Batting Gloves Cricket Buyers' Guide

BATTING GLOVES BUYERS' GUIDE FOR CRICKETERS

Batting gloves are fundamental for batsmen of all levels. Your hands and fingers are one of the most fragile parts of the body and can often be struck or jammed against the cricket bat handle when fending off a short delivery. They key qualities you must consider for cricket gloves are: protection, comfort, moisture repellence, air flow, grip, flexibility and durability.

TRADITION VS TRANSITION

The core of the batting glove has largely stayed the same in recent decades with raw cotton fibres condensed into protective sausage-like chambers that are attached to the back of the fingers and hand of a leather (or leather substitute)cricket glove base material. In fact, contemporary features are only really apparent to the naked eye when observing higher-end batting gloves; additional side bar padding is often utilised to offer greater all-round protection to the imperilled index finger on the bottom hand.

WHAT IS A BATTING GLOVE MADE FROM?

Raw cotton was once the popular choice for primary batting glove padding but has since been supported by, or, in the case of some high budget batting gloves, totally superseded by high density foams, which offer greater impact protection and a lighter profile. Top-end gloves will boast a high amount of HD foam inserts and many will complement this base protection with even stiffer materials such as resilient plastic inserts. This will deliver greater protection to those who are likely to face very quick bowlers and these hard inserts often create tunnel-like casings for the finger, especially the first two fingers of the bottom hand, which are of high risk of impact. Gunn & Moore are using a cutting edge smart fabric, commercially named d30, in some of their batting gloves, which has been likened to rubber but becomes ultra-stiff when faced with sudden impact. D30 is likely to be utilised with more regularity over the coming years, due to its ability to offer flexibility, movability and unrivalled shock absorption levels. Some gloves feature double-sided towelling on the wrist to protect the glove by any moisture running down the arm.

The level of comfort permitted by a pair of batting gloves during a lengthy innings will largely depend on the material used for the palm of the hand – the area which holds and steers the cricket bat. Cotton/PVC is the value option that offers little moisture absorption – making a firm grip on a warm summer’s day difficult to achieve – and can lead to your hands feeling chapped. Cow leather is relatively long-lasting and provides increased comfort levels compared to basic cotton profiles. Calfskin leather is one of the most comfortable and soft base materials for a batting glove but is prone to wear and tear, and may only last one full season. Kangaroo leather is a popular choice due to its strong yet light specification, comparably speaking, but Pittards leather cricket gloves are top of the range, combining formidable grip, a strong profile and immense comfort. Furthermore, Pittards cricket gloves can be specially manufactured with textured patterns that provide ultimate bat control, while the softness of the leather delivers immense touch and feel. Pittards leather batting gloves are also renowned for superb water repellent qualities and effective insulation.

BATTING GLOVES BUYERS' TIPS

Inevitably, protection and comfort levels will increase as you progress up the batting glove ladder, but you’ll also notice the extra care given to ventilation. Hot, sweaty hands can often compromise comfort and grip, so cricket glove manufacturers look to counteract this with the promotion of moisture repellents and air flow techniques. Be sure to look out for these buzz words when purchasing cricket gloves.