Warstic is a company with roots on the offensive side of the ball. They began with wood bats but have evolved into what I would describe as a lifestyle brand. Their ever expanding lineup now includes softball bats, surfboards, and even fishing poles. We got hold of their newest addition to the product lineup, the Warstic DFNDR series of baseball gloves. Here is our unboxing video followed by our initial thoughts on both the infield and outfield models.
The Warstic DFNDR series is crafted from Japanese Kip leather and is offered in two color combos – the black and brown Bison version and the blonde and tan Wildhorse version. The DFNDR series comes with high expectations due to Warstic’s reputation for quality, as well as a $370 price tag, which makes this one of the most expensive gloves on the market. Warstic sent over one of each color combo for us to check out, and you can see the full line at Warstic.com. We will be giving first impressions of the 11.5″ infield model as well as providing a full break in review for the 12.75″ outfield model.
We will start with the aforementioned color combos by addressing the looks. I think Warstic killed it with their first run at gloves. As a company known for focusing on “the warrior” rather than the weapon, they did a great job making these gloves stand out without being overpowering.
The infield model we received was in the Wildhorse colorway. This is the lighter of the two, featuring a blonde back with a classic tan palm and accents. The laced single post is a nice touch that adds a more modern touch to this classic glove.
The outfield model features the Bison look. A chocolate palm is wrapped in a black back with cream accents. The laced single post is carried over from the infield model to the outfield one as well. This provides a unique look in a sea of H-Webs roaming the green ocean.
I am a huge fan of both of these color combos from Warstic. They retain that more classic look with the blacks and browns but also add a modern twist. The stamping seen on the inside of the pointer finger as well as on the middle finger adds to the unique aesthetic Warstic has cultivated over the years.
Now, lets look at how these two beauties feel fresh out of the box. Japanese Kip leather makes this series feel soft and buttery. The leather is high quality and is tied together by laces that seem strong. That’s important because, in a recent article written by a D1 power 5 pitcher, we learned that the lace quality can really affect the durability of a glove.
Both of these models came stiff enough to form to your liking but were malleable enough to close somewhat on day one. I did the unboxing video then jumped right into a game a catch. While a couple popped out, it wasn’t so stiff that I couldn’t catch the ball the majority of the time.
My only gripe with either model is seen in the photo above. The palm leather that extends between the pointer and middle finger to the back of the glove seemed to bunch up on the 11.5″ model. This strange fold may or may not impact the feel of the glove. While it is likely it would just be a cosmetic defect, it could create a bubble to form in the pocket; not optimal. This may just be a one-off issue, however, as the outfield glove did not have the same wrinkle. (Any other Warstic glove owners out there that can comment?)
These gloves do meet expectations in the “feel” category. When you buy a Kip glove at that $300+ price point, you expect top quality and the DFNDR series delivers.
Now let’s address the most important thing about how a glove plays: the pattern. A lot of things come together to make a glove but the way it is shaped determines how it breaks in. Gloves can always be moved and shaped slightly but some aspects can’t be changed.
Let’s start with the infield offering, the 11.5″ laced single post. The first thing I noticed is that this glove has a wide heel, noticeably wider than its 12.75″ outfield counterpart. This felt good both straight up and two-in-the-pinky. The glove is wide and feels like it will vacuum up grounders.
The Warstic DFNDR infield glove has the natural inclination to close thumb to around middle finger, meaning this glove will create a pretty shallow pocket. Going two-in-the-pinky will deepen up the pocket some (more of a thumb to middle/ring finger close) but this glove does not want to create a massive pocket that engulfs the ball. I feel this can be a great option for either position up the middle.
Personally, I would not recommend this glove if you are a primary third baseman. The tall fingers and shallow close along with the 11.5″ length are best suited to middle infield.
Now for the 12.75″ outfield pattern: as I mentioned before this glove has a more narrow heel but retains the tall fingers that the infield model possesses. While I felt this was a good thing for quick transfers on the infield, I am not as fond of it for the outfield.
Just like the infield model, the outfield version wants to close on the shallower side as well. With a two-in-the-pinky grip, the natural close is to the ring finger. While this is workable, the pocket lacks that “swallow the ball” depth that so many outfielders are accustomed to. The fingertips form an almost straight line from the pointer finger to the pinky when viewed from the top, lacking that slight curve that would create a more wrap-around pocket. The base of the fingers seems to also push into the pocket as well, reducing depth. This glove will be part of our break-in series so we will see how the pocket forms and deepens with use.
I feel that the infield pattern is more of a win out of the box. With insight from Ian Kinsler, co-owner of Warstic, it is no surprise that the infield model feels as good as it does. The outfield pattern is not bad, but will take more work to form a deep pocket.
Day 1 thoughts on the Warstic DFNDER Series
The Warstic DFNDR Series is an elite line of baseball gloves. Coming in at $370, these are what you would expect in terms of quality. The infield pattern feels great, especially with a traditional grip. Quick hands with a shallow pocket is a dream recipe for many middle infielders and this can certainly fill that need. The outfield pattern leaves something to be desired. The base of the tall fingers pushes in towards the pocket, creating a shape that many outfielders might find foreign. Luckily, I held onto the 12.75″ model and will be providing an updated review on it following the break in.
The whole line is available for $370 from their website and select retailers.
If you are a company that would like us to review your product (anything from gloves to bats and everything in between) DM us on Instagram at @WhatProsWear. As always, comment questions below and I will do my best to answer them all for you.