New Balance is causing a sensation in baseball. They’ve always been one of the best options for tacos, but their partnership with The Unicorn, Shohei Ohtani, is propelling them to new heights. Enter the A2KSO17. A glove designed for the most special player on the planet will be available to the public in limited quantities this summer.
The A2KSO17 is the culmination of a partnership between New Balance and Wilson, two of the most recognized names in the sport. Working with world renowned glove artisan Shigeaki Aso, Ohtani developed a glove that is as unique as he is. This glove is essentially an A2K. With Wilson staples like Tan Pro Stock Select leather and double palm construction, the A2KSO17 will feel familiar to those who have ridden A2K.
Another Wilson feature is their iconic SuperSkin material that wraps from thumb to little finger. SuperSkin is still considered the gold standard in synthetic gloves. It’s lightweight, durable, and waterproof, making it ideal for the rigors of a 162-game season.
Shohei and Aso worked to tailor this glove to Ohtani’s exact specifications. The fingers of the A2KSO17 are long and based on a field model, while the pocket has been widened to decrease the likelihood of tipping pitches. The wrist strap and a modified palm liner were added to ensure a secure fit that would limit hand movement as much as possible. The lining appears to have the same (or similar) texture as SuperSkin. Ohtani also prioritizes stiffness in his gloves. Aso included high-quality wool inserts on the thumb and little finger to achieve Shohei’s desired result.
One of the most unique features is the embroidered New Balance 574 shoe on the modified wristband. New Balance says this is a “nod to their relationship with New Balance that extends well beyond baseball.” The company is passionate about its athletes leaving a legacy both on and off the field.
We will continue to provide updates on the gauntlet as they become available. Needless to say, we’re excited to see the continued growth of the New Balance diamond.