I’m super excited to bring you this review on my new Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRO314-2BC. After playing some catch, fielding some ground balls, and using it in a few games, I think I have a pretty clear opinion about the glove.
Let me lay out the specifications first:
- 11.5″ but plays slightly bigger. 11.5″ is my favorite size, as I play middle infield and find 11.5″ to be long enough and have a shallow enough pocket for 2nd base and short.
- I-Web: gives it a shallow pocket traditional grip but still closes around the ball TIP. The pocket on this glove is perfect./li>
- Rawlings’ Heart of the Hide line. More on the quality later.
- 31 pattern: narrower hand stalls, dual welting, lower profile heel. More on this later as well.
- Camel and black colorway: this colorway is awesome. The camel and black just flow together, and I love that this has a black palm, meaning dirt will not show too much on the palm.
After testing out the Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRO314-2BC, I have fallen in love with the new 31 pattern.
First, an explanation. Rawlings designed this pattern in March of 2016 as something refreshing, something that will be a direct competitor to a Wilson A2000/A2K DP15. The 31 pattern has clawed dual welting that makes the fingers a bit rounder than most Rawlings gloves. Rawlings also put their new “narrow fit” on the 31 pattern, a tighter fit that I will discuss in the next paragraph. The 31 pattern comes in 4 sizes: 11.25″, 11.5″ (what this particular model is), 11.75″, and 12″.
I love the narrow fit on this model. I have smaller hands, and the narrow fit is perfect for me. The narrow fit is just like the DP15 fit from Wilson.
The pocket the 31 pattern forms is awesome. The pocket comes really, really shallow at first, but I was able to deepen the pocket a bit. The pocket will shallow then ball with two-in-the-pinky grip. I like the shallow pocket, as it makes transfers really quick. Although the palm feels a bit thin, I have not had any problems of too much sting on double play transfers or just regular catch.
Next, to how the pattern breaks-in. The gloves comes with the thumb and pinky aligned, meaning that the form will probably form thumb-pinky. I initially broke in this glove two-in-the-pinky grip, and the pattern formed a squared-off heel design. I really liked the break-in, but I ended up going back to traditional grip (my preferred grip). The break-in is still prefect, and I can still close the glove either thumb-pinky or thumb-ring. It would take some serious effort to break it in thumb-middle.
The form comes with a straight thumb and a slightly curled in thumb. I found it particularly difficult to flare the pinky. The thumb and pinky are really thick, but the thumb was not that stiff, but the pinky is very stiff. I was eventually able to flare the glove after some time, but it was a struggle. Now the form is perfect.
Rawlings really did a great job on this glove. The quality on their Heart of the Hide’s is even more flawless than before. Everything is just better than last year.
The leather quality is amazing. The Heart of the Hide Steerhide leather on this particular glove is amazing, thick, tight-grained, and super smooth. The leather was stiff out of the box, , but it still sort of stiff after a lot of use. The leather came with no wrinkles, and there are still zero wrinkles on the glove. So far, the leather is holding up very well, the glove still sits up on its side after everyday use.
The lace is great. It is thick, smooth, but still flexible. For example, I stretched out the lace in the fingers pretty easily to get a wider form, and that is the only time the lace has stretched thus far. I have only had to tighten the lace (where most of the stress goes) once, a pretty amazing feat considering some of my other gloves have had to have their laces tightened every week.
The liner is super comfortable to the hand. The Deer Tanned Cowhide is softer than past DTC’s, and also smoother. The upgraded finger backs feel really nice and formed to my hand great. Rawlings’ new Wilson-esque wrist pad is thick and comfortable, and fairly breathable. Another new addition by Rawlings, padded thumb loops, feel amazing and get rid of all sting to the thumbs. They are also really comfortable. Overall, the new Heart of the Hide’s are really comfortable.
Overall, the materials on this particular glove and all of the new Heart of the Hide’s are really, really good.
As you can see, my reviews on each topic seem to point to that I’m a fan of this glove. And I am. The 31 pattern has met all my expectations (which were very high), the Heart of the Hide leather and materials are top notch yet again, and the colorway is flames. There’s not much I can say bad about this glove.
If you want this glove, you can buy this same exact model here. If you like what you heard, then you will love it, guaranteed.