IN ASSOCIATION WITH TRAVELBAG
A Wisden test run of the New Balance TC 860 and DC 880 batting gloves.
New Balance split their products across two identities: TC (‘technical’) and DC (‘dynamic’) and the slight differences between the ranges try to reflect that distinction. With the TC you get clean, predominantly white styling, with, in 2018, a fairly discreet splash of red. With the DC you’ve got the punchier black and luminous yellow, a combination with more than a touch of the law-enforcement about it. Is this where police riot gear is heading?
The TC gloves, as sported by Joe Root, are made with top-order players in mind. They have that bit extra padding and protection compared to the DCs, including additional inserts and shields for the vulnerable two lead fingers – plus a cushioned side-hand panel for the lead hand. They also have longer finger segments to provide that extra bit of reassurance. If you’re likely to be facing pacy bowlers on hard decks then those are useful features.
The DCs almost match the TCs for protection but focus on lightness and flexibility to a greater degree. There are four finger segments rather than three to give your greater flexion and a more natural grip on the bat. There’s a sense of quality about them, particularly in the sheep leather palm and they just feel lighter than the TC ones. You’re protected when wearing them, but you’re less aware that you’re wearing them. And for most club players, that’s enough.
Obviously pretty subjective but in general, if you like a bat with sleek sticking and a traditional look, then the TC gloves would suit you best aesthetically. The DC gloves are that much showier, with that luminous yellow trim catching the eye as they buzz through the air with every booming drive. Neither is overly offensive, it has to be said, but the TC play it more or less straight down the line with their predominantly white styling – and that’s often popular with readers.
The RRPs are £60 for the TCs, £65 for the DCs, though you can pick them up for less than that from certain retailers. New Balance are usually at the top end of things cost-wise but these are more towards the middle of the market – with some new models coming in around £80-£90.
Should I pack them in the kitbag?
The TCs provide elegance and protection, the DCs provide a comfy glove for the average club cricketer. But if you’re just after a serviceable, unfussy batting glove don’t be afraid to shop around and find something cheaper.
On Brand: New Balance
Style: Brash big-boys, not shy of a splash of colour, committed to delivering “the perfect blend of function and fashion, giving you the performance technology you need and the style you want”.
USP: Originally just a company dealing in footwear, New Balance have become one of the biggest bat brands on the market, delivering consistently high-performing blades with stylish stickering on a mass global scale.