Since his move to the Colorado Rockies in 2009, Carlos Gonzalez has been a part of the baseball elite. He finished the 2010 season in the National League’s top 10 for home runs, batting average, RBIs and runs scored. Over the past few seasons, he’s been a two-time All-Star, a batting champion and — being equally accomplished in the field — winner of three Gold Gloves. Now the rangy outfielder has teamed up with Nike to design a next-generation mitt: the Nike Vapor 360 fielding glove.
The Nike Vapor 360 is the first lightweight, ultra-responsive glove that’s ready for the field right from the get-go. The innovative glove combines Hyperfuse construction, Nike Flywire and a leather palm engineered so that it doesn’t need to be broken in. And that’s a big deal. Gone is the process of wrapping a glove up and letting it sit, or covering it in shaving cream or cooking it in an oven. Nike’s Zero Break-In technology is composed of a standard leather palm with a perforated pattern that makes it extremely responsive. And yet the structure or durability of the mitt isn’t compromised. Nike’s products are built to last and this is no different. Still, if a frozen rope hits a fielder square in the palm, it’ll leave a stinger.
A normal glove’s body consists of multiple layers; the Vapor 360’s single-layer Hyperfuse body seamlessly fuses all its performance synthetic layers together into one solid material, making the glove ultralight, while soft PORON foam lines the mouth of the glove for comfort and breathability. Nike’s Flywire webbing system and adjustable thumb and pinky inserts allow for custom fitting. A lightweight and tight-fitting glove means quicker reactions and better plays.
So why choose Nike over brands like Rawlings and Wilson, some of the most popular gloves among big leaguers? Because Nike isn’t a one-trick pony. They push the boundaries of every sport, always looking to make the latest and greatest. Think that’s a bunch of malarkey? Well, three of the current best outfielders in the world take Nike mitts into battle: Matt Kemp, Mike Trout and Andrew McCutchen. What does that tell you?
Gonzalez and Nike developed the Vapor 360 over two seasons. After Gonzalez tried the glove out for the first time, there was no going back. “Once I put it on and played catch in camp, everything clicked”, he said. “This is what I was looking for. I wear this glove and I feel like I can catch any ball.”
A man on a seven-year contract worth $80 million depends on the Nike Vapor 360 to do his job. Is that enough incentive for you to use it in your weekend softball league?
*The glove will be available this winter and isn’t limited to neon yellow.
Design: hyperfused and perforated construction
Weight: 585 grams
Web Laces: Nike Flywire lacing system
Material: lightweight polyurethane material, leather palm