clean Ups, the Neo Classics are lauded for their durability, and many owners have said that the only reason that they stopped using them is because they started to take on a bad odor after over three or more years of use. This durability is ensured because the palm of the glove is made from genuine sheepskin leather that’s tough and can stand a great deal of wear and tear. The non-palm side of the glove is made from spandex which provides a lot of give and stretches instead of tears.
The Neo Classics also offer supreme functionality and comfort. With perforations on the backs and fronts of the fingers, your hand is given exceptional breathe-ability. The fingers also offer plenty of room for individuals with thicker fingers. The glove is form-fitting but is also made out of a stretchy spandex that allows for maximum hand movement and doesn’t get in the way of your swing. Because of this you will avoid blisters while also while also feeling as if you aren’t really even wearing a glove. It’s very lightweight and acts as an extension of your hand, rather than a bulky glove that you have to learn to work with. Created with excellent grip-ability, these gloves give you a soft, human feel on the bat and maximize your comfort at the plate, while also doing a great job of absorbing bat shock.
If there is one complaint about the gloves, it is that they seem to run a little small compared to other batting gloves. One owner said that his shrank quite a bit after he washed them. If you’re purchasing them online, it would be a good idea to consider ordering a larger pair than to which you’re generally accustomed.
In summation, the draw of the Franklin Neo Classics is that they are reasonably priced, form-fitting, highly functional, durable, and have a classic look. Many Major League ball players wear them, which means that amateur baseball players can purchase them and emulate their sports heroes for an affordable price. They are timeless, and reliable gloves that will never go out of style, and that will always come through for you when you need to drive in the game winning run.
#3 Bronze pick (3rd place): Nike Diamond Elite Edge II Batting Gloves
Despite growth from Under Armour and Adidas, Nike continues to be the top dog when it comes to sports brands. A lot of this has to do with their ever-fresh and innovative marketing campaigns. But, a lot of this also has to do with the fact that they put out quality products. While the company has always been renowned for its sneakers, it also produces excellent baseball equipment such as the Nike Diamond Elite Edge II batting gloves.
Like the Clean Ups and the Neo Classics, these gloves come in a variety of color schemes, including Bone/Royal/White, Black/White, Bone/Red/White, Bone/Orange/White, Black, Royal Blue, and White/Red. Also like the Clean Ups and the Neo Classics, they are reasonably priced, and can actually typically be found for less money than the other two.
As far as functionality goes, these gloves provide the wearer with a great combination of tight fit, but room to breathe. This ensures that the batter won’t have to worry about the gloves bunching up when he or she is trying to grip the bat. The thumb of the glove allows for a great deal of flexibility, and the genuine leather palm ensures that the batter will have a strong but controlled grip and feel.
A great aspect of the gloves is that they are created with a stretchy material that serves all hand sizes. For this reason, users report that they are great for people with big hands. Though they don’t have perforations like the Clean Ups and the Neo Classics, the non-palm side of the glove is made out of thin mesh that allows for both hand breathability and sweat absorption.
These gloves are reported to be very durable, which is due to the authentic leather of the palm side, and the synthetic leather of the non-palm side working in tandem with the mesh to create a stretchy but tough glove that can withstand hundreds of reps in the cage and hard slides into second base. Many owners also state that they do an excellent job of absorbing shock from the bat and that they don’t make your hands feel clammy after they’ve been taken off.
A minor complaint from some owners is that the wrist closure of the glove isn’t the most comfortable. It’s too big for some owners, and too small for other owners. It would be wise to try a pair on before purchasing them in order to get a good feel for the way that they fit. But ultimately, they possess all of the characteristics of high-quality batting gloves.
Overall, the Nike Diamond Elite Edge IIs provide their owners with a comfortable, lightweight, durable, and highly functional fit that enables them to get a strong, confident grip on the bat. They tend to run a bit cheaper than the Clean Ups and the Neo Classics and would be an excellent purchase for any baseball or softball player, from little league to Major League.
#4 Budget pick (Best cheap): DeMarini Fastpitch Mercy Batting Gloves
Maybe you’re not looking to spend a sizable chunk of money on something as simple as batting gloves. Perhaps you feel as though you could get a high quality glove for a budget price. Well, there are certainly a number of pairs of batting gloves on the market that fit this criteria, and the DeMarini Fastpitch Mercy batting gloves are one of these pairs.
Primarily worn by fastpitch softball players, the DeMarinis provide hitters with extra-padded digitized leather palms that hold up over long periods of time do a great job at absorbing bat shock. The non-palm side of the glove provides a four-way stretch material that is lightweight and gives the hand plenty of breathe-ability.
