If you’ve read my guide for some of my top rated youth baseball bats, you’ll know that buying a baseball glove isn’t always the easiest thing to do. There’s a ton of information out there, and they all are meant to do something different. In this post, I’m going to go over my top picks for the best baseball gloves that you can buy right now.
There’s a lot of contradicting information when it comes to some of the best baseball gloves so I’m going to break down every aspect that goes into buying baseball gloves.
What Glove is Right for Me?
Trying to figure out which kind of mitts you can purchase has to do with several different factors. What position do you play? Are you a righty or a lefty? Do you play specialty positions like Catcher or First Base? There’s a lot that goes into it so lets start by breaking down some of the aspects of baseball.
Pocket size is an important aspect that people sometimes forget to mention when it comes to buying a baseball glove that is right for you specifically. Typically, you’ll find that outfielders use a larger pocket size than an infielder would use due to the amount of fly balls that are caught in the outfield. Gloves that are for infielders typically have a much smaller pocket size because ground balls are nearly every type of ball you’ll be getting hit which requires quick hands. A smaller pocket size allows you to transfer the ball from your mitt to your hand with ease and speed.
The way that pocket size is measured is by inches. It’s measured by measuring the distance from the top of the first finger down to the end of the glove by your wrist. The typical range of gloves from youth to adult is around 8 inches for younger children as infielders, and all the way up to 13 for adult outfielders.
There are several different types of webbing that go into play when it comes to baseball gloves.
Let’s go over the 7 different common styles of webbing on baseball gloves.
A Basket Webbed baseball glove is typically used by Outfielders and Pitchers. The webbing on this particular style of glove allows great flexibility in the mitt. Pitchers commonly use this style of webbing because it allows them to hide the ball from the view of the batter before their windup.
The Trapeze Web style baseball glove is typically only regarded as an outfielders glove. The style of the lacing allows a deeper pocket which helps provide added support when fielding fly balls and pop ups.
Bridged Trapeze Web
The Bridged Trapeze Web is extremely similar to the Trapeze web, however, you’ll notice that it has an extra leather strap right at the top of the glove. This allows for more support which can be extremely critical in the outfield.
H-Posts and I-Webs
The most common web types used by infielders, the H and I webs are named this due to the leather formation. H/Dual Post webs can also be used by outfielders. I-webs (used by infielders only) help infielders snag and retrieve the ball more quickly. H-webs are typically more sturdy and flexible and allow infielders to see through the webbing at high and fly balls.
Single Post Web
Double Post Web
The Double Post Web doesn’t differ much in terms of performance compared to the Single Post Web. This type of webbing is mostly used by pitchers.
The Two-Piece web is a heavier and thicker form of webbing which is primarily favored by pitchers. The reason that pitchers prefer this type of baseball glove is due to its deep pocket, which allows the pitcher to conceal the ball in their glove before their wind up.
Baseball gloves come in all different types of materials. Although there are several kinds of materials, finding the proper glove for you in this regard typically all falls down under personal preference. Here’s a quick rundown of the different types of glove leathers that you’ll encounter while shopping for the gloves:
FULL GRAIN LEATHER
Full-grain leather is steerhide or cowhide leather is one of the most durable kinds of materials you can have for a baseball glove. This style of glove is stiffer and heavier than other leather gloves. It’ll be difficult to break this type of glove in, but It’s worth the extra work due to how durable that they are.
KIP (OR KIPSKIN)
Kip leather is a soft and luxurious cowhide found in high-end gloves. It tends to be lighter in weight than cowhide. This is why this type of glove material is favored by infielders. These type of gloves tend to be a bit easier to break in as well.
Steerhide is one of the most durable baseball gloves on the market. They are taken from the toughest part of the cow (right in the shoulders) which creates a durable glove.
LEATHER OR COWHIDE
This is a typical starter glove for most. Leather means cowhide, usually medium weight, but sometimes heavier. Cowhide performs well and will break in faster, but also wears out faster. Oftentimes, this grade will come “pre-oiled” to reduce break-in time. Cowhide is a great all-around glove for youth players.
Which Size Baseball Glove Do I Need?
The Size of your baseball glove can be generally decided by the generic chart below. This chart has all of the typical sizes for a baseball glove. These can be used as a general guideline, but an important thing to note that most of this falls under personal preference.
Best Baseball Gloves By Position
When you’re looking for a baseball glove, you’ll always want to find a baseball glove that is appropriate for your particular position. Here are some of the top mitts for specialty position players.
You’re going to want to consider which glove will be ideal for you based on your particular position.
Best Gloves for Infielders
Rawling’s Heart of the Hide I-Web
The Rawling’s Heart of the Hide with the I-Web formation is one of my top picks for infielders. This baseball glove is crafted by Rawling’s, which has been a staple name in baseball for years and years.
This glove is loaded with 100% steerhide, which means it’s going to have a bit of a stiffer feel to it right when you get the glove. It’s also pre-loaded with 30% broken in settings from the factory directly. That means more time on the field, and less time trying to break your glove in. This glove is a fantastic option for anyone looking to up their game. It’s the ideal infielders glove as it comes with an 11.25″ pocket and has some of the nicest materials that you can get for a glove at this price point.
Wilson A2000 1786
The Wilson A2000 series is one of the most reputable types of gloves that you can find on the market right now. It’s quickly climbing the ranks as one of the leading gloves that you can buy and it is constantly being shown around the Major Leagues. Popular infielders such as Dustin Pedroia have even gotten custom infield gloves from the Wilson A2000 series.
