20 Best Baseball Gloves 2018-2019-toprated 2020 Reviews

Best Baseball Gloves 2018-2019-to prated 2020 Reviews

Best Baseball Gloves 2018-2019 Under 100/300/ 500-The expression “fits like a glove” takes on a whole new meaning when it comes to finding the best baseball glove. You want to find the right match because a new glove could end up being your trusty companion for several years. A glove is like a fine wine, it gets better with age. You know what we’re talking about. Nothing beats a battle-tested, full-grain leather, rugged glove that’s weathered a few seasons of sweat and dirt. It acquires a charm of its own. If you’re looking for youth baseball gloves check out our guide here.

In this equipment guide, Dugout Debate covers all the bases: the best gloves types for each position, reviews of the best baseball gloves of 2017-2018, and we go over a handful of things you should keep an eye on before making a final purchase decision. Whether you’re a weekend warrior or a teenager with a heart set on going pro, there’s something for everyone. There is no one size fits all for baseball players, so you may want to try out a few of your buddies and teammates gloves to get an idea of what you’re looking for. If you can, find a company with a liberal return policy just in case things don’t work out and you need to exchange.

ImageGloveStylePositionSizePopularityCost
Wilson A360 Baseball Glove1 Color, Closed Web, Closed BackInfield, Outfield12 Inch
Rawlings Renegade Series1 Color, Open/Closed Web, Open/Closed BackFirst Base, Catcher’s11.5, 12.5, 31.5, 32.5 Inch
Louisville Slugger 125 Series1 Color, Open Back, Closed WebInfield, Outfield11.5, 12, 12.5 Inch
Easton Core Pro Glove3 Colors, Open Web, Open BackInfield, Outfield11.25, 11.5, 11.75, 12.75 Inch
Easton Mako Comp Series1 Color, Closed/Open Web, Open BackYour Pick11.5, 12, 12.75, 34 Inch
Rawlings Gamer Glove Series1 Color, Open/Closed Web, Open BackYour Pick9.5, 11.25, 11.5, 11.75, 12, 12.5, 12.75, 32.5 Inch
Mizuno MVP Prime Series6 Colors, Closed/Open Web, Open BackInfield, Outfield11.5, 11.75, 12.75 Inch
Wilson Game Ready Soft Fit1 Color, Open/Closed Web, Open/Closed BackInfield, Outfield, Catchers11.75, 12.5, 34 Inch
Mizuno Samurai Pro1 Color, Closed Web, Open BackCatcher’s34 Inch
Akadema Torino Series3 Colors, Closed/Open Web, Open BackYour Pick11.25, 11.5, 11.75, 12, 12.75, 33 Inch
Rawlings Heart of the Hide Glove Series16 Colors, Open/Closed Web, Open/Closed BackYour Pick11.25, 11.5, 11.75, 12, 12.25, 12.5, 12.75, 13, 32.5, 33, 34
Nokona Walnut Series1 Color, Open Back, Closed WebInfield12 Inch
Wilson Pro Stock Pudge3 Colors, Closed Web, Open BackCatcher’s32.5 Inch
Nokona X2 Elite Series1 Color, Closed/Open Web, Open BackYour Pick11.5, 12, 12.5, 12.75, 33 Inch
2018 Wilson A2K Series5 Colors, Open Web, Open BackInfield11.5 Inch

Glove Guide Part I: How to Choose the Best Glove for You

Best Baseball Gloves 2018-2019

Best Overall: Rawlings Playmaker Series Glove

The Rawlings Playmaker Series Glove is a broken in, cushioned glove that is best used by adult players who head out on the field often and have the skills to match. In high impact areas, like the palm and index finger, you’ll find extra padding to keep your hands safe. There is also a velcro strap to tighten the glove to smaller hands, as well as a deep pocket for catching made from full leather that comes already worn in. The black glove with yellow stitching is available for both the right and left hand. The size is 12.5 inches.

Runner-Up, Best Overall: DeMarini Diablo Baseball and Slow Pitch Glove

$70

Prime

With a comfortable fit right out of the box, the DeMarini Diable Baseball Glove is a black leather baseball and slow pitch glove for the intermediate to advanced player. It has a shock absorbing cushion on the palm, as well as a breathable lining along the wrist and back fingers, so your hands stay ready, not sweaty. The webbing is a closed crossbar pattern. Glove fits on the left hand for a right-handed throw. The size is 14 inches.

Best for All Positions: Wilson A360 Baseball Glove

The Wilson A360 Baseball Glove is an ideal glove for recreational play in whatever position you are working on. It is easy to break in and is slightly flexible, but still protective enough when catching a fast throw. It has a closed, V-lace web pattern and a wrist strap for a tight fit. The glove is sized for adults, though will fit larger youth hands as well. The black glove is available for both a right- and left-handed throw. Sizes available include 11 inches, 12 inches and 12.5 inches.

Best for First Base: Rawlings Player Preferred First Base Mitt

$55

Prime

Rawlings is known for their durable mitts that offer good control with the ball. And the Rawlings Preferred First Base Mitt offers up just that to any player. It’s made from a full-grain leather that is soft and flexible, but still is able to hold its shape game after game. The glove has a minimal break-in period and uses durable leather lacing with a single-post double bar web pattern. The brown glove is available for both a right- and left-handed throw in a 13-inch size. Other sizes and models are also available, such as a 12.5 inch outfielder model with a closed crossbar web pattern.

Best for Beginners: Franklin Sports Field Master Series Fast-Pitch Glove

At a lower price point, the Franklin Sports Field Master Series Fast-Pitch Baseball Glove is ideal for those looking to play catch in the yard or are just getting started on the field. It’s made from a synthetic leather, so the break-in period is a bit more than other pricier gloves. It has a customizable thumb adjustment for optimal feel and control when catching. The basket is a closed crossbar web pattern. The tan glove is available for both a right- and left-handed throw. Sizes available include 11 inches, 12 inches, 12.5 inches, 13 inches and 14 inches.

Best for Softball: Franklin Sports Fast Pitch Lightweight Series Softball Glove

$25

Prime

The Franklin Sports Fast Pitch Lightweight Series Softball Glove is a 12-inch gloves that is ideal for adults or youth with larger hands. It has a hand-formed pocket with slight cushioning for those hard catches and a mesh designed shell for breathability and to save on weight. The lacing is made from rawhide and the glove comes with an adjustable wrist strap. The glove is available for both a right- and left-handed throw in black and lime green, as well as black and bright pink.

Best for Lefties: Easton Alpha Series Baseball Glove

$46

Prime

For a glove that will last years, opt for the Easton Alpha Series Baseball Glove. The glove is for a left-handed throw and is sized at 12.75 inches. It takes just a day or two of catch to break this steer-hide leather glove in, but with the palm padding and a snug first-finger pocket, catching will be second nature. The webbing is a welted, double-X trap with an open back.

Best Youth Glove: Rawlings Players Youth Glove Series

$14

Prime

Get your players started young with the Rawlings Players Youth Glove Series. The flexible glove is perfect for smaller hands because it is easier to close, but still provides enough structure for a fast catch. There is a deep pocket with a closed basket webbing. A velcro strap near the wrist helps to keep the mitt tight, while a wide opening above the wrist allows for extra range of motion. The glove is available for a left- or right-handed throw. Sizes available include 9 or 11 inches. Colors include black and blue, black and pink, as well as black and red.

