Are you ready to enjoy some nice weather with a few games of baseball? There’s a lot of equipment you’ll need to look at so you can ensure the best experience possible.
With so many gloves on the market, it can be hard to determine what will best fit your needs. Follow along while I discuss what makes for the best youth baseball glove.
Top Picks On Best Baseball Gloves
Black and Gray
Black and Brown
Black and Red
Black and Brown
31.5/ 32.5/ 11.5/ 12.5
Black and Orange
Blue and Black
Black and Brown
What Are The Important Parts Of A Baseball Glove?
A baseball glove consists of four main parts; the heel, webbing, fingers and palm. Baseball players will often choose their glove by the webbing and there are eight different webbing choices available.
There are distinct preferences where some people will like closed webbing while others are sure the open webbing option is superior. This is true depending what position you’re playing, which I will discuss more in the next section.
Different Gloves For Different Positions
The position you’ll be playing will determine what kind of glove you need.
A first baseman wears a larger mitt to protect the catching hand. In addition, catcher mitts need to be the most protective as they have the position most susceptible to injuries.
This mitt will have a round appearance and will include more padding. It also features a deep oval-shaped pocket with a closed web to make it stronger and more durable.
Someone playing the infield will want a smaller and more lightweight glove that contains shallow pockets for getting the ball back to your pitching hand fast.
Someone in the outfield is, however, not looking for a quick release of the ball he receives, but is more concerned with catching it properly. For this reason, they will generally pick a larger glove with deep pockets for cradling the ball.
If you’re playing in multiple positions, you need a glove that will accommodate you anywhere. Picking a standard, multi-purpose glove would be your best option.
How To Pick The Right Glove
Aside from picking a glove to fit the position you play, there are some other important factors to think about when choosing the best baseball gloves. They include,
- Durability – make sure they are made from 100% leather if you need something that will last for the long haul.
- Price Range – consider how much you’re able to spend on this glove.
- Pocket Size – do you need to catch the ball or get it back on the field quickly? That will help you determine if a deep or shallow pocket is right for you.
- Padding – if you’re concerned about injuries, then you’ll want to choose a mitt with more padding, especially if you’re a catcher.
- Wrist Adjustments – used to make the mitt fit snugger to your hand. Not all mitts come with this feature, so you’ll have to decide if it’s important to you.
Measuring Your Glove Size
The size of a glove is etched on the thumb or pinky finger. Sizes are going to range from 8-13 inches and up to 35 inches for a catcher’s mitt. You will want a glove that has plenty of room and it should never be too tight.
Remember to keep enough room inside to wear your batting glove as well. In fact, your best bet is to try on the glove with your batting glove so you know how much room you’ll need.
It is always nice to have an adjustable glove to achieve different fits when you need them. Standard sizes are 8-10 inches for children aged 4-6, 11-inches for children aged 7-9, and 12-13 inches for children aged 10 all the way through adult.
What’s The Difference Between Baseball And Softball Gloves?
Many people think that you can use baseball and softball gloves interchangeably, but that simply isn’t true. While they share a lot of the same basic features there are specific sizes for fastpitch and slowpitch softball.
Softball gloves are larger to hold the larger balls. The widths vary from 12-15 inches depending what position is being played. Baseball gloves on the other hand typically range from 10 ½ - 13 inches wide.
The design of the gloves is also quite different. A softball glove is going to feature deeper and rounder pockets. The baseball glove is generally shallow and longer except for the catchers and first basemen.
Baseball gloves feature larger hand openings and finger chambers. Both softball and baseball gloves feature the open or closed types of webbing, so that is one similarity.
A high-end baseball glove will cost more money than a softball glove which is why many people attempt to use softball gloves instead. While it is feasible to use a softball glove for baseball, it would be much harder to use a baseball glove in substitution for a softball glove.
Your best bet would be to purchase a mitt designed for baseball and the position you are planning to play.
Best Baseball Gloves
Here are the 10 best baseball gloves I found that are currently on the market.
This 10-inch glove is perfect for all positions and is available for right or left-hand throw.
Wilson is a leader in the baseball industry and this mitt is my pick for best baseball glove on the market due to the company’s reputation.
Wilson uses the top names in baseball to help them develop the best mitts so you can be comfortable on the field.
With its sleek design and comfortable fit, this glove is sure to be a winner.
This large catcher’s mitt measures 32.5 inches and features a ParaShock palm pad to protect from the shock of repeated use, provide less rebound, and provide outstanding comfort.
