Let me take a moment here. Think….
I know you’re here for the best baseball gloves. But you already know how subjective the term “best” is. Your definition of it can (and high chance it will) differ from mine.
So, if that’s the case, then how can you use the suggestions I give here?
For starters, understand your needs:
- Professional who’s looking for a top-shelf baseball glove that’ll shine throughout the season?
- Or are you new to this (or maybe somewhere in the middle) who doesn’t want to end up spending close to $300-$400 but wants a glove that’ll still deliver?
The thing is – I’ve got you covered on both ends. All you need to do – know what you WANT.
Just don’t be a smartass and make the mistake I made during my high-school baseball years. I got a glove that I “thought” was going to go all the way. And guess what happened? I’ll tell you later!
Coming back to the point – I have expert suggestions here, and all of it comes from my direct interactions with the Best Baseball Gloves. So, dive in. Get all that juicy info that I’ve put together. And remember, “there’s no crying in baseball”
Top 9 Best Baseball Glove Reviews
Let’s not keep you waiting any longer. Here are my picks for the coolest the Best Baseball Gloves out there that are perfect for the new season.
Table of Contents
1. Rawlings Heart of the Hide Baseball Glove R2G & Contour Series
Those who frequent my blog know that I am a huge Rawlings fan when it comes to baseball gloves. It’s one of the best baseball glove manufacturers out there. In fact, based on recent statistics, Rawlings is dominating the MLB scene, with over 50 percent of professional players going with this baseball gloves brand.
Back in my days though, Rawlings wasn’t this huge. But now, things are different. Still, a lot of people lean towards Wilson over Rawlings. And if that’s you, there’s always the Wilson A2000/A2K.
Rawlings has a huge catalog of amazing baseball gloves at different price ranges. But for the top spot, I decided to go with the best Rawlings gloves of them all – The Heart of the Hide.
If looks could kill, this glove would be in jail for mass murder (it’s a bit over-the-top but bear with me). Looks are not the only reason why this glove claimed the top spot.
The true highlight of this glove is its top-tier construction. Premium grade Steer hide leather is the star of the show here, along with a deer-tanned cowhide palm lining at the back. This combo makes the glove extremely durable, and it should last you a couple of seasons easily – no questions asked.
But the goodness doesn’t stop there. The finger back linings are made of full-grain leather, and the pro-grade leather laces will get you as close to luxury as you can expect from a commercial baseball glove. And comfort is a given, considering it also comes with a padded thumb sleeve.
Now Rawlings makes two different Heart of the Hide models – Contour, which is this one, and Lightweight. The difference between the two is that the Contour fit model offers a contoured fit, which also makes the glove slightly heavier. But it also makes it a lot more comfortable to wear.
You can always go with the Lightweight series if you prefer more mobility. Personally, I would go with this one. It has a Thermoformed hand opening that also boosts its breathability and enhances wrist comfort for the player, and that’s not worth giving up.
And here’s another great feature – the glove comes about 65 percent broken in from the factory, which means you’ll have complete control over the remaining 35 percent. If you’re the impatient type – no judgment here – you’ll be able to break it in and start playing with it in no time.
The only other glove that even comes close to matching the specs of the Rawlings Heart of the Hide is the Wilson A2000, which is a separate beast that I’ll talk about next. But since I am a Rawlings fanboy, I would always suggest going with the HOH over any other glove in the market.
Of course, it’s not all good news, though. The Achilles heel of the glove is its price tag. It costs you around 300 bucks on a good day which for a casual player is pretty steep. But if you’re trying to go pro, then you should consider this an investment to help you improve as a player.
This glove is available for all playing positions, and it also comes with different webbing options to accommodate all play styles. The size options for this glove ranges from 11.25 inches to 13 inches which means players of all ages should be able to find the right size for their hands without too much trouble.
- Break-in: 65% Factory, 35% Player
- Webbing Options: Pro I Web, Pro H Web, 1-Piece Closed, 1-Piece Solid, Modified Trapeze, Single Post Double.
2. WILSON A2000 Infield Baseball Glove- Best Baseball Gloves
It’s not easy to follow up an opening act as strong as the Rawlings Heart of the Hide. But if there’s any other glove out there that can go toe-to-toe, spec-for-spec, with the Rawlings HOH, it would have to be the Wilson A2000. And it’s only fitting considering how these two brands are dominating the baseball glove market.