Buying Guide Part I: How to Choose the Best Glove for You

Size. Bigger isn’t always better when it comes to baseball gloves. This will mostly depend on your position. For infielders, cleanly fielding the ball and the ability to make a quick transfer from glove to throwing hand is the most important factor. A smaller glove with a shallower pocket makes it easy to get the ball out of the glove and results in a speedy transfer. We talk more about positions and types of gloves in our next section below. Rawlings also has a nice table for glove sizing.

Baseball Glove Webbing
Baseball Glove Open & Closed Webbing

Webbing. The webbing connects the thumb of the glove to the rest of the finger slots. This is the part that folds and expands the easiest, creating the “basket” that assists the player in catching the ball. Glove manufacturers have come up with all sorts of cool names for their special webs, but they generally fall into two broad categories. Closed webs use a tight woven pattern of leather that features no gaps in the webbing. Pitchers usually use this type so they can better hide their grips pre-delivery. Open webs use cross-like patterns of leather pieces to create gaps which the player can see through which can be helpful for tracking fly balls (though you’ll sacrifice some of your ability to block out the sun). Open webbing also allows dirt to fall out through the spaces so you don’t scoop a glove full load of dirt when fielding a ground ball.

 

Backing. This is the part of the glove that rests on the back of your hand. The backing is either an open or closed design. Backing tends to be more of a personal preference thing, as both open and closed backed gloves offer similar performance. The key difference is that an open back allows more flexibility in the wrist and is generally favored by infielders, while a closed back provides extra wrist stability and is usually preferred by first basemen and outfielders for those laser beam line drives. In addition, open backs provide more ventilation for sweaty hands which is a nice benefit on hot summer days.

Baseball Glove Backing
Baseball Glove Open & Closed Backing

Material. The main differentiator in the quality of a baseball glove is the grade of the leather. Leather quality has a drastic effect on the mitt’s durability, softness, performance, look, feel, and break-in time. A general rule of thumb is that the stiffer the leather, the higher the leather quality. In turn, this also means it’s going to take a hell of a lot longer to break in. For example, a Rawlings Heart of the Hide is going to start out ultra-stiff until you beat it up some. Eventually, however, leather of this quality will mold to the player’s hand and last many seasons. Types of leather include:

  1. Synthetic Leather: very affordable, great for newer players.
  2. Top-grain Leather: second-highest quality of leather, thinner and more pliable than full-grain.
  3. Full-grain Leather: highest grade leather, the grain remains providing excellent durability as well as breathability.

Price. You’ve heard it before, “You get what you pay for,” blah blah blah. You don’t have to buy the most expensive mitt out there to get the best performance. There are quite a few fairly priced gloves that will do just fine. No one needs Rawlings’ top tier glove to field a ground ball. The main thing to look for is the quality of the leather and set your expectations accordingly. Don’t expect to buy a synthetic glove and have the thing last more than a couple seasons. Keep in mind by the time you go pro, you won’t need to worry about buying fancy gear anyway.

Buying Guide Part II: Best Types of Gloves for Each Position

You better not be running out to shortstop with a catcher’s mitt on. The only exception is if you lost a bet last night out on the town and you’re doing the honorable thing by following through. Good luck fielding balls with that bulky thing on. Nor do you want to be catching fly balls with an infielder’s glove unless you’re trying to make it more challenging. There are a few different designs that help make each position’s job a bit easier and we take a look at those here.Baseball Glove Types

For simplicity’s sake, let’s say there are five main positions in the game of baseball: pitcher, catcher, first baseman, infielder, and outfielder. This makes it easier to distinguish the main types of gloves that are commonly seen these days. It’s always a good idea to look for any edge you can get over the competition—so buying a glove designed for your position is probably worth it even if it’s a bit more expensive.

 

  1. Pitcher’s Glove. Most pitchers opt for an 11 to 11.75-inch sized glove. They usually opt for a closed web design to hide their grips from the prying eyes of the opposing team’s coaches.
  2. Catcher’s gloves are a whole other breed. Robust gloves, these are built to handle inning after inning battering of 70+ mph missiles. These mitts are fingerless and feature heavy padding. A shallow pocket allows easy access for fast throws. A common catcher’s mitt size is 32 inches.
  3. First Baseman. First baseman gloves are special because of their length. Most of the best first baseman gloves are 13 inches long, helping extend their reach and rein in wild throws.
  4. Typically infielders will select a glove between 10.5 to 11.75 inches in size. Smaller in size, these gloves’ shallow pockets facilitate a quick delivery to beat the base runner’s dash to safety. These gloves usually have open backs for excellent flexibility and ultra-fast reflex catches.
  5. Outfielders’ glove size usually falls in the 12 to 12.75 inch range. This creates a deep pocket which is perfect for reaching over the fence and thwarting a would-be home run. Poor guy, did you have to do that? Of course you did.

Buying Guide Part III: Baseball Glove Sizing

AgePositionGlove Size
Under 8Infield9″
Under 8Outfield11″
9-13Infield9-10″
9-13Outfield11-12″
13 and olderInfield10.5-11.5″
13 and olderOutfield12-12.75″

Brand Gossip

Rawlings Logo PatchYou’ll hear some people talk about how they won’t touch anything that doesn’t have Wilson or Rawlings name on it with a ten-foot pole. Sure it’s nice to have the recognizable red stamp of recognizable quality that comes with gloves from a company like Rawlings. And there’s no doubt about it, the heavy hitters like Wilson and Rawlings make some of the best gloves in the business. But, that doesn’t mean there aren’t some other players in the game that make quality gloves. For example, Mizuno, Louisville, Franklin, Nokona, and a few others make a great glove too. More important than getting the “best” brand however, is finding one that fits your hand and the position you play on defense. Also, consider how often you’re going to be using it, are you in a rec league that only has a handful of games each year? You probably don’t need the top of the line leather.

Review Section: The Best Baseball Gloves of 2017

Without further ado, here is our lineup of the best baseball gloves on the market. We’ve broken them down by each position so you can skip to the relevant section for you.

Best Infielder Baseball Gloves

These infielder gloves are also a great option for pitchers as well.Wilson Game Ready Soft Fit Infield and Pitcher Baseball GloveThe Wilson Game Ready Soft Fit Infield & Pitcher Baseball Glove wins our award for all-around best infielder’s glove. It’s a fair price for the exceptional quality. The 11.75-inch size and T-Web design is ideal for infielders. The low profile heel is an added boon for taking on grounders with extra pep. Wilson offers the Game Ready in both left and right handed versions.

The full leather construction incorporating Cheyenne Penny Leather makes for a glove built to last. The “Game Ready” describes how the mitt is 100% factory broken in so you don’t have to spend all winter wearing it around town just to thoroughly break it in.

Rawlings Primo Baseball Glove

Rawlings Heart of the Hide Baseball Glove
Heart of the Hide

The Rawlings Primo Series is the best of the best. Rawlings is the premier manufacturer in the glove game. You can check out their list of glove series here. At 11.5 inches, the Primo is the ideal size for infielders. This glove is also offered in a 12.75-inch outfield size. The Primo’s leather is buttery soft with a supple feel that’s just plain addicting. The price tag might make you fall out of your seat, but what do you expect from a glove crafted with two layers of the finest full grain Italian Calfskin leather.

The padding inside is 100% wool, adding just the right level of cushion. The hot stuffed 100 lb. tensile strength laces are built to hold up over many seasons in any climate. It’ll take a while to break this glove in, so don’t expect to use it on game day if you just bought it the day before.

