Best Baseball Gloves

Updated July 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

24 Models Considered
9 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
140 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best baseball gloves

Last Updated July 2020

If you’ve played baseball at a competitive level, you probably had a coach who told you to treat your baseball glove like your best friend. After all, you need to be able to rely on your glove to give you excellent performance in tough situations. 

Looking for a new baseball glove to purchase is a serious matter. Your glove needs to feel like an extension of your hand, so you can play defense at the highest level. Pick a glove that doesn’t work for you and your defensive play could suffer. But baseball gloves are available in several different designs and sizes, which means you need to know quite a bit about how gloves work to be able to pick the right one for you. 

We at BestReviews have compiled this buying guide to help explain what you need to know when buying a baseball glove, and we’ve included a few of our favorites to make your shopping even easier. Soon, you’ll have a new best friend for the diamond.

Baseball gloves require a break-in period for the best performance. Check with your glove’s manufacturer for instructions.

Key considerations

The primary consideration when you’re looking for a new baseball glove is matching the glove to the position you’ll be playing. Different styles of gloves have particular features that are designed to improve your ability to play certain defensive positions.

First base: A glove for a player at first base has a deep pocket and a bit more padding than other infielder gloves. Although the player at first base fields some ground balls, they will frequently catch throws, necessitating the extra padding

Infield: An infielder glove is made for players at second, third, and shortstop. It has a shallow pocket and open webbing that allow the infielder to quickly retrieve the ball for an immediate throw to a base. If you play multiple defensive positions, an infielder glove is the most versatile. 

Outfield: The outfielder glove is longer and bigger than an infielder glove. The extra area gives the outfielder the room required to successfully catch and secure fly balls while on the run. An outfielder makes fewer quick throws than an infielder, so the deeper pocket does not hinder their play.

Pitcher: A pitcher glove has a closed web, allowing the pitcher to hide the grip on the ball from the view of the batter. Other than the webbing design, pitcher gloves are most similar to infielder gloves.

Catcher: The catcher’s glove (usually called a catcher’s mitt) has a tiny pocket because the catcher catches a pitch in the palm of the glove, allowing for a fast transfer to the throwing hand. Catcher’s mitts have the maximum level of padding of all baseball gloves. You should not use an infielder glove when playing catcher, at least in a competitive baseball league, because a fast pitch could injure your hand.

EXPERT TIP

A T-ball player doesn’t have to use a T-ball glove. They can use any baseball glove, but it should be small enough to properly fit the young person’s hand.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Once you find a baseball glove that matches your defensive position, you can focus on the other features of the glove to give you the best results.

Size

Younger players need a baseball glove that fits their hand properly. If the glove is too big, it could fall off while catching an especially hard hit or thrown ball.

Measure the glove from the tip of the index finger to the base of the wrist to determine its size in inches.

  • Glove measuring 10 to 11.5 inches: Children ages 10 and under

  • Glove measuring 11 to 11.75 inches: Children ages 11 to 14 (although outfielders may want a glove up to 12.5 inches) 

  • Glove measuring 11.25 to 12 inches: High school players and adults (although outfielders may want a glove up to 13 inches)
     

A catcher’s mitt has a different size measurement that’s equal to the circumference of the glove in inches. 

  • Glove measuring 29 to 32.5 inches: Youth players

  • Glove measuring 32 to 35 inches: High school players and adults

Webbing

Various types of webbing are available for the pocket of the glove. The pocket is the best place to secure the ball, so you want webbing that matches the position you play.

Closed: Closed webbing, also called basket webbing, is completely covered with material. This is ideal for a pitcher trying to hide their grip on the ball before throwing a pitch.

Trapeze: This webbing has a vertical strip in the pocket surrounded by tightly crisscrossed laces. Trapeze webbing is the best way to form a deep pocket that’s also sturdy, so it’s commonly found on outfielder and first base gloves.

Post: This webbing consists of strips of material that cross vertically and horizontally in the pocket. There are multiple holes in this style of pocket, allowing dirt to fall through as you field a ground ball. Post webbing is best for infielders, although some outfielders prefer it, too.

Material

The material the manufacturer uses to create the baseball glove plays a key role in its durability and softness. 

