Just like fine wine, a glove gets better with age. The best baseball glove could be the difference between making a catch or getting an injury. Selecting a glove that fits you comfortably is one of the most important factors to consider since it may affect your performance in the field.
Just like tennis players need the best racquets or soccer players the best cleats, baseball players need the best baseball gloves to succeed. While baseball bats may not last for so long, baseball gloves can last a lifetime. There are many brands of baseball gloves on the market, each with its unique design and features. Make a winning catch with this review of the best baseball gloves in 2021.
- Features to consider in Good Baseball Gloves
- The Best Baseball Gloves 2021
- 1. Wilson A2000 Baseball Glove Series
- 2. Rawlings Player Preferred Adult Baseball Glove Series
- 3. Franklin Sports Field Master Series Baseball Glove
- 4. Mizuno GPP1150Y1 Youth Prospect Ball Glove
- 5. Wilson A900 Baseball Glove Series
- 6. Wilson A700 Baseball Glove Series
- 7. Mizuno Classic Pro Soft Baseball Glove Series
- 8. Akadema Rookie Series Baseball Glove
- 9. Mizuno Prospect Baseball Glove
- 10. Rawlings PROS27MO Pro Preferred Baseball Glove
- Guide to Buying the Best Baseball Gloves
- Bottom Line
Features to consider in Good Baseball Gloves
Many different baseball glove types have been made for different purposes. Getting one that suits you best can be quite a challenge. Perhaps one of the most important things you need to consider is the features of the glove you’re looking for. Before making the final decision, you need to look for the following features and qualities in a baseball glove.
The size of the baseball glove will depend mostly on the position you’re playing in. Bigger won’t always be better when it comes to this type of gloves. Infield players will be looking to cleanly field the ball and make quick transfers between the glove and the throwing hand. This is a very important factor for them. Small pocket gloves have shallower pockets that allow players to easily get the ball out of the glove resulting in a speedy transfer. Large-sized pockets will allow players to make a more reliable catch. Amateurs should go for a multipurpose glove.
Outfield players will have gloves with bigger pockets compared to those used by middle infield players. This is because outfield players need to be properly equipped to catch fly balls as easy as possible. Middle infield players prefer shallower pockets that enable them to get the ball out of the glove quickly particularly during double plays.
Webbing: Closed vs Open
The webbing on basketball gloves connects the glove’s thumb to the rest of the finger slots. The web expands and folds much easier, creating the “basket” that allows players to catch the ball. While there are many different types of baseball glove webbings (8 different styles), they generally fall into two broad categories, open and closed. Closed webbings in baseball gloves use a tight woven leather pattern that doesn’t have any gaps. This is the most common type of webbing used by pitchers so that they can hide their grips before delivering.
Alternatively, open webbings have leather pieces designed in a cross-like pattern to create gaps that the player can see through. This helps players to track fly balls albeit at the expense of their ability to block out the sun. When fielding a ground ball, you won’t have to scoop a glove full load of dirt with an open webbed glove. This is because the dirt falls out through the spaces of this type of glove.
The part of the glove where your hand rests is known as the backing. The design of the backing can either be open or closed. There’s no big difference in performance between a glove with an open or closed backing. It all depends on the player’s preference. The main difference between these two is that a glove with an open back gives the player more flexibility in the wrist. Infield players generally prefer a glove with this type of backing.
Moreover, open-backed gloves provide more ventilation for sweaty hands, especially on hot summer days. First basemen and outfielders prefer gloves with closed backs because it provides them with extra stability on the wrist. Outfielders aiming for those laser beamline dives also prefer closed-back gloves.
The quality of baseball gloves can be differentiated by the grade of leather used to make them. The quality of leather greatly affects the durability of the mitt, its look, softness, performance, break-in time, and feel. The general rule when considering the quality of the leather is its stiffness. The stiffer the leather, the higher the quality. However, this means that the break-in time will be longer but will mold to the player’s hands after several seasons of play.
There are three types of leather used to make baseball gloves. These are synthetic leather, top-grain leather, and full-grain leather. Gloves made from synthetic leather are light, quite affordable and great for new players. Top-grain leather is thinner and more pliable than full-grain leather. It’s the second-highest quality of leather used to make baseball gloves. Finally, full-grain leather is the highest grade of leather used. The grain that remains provides excellent breathability and durability. You can also consider treated leather that’s preconditioned with oils to help you break-in fast.
