How To Choose A Baseball Glove: Complete Guide For Every Player 2022

For those who have no idea on how to choose a baseball glove, you have nothing to worry about as we will provide all the tips you need to know. One thing to know about the best baseball gloves is that they are essential sports equipment that is used by both young and old athletes. 

In other news, there are lots of options you will find out there when deciding on the ideal baseball glove. These options have different materials, web types, materials and even playing positions that will affect your pick. However, you are in safe hands as we have broken down all that you need to know.

Table of Contents ↴

Anatomy Of A Baseball Glove

When it comes down to the anatomy of a baseball glove, some of the things you need to know that make up the glove are: 

Hinge

One thing about the hinge is that it enables the glove to close and open without any hassle. 

Web

The web of your baseball glove is what links the thumb and fingers for good control of your ball on impact. It comes with tightly woven leather that enables fielders to close their hands when they get the ball. 

Lacing

It helps in providing shape to your glove. The most preferred lacing is leather as it enables the laces to break in love with the glove. 

Wrist adjustment 

This is an optional feature that enables adjustment. It can mostly be found in slow pitch softball, fast pitch softball, and youth baseball. It comes with buckle systems, D-ring fasteners, and hook and loop fasteners. 

Choosing your baseball glove 

Choose A Baseball Glove _ Choosing
Choose A Baseball Glove _ Choosing

When it comes down to how to choose a baseball glove, keep in mind that your success on the pitch can be altered if you go with the wrong glove. In choosing your baseball glove, you will need to have an idea of the size that best suits you. Note that there is a difference between baseball gloves and softball gloves. 

The baseball glove size of a teenager will be between 12 inches and 10.75 inches. Meanwhile, their size in softball gloves will be between two to four inches. And while baseball gloves mostly have shallower pockets, a softball glove will have a deep pocket. 

In choosing your glove, you are to consider: 

Cost

Before you purchase anything, whether baseball gloves or catcher’s mitts, you need to put your budget into consideration first. When I first started out as a beginner, I used to purchase cheap gloves, made out of lightweight materials and had an easy break in period. 

Choose A Baseball Glove _ Cost
Choose A Baseball Glove _ Cost

But with some experience over time, you can buy an expensive glove crafted from real synthetic leather, with an easy break-in period and the right webbing. Depending on the material and brand, the average price of a baseball glove is between twenty five dollars to four hundred dollars. 

Player’s dominant hand

Choose A Baseball Glove _ Dominate hand
Choose A Baseball Glove _ Dominate hand

This simply means whether you or the person that needs the baseball glove is a left-hand thrower or righty. Right-handed players will need to wear their gloves on their left hand. And vice versa. In other news, you are not to wear your glove on the throwing hand. Instead, the glove will be on the hand you do not use in throwing.

So, if you use your right hand as your throwing hand, the glove will go on your left hand.  This is the same as if your left hand is your throwing hand, the glove will be worn on the right hand. 

Player’s position

This is a very important aspect when learning how to choose a baseball glove. In other words, it is your position that will be the determining factor in buying the right youth baseball glove. We will be breaking this down below. It goes thus: 

Choose A Baseball Glove _ Position
Choose A Baseball Glove _ Position

Infielder gloves

When it comes to glove sizes, the infield gloves are the smallest on the field. It has a shallower pocket that lets them transfer the ball swiftly to the baserunners. As an adult, I make use of infield gloves that are between 11.5 inches and 10.5 inches in length. 

However, young players can make use of nine and ten inches. Your infield glove should have a close webbed design, though open webbing is ok. Some of the common designs of closed webbing are modified traps that come with a leather strip. 

For the open webbing design, they can be I web or h web. Bear in mind that your infield gloves should not be larger gloves, as expert players also use smaller gloves. 

Outfield glove

The best outfield gloves are typically larger, designed to give players more reach when attempting to catch fly balls. They come with a deeper pocket to help with ball security issues. The glove size here ranges from 10.75 inches to 12.5 inches for the younger players, and then 12.5 to 12.75 inches for adults.

Slowpitch and fastpitch players make use of bigger outfield gloves. The difference between outfield gloves and infield gloves has to do with their open webbing. The web type for outfield gloves is the modified trapeze. It helps create deeper pockets to catch fly balls. 

Pitching gloves

The pitcher’s glove size is closer to that of the infield glove. It has a closed web pattern, and the youth gloves have a size that ranges from nine inches to 10.5 inches. The web design that is used here is the basket pattern, though some pitchers prefer the modified trap. 

Utility gloves

The utility gloves are the type of gloves that are for players that play diverse positions and require a glove that can tackle the needs of both the outfield and infield. The right size gloves here are the big ones, and they come with a closed web design. The youth players’ glove in the utility glove spectrum is eleven inches to twelve inches. while adults make do with 11.75 inches or 12.5. 

Catcher’s mitt

The best catcher’s gloves, or best catchers mitts, come with a special design, though they are bulky sometimes. Catcher’s mitts are fingerless gloves wherein the padding extends all over the hand. They are designed to protect and have a small pocket. Its glove size is in circumference and not length.

So, the youth or best catchers mitt for 13 year old will be about 31 inches long, while the adult catcher’s mitt should be roughly 32 inches. Its web design has two unique patterns. They are the half-moon and the one-piece. For the half-moon, it is a two-piece web pattern that comes with lacing two leather pieces together. 

When they are laced together, it forms a tight pocket and provides more flexibility than the one-piece design. Meanwhile, the one-piece design is practically one of the baseball glove web types that is simply a large piece of leather. It is common since the lacing all over the outer edge assists in forming a tight yet shallow pocket.

First basemen gloves 

As for the first basemen gloves, they have a close resemblance to baseball mitts. While they do not come with as much padding as the catcher’s mitt, they are longer gloves. As a perfect glove, their long design assists the first basemen to reach farther, and it allows their diving catches to happen easily.