Hopefully, your wife won’t take it too hard when she discovers you bought a glove instead of making the car payment this month. If you’re looking for the cream of the crop but don’t want to drop four benjamins the Rawlings Heart of the Hide is another full-grain leather glove from Rawlings for half the cost.Wilson A2000 Infield Baseball Glove

The Wilson A2000 Infield Baseball Glove is one of the best-selling premium gloves on the market. This model is 11.75 inches, and Wilson went with an H-Web design for the webbing. Crafted with pro stock leather, it is a long lasting glove. Many players’ favorite parts about this glove is the Dri-Lex wrist lining tech that Wilson installed in the heel area. It helps prevent sweat build-up even on those 90+ degree days. Wilson even has an “Advisory Staff” that works with MLB players to continuously improve and perfect their pro stock gloves like this one. They offer this glove in multiple color styles.

 

If you’re not looking to spend that much money, the A1K from Wilson is a great alternative and about half the cost.

Best Outfielder Baseball GlovesRawlings Heart of the Hide Outfield Baseball Glove

The Rawlings Heart of the Hide Outfield Baseball Glove is a 12.75 inch beast of a mitt featuring a Trap-Eze web. It’s got a D-ring strap that allows wrist adjustment that won’t wear down like Velcro. This glove uses nothing but the best Horween Leather from the USA.

The glove itself is a dark brown color with light brown lacing. The palm is imprinted with the Heart of the Hide logo that will make others flush with envy. Once fully broken-in, the deep pocket well will let no fly ball escape.Louisville Slugger Omaha Outfielder’s Baseball Glove

Louisville Slugger Omaha Outfielder’s Baseball Glove is a bit more reasonably priced than the Heart of the Hide. You’re still getting cowhide leather, that’s been pre-treated with oil to reduce break in time.

The 12.75 inch is an ideal size for outfielders, with a substantial pocket and six finger webbing that fetches the craftiest of falling fly balls. The cool thing about this glove is that it has the vintage leather look, a throwback to the old days of America’s beloved sport of baseball.Mizuno’s MVP Prime 12.75 Inch Baseball Glove

If you’re looking to shake things up with some crazy colors, Mizuno’s MVP Prime outfielders glove fits the bill. A 12.75-inch mitt, Mizuno markets it as a fielder’s mitt.

Best First Baseman Gloves

Here are the top picks for first baseman’s gloves.

Rawlings Renegade Series First Base MittRawlings Renegade Series First Base Mitt

 

Wilson Game Ready Soft Fit First Base GloveWilson Game Ready Soft Fit First Base Glove

Easton Natural Elite Series First Baseman’s MittEaston Natural Elite Series First Baseman’s Mitt

Mizuno MVP Prime First Base MittMizuno MVP Prime First Base Mitt

Best Catcher’s Gloves

These gloves form a brick wall against those wild pitches.

Mizuno Samurai Catchers Baseball GloveMizuno Samurai Catchers Baseball Glove

Wilson 2015 A2000 Baseball Catcher’s MittWilson 2015 A2000 Baseball Catcher’s Mitt

Rawlings Renegade Series Catcher’s MittRawlings Renegade Series Catcher’s Mitt

Wilson A360 Catcher’s MittWilson A360 Catcher's Mitt

How to choose a glove for kids and beginners

My personal glove is a Wilson A2000, and I love it, but you don’t need a glove that sells for $270 to help you play better. Just keep the following in mind:

  • A beginner needs versatility. A jack-of-most-trades glove lets you explore your strengths and weaknesses. You build the skill and knowledge you need to evaluate what you’ll need as you improve. For example, if you learn that you’re better at fielding ground balls than pop flies, you’re probably better suited for the infield and would eventually benefit from a smaller glove, which will force you to develop quick hands and enable you to transition to throwing faster—making you an even better infielder. Outfielders are more focused on catching the ball cleanly, so they need larger gloves that keep the ball secure on those heroic diving catches that you’re sure to start making.
  • A glove a kid can comfortably maneuver is very important. Many parents think that buying their kids pro-grade equipment will make them a better player. If you buy one of those massive, pro-type gloves and it’s too heavy for your kid to lift quickly, they’ll make bad plays—and likely lose interest in the sport. Here’s a nice chart made by Rawlings that roughly outlines appropriate glove sizes for different ages and uses.
  • Adequate padding is a huge asset for beginners. Coaches often tell young fielders to “get in front of the ball.” That’s because doing so gives the player the ability to shorten a hit ball’s range, scoop up a bad bounce, and quickly transition to throwing. But putting yourself in front of the ball also means you can get hit with that ball. In more advanced leagues, this isn’t a bad thing, because your body has at least kept the ball close enough to make the play. The problem, as Roberson observes, is that “kids can get hurt by a baseball, which in turn can make them ball shy.”

All about the modern baseball glove

Fun fact: Baseball and softball are the only sports in which the defense constantly has possession of the ball. Baseball and softball have many positions, many with transferable skills, but each is also subtly different. “If you’re playing outfield you’re gonna need a glove with a big enough pocket to hold a slow-pitch softball, if you’re playing infield, you need an infielder’s glove that’s for quick transfers,” said Roberson. An outfielder’s primary job is to make a clean catch and get the ball to the infielders as soon as possible. Infielders are less concerned about clean catches as they are with transferring the ball from glove to throwing hand to make a play. As the sports have evolved, so have the technology and innovation that goes into the equipment. When watching old footage of games or even Hollywood films that are set in the past, it is easy to see how much gloves have changed. They used to just be thick leather gloves with no webbing or pockets, simply a padded shock absorber for the fielder’s hands. Old-time players even used to leave their gloves on the field for the other team to use after each inning (want to check out some of these olden-days gloves? Check out this online baseball glove museum; your hands will sting just from looking at them.)

The competition

Mizuno MVP Prime Future
This glove is top quality for a youth glove, and isn’t made for amateurs. The leather needs a bit more breaking in than the cheaper models we recommend, but it will last forever if treated well. Although this glove is made for outfield use, we find that in a Little League setting a big glove can be a big help, provided that the user can comfortably close it with their hand.

Our experts agree that, generally speaking, quality and price are correlated when it comes to baseball and softball gloves, and this glove is a little too pricey to make it our main pick. But it is a worthy upgrade if your child is serious about—and committed to—their gameplay.

Wilson A500 Robinson Cano 10.75″ Baseball Glove
Why isn’t this glove a pick? Because it is small. Really small. The quality of construction and materials is high, but this is purely an infielder’s glove, and we’re focusing on picks for more general use. If your kid was born at shortstop, this is an awesome choice. Otherwise, go with our main pick.

Our expert Micah Golshirazian helped test the gloves and this was his favorite, even though it is made for kids. Micah played shortstop through most of high school and used an 11.5-inch Wilson A2000. His argument for the A500 was akin to the strategy of the aforementioned coaches who make their players use old-style gloves in practice to help improve their technique. He said that the 10.75″ A500 would help an adult playing infield develop “quick hands.”

Easton Synergy Elite
The Easton Synergy Elite is a perfectly preconditioned fast-pitch softball glove. At 12.5 inches, it sits right in the sweet spot for all-around use in an amatuer league. Our only concern is that it will get too floppy over time. We would like to see higher leather quality in a glove that costs over $70. But if you want something that is game-ready and you like the unique look, this could be the glove for you.

Wilson Onyx
The Wilson Onyx comes with a very low price for such decent leather quality. This will last longer than most products at the same price due to how rigid the leather is. But this stiff glove definitely needs considerable breaking in and won’t work well out of the box. That said, if you’re on a budget, not in a hurry, and want a glove that will last, consider this model.