You’ve probably heard this saying before “You get what you pay for”. To get the best performance, you don’t need the most expensive baseball glove. There are quite many fairly priced gloves that’ll serve you just well. Fielding a ground ball doesn’t require a top-tier glove. What you have to look for is the quality of the leather and put your expectations in line. You shouldn’t expect a synthetic glove to last for more than a couple of seasons. You won’t have to worry about getting fancy gear once you go pro anyway.
The Best Baseball Gloves 2021
The Wilson A2000 series has many different types of gloves suitable for different positions. It has infield, outfield, pitcher, first base, and catcher gloves available, often in either hand orientation. It also comes in dozens of color and design options including the classic blond, black, and red or orange and black. Moreover, this glove series features several signature glove options from some of the biggest names in the MLB including Dustin Pedroia, Clayton Kershaw, and Jose Altuve. All these legends have their A2000 gloves.
The Wilson A2000 Baseball Glove is highly customizable. This means that if you don’t like one model, you can choose others within the same series. The glove’s main performance aspect is in its durability, quickness, and sturdiness. It’s a great fit for the player who wants all these with high customizability. It’s the best glove for the baseball player who’s ready to work hard and get better at their craft.
The baseball gloves in the A2000 series are one of the highest quality gloves on the market. The snug fit technology is a trademark of the Wilson A2000 series. Their gloves provide a tighter fit around the hand making it easier for infielders. The snug fit will make you feel like the glove is an extension of your arm.
Named after one of the best infielders in the MLB, the Pedroia fit is a characteristic the Wilson A2000 series is known for. The gloves with this fit are smaller but offer a snugger fit. The difference between this fit and the snug fit is that the Pedroia fit has long laces and is quicker to break-in.
These baseball gloves are made from the highest quality leather. The type of attention to detail used in making these gloves is the key to the A2000 success story. Using the Pro Stock Leather in the Wilson A2000 makes the gloves easy to break-in and more durable.
The Rawlings Player Preferred Baseball/Softball Glove is made from pre-oiled, full-grain cow leather. This glove is soft when purchased meaning it requires little breaking in before it’s game ready. However, it’s not as game-ready as the manufacturer would want you to believe. With age, the leather loses its stiffness but still maintains its density to survive several seasons of baseball and softball.
This multi-sport glove is not like the typical softball glove. Most softball gloves feature a large pocket that’s characteristic of slow-pitch gloves. Slow-pitch gloves have a pocket that’s too large to the smaller sized baseball. However, the Rawlings Player Preferred Glove has a pocket that’s on the large side of a baseball glove, but small enough for a softball glove. Baseball players in infield positions will find these gloves to be in tune with their specific needs.
This baseball glove has been designed with considerable padding on the palm and finger stalls. Players in more competitive leagues will find the extra padding quite useful when committing to hitting and humming it. Not so many slow-pitch gloves have extra padding, so the Rawlings Player Preferred Glove is a welcome change.
The H-web on this 12-inch baseball glove makes it easy for the player to sight the ball while in play. However, players who are used to closed webs may not enjoy a change to this type of webbing. Finicky players may find this webbing difficult to fit their hands and suit their eyes.
The glove’s quality is equal to that of more expensive counterparts. Its reasonable pricing is a plus that’ll convince any infield and outfield player to pick it.
The Field Master Series Baseball Glove is made of thick, synthetic leather for a quick breaking-in process and durability. This soft synthetic leather is lightweight and responsive. This makes this baseball glove easy and quick to break in. It’ll be game-ready in no time for your baseball season.
It also comes with an adjustable wrist strap that ensures you can comfortably catch the ball without running the risk of it falling off. It also has a contour fit system for a customizable thumb adjustment. The glove has been designed to ensure that it comfortably fits all players according to their preferences.
This baseball glove has a hand-formed pocket that provides maximum comfort and responsive feel for making scoops and catches without drops. It’s available for righties and lefties and comes in seven sizes from 10-inches to 14-inches. The size 13” has a trapeze web design that gives it extra depth and durability making it ideal for the outfield.