These gloves have deep pockets and the same catching areas as the catcher’s mitt. But they are not as rigid.  Their flexible design makes them efficient in scooping ground balls. Aside from being the right glove for catching ground balls, they also help with ball security issues. 

Versatility

Choose A Baseball Glove _ Material
Choose A Baseball Glove _ Material

As you learn how to choose a baseball glove, keep in mind that versatility is important as your glove will need to be flexible and have some resistance. It should also be versatile enough to boost your control of the ball. The versatility will be dependent on your personal preferences. If you do not have the ideal fit or the right glove style, it will affect your performance. More so, your glove should allow for wrist adjustment. 

Materials

One thing you must note is that baseball gloves can be crafted from diverse materials, so, ideally, you should pick materials that will provide the best texture and feel. 

Any pro baseball player will tell you that leather is the best material for gloves. However, there are other choices such as mesh, treated, and synthetic leather that can finish the job of making the best baseball gloves for outfielders and other positions. Bear in mind that leather provides durability, comfort, and craftsmanship. 

Choose A Baseball Glove _ Versatility
Choose A Baseball Glove _ Versatility

For treated leather, it is made available preconditioned with some beneficial oils. Mesh gloves tend to be lightweight and synthetic ones are more cost efficient thus making some of the best baseball gloves for youth. More so, the type of material used will determine the break in period. 

Size

In choosing the best baseball glove, you will need to consider the ideal baseball glove size for your hands. All baseball mitts have got the size written inside the leather of the pinky finger or thumb of the glove. Meanwhile, manufacturers tend to measure their size glove from the top of the index finger, then they move down on the glove till they get to the middle of the heel. It is this length that determines the glove’s size.

For catcher’s mitt size, they are a bit different because their size option is bigger and they measure by the circumference. In other news, baseball glove sizing goes from the index finger to the middle, while the catcher’s mitt sizing measures by the distance around the entire mitt. 

Choose A Baseball Glove _ Size
Choose A Baseball Glove _ Size

More so, the glove you buy is heavily dependent on your position on the field. The outfielder will buy a longer glove to catch the flying ball. He or she cannot use a short glove but a glove that has extended length. Meanwhile, the first baseman will also need a long mitt to catch the ground balls effectively. 

You can always check for the softball glove size chart if you want to get the ideal softball glove size. Do not forget that the best gloves come in different styles, types, pockets, and webbing. Moreover, you can buy one based on what you want. Baseball glove size is vital when choosing the best glove to buy.

Things to consider when choosing a glove

Since you will choose the right baseball glove based on your position, some other things you will specifically need to consider are: 

Web Patterns

The web is regarded as the pattern that joins the thumb and the glove fingers. It is this part of your glove that will allow you to relax or adjust your grip on the ball. There are different baseball glove web types you should know about when learning how to choose a baseball glove, they are:

Choose A Baseball Glove _ Web pattern
Choose A Baseball Glove _ Web pattern

Modified Trapeze

You will find this modified trapeze on outfield gloves. It comes with a leather strap and interlaced lacing on every side. It offers a deeper pocket for catching fly balls. 

H web

It gets its name from the letter h which the leather posts make when they are sewn together. The h-web type is common amongst infielders and outfielders, as well as third basemen. Its open web enables debris and dirt to fall through, and it remains strong enough to field all hard-hit balls.

I web

Similar to the H web, the I web comes with leather posts in the shape of the letter I. You will see this pattern on the infield glove. 

Two piece

Like the basket web gloves, the two-piece is an excellent choice for pitchers when it comes to concealing their pitches. Its two leather patches can make up for a heavy glove. 

Padding

Choose A Baseball Glove _ Padding
Choose A Baseball Glove _ Padding

The amount of padding that is placed on a glove will determine how poorly or how greatly it will be capable of absorbing stings or the shock from oncoming balls. The catcher’s gloves will need some more padding than the typical pitcher’s glove. 

Pocket depth

The pocket on your glove will help reflect the kind of work you will be doing with the glove. While the infielders will not need deep pockets as they are not expected to hold the ball for a long time, they will stick with shallow pockets. 

Choose A Baseball Glove _ Pocket
Choose A Baseball Glove _ Pocket

It is the shallow pockets that will enable both fastball transfer and ball throwing. However, the outfielder will need deep pockets to trap the flying balls.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

What type of glove should a shortstop choose?

For shortstops, the best choice for gloves will have a size between 11.5” to 11.75”. Shortstops could wear infield gloves of that size range and perform really well. 

How should a baseball glove fit the wrist?

Regardless of players’ position, all baseball gloves need to fit your wrist snuggly without any issues. It would be best if your gloves come with some sort of closure system such as a velcro wrist. These closures will help you get a custom fit that matches your preferred tightness.

Can an outfielder use an infield glove?

Simply put outfielders and infielders have different tasks in the field as such they will require different gloves. An outfield will mainly be catching fly balls as such will need a glove with padded pockets and need a bigger u0026 deeper glove. On the other hand, infielders are normally catching grounders and need a smaller glove with shallow pockets.

Which material is the best for baseball gloves?

Any baseball player doesn’t matter if they are a beginner or a pro should be wearing full leather gloves. However, due to price and other circumstances, you might not be able to afford a full leather glove and so you should be able to perform well enough with a synthetic or treated leather glove.

Conclusion

On a general note, the best baseball glove to buy is a glove that will give you comfort and fit your hands perfectly. The glove will enable wrist adjustments and give you the flexibility to catch ground balls and flying balls. We have provided you with the things you need to know before you choose a baseball glove. Ensure you read through to avoid buying the wrong glove for the position you play. 

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