Now Wilson might not have as much MLB stock as Rawlings, but it’s not too far behind. It holds a comfortable second spot, and you’ll see many MLB pros using Wilson gloves when you turn on a big game. So, you’re not sacrificing any brand value by going with this glove.
The build quality of these gloves is nothing short of art. Not only does it look pretty, but it also features a high-end pro-stock leather construction. This simple material selection gives the glove a rugged feel, unparalleled durability, and superior response.
In addition, the Comfort Pro Fit featuring ProLux leather liner in the glove makes sure the player is comfortable when he’s wielding the glove. It has a comfort sleeve that conceals the wrist binding to make the glove look truly exceptional. The rich, soft feel of the Wilson A2000 is what luxury is all about.
The glove also features the DriLex wrist lining to make sure it remains soft, comfy, and dry. And the bold, gradient logo of Wilson and A2000 gives the glove a premium look that’s hard to find elsewhere. It’s the perfect blend of rugged and modern.
It’s a direct competitor to the Rawlings Heart of the Hide, fully capable of giving it a run for its money. I’ve tried both, and personally, I like the looks of the HOH a bit better. Then again, it’s all about personal preference, and if you decide to side with Wilson, you won’t be disappointed.
Now since it’s made using high-quality leather, breaking in the glove does take a bit of work. If you’re the impatient type, this might be a bad thing. However, for a seasoned player who likes breaking in gloves his own way, this can be a good thing. It depends on how you look at it.
Another downside with this glove is, of course, its price. With a price tag of around 300 bucks, you’ll have a hard time getting this glove if you’re on a tight budget. Then again, it’s not exactly designed for budget-concerned players, so there’s that. For a serious, competitive player, though, this is a great choice.
You get plenty of size, color, and web options with the glove. So flexibility is not an issue. Regardless of your hand size, playing position, or color preference, the Wilson A2000 will make sure you’re fully prepared for your role. Just make sure you know which glove option you need.
If you’re a Rawlings fanboy like me, Wilson is the brand that makes you question – who makes the best baseball glove. It’s just that good! So, if you’ve got the budget for it, the Wilson A2000 might be the best adult baseball glove to take you into the upcoming season.
- Break-in: 50% Factory, 50% Player
- Webbing Options: H Web, Single Post Web, Pro Laced T Web, Six Finger Web, Dual Post Web.
3. Mizuno Pro Select Baseball Glove- Best Baseball Gloves
When there are big players like Wilson and Rawlings on the prowl, it can be hard for other brands to come to mind. But there are quite a few brands out there that make amazing gloves. For the third spot, I decided to go with one of my favorites – Mizuno Sports.
Now, Mizuno has a couple of great options. But if you want something that’s on the same level as the two gloves that I talked about above, then what you want is the Mizuno Pro Select Baseball Glove. It’s every bit as capable as both the Wilson A2k and the Rawlings HOH, making it a solid contender as one of the best gloves for baseball.
The Mizuno Pro Select glove features Premium Steer Hide leather as its primary construction material, similar to what you’ll see on the Heart of the Hide. Elite SteerSoft Palm Liner further enhances the feel of the glove and makes it extremely comfortable for the player to wear.
While it doesn’t feature the dual welting that’s akin to the one that comes in Wilson A2k, the single rolled welting in the Mizuno Pro Select is also quite good. It gives the glove a more premium look without bumping up the price tag to a significant level.
Speaking of price, while it’s a pro-tier glove, it doesn’t cost as much as the HOH or the A2k. It costs about a hundred bucks less, which is pretty shocking for the level of quality it offers. So for budget-concerned players who want a top-tier glove, this is a no-brainer.
Now for its downside, the first one that you’ll notice is that its break-in takes a while. Since this glove is designed to give the players full control over the pocket depth, you need to break it in on its entirety before it becomes fit for your competitive games. A casual player might not enjoy that.
But then again, competitive players who want their pocket depth, to be precise, will love this glove because of this. It gives you complete control over the break-in process. So you’ll be able to dictate whether the pocket depth is shallow or deep for your glove.