Size 14” is the largest and comes with a basket web design that allows for a deeper, wider pocket to help in securing fly balls. It’s also ideal for the outfield player. The size 11” baseball glove has a nifty I-web design that’s great for middle fielders looking for quick transition plays. The large sizes have a semi-professional feel, but the Field Master is suitable for playing backyard ball with your kids or for the occasional charity softball game.
The caveat to having this baseball glove, as most reviews show is that it doesn’t have sufficient padding on the palm. The pocket is also a bit stiff. It won’t help you win the World Series but it’s an excellent option for young baseball players that want to try the game without significant investment.
This baseball glove is manufactured by one of the most trusted brands when it comes to the production of sporting equipment. Mizuno is well-known in the production of baseball and softball gloves. They have been in the industry for over a century and have gone on to pioneer in the manufacture of baseball gloves. This rich history has made them a trusted brand for millions of people.
The Mizuno Youth Prospect Ball Glove boasts of great flexibility and performance. It uses Heel Flex technology to achieve its flexibility. This is one of the latest technology’s to be used in the industry. It has Butter Soft Lining that reduces the sting you receive when catching the ball. This is a great addition that would help protect young players from getting injuries. The PowerClose feature helps the player hold on to the catches easily. The glove is more flexible and easier to break-in due to the ParaFlex palm.
Mizuno claims that this glove has been designed to assist young players to fall in love with baseball. To this end, they’ve introduced the ParaShock Palm Pad. This technology helps in protecting the player’s palm like the Butter Soft Lining. This makes catching easy and fun, while also guiding younger players on how to catch the correct way. To enhance the performance to its optimum, Mizuno introduced the PowerLock feature.
Webbing & Material
This Youth Prospect Ball Glove has a closed Tartan Flex web that measures about 11.5-inches. This is quite a small webbing that may require you to personally take your child to the store to try it out.
The material used to make this baseball glove isn’t of the highest quality. However, it’s still strong enough to last you through several games or seasons. This glove is ideal for youth aged between eight years and below. It also comes with a one-year warranty that protects you from any damages that can occur to the glove during that time.
The Wilson A900 Baseball Glove Series measures 12” by 7” by 5” and weighs 1.51-lbs. This glove offers infield players with a lightweight alternative for making a fast move. There are five sizes available for this glove and range from 11.5” to 12.5”. The catcher’s mitt measures 34-inches.
The baseball glove from Wilson has a double palm construction with additional leather padding found between the outer shell and the palm liner. The additional cushion helps in shock absorption, especially from the ball. The player’s hands are also protected from excessive sweating.
The A900 glove has a low-profile heel on the front side to boost its flexibility. This is made possible by the open palms and pocket areas. Infield players don’t have to worry about making bad hops since this glove features a design for both a right-hand throw and a left-hand throw orientation.
The other models in the A900 series include an 11.75-inch right hand throw modified trapeze design, a 34-inch right-hand throwback catcher’s mitt, an 11.5-inch right-hand throw eye-web design, and a 12-inch right-hand throw first baseman’s mitt. All these models have a Pedroia fit that makes them a perfect choice for small-handed players. The player gets a better catch and control with the small hand opening and finger stalls.
The A900 has a thumb to fingers single post web design that’s ideal for a first baseman position. To boost the player’s flexibility and visibility, this baseball glove has both vertical and horizontal leather strips. The open web pattern enhances the player’s visibility and ease of responding to a throw.
The laces, shell, and palm liner of the Wilson A900 are made of ECCO leather that molds to the player’s hands from the start. With age and uses, this leather material gets softer giving the player a long-term break-in solution. There’s no time required to break-in because of its game ready softness. Besides, the double palm construction on the front side of this glove offers impressive stability. This makes it ideal for the quick change from a catch to a throw during a tournament.
The pockets on this glove have loose stitching and more full holes in between. This type of construction makes it easy for players to reach down and scoop the ball without picking up any dirt. Players can catch pop-flys easily because of the enhanced visibility of the see-through holes.
Dimension and Orientation
The A700 glove weighs slightly under 1.4 pounds and performs as an expert level glove. It comes in 11.25-inch, 11.5-inch, 12-inch, and 12.50-inch gloves that can securely fit players in these categories. The A700 gloves are available in both left-hand and right-hand throw orientation.