One major drawback of this glove is that it was much more stiff than the Easton and the Shut Out. When we tested, this glove was one of the hardest to use out of the box. It is not the stiffest glove out there but will definitely require some breaking in. If you’re willing to do that, this is great if you’re on a budget and want something that will last.

Care and maintenance

Some may think this obvious advice, but whatever you do, don’t leave your glove out in the rain. Water ruins leather. And don’t just throw your glove on the ground, that is how you develop “pancake syndrome,” the over-flattening of a perfectly good glove. Hang it on a hook instead of just leaving it somewhere.

The best way to break in a stiff glove is to use it, sweat in it, and occasionally apply some glove oil to the palm. When you are not using the glove, wrap it up tight with a ball inside so the pocket conforms to the shape of the ball. Some companies make special elastic wraps for this, but using several rubber bands will work just as well. When the strings begin to stretch, tighten them. Curve the fingers and put a fist in the pocket between pitches (watch the pros, they do it too).

Glove Buying Guide

In baseball and softball, a fielding glove is one of the most important tools you’ll need to become a successful player. In a lot of ways, it’s the final piece to that spectacular diving catch in the outfield or what you need to stop that line drive down the third base line. Not all gloves are created equal in terms of size and material. What size baseball glove or softball glove you should use largely depends on the position you play, but there are also other factors that help determine exactly which glove you should equip yourself with.

In this guide, we will cover:

Parts of a Baseball/Softball Glove

There are four major important parts to a baseball or softball glove and they are specified below:

parts of a baseball glove

When buying a glove, there are a few basic terms that have to be defined first:

  • Type of throw – Refers to which hand a player uses to throw the ball (not which hand the glove is on), depending on if the player is a righty or a lefty.
  • RHT – Right hand thrower. Means the player throws with his or her right hand and wears the glove on the left.
  • LHT – Left hand thrower. Means the player throws with his or her left hand and wears the glove on the right.

Guidelines for Selecting a Glove

We’ve already mentioned that the best glove for you depends on which position you play. But there are other factors as well:

    • Pocket size – The pocket size of an outfielder’s glove is bigger than that of a middle infielder, allowing outfielders to catch fly balls with more ease. Shortstops and second baseman usually have a shallower pocket, which allows them to get the ball out of the glove quicker, especially on double plays.
    • Webbing – There are different types of webbings found in gloves for baseball and softball players including, but not limited to: I-web, Basket web, Closed web, Single Post web, Dual Post web, Modified Trapeze web, and Trapeze web. The type of webbing most common for infielders contains a looser stitch which gives more control in hopes of getting the ball out quicker – it also doesn’t pick up large clumps of dirt with it. Traditionally, there are eight different kinds of webbings to choose from:

Closed Web

Dual Post Web

Modified Trapeze Web

Trapeze Web

Single Post Web

Two-Piece Closed Web

Basket Web

I-Web

  • Padding – Padding preference is another thing to consider. The amount of padding you have on your glove depends on the position you play. Catcher’s mitts feature more padding to protect their hands from pitchers’ throws. Other positions, such as first and third base, may also need more padding. Recently, the popularity of extra wrist padding has grown, especially at the corner infield positions.
  • Wrist Adjustments – Some gloves are made with wrist adjustments that allow players to make the glove fit snug to their hand, allowing them to put on and take off the glove with ease. These can either be Velcro, a buckle system, laced, or a D-ring fastener.
  • Material – Gloves can be made of many different types of materials including leather, synthetic materials, mesh, and treated leather. Leather is the preferred material among players due to their durability and comfort. Players may opt for treated leather gloves which is pre-conditioned with oils for quicker break in period. Some prefer a mesh backed glove for a lighter glove. For younger players, a synthetic glove is good it’s the lightest and most inexpensive glove available.

Baseball Gloves

Certain positions require a baseball glove with a particular webbing. Check out the list below for common webbings you’ll find for each position:

  • Outfielders – H-web, modified trapeze or trapeze – bigger, deeper pockets
  • Middle infielders – I-web, single post, 2-piece closed – stay shallow
  • 3rd basemen – dual post, modified trapeze, closed webs – stronger, deeper pockets
  • Pitcher – basket, 2-piece closed, one-piece closed, modified trapeze – conceal stitches when selecting a pitch

Fastpitch Gloves

Like baseball gloves, positions in fastpitch softball require a specific webbing:

  • Middle infielders, first base, and some outfielders – open web that allows for quicker transfer to throwing hand
  • Pitchers, third base, and some outfielders – closed web that provides more support for outfielders and shields ball in pitchers glove

Proper Way to Measure a Baseball/Softball Glove

When trying to find out how long a glove is, you can look on the thumb or pinky finger and you should see the size etched in the leather there. The sizes range from 8 to 15 inches, and to 35 inches for catcher’s mitts. To measure a glove that does not have a size, take a fabric tape measure and measure from the top of the index finger, down along the glove, to the center of the heel of the glove:

how to measure a baseball glove

Now that you know how to measure the glove, you can use that measurement and reference our baseball glove sizing chart to determine how to a size a baseball glove for your position and age group. If you’re looking for youth baseball glove sizing guidance, you can follow the same chart.

Differences Between Gloves By Position

One of the most important things to keep in mind when it comes to buying a glove is the different styles and types you can choose from. With each glove, you will have different types of webs and pockets, and the choice of the best glove for you depends on the position you play.

The charts below show an estimate of the size range of the glove for a specific player for both baseball and softball:

Baseball Glove Sizing Chart by Position

AgeCatcherFirst BaseSecond Base / Short StopThird BasePitcherOutfield
Under 729.5 – 30″11.5″8-10.5″8-10.5″8-10.5″9-10.5″
8 – 1030-31″11.5-12″10.5-11.25″10.5-11.5″10.5-11.5″10-12″
11 – 1330-32.5″11.5-12″11-11.5″11-11.75″11.5-12″11.75-12.75″
Over 1432-34.5″12-13″11.25-11.5″11.5-12″11.5-12″12-13″

Fastpitch Softball Glove Sizing Chart by Position

AgeCatcherFirst BaseSecond Base / Short StopThird BasePitcherOutfield
Under 729.5 – 30″11.5″8-10.5″8-10.5″8-10.5″9-11″
8 – 1030-32″11.5-12″10.5-11.25″10.5-11.5″10.5-11.5″10-12″
11 – 1331-.32.5″12-13″11.25-12″11.75-12.5″11.5-12.5″11.75-12.5″
Over 1433-35″12-13″11.5-12.5″11.75-12.5″11.5-12.5″12-13″

Slowpitch Softball Glove Sizing Chart by Position

First BaseSecond Base / ShortstopThird BasePitcherOutfield
12-13″11.5-12.5″11.75-13″11.5-13″12-15″

Youth vs. Adult gloves

A youth glove is designed for younger players with smaller hands. They are typically cheaper than the adult gloves and are much easier to close. The youth gloves are not made of the same high quality leather, but the materials they are made of make them easier to close. Youth gloves have smaller, narrower fingers and should be used for a player under 10 years old. They sometimes can be used for a player up to 12 years old, but after then, kids should be using adult gloves. To fit an adult glove onto a younger player’s hand, the back of the wrist can be tightened. This is done on softball gloves with a Velcro strap, but on baseball gloves, the glove needs a minor re-lacing. The picture below shows the difference of how a tightened glove looks compared to a non-adjusted one.

adjust baseball glove size

Catcher’s MITTS

A catcher’s glove is more commonly referred to as a catcher’s mitt because it does not have separately cut fingers like other positions. This allows catchers to catch fastballs for an entire game without wearing down quickly or the catches becoming painful. For this reason, catchers’ mitts tend to be very stiff right off the shelf and take a while to break in. Many catchers buy their replacement mitt a few months before they think their old mitt will wear out so they have time to break their new glove in. Catcher mitts tend to have a closed pocket because they can be attached with the most lacing and take the most abuse without breaking.