And another element that I’m not a huge fan of is the size range. It’s only available from 11.5 to 12 inches which is fine for a certain group of players. But that also means that if you require a 13-inch baseball glove, you won’t be able to go with the Mizuno Pro Select.
This glove is suitable for all playing positions and comes with a number of web designs to accommodate your playstyle. It also has a mitt that’s priced well, so if you want one of the best baseball mitts as a catcher, this might be a good one to consider.
The biggest benefit that this glove offers over the Wilson A2000 or the Rawlings Heart of the Hide is its price. It offers the same level of durability as a more expensive glove which means you’ll be getting a good bang for your buck. If that sounds appealing, go for it!
- Break-in: 30% Factory, 70% Player
- Webbing Options: Shock II Web, T Web, Deep III Web, Deep II Web, Tartan Web,
4. Rawlings Player Preferred Glove
With three top-rated Best Baseball Gloves out of the way, let’s address the elephant in the room. All the gloves that I showcased above are great and all, but you’ll be burning a hole in your wallet if you commit to any of them. The cheapest one among the three that I discussed will still run you well over 250 bucks.
Does that mean you can’t get the best baseball gloves if you’re on a budget? Not necessarily. As long as you can manage your expectations, there are some pretty nice options out there. The Rawlings Player Preferred is a perfect example of a glove that’s priced well and performs well.
The Player Preferred is Rawlings’s take on how a budget-friendly glove should perform. It’s made of Full-grain leather, which might not be as high-end as the Steerhide leather you would see on the Heart of the Hide or the Pro Preferred (discussed later), but it is still good enough to make the glove pretty durable.
Keep in mind this glove is not meant for those competing at a professional level – it serves better as a top-shelf youth baseball glove. So don’t expect it to last you a lifetime. However, if you take care of it well and clean your glove regularly, you should be able to get a few good years out of it.
That being said, there are some nice features that come with this glove, the first being the Zero Shock Palm Padding. It offers an enhanced level of impact protection which for youth players is a godsend. In addition, the glove comes with an adjustable wrist strap to give you a custom fit.
Rawlings knows its audience, and they understand how casual players want to start using their gloves without worrying too much about the break-in. That’s why Player Preferred comes 80 percent broken in from the factory. So your glove should be game ready after playing a couple of rounds of catch with it.
Now, let’s talk about the best part – the price. The Rawlings Player Preferred series strikes a great balance between performance and affordability. Its 60 to 70-dollar price tag is pretty reasonable for the level of performance you get out of it. For youth players, this is an excellent price point.
Of course, the downside to all this is that the glove is not going to give you the same level of durability as the other three gloves that I mentioned above. But frankly, when you’re shopping for a glove at this price range, the manufacturers naturally need to cut corners here and there.
The size option for this glove is a bit limited, though, which is my main gripe with it. Its size option ranges from 12 to 14 inches, but there’s no option to go with an 11-inch model. That means if you’ve got a small hand, you might be hard-pressed to find the right size for you.
But if it fits, then you’ll end up with one of the best baseball gloves on a budget. The web design for this glove is pretty versatile, and you’ll be able to play any position with it. It’s definitely not a bad deal if you don’t want to blow your gear budget on a single set of baseball gloves.
- Break-in: 80% Factory, 20% Player
- Webbing Options: Closed, H-web, Basket, Single-post Double bar
5. Franklin Sports Field Master
You know, when it comes to the best baseball gloves, especially for a beginner or casual player, you don’t have to empty your wallet to get something that gets the job done. I mean, the Heart of the Hide or the Wilson A2000 that I mentioned earlier are both exceptional gloves, but ask yourself – do you really need all that?
Let’s be real – if you’re the kind who just plays baseball with friends over the weekends, spending around 300 bucks isn’t exactly ideal for you. What you need instead is an affordable glove that gives you reliable performance for its price. That’s exactly what you’ll be getting with the Franklin Sports Field Master.
Often dubbed the most popular baseball glove on a budget, the Franklin Sports Field Master is a great choice for any casual player. It’s comfy enough to get you through your weekend games, and also durable enough to last you one or two seasons if you take care of it.
