I got my hands on the Rawlings REV1X 11.75″ REV205-9X about a month ago and have had some time to work with it to see how this revolutionary glove breaks in. While there will still be lots of things I learn about the glove as time passes, I feel like I have been able to develop a baseline opinion to share with everyone curious about the REV1X. The whole line is available for $400 from Rawlings.com.
The REV1X has been met with a lot of mixed reviews from baseball fans since it released. I have seen numerous comments about the “plastic” back and how it looks like a “Wal-Mart glove.” While I understand the purists who want an all leather glove, I did not find that this glove fit those descriptions.
The base of this glove is still Heart of the Hide leather which feels as expected. The leather quality is still there despite the revamped use. As for the back feeling cheap and plasticky, I did not find that to be the case. While it is not a traditional glove by any means, the materials used still feel like they are durable. My opinion on that could change after seeing a glove used for an entire 162 game season but, based on the REV205-9X I have in hand, it feels like it will last.
I think many of the negative sentiments about this glove are from people who have yet to see one first hand. I went into this review skeptical as well but the REV1X impressed me.
Let’s look at some of the pros before we address the cons. The single best thing about the REV1X is how comfortable it is. Every finger stall is super padded and the elastic wrist strap hugs my hand. I broke this glove in with a two-in-the-pinky grip but put my pointer finger out on the finger pad. I have never gripped a glove like this but, since that’s how Lindor and Bichette wear their REV1X’s, I figured it was worth a shot.
Here are a couple clips of how the glove broke in with various grips:
This is two-in-the-pinky with my pointer finger out on the pad.
Here is a clip with a classic two-in-the-pinky grip with my finger in.
This is with a straight up grip.
This glove developed a nice pocket – as expected from a glove with the PRO200 name. The REV205-9X would be great on the mound and the left side of the infield if you’re a guy looking for some versatility. It closes thumb to around middle and ring finger, depending on your grip.
Another huge pro for the REV1X in my opinion is the design. While that is clearly a very subjective thing, I like the pattern on the back as well as the almost limitless customization options we have seen on pro diamonds. Customization is not available to the public yet, but Rawlings will certainly be continuously adding to the REV1X line. This means more and more options if you’re not a fan of the initial run.
In my opinion, the biggest downside to the REV1X and its new materials is the ability to shape the glove. The new thumb and pinky inserts combined with the polyurethane back make this glove hard to shape. The glove today retains essentially the same shape as it did when I pulled it out of the box.
I have found that the thumb and pinky do not accept a flare or roll very well and the shape of the fingers has also remained essentially unchanged. They can not be bowled in or pulled straight like an all leather glove. While this takes away from the personal aspect of the glove, I wonder if it might help with longevity. Either way, that is the single biggest complaint I have about the REV1X.
With all of that being said, I am a fan of the REV1X. While the $400 price tag is steep, that should not be a reason to hate on the glove itself. Despite the fact that it may not be “worth it” in everyones’ eyes, it still represents innovation in the glove world. I encourage everyone to handle a REV1X before forming an opinion. The REV1X is not without faults but I do see it becoming more and more common on the ball field.