The most famous baseball glove, the Wilson A2000, just keeps getting better. The Wilson glove team is constantly refining the A2000 Pro Stock patterns with the insights of hundreds of MLB players every season, and applying those alongside the innovative technology that has made the glove so popular among ballplayers at all levels.
Made with Pro Stock leather — identified specifically for ball gloves long before it reaches your hand and expertly-chosen — the A2000 is built to break in perfectly and last for multiple seasons. But even long after break-in, technological components such as Dual Welting maintain a durable pocket and long-lasting form.
Best Gloves for Outfielders
The Mizuno GPS1-700DS is the top of the line glove. This glove is the kind of glove that you’ll have for years and years and it’ll only perform better as time passes. As an outfielder for most of my life, I’ve seriously enjoyed using the Mizuno series of gloves. They are some of the nicest, most durable baseball gloves that you can buy.
Mizuno’s Pro Select series features a comfortable, hand based pattern that sets your pocket under the web and helps to shape your glove like a pro. Steersoft Elite Palm Liner: Elite Leather palm liner provides exceptional feel. US Steerhide Leather: Premium US Steerhide is firm and built to hold up to the rigors of of a full season. Player Pocket Designs: Pockets tailored specifically to the player’s needs and how they prefer to break-in their glove. Thumb slot provides additional comfort and a solid, secure fit. – 12.75 Inch Model – US Steerhide Leather – Steersoft Elite Palm Liner – Player Pocket Designs – Comfortable, Hand Based Pattern – Thumb Slot
Rawlings Gamer XLE Series Baseball Glove
Dual Core technology with position-specific breakpoints within the inner lining creates a custom shape, while Tennessee Tanning rawhide leather laces offer added durability and strength. Soft fingerback lining and a padded thumb sleeve help keep your hand comfortable in the field, and the narrow fit design offers increased control for players who desire a slightly smaller hand opening than standard gloves. The Rawlings Gamer XLE Baseball Glove comes 70 percent broken-in from the factory, making it game ready with little-to-no additional conditioning required.
Best Gloves for Catchers
Rawling’s Gamer Glove Series
The Rawling’s Gamer glove series is a standard for most catchers. The glove is one of the most durable and resilient catchers gloves on the market.
Rawlings’s products have never fallen below my expectations, it has been my experience, and still is; playing since little league at 5 years old, and still playing in what will be my 70th year; that Rawlings’s has always exceeded my expectations. I recommend this glove to anyone, it can only improve your game, after all; Rawlings has the signature of the commissioner printed on it, and stamped with the endorsement as the “Official Baseball” of MLB.
Mizuno Samurai Pro
One of my favorite aspects of this glove is the padded thumb area which is extremely nice to have as a catcher. If you’re catching a lot of baseballs, chances are, your hands are going to take a beating. the Mizuno Samurai Pro helps you keep your hands fresh with it’s durable leather.
This glove has a higher price point than the Rawling’s glove above, but this glove will definitely last much longer than the Rawling’s.
Best Gloves for First Base
Rawling’s Renegade First Baseman’s Glove
This is a standard first baseman’s glove that I recommend to all of my athletes. It’s a mildly inexpensive glove as far as baseball gloves go and it is a great quality for the amount that you’re spending on it.
Game-ready right off the shelf, the Renegade Series delivers quality at an affordable price. Ideal for recreational play. Equipped with full grain leather shell and leather laces that require minimal break in. Performance and design allows you to cover all the bases in improving your game. – 11.5 Inch Youth First Base Model – Single-Post, Double Bar web – Break-In: 80% Factory / 20% Player – Conventional Back – Palm and index finger pads diminish ball impact – Oil-tanned full grain leather.
Rawlings Player Preferred Baseball First Base Mitt
Best Gloves for Pitchers
Nokona X2 Elite Series: X2-1200
The Nokona X2 Elite Series is one of the most powerful gloves that you’ll ever put on your hand.
Recommended for the game’s most skilled players, the X2 is for those who are looking for the highest performance and quality, as well as the quickest break-in period on the market. Made with distinct combinations of Nokona’s proprietary Stampede Steerhide and Kangaroo Leather for position-specific excellence. Each glove is ready-for-play right off the shelf without the need for steaming, and with the ideal level of feel, flexibility, and rigidity right where you need it. Comes with a 2 year manufacturer’s warranty from Nokona. – 12 Inch Model – Closed Web – Open Back – Stampede Steerhide & Kangaroo Leather – Individually Handcrafted in the USA – 2 Year Warranty from Nokona on X2 Elite Series.
Mizuno Pro Select combines the rich heritage of the Mizuno Pro series with advanced glove scans of hundreds of professionals to create pocket designs tailored specifically to each position and how players prefer to break-in their glove. This unique approach to glove design allows for all players to shape their glove like a pro for an incredibly natural fit and feel. Made with top-quality US Steerhide leather that is firm, incredibly durable, and will form to your hand perfectly as you break it in. – 12.5 Inch Model – Fastpitch Specific Design – US Steerhide Leather – Steersoft Elite Palm Liner – Comfortable, Hand Based Pattern – Thumb Slot
Above you’ll see all of my top picks, sorted by position, of the top gloves. The mitts that I’ve selected to be apart of my list have always been reliable gloves. The team that I coach swears by the gloves above and they really do shine when you need them to. If you’re looking to find some good baseball gloves for your particular needs, I would recommend the gloves above.