Finding the right baseball gloves is more complicated than you think. Apart from opting for something that is the right fit, you need gloves that can be your trustworthy companion for years to come. All players, including beginners and professionals, spend an ample amount of time picking the right piece as it plays an important role during matches. Since manufacturers offer different gloves made of different materials, you need to pick one after taking several factors under consideration. Knowing these factors will help you better understand the type of glove you need for the game.
Things to consider when choosing the best baseball gloves
The first thing you need to consider is the size. As opposed to what people mostly think, bigger is not always better. It usually depends on your position. For instance, the infielders need a glove that allows them to cleanly field the ball and quickly shift the ball from the glove to the throwing hand. With that being said, a relatively smaller glove makes that easy. Shallow pockets make the transfer easy and enable speedy throwing.
Webbing: Closed vs Open
Baseball gloves are offered as either closed or open webbing. The webbing is designed to connect the thumb to the rest of the finger slots. This part contracts and expands to catch and release the ball, allowing the players to create a “basket” as well.
Although manufacturers use different terms for their special webs but most of them fall into two broad categories. Closed webs come with a tightly woven leather pattern, leaving no gaps in the webbing. Such types are mostly used by pitchers to hide their grip before delivery.
Open webs, on the other hand, feature a crisscross type leather pattern with gaps between the webs, helping the players track flyballs. Furthermore, open webbing gloves also allow the dirt to fall through ensuring that you do not scoop a load full of dirt while fielding a ground ball.
The backing is the part that is designed to rest on the back of your hand. It features a closed or open design. Since both types offer similar performance, it actually comes down to the preference of the player.
However, there are some key differences between the two. Open back gloves are generally more preferred by infielders since it allows flexibility in the wrist. Meanwhile, closed-back is mostly preferred by outfielders and basemen for line drives due to the extra wrist stability.
Other Important Factors to Consider
Baseball globes are mostly made of leather. The difference comes in based on the grade of the leather used. The quality of the leather directly influences the durability of the mitt, look, feel, and performance, etc. In the world of baseball gloves, it is generally assumed, the stiffer the leather, the higher the quality.
However, this also means that the glove will take a lot of time to break-in. Eventually, with time, the gloves will start to mold and will become accustomed to the player’s hand.
The good thing about baseball gloves is that price is not always the most determining factor. Although it is said that you get what you pay for but the fact of the matter is that you do not have to buy the most expensive glove out there to play well. There are several options out there that will work out just fine. The key is determining the quality of the leather and how it will fit you with time.
Best Types of Gloves Based on Position
Positions: Glove Design and Size
For pitchers, it is mostly recommended that they opt for a glove of 11-11.75- inch in size. They should also go for a closed web design that allows them to hide their grips from the coaches of the opposite team.
Catchers need something more robust. These gloves are specifically designed to catch bullet-like deliveries inning after inning. To protect the hands, these gloves are heavily padded and are fingerless. On average, a catcher’s mitt size is 32 inches with a shallow pocket to allow easy fast throws.
First basemen wear gloves that are comparatively longer in length. In some cases, the length of these gloves reaches 13 inches. This enables them to extend their reach and produce wild throws.
Infielders select gloves that are between 10.5-11.75 inches in size. These gloves feature a relatively smaller size with shallow pockets to allow quick deliveries, enabling the players to beat the runner’s run to safety. Additionally, these gloves come with open backs allowing flexibility and reflex catches that are ultra-fast.
Finally, outfielders choose gloves that mostly fall in the 12-12.75 inch range. This allows the outfielders to create a deep pocket and thwart home runs by reaching over the fence and catching the ball.
Ball Glove Construction
Before you head out in search of the perfect baseball glove, you must understand different areas and parts of the glove. This will help you find the right glove that is tailored to your needs and preferences.
When it comes to young players, it is all about fit and function. In simple words, how a glove performs on your hand makes all the difference. In addition to that, an ideal glove should be breathable, flexible, and promotes confidence on the field. This is why most manufacturers design their gloves keeping the young players in view.
Most gloves on the market today are lightweight and mostly made of leather, which makes them comfortable to wear with little to no time required to break in. Furthermore, the finger stalls are narrower and shorter while the hand openings are smaller as well along with the length of the glove, which enables greater control.