Material and Backing
The Wilson A700 Baseball Glove Series is made of a robust full-grain leather that has a soft and supple feel. The material is easy to break-in providing a game-ready feel to any player. The material is light and breathable which helps to keep the player’s hand fresh throughout the game. Moreover, the glove features an open back that gives it a more traditional look. This opening at the back of the hand also ensures that the player’s gloved fingers remain dry and enables agility during the game.
This glove has a Pro-laced T-web style that’s unique and will help protect the player’s eyes from direct sun. The webbing will enhance the player’s visibility giving them a clear view of all fly balls. Besides, the webbing is visually striking giving the baseball glove a luxurious feel.
Aesthetics and Durability
The A700 gloves will help you stand out in the field because of its aesthetics. Onlookers and teammates are going to give you a lot of compliments because of this. The leather laces have been well-engineered to withstand tough conditions. You’re assured that this glove will last you through several baseball seasons. The Wilson A700 Baseball Glove Series keeps its shape very well.
The Mizuno Classic Pro Soft Baseball Glove has that pro-level appearance characteristic of gloves used in the MLB. It has an eye-catching peanut color scheme, a nice Mizuno outline patch, and an excellent pattern.
The baseball gloves in this series are made of a pre-oiled leather material that’s soft and custom-built. You’ll require very little time to break-in to this glove while preparing for your next game. The material improves with time as it maintains its form and conforms to the shape of your hand. The fabric is durable, aesthetic, and soft.
It features a conventional open back design that leaves space at the wrist adjustment area. This type of backing improves the glove’s visibility and breathability. Players can see the ball while making passes in double plays. The open-back design is also made to adapt to larger hands.
Gloves suited for infield players in this series have a Deep III I-web pattern helping them to reduce the chances of picking up dirt as they pick-up the ball. This web design is great in shielding the player from direct sunlight as they handle fly balls. For outfielders and first basemen, the Mizuno gloves with H-web pattern will provide them with the best see-through trim for pop-ups. Additionally, the glove has a steady and clean finish due to the roll welting that seams the different parts of the glove together. This helps in reducing the instances of wear and tear on the glove because of loose seams.
The Mizuno Soft Baseball Glove Series uses a soft palm lining that helps to shield the player from hard throws. The lining is comfortable and aids in improving the player’s grasp. The ventilated fabric also enhances the glove’s breathability ensuring the player’s hand is fresh during the game.
There are three types of gloves in the Akadema Rookie Series. The series has a 10.5-inch mitt, and 11-inch mitt that comes in a black colorway, and an extra 11-inch mitt that comes in colorful blue shade. The unisex sizes are ideal for players in outfield, infield, and pitcher positions.
The Akadema Rookie Series Baseball Glove is made of full-grain soft leather. This fabric is preferred because it’s durable and will last your young player through several seasons. The material provides firm and dense support to protect the player from massive throws. Moreover, the glove has been customized to ensure it’s easy to break-in. It’s game-ready straight out of the box. The high-quality of the glove expose young players to a pro-level glove at an early age.
The rookie series baseball glove has an H-web glove pattern that enhances the visibility of the player. Amateur players can learn how to anticipate throws and pop-ups with this glove. They can also shield their eyes from direct sunlight as they track highflying balls. It’s suitable for all positions in the diamond formation, so your young baseball player can transition from either an outfield or infield position smoothly.
Featuring a conventional open back, the Akadema Baseball Glove makes it possible for players to make quick turns. It offers great flexibility ensuring the player can make quick throws and transfers to the left hand. The open-back design allows air to flow freely into and out of the glove ensuring the player remains comfortable throughout the game or training.
The risk of injury is always present in any sport. Baseball isn’t an exception as players are susceptible to minor bruises and injuries. That’s why baseball gloves need to be properly padded to absorb the shock from incoming balls. The Akadema baseball glove has enough cushioning to help protect the player’s fragile hands from hard throws.
All gloves in the Akadema series have a right-hand throw orientation. Left-handed players also have to wear it on their right hand to perform throws.
The Mizuno Prospect Baseball Glove is available in a range of different colors and sizes. There’s the gray/cream 9-inch, the peanut 11.5-inch, the peanut 12-inch, and the royal/cream 10.75-inch gloves. The 9-inch and 10-75-inch gloves come with a left-hand throw orientation whereas the 11.5-inch and 12-inch gloves have a right-hand throw orientation.
