Umpire and Referee Gloves Buying Guide

Oct 17th, 2023

Umpires and referees should consider warmth, grip, water-resistance and palm color when deciding on gloves.

Typically, the gloves with the most warmth sacrifice grip and dexterity due to their bulk. Gloves with more grip and dexterity usually sacrifice warmth.

You will find the right combination of warmth, grip and dexterity here based on the weather and the functions you perform (e.g. a plate umpire needs more grip and dexterity for indicator, writing and ball bag use than a base umpire).

Glove Rankings for Warmth

  1. Franklin ColdMax Gloves (WARMEST)
  2. Under Armour Sideline Gloves (WARMER)
  3. Industrious Handwear Winter Gloves (WARMER)
  4. Franklin All-Weather Pro Gloves (WARMER) (Baseball & Softball Only)
  5. Under Armour Storm Liner Gloves (WARM)
  6. Industrious Handwear Year Round Gloves (WARM)
  7. Under Armour V2 Cold Gear Infrared Field Glove (WARM)

3 Ways to Add Warmth While Wearing Gloves

Glove Rankings with Best Grip & DEXTERITY

(Only those with grip shown)

  1. Industrious Handwear Year Round Gloves with Silicone Strips
  2. Industrious Handwear Winter Gloves with Silicone Strips
  3. Under Armour V2 Infrared Gloves with Silicone Grips in Fingers
  4. Franklin All-Weather Pro Gloves with Leather Palms

Glove Rankings FOR WATER-RESISTANCE / Wet Conditions

(Only those with water-resistance shown)

  1. Industrious Handwear Winter Gloves (WATERPROOF)
  2. Under Armour Sideline Gloves
  3. Franklin All-Weather Pro Gloves (Baseball & Softball Only)
  4. Franklin ColdMax Weather Gloves (Baseball & Softball Only)

Palm Color

Some officials want all-black gloves and some want black with light colored palms. The white palm color is important to enhance signal visibility to your crew, coaches, players and spectators.

All-Black Gloves

Gloves with White or Grey Palms

Tell us what works best to keep your hands warm in the comments below.

About the Author

Picture of Jim Kirk

President Jim Kirk

Jim is a leading expert, educator and author on umpire gear, safety & appearance. After playing baseball at Centre College, he worked as a high school umpire. He became involved in E-Commerce while working on an MBA in the early 2000s and bought in 2006, He eventually led it to the leading umpire gear & attire retailer worldwide, a “Best Places to Work in Louisville” honor in 2020 & 2021 and a National Association of Sports Officials (NASO) Preferred Vendor. He maintained a long-standing relationship with Minor League Baseball Umpire Development & Training Academy for 10 years. He serves as an adviser to UMPS CARE Charities, the charity of MLB umpires, served as a 2-term board of director from 2012-2018, and was named their 2015 Ambassador Award recipient. A supporter since the inception of the Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy, he was named to their Board of Directors in 2020.


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