As was stated, the gloves have a lower price than the other three pairs of gloves, but sacrifice very little in the way of quality. They have a very stylish two-color scheme and comes in five colors: navy, white, royal, red, and pink. Many owners love them for their strategically-placed padding which is designed for the added bat shock present in fastpitch softball.
The important thing to remember about these gloves is that they are primarily worn by fastpitch softball players. Several owners ordered them without realizing this and were not pleased when they received them in the mail. While they would still work for baseball, you have to make sure that you’re ordering a size that is going to fit your hand.
As far as complaints go, most owners didn’t have any. One owner complained that the extra padding made the gloves feel a bit stiff when she first started using them, but that after they were broken in they felt perfect to her.
All in all, the DeMarini Fastpitch Mercies are a great pair of fastpitch softball batting gloves that are cheaper than most other pairs of around the same quality. Just to remind you once more: these are fastpitch softball gloves. They will be sized according to the hand sizes of women. That doesn’t mean baseball players can’t wear them. This size difference just needs to be taken into consideration when you are purchasing them.
There are a lot of different price levels for batting gloves. They can cost $5.00 or $500.00, and any price in between. You probably don’t want to buy ridiculously cheap gloves because a cheap price more than likely equals cheaply manufactured product. Sure, it’s not impossible to find a nice pair for $5.00, but you have to remember the old saying: you get what you pay for. And, if you don’t have money to burn, you surely don’t want to overspend by hundreds of dollars. I mean, let’s be honest. Spending $500.00 for a pair of batting gloves that are, at best, just the slightest bit better than ones you could buy for $25.00 is not a wise investment. Find batting gloves that provide the right quality at the right price.
Baseball is a hot weather sport. And, Hot weather equals sweat. Using a pair of batting gloves that cause friction and don’t provide your sweaty hands with breathe-ability will result in blisters, chafing, and other forms of nagging discomfort. When purchasing a pair of batting gloves, you must take into account how tightly the glove fits to your hand, how much give the material has, the ventilation it provides, and its ability to absorb sweat. You also want to make sure that your hands can move freely. Hitting a baseball is difficult enough as it is. There’s no reason to make it more difficult by trying to do it while wearing a pair of tight gloves that don’t allow your hands to take their natural shape on the bat.
Having a strong and sure grip on the bat is an absolute necessity. Before purchasing a pair of batting gloves, you want to make sure that they possess the type of grip that suits your swing and hand positioning. There are a lot of batting gloves out there that do the exact opposite of what they were created for. That is to say, they actually make it more difficult to grip the bat than if you were to just hit without gloves. You don’t want to spend good money on something that doesn’t serve its intended purpose. A common complaint among batting gloves is that the grip wears off too quickly. Because of this, you want to ensure that the pair of gloves you are purchasing have a reputation for long-lasting grip-ability.
All of these pairs of batting gloves have one thing in common, and that is that they’re durable. There’s nothing worse than spending money on something and having it fall apart before you ever really even get a chance to use it. A big part of hitting in baseball is getting a feel for the bat in your hands. To maximize your hitting potential, you need to maximize your control over the bat. If you’re using a new pair of batting gloves all the time because they’re constantly tearing or ripping apart at at the seams, you’ll never get a chance to break them in and develop a comfort with them. Because of this, your hitting will suffer. When buying a new pair of batting gloves, make sure you’re buying gloves that are known for their durability.
Conclusion (Wrapping it up)
When it comes down to it, you should purchase batting gloves based on characteristics that appeal to you. They’re not a one-size-fits-all sort of product and the only way you can make a good purchase is by taking into account what you look for in a batting glove. This review is simply a guide to give you an idea of what most people find comfortable.
Just remember this: buy a pair that combines comfort, reasonable cost, enduring grip-ability, and relentless durability. A pair of batting gloves that possess these characteristics will provide you with exactly what you need to stand in the batter’s box and swing with confidence.
Discussion and comments
We want to know what you think. Do you own any of the products we discussed? Which did you buy and how did it work out for you?
Do you know of an even better product?
- ShopZappos, Under Armour UA Clean-Up Batting Glove, Youtube, July 21, 2014
- Coach Gary, The Best Batting Gloves 2015-2016: For Adult Baseball, Softball and Youth Players, Building Rome Series, March 5, 2016
- Academy Sports & Outdoors, Nike Elite Edge II Batting Gloves, video.academy.com, July 24, 2015
- Aceofbaseball1997, Franklin Neo Classic 2 Batting Gloves, Youtube, March 9, 2013
- Franklin Sports, Neo Classic II Batting Gloves, 2016
- DeMarini Store, DeMarini Mercy Batting Gloves,2016