There is a difference between baseball and softball catcher’s mitts. The softball catcher’s mitt has a deeper pocket and thinner side walls to accommodate for the bigger ball. Catcher’s mitts are also measured differently. Instead of the standard measuring, they are measured around the circumference of the glove to capture the entire catching area of the mitt. The standard size range is from 29.5 to 34.5 inches for baseball and from 29.5 to 35 inches for softball.

All-Star Pro Elite CM3000SBK 33.5          All-Star Pro Elite CM3000SBK 33.5″ Catcher’s Mitt

Under Armour UACMW-200 Deception 33.5          Under Armour UACMW-200 Deception 33.5″ Fastpitch Women’s Softball Catcher’s Mitt

First Basemen’s Gloves

A first baseman’s glove is very similar to the catcher’s mitt with the exception that it is longer and doesn’t have as much padding. It’s designed to have the same catching area as a catcher’s glove, but is flexible for scooping throws out of the dirt. The first basemen’s glove is stronger than a standard glove so that the fingers do not flop back like a regular fielder’s glove would. They also have open web designs to allow the pocket to be a little deeper and lighter than a closed pocket. First basemen’s gloves normally start being worn at age 10 or older, because it can be difficult for younger kids to close the big glove. The typical size range for both baseball and softball is from 11.5 to 13 inches.

Rawlings Pro Stock PROSC-21BUPRO 12          Rawlings Pro Stock PROSC-21BUPRO 12″ Baseball First Base Mitt

Louisville Slugger 2017 LXT 13          Louisville Slugger 2017 LXT 13″ Fastpitch Softball First Base Mitt

Pitchers’s Gloves

These gloves won’t have as much padding as other gloves and instead rely on being comfortable. They’re usually larger than other gloves to allow pitchers to move their hands around to grip the ball and hide their hand movements from the batter before a pitch. A pitcher doesn’t need to be as worried as other players about the performance of their glove. But the comfort is important since they are constantly catching and will often have to stop line drives hit back through the middle. It’s also important to make sure the glove isn’t too heavy. Many manufacturers make light versions of high-end gloves with special materials that weigh significantly less than standard gloves.

Wilson A2000 Clayton Kershaw Game Model 11.75          Wilson A2000 Clayton Kershaw Game Model 11.75″ Baseball Glove

Marucci MFGHG12BT Honor The Game 12          Marucci MFGHG12BT Honor The Game 12″ Adult Baseball Glove

Infield Gloves

These smaller gloves are made to allow for quick plays like a double play in the middle infield. They are shorter and have a shallower pocket than other gloves. Infielders typically want an open pocket that makes it easy to get the ball out quickly. This is typically an I-web, post web, Dual Post web, or modified trapeze pocket. The only position that sometimes wants a closed pocket is third base. This is because third base gets harder hits that a closed pocket can handle better than an open one will. The standard size for a baseball infield glove is 11.25 to 12 inches, and 11.5 to 12.5 inches for softball. For softball players, there aren’t as many selections in terms of webs because of the large ball, so the choices will be limited.

Wilson 2017 A2000 1788 Super Skin 11.25          Wilson 2017 A2000 1788 Super Skin 11.25″ Baseball Glove

Mizuno Classic Pro Soft 11.75          Mizuno Classic Pro Soft 11.75″ GCP56S2 Adult Baseball Glove

Outfield Gloves

These larger gloves are made for diving catches and to catch fly balls. This means that the gloves are longer and deeper with extra support in the fingers. The pocket designs for baseball are typically open with the main options being a modified trapeze and an H-web. These pockets are the best for long extension plays that need to keep the ball in the glove, such as diving plays and snow cones. For softball, the pockets can be closed webs, because they need to be extra deep to account for the size of the softball. The typical size of an outfielder’s glove is 9 to 15 inches for baseball and 9 to 15 inches for softball.

Rawlings Heart of the Hide-Primo H-Web 12.75          Rawlings Heart of the Hide-Primo H-Web 12.75″ Adult Baseball Glove

Nokona X2 Elite X2-1275 12.75          Nokona X2 Elite X2-1275 12.75″ Baseball Glove

Once you’ve purchased your new glove, visit our other guides to learn h

Find a Glove With the Right Pattern

A baseball glove that fits the player’s hand, position, and abilities can help him play a better game. If you’re in the market for a new glove, you can prepare yourself for that game-winning grab at the wall or series-ending tag at the plate by learning the basic differences among glove styles, as well as the most beneficial glove patterns for each position.

Three Main Features of Baseball Gloves

Although all baseball gloves look similar, there are actually three major design elements that together give each glove unique abilities on the field. An understanding of these features will help players choose the glove that is best suited to his age, size, and position. Being able to recognize the different styles of baseball gloves will help shoppers select a glove that will enhance their individual performance on the field.

Webbing

The webbing of a baseball glove connects the thumb of the glove to the fingers and helps players catch and hold onto the ball. Although there are numerous different types of webs, all with highly specialized patterns to improve ball retrieval, they all end up being classified into two distinct categories: open webs and closed webs.

Gloves with closed webbing patterns have a solid, strong web made by tightly woven patterns of leather. This design is sturdier than open web styles and gives added support for catching. Open web gloves, in contrast, feature cross patterns of leather in a loose weave with spacings that can be seen through. The open weave assists with quick ball transfers to your throwing hand and provides better visibility when catching pop flies.

Pocket

The pocket of a glove is the indentation in the palm of the glove. It is where the ball rests once it is caught. Pocket depth can be shallow or deep, and can impact how long it takes to transfer the ball to the throwing hand. It also impacts the player’s hold on the ball. Shallow pockets are geared toward making fast plays, while deeper pockets are better for snagging fly balls and hard hit shots.

Back

Gloves either have an open space above the Velcro wrist closure on the back of the glove or a closed back for more strength and support. Many middle infielders prefer an open back design for better mobility and a quicker turnaround. Outfielders’ preference is often for closed back gloves, especially ones equipped with a finger hole for added support when catching flies. But for most players, open back or closed back is a matter of personal preference.

Glove Sizing

In addition to the different design features, baseball gloves also come in an assortment of sizes. Glove sizes correlate not only to the size of the player but also to the position he plays. Infielder gloves are smaller than outfielder gloves, and youth gloves, for obvious reasons, are smaller than gloves designed for adults. The following table gives recommended glove sizes based on the age of the player and position on the field.

Under 8 Years Old

8 – 13 Years Old

High School – Adult

Infield

9 inches

9 – 10 inches

10.5 – 11.5 inches

Outfield

11 inches

11 – 12 inches

12 – 12.5 inches

Glove Design by Position

The design features of glove – that is, its webbing, pocket, back, and size – form what is called the glove’s pattern. The pattern of a glove determines the glove’s use and performance on the field. Knowing which patterns are geared toward different positions and players will help players find a glove that meets their specific needs.