Sure, it’s not rocking genuine leather, but the synthetic leather isn’t half-bad here. Franklin Sports did a fine job with the material and while it might not last as long as a genuine leather glove like the Rawlings Player Preferred, it does offer a nice bit of impact protection.
And that’s not even the best part! Since it’s made of faux leather, you can put it on and start playing the moment you get your hands on it – no break-in required. So, for a casual player whose main priority is to play, this means zero time wasted playing catch for days to break in their new glove.
Now what sets this glove apart? I mean, so far none of the things I talked about really explain why this glove made the cut here. Well, here’s the reason – the pocket is hand-formed. That means snatching up those flyballs will feel smoother than ever.
The glove also comes with an adjustable wrist strap. That means you’ll be able to dictate how the glove feels when you put it on. If you want a tight fit, simply tighten the wrist strap. And loosening the wrist strap will give you a more open fit if that’s what you prefer.
I’ll be honest though, if you expect this glove to last you as long as some of the other gloves on this list, you’ll be sorely disappointed. But if you’re fine with changing your glove one or two years, and you only play a couple games over the week, then this is the glove for you.
And to sweeten the deal, the glove costs even less than the budget friendly Rawlings Player Preferred that I talked about earlier. Its sub-30 dollars price tag alone makes it a glove that’s well worth a try. And once you try it out, you’ll see what all the hype is about first-hand.
The size option with this glove is phenomenal giving you the option to go from 10 all the way up to 14 inches in glove length. That means, both adults and youth players will be able to equip it without any issues. And the webbing options are also pretty versatile making it a great choice regardless of your playing position.
- Break-in: None
- Webbing Options: Trapeze, Modified Trapeze, I Web, Basket Web, Basket w/ Diagonal Stripe, V Web.
6. WILSON A1000 Baseball Glove
The Wilson A2k that I mentioned earlier is a fantastic glove for pro-level players, but let’s face it, it’s going to blow your gear budget out of the water. Sure, you’ll get your money’s worth, but if you don’t have a good budget, you won’t look forward to shelling out your savings for this glove.
And the Rawlings Player Preferred, despite its affordable price and decent design, is still a tad too casual for your major games. Well, in that case, the mid-tier Wilson A1000 might be the glove that you’re looking for. Many call it the budget A2000, and frankly, that’s a huge compliment.
The main shell of this baseball glove is made using pro-stock full-grain leather, yep – the same kind you’ll see on the twice-expensive Wilson A2000. So you can guess that Wilson is not messing around when it comes to the build quality of this glove. Despite its affordable price – it’s still considered a pro-tier glove, after all.
In addition to a well-built main shell, the glove also comes with real leather linings and rawhide laces. Laces are the first to go for most budget gloves. But with this glove, you can expect it to last a couple of seasons easily if you take care of it. And as an added bonus, the Drilex wrist lining improves player comfort.
But the most unique part of the glove is its dual-welted design. Now before you say things like “it’s a gimmicky feature”, or “it doesn’t do anything to its performance”, the dual welting in the glove is what gives it its premium feel and response. And I think this is a pretty major addition to its design.
The closest competitor to the Wilson A1000 glove from the Rawlings end would be the Pro Preferred, which I’ll talk about later. And similar to the Pro Preferred, the Wilson A1000 is designed as a mid-tier glove that’s suitable for both adult and youth players competing in official league matches.
However, there’s a downside here. Though it’s designed for players of all ages, the size range indicates otherwise. It’s only available in sizes 11 to 12.5 inches, which is great for a youth player. But if you’re an adult with large hands, you might have a hard time finding the right size for your hands.
Apart from that, the price of the glove might also seem like a drawback to some people. If you ask me, though, I think it’s pretty reasonable with its 130-ish bucks price tag. Considering the level of quality it brings to the table, the price of this glove is quite justified.
The break-in requirements for this glove are pretty minimal requiring only a 20 percent break-in from the player’s end. So if you’re the type who just wants to play with their baseball glove and doesn’t really look forward to breaking it in his own way, you’ll be pretty happy with it.
The web variety with this glove is pretty exceptional which shouldn’t come as a surprise since it’s a Wilson glove. Even though I am a Rawlings fan, I’ve always preferred the web varieties you get with the best Wilson gloves. And here, you’ll notice the same level of versatility.