Almost every manufacturer offers different series that feature a combination of unique and distinct characteristics. Depending on the position and preference of the player, a glove might be made from synthetic or genuine leather treated with oil. Additionally, some gloves also come with extra padding to catch extremely fast deliveries.
With that being said, sizing is the most misunderstood factor in the world of baseball. It is mostly assumed that a small glove will make it harder to catch the ball but that is not the case. Small gloves are generally better for young players but the better the control of the glove, the better the position of the player to secure the ball.
If a player tends to be using a glove that is too large, it will constantly distract and make the player feel uncomfortable during the game. This might also make it harder to squeeze. Since every catch and throw counts, a player cannot afford slip-ups and drops each time a player makes the run after striking the ball.
1. Louisville Slugger 2018 Tpx Infield Baseball Glove - Right Hand Throw Dark Brown/White/Red, 11.5"
The Louisville Slugger TPX Series Infielder’s Glove is one of the most affordable options in the market. This glove is made from cowhide leather and pre-treated with oil that helps it break down with time.
Furthermore, it is an 11.25-inch glove that is particularly designed for outfielders featuring “H” webbing and a substantial pocket enabling them to catch falling fly balls. As an added feature, the glove is vintage designed that makes it stand out from the rest.
- H-Web construction
- Ideal for outfielders
- Reasonably priced
The Wilson A900 Infielder & Pitcher Baseball Glove is one of the best options available out there. It features excellent quality at a reasonable price. It comes in different sizes and the H-Web design makes it the ideal option for infielders. Additionally, it is offered in both left and right-handed versions as well.
The glove is made from Cheyenne Penny leather that allows it to stand the test of time. Meanwhile, the “Pedroia Fit” is designed to allow the player to function well and perfectly fit players with small hands. And since the glove is game-ready, you do not have to wait for it to break in.
- Double palm construction
- Pedroia Fit
- Cheyenne Penny Leather
If you are looking for one of the best premium and best-selling gloves in the market, then the Wilson A2000 Superskin Infield Baseball Glove is your best option. Although this model is offered in 11.5 inches but there are a lot more options as well.
With this glove, Wilson opted for a 6 finger trap design for the webbing. To ensure longevity, it is made from pro-stock leather. Players assert that their favorite part of the glove is Wilson’s Dri-Lex wrist lining installed in the heel area. This prevents the building up of sweat during those extremely hot days.
- Thin heel pad
- Pro stock leather
- Dual welting
The Rawlings Heart of the Hide Infielder’s Baseball Glove is one expensive piece but rest assured that there’s nothing like it. This is the best from Rawlings Heart of the Hide, which is going to be your one-time purchase. This particular glove in question is good for any position and is offered in a variety of styles.
It comes with Pro Grade Leather Laces and a padded thumb sleeve along with a deer tanned cowhide palm lining for a comfortable feel. Lastly, the thermoformed hand opening allows an unmatched wrist comfort and breathability.
- Strong and durable
- Reduced break-in time
- Comfortable wear
The Mizuno MVP Prime Baseball Glove is made from bio soft leather that is treated with oil for an exceptionally soft feel and firm control. The best thing about this glove is that it is offered in multiple color options. Moreover, it is a 12.75-inch glove that is made for fielders. When it comes to grip, you cannot go wrong with this glove.
- Ideal for fielders
- Bio-soft leather
- Improved grip
The Franklin Sports Baseball and Softball Glove Field Master are easy to break-in. It is made of soft synthetic leather, which is both responsive and lightweight allowing it to be game-ready in no time. It comes with an adjustable wrist strap along with a contour fit system that enables customizable thumb adjustment. This allows the glove to fit every player comfortably according to their preferences. Lastly, it is designed to catch balls without any drops and it does that with ease.
- Made from synthetic leather
- Reduced break-in time
Buying the ideal glove comes down to your preferences. You must consider factors such as the quality, material, and position, etc. Choose something that does not break your bank and lasts for years to come. Additionally, it should have a reduced break-in time as well so that it is game-ready as soon as possible.
Our recommendation would be the Louisville Slugger TPX Series Infielder’s Glove, which is an affordable option and takes less time to break in. It is made from premium leather and ensures optimum performance in every game.
But if you are looking for a 2-in-1 type combo then the Wilson A900 Glove Series Infielder & Pitcher Baseball Glove is going to be your best option. You can choose between left and right-hand options and the leather takes no time to break in. Its fitness feature is admired by many and that is what makes it a top preference of most professionals out there.