Outfielders

Typically, outfielders favor longer, larger gloves with open webbing, a deep pocket, and a closed back. The larger size offers them an added advantage when catching pop flies while the deep pocket gives them a better hold on the ball. An open web design allows outfielders greater visibility of the ball if it is high in the air and even helps filter glare from the sun or stadium lights. Some outfielders prefer a closed back style for extra strength and support when catching hard-hit balls.

Infielders

An infielder needs to be able to stop hard hit shots and make fast throws. Their gloves generally feature shallower pockets for faster ball transfer and open backs for improved wrist mobility. Open web styling is commonly used by shortstops, first basemen, and second basemen.

A second baseman will usually have the smallest glove on the field to give him a greater advantage in attempting double plays. Slightly longer, closed web gloves better assist third basemen in snagging line drives. The unique demands put on a first basemen, meanwhile, require a more specialized glove. Many first base players actually wear a mitt instead of glove. Mitts are designed without separate fingers and with more padding to give more protection. A longer glove helps first basemen scoop those low throws out of the dirt, and a deep pocket means less chance the ball will pop out of the mitt.

Pitchers

Pitchers’ needs aren’t as highly specialized as other positions and many times their glove choices simply reflect personal preference. The most popular pattern choice for pitchers is an intermediate length with a closed web design to help shield their grip, and the ball, from the batter’s view.

Catchers

Catchers have a demanding job behind the plate and catcher’s mitts are required to help their performance and prevent injury. Like a first baseman’s mitt, catcher’s mitts are fingerless, but they have heavier padding and thicker leather in the palm for maximum protection. A catcher’s mitt should be round and wide to help block those pitches that land in the dirt. Catchers also need a shallow pocket to make quick throws when runners attempt to steal a base. Catcher’s mitts are sized in circumference rather than length. Youth sizes are 32 inches and under, while adults wear mitts with a circumference of 32 inches and up.

Glove Quality and Fit

Buyers who have determined which style of glove suits their age and position can begin searching for a glove that fits their budget as well as their hand. Baseball gloves range in price from under $20 for a synthetic youth glove to over $300 for a highly specialized, high-quality leather glove. A glove made from top grain leather may cost more but will last longer and perform better.

Leather Quality

Gloves made from higher-grade leather generally have better construction and design. The most commonly used leathers are full-grain, steer hide, cowhide, and pigskin. Less expensive gloves are often made from synthetic materials and are suitable for the youngest players.

Full-grain leather is most common in adult gloves. Since full-grain leather gloves are stiffer and heavier, they need a longer break-in period. The wait is worthwhile, though, as these gloves will ultimately give superior performance and durability. Full-grain leather is the preferred material for catcher’s mitts. Full-grain leather gloves may also be labeled premium or pro series.

Steer hide is also heavyweight and durable, and can either be standard grade or premium. There is no standardized definition of premium steer hide, so pay attention to the quality of the glove if it is made from steer hide. Steer hide gloves have a similar break in to full-grain leather. Cowhide leather, meanwhile, is typically a medium-weight material that can vary a great deal in quality. Cowhide gloves will break in quickly and perform well but wear out faster than full-grain leather or steer hide. Cowhide is a good choice for youth gloves. The same can be said of pigskin, which is is the most flexible and most economical type of leather, That said, it is also the least durable. Pigskin may be a good choice for a young player who may only wear the glove for a single season.

A glove made from synthetic materials is best suited to T-ball or farm ball. Look for models that closely resemble leather and avoid the ones with a shiny, plastic appearance. Some inexpensive gloves have a leather palm and synthetic back-another option for discerning shoppers.

Right-Handed or Left-Handed Glove

Baseball gloves are intended to be worn on the non-dominant hand, as it is important to keep the primary hand ready to retrieve and throw the ball. In other words, if you are right-handed, you would wear a glove on your left hand. A glove that fits on the left hand is subsequently call a “right hand thrower,” while a glove made for the right hand is referred to as a “left hand thrower,” or sometimes, a “full right.”

Getting a Good Fit

The two most critical factors in selecting a baseball glove are age and field position. That said, buying a glove that fits well is equally important. A baseball glove should fit snugly on the hand, and be stiff enough to provide strength. At the same time, it should have the flexibility to offer agility and control of the ball. It is a good idea to try on several models to find one that feels comfortable on your hand, and that is easy for you to open and close.

Find Baseball Gloves on eBay

Baseball gloves of all sizes and patterns can be quickly and easily found on eBay. A wide selection of styles, competitive prices to fit any budget, and vendors who offer free shipping means you are sure to find a great glove for an attractive price.

Once you know which type of baseball glove you want to buy, you can visit www.ebay.com, and access the Sporting Goods portal via the “All Categories” listing in the top-left portion of the screen. From there, click on Team Sports, and then the Gloves and Mitts link under Baseball and Softball. You can use the links in the Categories list on the left side of the page to begin narrowing down item listings. Links are provided for most common queries, including Catcher, Infield, Outfield, and First Base. Some of your results pages will have additional Categories lists to help you narrow down your options even further.

In addition to eBay’s built-in search filters, you can use keywords to help you quickly narrow down your choices. Type the words you want to find in the Search box to find listings that match your specifications. For example, if you want a new left-handed glove, type the keywords “left new” (without quotation marks). Visit eBay’s Search tips page for more tips on searching with keywords.

A good item listing should include information about the type of glove and its materials, the name of the manufacturer, and a clear picture. If you can’t find exactly what you want, try shopping eBay Stores, telling the eBay community what you want by creating a post on Want It Now, or saving your search. Saving a search will trigger eBay to email you when a match becomes available.

Parts of a Baseball/Softball Glove

There are four major important parts to a baseball or softball glove and they are specified below:

parts of a baseball glove

When buying a glove, there are a few basic terms that have to be defined first:

  • Type of throw – Refers to which hand a player uses to throw the ball (not which hand the glove is on), depending on if the player is a righty or a lefty.
  • RHT – Right hand thrower. Means the player throws with his or her right hand and wears the glove on the left.
  • LHT – Left hand thrower. Means the player throws with his or her left hand and wears the glove on the right.

Guidelines for Selecting a Glove

We’ve already mentioned that the best glove for you depends on which position you play. But there are other factors as well:

    • Pocket size – The pocket size of an outfielder’s glove is bigger than that of a middle infielder, allowing outfielders to catch fly balls with more ease. Shortstops and second baseman usually have a shallower pocket, which allows them to get the ball out of the glove quicker, especially on double plays.
    • Webbing – There are different types of webbings found in gloves for baseball and softball players including, but not limited to: I-web, Basket web, Closed web, Single Post web, Dual Post web, Modified Trapeze web, and Trapeze web. The type of webbing most common for infielders contains a looser stitch which gives more control in hopes of getting the ball out quicker – it also doesn’t pick up large clumps of dirt with it. Traditionally, there are eight different kinds of webbings to choose from:

Closed Web

Dual Post Web

Modified Trapeze Web

Trapeze Web

Single Post Web

Two-Piece Closed Web

Basket Web

I-Web

  • Padding – Padding preference is another thing to consider. The amount of padding you have on your glove depends on the position you play. Catcher’s mitts feature more padding to protect their hands from pitchers’ throws. Other positions, such as first and third base, may also need more padding. Recently, the popularity of extra wrist padding has grown, especially at the corner infield positions.
  • Wrist Adjustments – Some gloves are made with wrist adjustments that allow players to make the glove fit snug to their hand, allowing them to put on and take off the glove with ease. These can either be Velcro, a buckle system, laced, or a D-ring fastener.
  • Material – Gloves can be made of many different types of materials including leather, synthetic materials, mesh, and treated leather. Leather is the preferred material among players due to their durability and comfort. Players may opt for treated leather gloves which is pre-conditioned with oils for quicker break in period. Some prefer a mesh backed glove for a lighter glove. For younger players, a synthetic glove is good it’s the lightest and most inexpensive glove available.