This glove is made of a softer full-grain leather material that makes it easy to close. The material is durable ensuring that it’ll last your young player throughout the entire season. The glove has an MZO palm liner that Mizuno claims is butter soft. This adds value to the glove making it more comfortable to the player.
The technology applied in making this glove makes it easier for your player to maneuver. The patented PowerClose technology by Mizuno makes it easy for the player to catch the ball. The hinges on this glove allow the player to grip the ball tightly and secure the catch for good. The glove has a flex ridge closed back that supports the wrist and facilitates a stable hold on the glove.
The Mizuno Prospect Baseball Glove features an alternating lace pattern that retains the integrity of a fully-laced web with greater flexibility. It uses a unique lace and leather pattern that gives the player a more flexible web. This new and innovative web design makes it easier to close the glove.
The Rawlings PROS27MO has a leather reinforced palm pad that helps in protecting the player’s knuckles and backhand. The padded palm absorbs the shock coming from hard throws during the game. The stitching on this glove is hard and has detachable inserts. The glove has strong double-ax laces due to the black binding that combines with the stitching. Outfield players will love this 12.75-inch glove that can be worn on the left hand with the right-hand throw.
The padding on the Rawlings Pro Preferred glove makes it feel like a custom glove. It’s easy to break-in to this glove ensuring that you can make work-ins during ball catches.
The pockets on this glove are deep making it suitable for outfield players who prefer tough plays. These pockets are great for hard-hitting catches whereas the color scheme gives the glove great visibility.
Grading and Durability
The tight leather grain on the outside structures of this glove makes it durable enough to last you through several seasons of play. The multiple layers of pre-curved padding can be customized to meet the player’s specific needs. Besides, the padding on the index finger stall ensures the player is comfortable during the catch. The tight structures on the glove will provide you with a firm grip.
Guide to Buying the Best Baseball Gloves
With the many options for baseball gloves available in the market today, getting the right glove for yourself can be quite challenging. Whether you’re a professional or amateur baseball player, you’ll need baseball gloves that’ll make you get the most out of your game. You need to consider the following factors to help you choose a glove that’ll best suit you.
How a baseball glove works
To help you choose the best baseball glove, you need to have an understanding of how each part of the glove functions. This will not only help you to appreciate each part of your glove but will also give you a better understanding of the reviews and features of each product. You’ll be able to identify what makes each glove unique and high-performing from others.
The heel is the bottom of the inside of your glove, where your hand fits. You measure from the heel when you’re sizing a glove. Most gloves have heels that have been padded with high-density foam. Other gloves reinforce their heel with a plastic insert. Top-tier baseball gloves feature two separate pads on either side to allow the glove to flex and close easily.
The hinge is found next to the heel. This is the crease of the glove that folds to close. The hinge can be found by tracing the stitching on either side of the glove to the point where they meet at the bottom.
As the name suggests, this is where the player’s fingers go into when they put the glove on. You can differentiate between a baseball mitt and baseball glove using the finger stalls. Baseball gloves have individual finger stalls whereas mitts don’t. Mitts are of main concern to players in the first base and catching positions.
The palm/pocket is the center of the glove that lines with the player’s palm inside the glove. This part of the glove is commonly used to catch the glove and should be heavily padded. Mitts for players in catching positions have up to five times of padding as a glove for a player in a normal position. Infield players should try as much as possible to catch the ball with the palm to make it easier for them to transfer the ball to the throwing hand instead of digging it out of the webbing.
The webbing is the next catch zone for your glove. Catching the ball using the palm of your glove is very painful compared to using the webbing. However, transferring the ball from the webbing takes longer than that caught using the palm. Different players in different positions favor different types of webbings.
Types of baseball glove webbings
There are eight different types of webbings, each with its purpose. Besides personal preference, the webbing on your best baseball glove will largely depend on the position you play in. The different types of webbings are:
- Basket web: As discussed earlier, there are open webbings that feature small or large openings between the stitching or web itself. Due to the interweaving leather pieces that create a basket, this type of webbing is easier to close.
- Trapeze web: This trapeze is a type of webbing that can open wider compared to other glove webbings. It’s great for players in need of a larger catch zone.
