4 Aug 2010
AKADEMA AEA65 FASTPITCH DESIGN SERIES CATCHERS MITT
I have been using this excellent fastpitch softball catchers mitt for a full season now. I have to say it has been a joy to own and use. Now, I am not a player but I have a daughter that pitches and I help coach a team. So the mitt gets a lot of use.
As most of you parents of pitchers know, we take a beating and see thousands of pitches during the pre-season and regular season catching for our kids.
The company makes a lot of claims about this line of softball gloves. They talk about the high quality US steerhide leather construction throughout. They talk about the special womens fastpitch features like the smaller finger stalls to make for a more manageable fit. All those among other quality features.
What I like about this mitt is that it is very comfortable on my hand. At first it was kind of tight on my big hand. Afterall it was made for smaller female hands. It didn't take long for the all natural steerhide inside the mitt to mold to my hand. So now it really does "fit like a glove" - just had to throw that one in.
I have used just about every brand and several models of mitt for catching and fielding over the years. There have been a few decent ones but most of the so called top gloves were so heavy and so hard to catch with that I actually went back to my old fielders glove. I even tried some regular baseball catchers mitts.
So glad to have found this Akadema AEA65 fastpitch catchers mitt. I used the conditioner that I got with the mitt to help break in this mitt when it was brand new. Heck it still looks almost new. It has held its quality look very well. This mitt really helps to catch the really fast drop balls or inside fast balls that usually hit on your thumb and cause lots of pain. The design of this mitt seems to "guide" the pitch into its really deep pocket.
Akadema designed this mitt, and some others in their line, with an air pocket in the deep pocket which helps to take some of the spin off those really fast spinning rise balls. This also takes some of the sting out of those pitches too. This neat design seems to help keep the ball in the mitt easier. Not so with some of those traditional heavy weight mitts out there. It also makes a really loud pop when the ball hits that pocket. Pitchers love to hear that sound.
At first I wasn't sure about the Double-T web, an open web design in a catchers mitt, but it has proven to be an advantage. It not only makes the mitt a little lighter weight, but it adds a "window" to see the movement on those drops, rises,curves and screw balls. To an older guy that is a really nice feature - old eyes and all.
Several friends have asked to use it and have all had great things to say about it. Most immediately notice the really high quality build of this mitt. They automatically think it must have cost a ton of money. Turns out these are priced in the lower side of the high quality gloves out there. Akadema does make a more expensive line but I'm not sure it would be necessary as these are right up there with the very best softball gloves on the market.
Akadema is still not a very well known brand even though they have been around for several years and are all over the professional baseball game. College and pro fastpitch players are loving these and I see why.
These mitts come with an extra pinky hammock to allow smaller handed girls to arrange their fingers in the finger stall better and manage the glove easier. These are what Akadema calls Praying Mantis design. This design helps the glove to snap closed on impact from the ball. I can feel this unique feature when using the glove. Makes me look better than I am! There are internal features too like stress wedge padding and the unique Slim padding on the edges.
This Slim padding allows for the mitt to have a larger and deeper pocket. Great for catching fast spinning pitchers. This Praying Manits design also makes it easier to get the ball out quicker to make the throw down to pick off that runner. That is a major innovation.
I feel that this mitt would be great for anyone in the age of 13 up to college or beyond. This glove will probably last you that long if you take care of it and clean and condition it periodically. It has a large 34 inch circumference which is a perfect size for most of you. It makes stopping those pitches in the dirt an easy task.
Oh, I forgot to tell you about break in. This mitt was stiff as a board when brand new but it really broke in nicely and within a couple weeks of use it was feeling good. It is still stiff where it needs and yet the palm and pocket area are supple allowing for quick and pain free closer. You know how most of those other mitts take a couple years to break in and make your hand sore just trying to close on the ball. Not so with the AEA65.
There you go, my users review of the Akadema AEA65 Fastpitch Catchers Mitt. Hope enjoyed it. Now its time for some pitcher practice. "Catch" you later..