Baseball Gloves

Certain positions require a baseball glove with a particular webbing. Check out the list below for common webbings you’ll find for each position:

  • Outfielders – H-web, modified trapeze or trapeze – bigger, deeper pockets
  • Middle infielders – I-web, single post, 2-piece closed – stay shallow
  • 3rd basemen – dual post, modified trapeze, closed webs – stronger, deeper pockets
  • Pitcher – basket, 2-piece closed, one-piece closed, modified trapeze – conceal stitches when selecting a pitch

Fastpitch Gloves

Like baseball gloves, positions in fastpitch softball require a specific webbing:

  • Middle infielders, first base, and some outfielders – open web that allows for quicker transfer to throwing hand
  • Pitchers, third base, and some outfielders – closed web that provides more support for outfielders and shields ball in pitchers glove

Proper Way to Measure a Baseball/Softball Glove

When trying to find out how long a glove is, you can look on the thumb or pinky finger and you should see the size etched in the leather there. The sizes range from 8 to 15 inches, and to 35 inches for catcher’s mitts. To measure a glove that does not have a size, take a fabric tape measure and measure from the top of the index finger, down along the glove, to the center of the heel of the glove:

how to measure a baseball glove

Now that you know how to measure the glove, you can use that measurement and reference our baseball glove sizing chart to determine how to a size a baseball glove for your position and age group. If you’re looking for youth baseball glove sizing guidance, you can follow the same chart.

Differences Between Gloves By Position

One of the most important things to keep in mind when it comes to buying a glove is the different styles and types you can choose from. With each glove, you will have different types of webs and pockets, and the choice of the best glove for you depends on the position you play.

The charts below show an estimate of the size range of the glove for a specific player for both baseball and softball:

Baseball Glove Sizing Chart by Position

AgeCatcherFirst BaseSecond Base / Short StopThird BasePitcherOutfield
Under 729.5 – 30″11.5″8-10.5″8-10.5″8-10.5″9-10.5″
8 – 1030-31″11.5-12″10.5-11.25″10.5-11.5″10.5-11.5″10-12″
11 – 1330-32.5″11.5-12″11-11.5″11-11.75″11.5-12″11.75-12.75″
Over 1432-34.5″12-13″11.25-11.5″11.5-12″11.5-12″12-13″

Fastpitch Softball Glove Sizing Chart by Position

AgeCatcherFirst BaseSecond Base / Short StopThird BasePitcherOutfield
Under 729.5 – 30″11.5″8-10.5″8-10.5″8-10.5″9-11″
8 – 1030-32″11.5-12″10.5-11.25″10.5-11.5″10.5-11.5″10-12″
11 – 1331-.32.5″12-13″11.25-12″11.75-12.5″11.5-12.5″11.75-12.5″
Over 1433-35″12-13″11.5-12.5″11.75-12.5″11.5-12.5″12-13″

Slowpitch Softball Glove Sizing Chart by Position

First BaseSecond Base / ShortstopThird BasePitcherOutfield
12-13″11.5-12.5″11.75-13″11.5-13″12-15″

Youth vs. Adult gloves

A youth glove is designed for younger players with smaller hands. They are typically cheaper than the adult gloves and are much easier to close. The youth gloves are not made of the same high quality leather, but the materials they are made of make them easier to close. Youth gloves have smaller, narrower fingers and should be used for a player under 10 years old. They sometimes can be used for a player up to 12 years old, but after then, kids should be using adult gloves. To fit an adult glove onto a younger player’s hand, the back of the wrist can be tightened. This is done on softball gloves with a Velcro strap, but on baseball gloves, the glove needs a minor re-lacing. The picture below shows the difference of how a tightened glove looks compared to a non-adjusted one.

adjust baseball glove size

Catcher’s MITTS

A catcher’s glove is more commonly referred to as a catcher’s mitt because it does not have separately cut fingers like other positions. This allows catchers to catch fastballs for an entire game without wearing down quickly or the catches becoming painful. For this reason, catchers’ mitts tend to be very stiff right off the shelf and take a while to break in. Many catchers buy their replacement mitt a few months before they think their old mitt will wear out so they have time to break their new glove in. Catcher mitts tend to have a closed pocket because they can be attached with the most lacing and take the most abuse without breaking.

There is a difference between baseball and softball catcher’s mitts. The softball catcher’s mitt has a deeper pocket and thinner side walls to accommodate for the bigger ball. Catcher’s mitts are also measured differently. Instead of the standard measuring, they are measured around the circumference of the glove to capture the entire catching area of the mitt. The standard size range is from 29.5 to 34.5 inches for baseball and from 29.5 to 35 inches for softball.

Best baseball glove brands

Now that you know how to identify the type of glove that you want, we should look at the big players in the glove business. I have six baseball glove brands (companies) that I believe are worth a serious look: Rawlings, Mizuno, Easton, Wilson, Louisville Slugger and Nokona.

Rawlings

Rawlings is the golden standard in baseball gloves. They are known for the “gold glove award” in Major League Baseball and, thus, are the most popular glove company in the majors. Rawlings focuses on the adult market, but does manufacture youth baseball gloves. Rawlings has a bargain glove that you can find for about $40 and a more premium priced glove that is priced around $240. Surprisingly, the bargain price for an adult glove is the comparable to that of a youth glove. However, for the high end adult glove, you could pay as much as $400.

Most Popular Rawlings Gloves

Rawlings offers a number of gloves, but the most popular is easily the Gold Glove Series. This series offers great durability and name/logo recognition right away. The Gold Glove series covers most positions, which is nice. Player’s can purchase multiple gloves and still be familiar with the glove style. I’m really impressed with how well broken-in the glove is when it comes out of the box. It’s a popular glove, in part, because everyone knows about the gold glove award. This series also comes with a great price tag. It may be the fact that everyone recognizes “gold glove”, or the fact that it’s a great glove, ready off the shelf, but this is easily the most common glove that I’ve seen with a Rawlings logo. Rawlings second most popular glove is problem the Rawlings Custom Series. Many players like it for its customizability. Rawlings offers the glove in multiple colors, so it can be customized to the colors that a player likes. Many players get the glove in team colors. Like all of the other Rawlings products, this glove is made with full-grain leather to ensure stability and durability. The price point and the ability to make this glove your own is really impressive in a day where it seems that most companies want to create one glove for everyone to use.

Mizuno

Mizuno offers a number of models, mostly made from steer hide. Many of Mizuno’s gloves are a bit heavier than average, but are still a great quality. The quality seems to come with price. Mizuno’s youth gloves run a similar spectrum ranging from about $40 to $170. The Mizuno line of adult gloves is even pricier ($80-$500). Mizuno offers a great variety of material and web styles for any player’s liking, but the price is a bit high. However, the quality does seem to stand up over time.

Most Popular Mizuno Gloves

Their most popular glove is their Franchise Series. Mizuno has taken pride in making this a one-of-a-kind glove. They use a specialized hi-low stitching system that increases flexibility in the webbing of the glove. It seems to offer the best mix of flexibility and strength in the industry.