- Modified trapeze web: This type of glove is similar to a trapeze but has a web that’s more reinforced due to the added construction found at the top of the glove. Due to the added stability, a player can snag a scorching line drive with the top of the glove. The reinforced webbing won’t bend because of the hard impact of the ball.
- I-web: The leather used in the baseball glove’s webbing creates an I-shaped pattern hence the name. I-web gloves allow players to quickly catch and transfer the ball to the throwing hand. It also features a transparent webbing that allows you to look through the webbing and catch pop-flys.
- Dual post web: This type of webbing is also known as the H-web and has similar characteristics to an I-webbed glove. However, this type of webbing is sturdier and more flexible.
- Single post web: It also looks like an I-web but has an additional horizontal strip. This type of webbing provides extra visibility great for receiving a ball around the infield or pop-flys.
- Double post web: This webbing looks different from a single post web but they function similarly. The main difference is that this type of web doesn’t have great visibility.
- Two-piece web: This glove has added leather stitched tightly in the webbing making it heavier. Just like the basket web, this two-piece web is close meaning it doesn’t have any visibility.
How to size a baseball glove
Besides knowing how a baseball glove works and the importance of each part, you should know how to size your glove. Sizing the glove is an important factor since it will determine how well it fits you. The right fit of the glove will ensure that you’re comfortable, significantly improving your performance. If you don’t know how to size your glove, you may end up with a glove that’s too large or small for your position.
Most baseball gloves come with the size displayed on the leather. You can find this either along with the thumb or pinky finger stalls. Having a fabric tape in hand can help you measure it for yourself if you aren’t sure of the size. You can do this by checking the length from the mid of the glove’s heel to the top of the index finger stall.
The typical baseball glove runs from 8-inches to 15-inches. Catcher’s mitts usually measure as high as 35-inches. The player’s position and preference will greatly affect the size of the glove selected. A player may prefer a glove that’s a little smaller, or larger compared to the recommended length for their playing position.
Baseball glove types by position
Depending on the part of the field a player is, they need a baseball glove that handles the duties of that position. These are the ideal gloves for the following playing positions:
- Pitchers: A closed web baseball glove is best suited to players in this position since it helps in disguising their grip on the ball. If these players used an I-web glove, it would be easy for the batter to determine the type of pitch based on the gripping. Two-piece or basket web gloves are generally preferred by pitchers. The heavier two-piece webbed glove acts as a counterweight to the pitching arm.
- Infielders: Players in this position are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing the type of webbing in their baseball gloves. The most favorable webbing for middle-infielders is the I-web. They’re lighter making it easier for the player to flash their glove for a quick catch, whether on a line or a grounder. Moreover, the player can see through the webbing to cover the bag or settle under an infield flyball. People in this playing position may also prefer H-web and single post gloves.
- First base: Players in this position usually use baseball mitts instead of gloves. Mitts are better for scooping balls in the dirt and can potentially save a bad throw. This position mainly favors the single post web type of gloves.
- Second base: Players prefer the I-web glove which is perfect because of its great visibility and lightweight design.
- Shortstop: The I-web glove is unmatched particularly when it comes to quickly transfer the ball and trying a turn.
- Third base: The I-web is a great and popular choice for any infield position. However, the best gloves for the third base are either an I-web and H-web. The H-web is better since its sturdier.
- Outfielders: This playing position requires either an h-web glove, a trapeze, or modified trapeze webbing. These styles make the most out of the catching surface. The greater the catching surface the greater the range to making a long catch.
- Catchers: This position requires an extra padded mitt specially designed for catching. Some mitt’s use brightly colored leather in the pocket to make it easy for a pitcher to spot the target.
The many different types of baseball gloves available on the market can make it challenging to find one that best suits you. This review gives you the top ten best baseball gloves in 2019. The buying guide provides several factors that you need to consider before you purchase a glove. You should look out for certain features and know-how to size a baseball glove before buying one.
The best baseball glove should be comfortable, durable, easy to break-in, and suitable for your playing position. Besides, it has to be well cushioned to protect the player from injuries that may be caused by hard throws. Ensure that you pick gloves with the best web pattern, material, overall performance, and size. You’ll never be disappointed in the field with these gloves.