Leather: A leather glove provides the highest level of durability and performance, but you will pay more for leather versus synthetic. Leather can be stiff when new, which means it takes longer to break in the glove. Gloves come in a few different types of leather. Full-grain leather has the best performance, while basic cowhide provides a pliable glove for a younger player.

Synthetic: Synthetic gloves are lighter and more pliable than leather gloves. They are also cheaper, so synthetic is a good choice for young players who are just starting to learn the game. Synthetic materials can’t match leather’s durability, though.

DID YOU KNOW?

The tiny holes in the pocket of the glove can help a player track a fly ball. They can use the strips in the pocket to block the sun and track the ball by looking through the holes.

Baseball glove prices

Inexpensive: At $20 to $40, the least expensive baseball gloves are made for preteens and T-ball players. For younger players who are just starting out, an inexpensive glove is fine. You might want to wait to spend more on a glove until a youth player shows a real interest in the game.

Mid-range: For average players, gloves in the $40 to $100 range should be appropriate. If you’ll only be playing and practicing a couple of times a week in the summer, you probably don’t need to spend money on a top-of-the-line glove. 

Expensive: Serious competitive players who play daily during the season and sometimes in the off-season can expect to spend $100 to $300 for a glove. Those who practice or play daily much the year can justify spending more on a high-quality glove that will last a long time.

EXPERT TIP

With proper care, a baseball glove used for a few months out of the year can last for several years. However, a glove used daily for practice or games will wear out after 9 to 12 months.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Adjust the fit. To tighten the fit on your baseball glove, many models have a hook-and-loop strap on the back near the wrist that you can adjust.
     

  • Air-dry a wet baseball glove. Do not try to dry a wet baseball glove in the oven or microwave. This will prematurely break down the glove’s materials and shorten its lifespan.
     

  • Choose quality. For a high-quality glove, stick with one of the major glove brand names, including Rawlings, Wilson, Louisville Slugger, Easton, and Mizuno. Franklin Sports makes some nice gloves for young children.
     

  • Check the laces on the glove. Do this periodically to make sure they aren’t loose or torn. A broken lace in the pocket or between the fingers of the glove could allow a ball to pass through, possibly hitting you in the face.

Other products we considered

We expect the majority of youth and adult baseball players can find a great glove in our matrix. However, if you need a few different features, we considered some other baseball gloves. For a nice all-around glove that’s great for youth, adult beginners, or infrequent players, the Franklin Sports Field Master Midnight Glove works well and is reasonably priced.

Another nice all-around glove that is slightly better quality is the Rawlings Player Preferred Adult Baseball Glove. It has a mid-range price with a good build quality.

For a high-quality glove with a soft feel, the Mizuno MVP Prime Baseball Glove is a great choice. The Wilson A2000 Baseball Glove is one of the most expensive gloves on the market, but if you’re a serious player, you’ll love its build quality and feel.

If your glove has a right-handed thrower designation, it fits on the left hand. The left-handed thrower glove fits on the right hand.

FAQ

Q. Do I need a particular color of baseball glove?
A. Pitchers can’t wear a two-toned, white, or gray glove. Otherwise, there are no restrictions on the glove’s color for any other defensive position.
 

Q. Do I need to apply glove oil to my baseball glove?
A. This is a personal preference. Oil conditions the leather, keeping it pliable and helping the glove last longer. Just don’t apply oil right before a game or practice. Give the glove several hours to dry after applying the oil.
 

Q. Why do different defensive positions require specific types of gloves?
A. There are variations in the way different defensive players catch and field the ball. A catcher primarily receives pitches, rather than fielding grounders, so they need a big, well-padded glove. An infielder who fields grounders and then throws the ball to a base wants a smaller glove that enables them to quickly retrieve the ball from the glove.

 

Q. How should I store my baseball glove?
A. To keep your glove in peak condition, store it carefully. Keep it in a temperature-controlled environment and away from direct sunlight. You might want to place a baseball in the pocket, wrap the glove around the ball, and secure it with rubber bands to help the glove maintain its shape. Some people oil the glove a few times during the off-season, too.

 

The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Kyle
    Kyle
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Steph
    Steph
    Web Producer

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