The franchise series also boasts Parashock technology which helps deaden the sting of the ball. Using Palm Soft technology ensures that, if a player catches the ball in the square of their palm, it isn’t too painful. The price point makes it all the better! Mizuno’s second offering is the Pro Soft Series that we previously mentioned. This glove is, clearly, high quality as its popularity comes from its quality, not its look. While most companies have started focusing on making a glove that looks sleek and attracts attention, Mizuno went with a “classic” style that isn’t going to be the talk of the town. As such, they had to focus on creating the highest quality glove. In the Pro series, they were successful. I like seeing leather laces on the glove as I believe the laces are the best way to keep the glove fitting properly.

Wilson

Wilson is a great company who is well respected in the baseball world. They’ve been around for years, and have a rock solid reputation. They’re glove are typically made from cow hide leather. It seems that Wilson has found this to work well, and doesn’t change it with many of their models. Wilson doesn’t make as many youth models as I’d like, so it’s hard to find consistent pricing comparisons. However, I do really like the EZ Catch model as they come pre-broken in so that a youth can start using the glove right away. As for the adult models, the value gloves sell for about $40. The premium model of Wilson’s glove will run you about $350.

Most Popular Wilson Gloves

Wilson has the most popular glove on the market in the A2000 series. Like many other popular gloves, the A2000 covers multiple positions. This glove could have been mentioned as the best baseball glove for almost every position, but that wouldn’t have offered any insight. As mentioned above, I haven’t found a single player that has found any issues with these gloves. From online reviews, there are clearly people that have been displeased, but I’ve never talked to them. Wilson offers Dri-lex to cut down on sweat and, essentially, absorb perspiration. They’ve also added longer laces throughout the series to improve the ability to tighten the glove to your preference. Depending on which model you choose, the price tag is a bit higher than you’d like, but for the best glove in the game, it isn’t terrible. In reality, I think the A2000 series is pretty much the cream of the crop for Wilson. They offer similar options in the A1k and the A500 series. But, there is no reason to look any further than the A2000 series.

Easton

Easton is a well-known company in the baseball world. The catch is, they’re known more for bat production that being a part of the glove business. Easton has expanded to join the competition in the love market and does quite well. Easton likes to use steer hide in the gloves that it produces. This offers a slightly lighter glove than cow hide. Easton is the only company that uses a natural walnut oil to help tan its gloves. The quality is solid, and the prices are competitive. The value models are a bit more expensive than others, but the high end gloves come in at a discount compared to the competition.

Most Popular Easton Gloves

Easton’s most popular glove matches up with their most popular bat– the Mako Series. Easton created this glove using a specialized polyurethane rather than leather which significantly decreases the weight of the glove. Easton boasts a super soft finish with specialized oil-tanned leather and a hog-hide palm. This ensures a more comfortable fit for the fielder. They also claim that the “sponge-tricot” finger lining is supposed to be more comfortable. This glove is clearly focused on comfort and wearability. If you’re looking for an average glove that is going to feel good while you’re on the field, look no further. That was Easton’s focus, and they’ve done a great job. Easton offers an alternative to the Mako called the Prime Series. This series primarily focuses on mitts for catchers and first baseman, but I’ve heard fantastic things about the mitts that are in this series. This series offers mitts made with Buffalo leather which offers better durability than your typical leather. Easton believes that their VRS padding in the palm allows for added protection from harsh catches. The buffalo does add weight to the mitt itself, but is manageable. What really sets the Prime Series apart is its reasonable price tag. I would recommend this for someone who is looking for an economic glove more so than the highest quality.

Louisville Slugger

Louisville Slugger is another company that is known for their bats, but is trying to move into the glove competition in hopes of expanding their business. The Louisville brand offers a premium steer hide glove that makes for a lighter, faster material. Their value-priced gloves are around $60, while the premium gloves will run about $200. This means that they offer a significant discount if you’re in the market for buying a high-end glove.

Most Popular Louisville Slugger Gloves

The Louisville Genesis series is a great glove. Like many other gloves on the market, Louisville uses buffalo hide to improve durability. What they’ve done to counteract the weight of the buffalo leather is make the back of the glove with mesh. This has 2 benefits:

  • First, the mesh helps lighten the glove.
  • Second, the mesh helps with breathability, making your hand sweat less while it’s in the glove.

By combining the leather with the mesh, there break-in period is fairly short. You’ll find that this glove brings the quality of America’s favorite bat company into the realm of the glove world. They’re not the best in the glove industry, but they make respectable gloves, and the Genesis is at the top of their line. The Dynasty Series is another popular option when looking to Louisville for a glove. The price is really the primary reason that the dynasty series is popular. The Dynasty series offers options for most positions which is a nice bonus. The modified trap web helps younger players in fielding as they don’t have to be perfect in fielding. The palm lining that Louisville has created also allows for comfort and is said to offer a customized break in. That is, the glove form fits to a player’s hand as the glove is being broken in. This is another glove that I would suggest if you’re looking for an economic glove rather than an elite glove.

Nokona

Nokona is an interesting company. Nokona offers leather products, combined kangaroo and cow hide products, and buffalo skin products. Nokona seems to have a strong belief in their products, and isn’t willing to make a “cheaper” version of their gloves. Even the youth gloves that can be purchased will run about $225. A “value” glove from Nokona runs about $240 and the premium glove runs about $350. The price differences from Nokona often relate to the material that is used. A leather glove is what they consider value, while a buffalo glove is the high-end glove. Nokona is also impressively unique in that you can custom make any glove that you want. That is to say, they will custom make a glove with any material, style, and web that you wish. I truly believe that Nokona is the “up-and-coming” line of gloves in baseball.

Most Popular Nokona Gloves

Nokona offers so many high quality gloves. In my opinion, they’ve become the best in the business. Their most popular glove was mentioned earlier: The X2 series. The X2 series offers a mixture of stampeded and kangaroo leather which offers the best durability in the business. The kangaroo leather is the best mix of durability and weight in the business. The X2 series (and all Nokona products) offer a 2 year warranty. Adding the warranty to the durability ensures the X2 series, and most Nokona products, are at the top of my list when I’m searching for a glove. I’ve always been impressed with the Alpha Series from Nokona. What I’ve found unique about this glove is that it has 6 fingers instead of just 5. That is, the pocket is, essentially, an added finger to offer added stability when catching the ball. This unique design means that the glove isn’t for everyone, but a number of players that I’ve spoken with have said that it doesn’t dramatically alter the feel of the glove itself. It’s another glove that touts high durability meaning a player can wear this glove for years. All Nokona gloves seem to be meant for adults rather than youth as the durability means the glove will last much longer than most youth can wear it. That is to say, as a youth player grows, the glove the need will change. As such, I wouldn’t recommend spending $250+ for your 8 year old to have a durable glove that fits for 1 season.

Conclusion: So, What Is The Best Baseball Glove?

In summary, the best baseball gloves are the gloves that fit you best. It’s not about the company or even the type of product used to make the glove.

You have to have a glove that fits your position, and a glove that you’re comfortable with. A player trying to use a catcher’s mitt while playing center field probably isn’t going to be very successful. Likewise, a player hoping to catch an 80 mph pitch with a small infielder’s glove could result in injury.

So, start by finding the right style. After finding the right style, decide what the web should look like.

Finally, start looking at the models that you like

Conclusion

Baseball gloves might look fairly similar-but seasoned players know that perfection on the field requires a glove that offers the right combination of size, quality materials, and design. By focusing on these considerations, glove shoppers can find satisfying options to match almost any budget.

 

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