Clearly the best youth baseball glove around, the Power Close feature allows younger players an easier ability to close the glove and catch their ball.
The V-Flex Notch is created to assist in easy closure for the young player. All around a great choice for the child learning how to play.
If you are looking for a great starter mitt for your young one, this is it! This 9-inch glove is made to look and feel like leather while providing fielding flexibility.
The patented web by Rawlings called Basket Web is available on this mitt that offers interwoven leather strips for added strength and durability.
This glove won’t require a lot of break-in time and is ideal for those little hands.
This best youth baseball glove features a patented PowerClose function that makes catching easy.
It enables training the younger kids to catch in the pocket and also includes that Parashock Palm Pad to reduce discomfort.
Mizuno has been making baseball gloves for over 100 years and uses other great features such as the Heel Flex Technology for increasing flexibility and the V-Flex Notch for fewer drops.
This pro-sized 34-inch catcher’s mitt is made of tanned retro leather for increased durability.
You’ll find that it is easy to break-in with its soft feel.
The ParaShock finger channels will absorb stress to the hand and offer the maximum protection and comfort that a catcher needs.
This 32.5-inch catcher’s glove features a one-piece closed web design which forms a deep pocket for the catcher to control and scoop the ball.
The palm and index finger pads diminish ball impact and the fastback has a single finger opening with a D-ring strap.
The basket-web forms a closed and deep pocket perfect for an infielder or pitcher.
It also features a zero shock palm pad for maximum comfort.
This 1-piece, closed web forms a deep pocket for the catcher to have maximum control and easily scoop up the ball.
The back features a wide opening above the wrist and the glove also comes with the zero shock palm pad for comfort.
This is rated one of the best Easton baseball gloves for kids and features the Zflex elastic strips on either side of the palm for easy closure.
They’ll also enjoy the ultra-soft leather.
Great for the beginner player, this mitt features buffalo leather and performance mesh.
You’ll also grab a 1-year warranty to protect you from damage that might occur to the mitt.
Breaking In The New Glove
Once you’ve received your new glove, it can take a few weeks up to an entire season to get it broken in. The very first thing you want to do is condition the leather. Use a special leather conditioner and lubricate it well.
Work your glove around at hinges and fingers. Be sure you do this as often as you can to get the glove moving.
Make sure you also shape the glove by putting a ball in the pocket and wrapping a band around it. Keep it like this overnight at room temperature for best results.
The best way to break a glove in is to use it! Practice at least once per day so you can start creating that custom pocket right for you. You may want to punch the glove a few times and help get it in shape. Many people find success with this method.
Care Of Your New Glove
Once you’ve picked the right glove, you’ll want to know how to take care of it properly. Protect your investment by following these simple guidelines.
- Store your Glove Properly – A cool, dry place is the optimal location for your glove when it’s not in use. Never leave it to sit outside.
- Keep the Inside of the Glove Protected – Wear your batting glove when using a mitt. This will protect the inside from your sweat and dirt.
- Never let the Glove get Wet – If it happens to get wet, make sure you clean it with a rag and then allow it to air dry completely. This may cause it to stiffen temporarily, but it should loosen back up after use. Never use a hair dryer or heater to dry the mitt.
- Protect the Shape of the Glove – Once per season be sure you place a softball in the pocket of your glove. Simply wrap it with a binder and take the time to tighten and retie those laces.
- Clean Your Glove After Each Use – Brush the dirt off with a light brush. Then, use a damp cloth to apply some leather cleaner. Remove the cleaner and allow your glove to air dry. You can also apply a leather conditioner after cleaning to protect it.
- Watch for Open Seams – If you notice something wrong with your glove, have it fixed immediately before further damage occurs.
- Don’t Apply Products that aren’t Designed for Gloves – You don’t want to use any oils or cleaners not recommended for baseball gloves. Potentially, you could damage the leather by not following standard recommendations.
You’ve learned what the parts of a baseball glove are as well as the different features you can look for. I’ve also shown you how to measure your glove size and what to pick for the best youth baseball glove.
Finally, I’ve taught you how to break in that new glove and how to care for it so it remains the best baseball glove for many years to come. After taking in all this knowledge and information, all that’s left for you to do is grab the new mitt and get playing.
Get out there and enjoy some time with family and friends playing America’s favorite pastime.
The video below shows how catching drills can start young.