- Size Range: 11 to 12.5 inches
- Playing Positions: All
- Material: Pro Stock Leather
- Break-in: 80% Factory, 20% Player
- Webbing Options: Single post 3X, Single post 3 bar, Dual post, H-web, X2
7. Rawlings Pro Preferred Baseball Glove
The Rawlings Player Preferred is a super popular baseball glove. It’s cheap, it’s reliable, and for casual players, it gives all the bells and whistles you’d need. But it doesn’t really hold a candle when you put it up against mid-tier monsters like the Wilson A1000.
Well, Rawlings has just the answer for it with their Rawlings Pro Preferred! You guessed it – it’s the big brother of the Player Preferred in almost every way. And as it turns out, it’s not better than just the Wilson A1000; it can also go head-to-head with the Wilson A2000!
So why did I place it so far down the list? Well, the answer is simple – it’s super pricey. It’s by far the most expensive glove on this list. So whether you can afford it or not depends on your money situation. But if you can manage to get your hands on it, you’ll find nothing worth complaining about.
But enough of that – let’s break down the different specs of the glove. First off, it’s made of American Kip. So, you can already guess that it’s meant to survive the test of time. And the biggest advantage of the material is that it also feels pretty soft and comfortable in your hand.
Complete wool padding on the inside, along with Pittards Sheepskin Palm Lining, further enhances the comfort aspects of the glove. And the Pro Grade leather laces and padded thumb sleeves further compliment the quality and performance of this amazing baseball glove.
This baseball glove is the pinnacle of what Rawlings has to offer. It’s their most expensive commercial baseball glove, and you can see all the effort they put into it to make sure the players find nothing worth complaining about with this glove. The material choice is even better than the Heart of the Hide.
Since it’s a pro-choice baseball glove, its break-in is fully reliant on the player. It comes 30 percent broken in from the factory. That means you’ll have to wait a while before this glove becomes game-ready. The good news here is that since it’s made of American Kip, it breaks in quite fast.
So there are two downsides you need to think about – it’s expensive, and it takes a while to break in. Then again, this glove is not for casuals. And for a competitive player trying to take his game to the next level, these are not complete dealbreakers. In fact, most pro players like to break in their own gloves.
The size options for this glove range between 11.5 to 13 inches. So while it might be considered the best adult baseball glove, it might not be all that great for youth players. Finding the right fit for their hand size is the only problem, though, so if it fits, you’re fine.
As for the web design, it’s pretty standard Rawlings stuff. It comes with the same designs as you’ll see on the Heart of the Hide, which isn’t a bad thing. As a result, you’ll have no issues finding a glove that’s suitable for your position on the diamond.
- Size Range: 11.5 – 13 inches
- Playing Position: All
- Material: American Kip Leather
- Break-in: 30% Factory, 70% Player
- Webbing Options: Pro I Web, Pro H Web, 1-Piece Closed, 1-Piece Solid, Modified Trapeze, Single Post Double.
8. Mizuno MVP Prime Baseball Glove
Mizuno baseball gloves are great for both casual and serious players, and the Pro Select glove that I showcased earlier should eliminate any doubt you had about the brand. It gives you a level of craftsmanship that’s on par with Wilson and Rawlings without any of the extra costs.
But while the Mizuno Pro Select is pretty affordable for a top-tier baseball glove, it still might be a bit out of range for some people. Well, in that case, perhaps their mid-tier Mizuno MVP Prime might be more suited to your needs. It’s an amazing glove for both youth and adults.
First things first, let’s look at the material. With the MVP Prime, Mizuno decided to go with Biosoft Leather. For those that don’t know, its real leather made with animal skin that’s softened with natural oil. As a result, it feels soft and comfy the moment you put it on with minimal break-in.
But that’s not all – the glove also comes with Plus Grip Thumb padding that offers a bit of extra protection for the player. And the professional level laces give the glove a rugged look while boosting its durability. Cheap gloves often come with poor laces that break down after a couple of months. But this one will last you ages.
Overall, this glove is pretty similar in quality to the Wilson A1000. It’s also priced in the same range, so the choice between the two is entirely your personal preference. But if you’ve never stepped foot outside Rawlings or Wilson before, now is your chance.
The most valuable part of the MVP prime is undoubtedly its material choice. Its clever utilization of the Biosoft leather makes sure the glove has proper lubrication to prevent cracking. This drastically improves the overall lifespan of the glove with minimal maintenance responsibilities on your end.
In addition, the Center Pocket Pattern Design lets you break in the glove as easily as possible. The combination of the pattern design and Biosoft leather makes the break-in period for this glove pretty minimal. So, it’s a great choice for beginners who just want to play the game and don’t worry about the break-in.
Speaking of value, the MVP Prime series baseball glove strikes a fantastic balance between quality and cost. While the glove offers premium features and performance, it doesn’t come with an exorbitant price tag. This makes it a smart choice for players who want high-level performance without breaking the bank.
But the downside to this glove, similar to the Mizuno Pro Select, is its size range. Like its big brother, the Mizuno MVP Prime is only available from size 11.5 inches to 12.75 inches. So, make sure your hand fits the glove perfectly before you commit to it.
This glove is suitable for all playing positions and is available for both lefties and righties. And since there’s a large variety of web options to choose from, you’ll be able to get the one that fully matches your playing positions. Overall, it’s a pretty great baseball glove.
- Size Range: 11.5 – 12.75 inches
- Playing Position: All
- Material: Biosoft Leather
- Break-in: 70% Factory, 30% Player
- Webbing Options: H Web, Single Post Web, Pro Laced T Web, Six Finger Web, Dual Post Web.
9. MARUCCI Acadia M-Type Baseball Glove
In baseball, you’ll come across many brands that try to persuade you with a lot of promises. But you’ll rarely see a brand truly make a significant impact on your play style. Well, to wrap up this list, I’ll go with a brand that managed to convince me of its quality – Marucci.
Now, Marucci isn’t really a bad brand. In fact, there are a couple of Pro players out there that regularly use Marucci gloves. But for the general people, their gloves weren’t really talked about all that much. However, the Marucci Acadia M-Type baseball glove came and changed that.
The first thing you’ll be greeted with if you decide to get it, is the full-grain Cowhide leather shell. What surprised me the most here is that this really isn’t an expensive glove. And at this price point, the material choice is quite shocking. Needless to say, the glove can survive a lot of abuse.
In addition to a strong shell, the glove comes with a smooth microfiber lining both around the finger and wrist area. This enhances the responsiveness of the gloves and lets you snatch up difficult catches with relative ease. I know many who consider this the best first base glove because of its response.
Spec-wise, it’s pretty similar to the Rawlings Player Preferred, and it’s also priced in the same range. For youth players, this glove is an excellent investment. But then again, if you’re looking for something expensive and top-tier, this isn’t it. It’s best for those on a budget.
This glove offers the durability of a top-tier glove, though, considering you take care of your glove. Wiping your glove after a game, a bit of conditioning every now and then, and proper storage will allow you to make it last just as long as any other top-tier expensive gloves out there.
The main downside of this glove is its break-in time. Full-grain leather gloves usually take a while to break in, but manufacturers take up most of the legwork in youth gloves. However, with this glove, the break-in responsibility is entirely in your hands.
And the other issue that it has for some players is that it’s pretty limited in its size. It’s only available in sizes 11 to 12 inches. This means unless your hand is too big or small, you’re going to have a tough time wearing it. But for average baseball players, though, this shouldn’t be a major issue.
There are three different webbing choices you get with the glove. So, while it’s great for infield and outfield, the lack of closed or basket webbing makes it a no-deal for pitchers. So if you’re looking for the best baseball glove for pitchers, this isn’t the one for you.
Apart from these minor quirks, this glove is a pretty great choice depending on your situation. It offers reliable performance and is durable enough to last you a couple of seasons easily. So if you’re on a tight budget and want a glove that boasts amazing build quality, this is the one you want.
- Size Range: 11 and 12 inches
- Playing Positions: Infield and Outfield
- Material: Full-grain Cowhide Leather
- Break-in: 20% Factory, 80% Player
- Webbing Options: H-web, single post, I-web
How To Choose The Best Baseball Glove
Buying the top the best baseball gloves on the market is more than just opening up a list and picking the first glove you find. Although I admit that would make things a lot easier, there’s more to it than that.
You see, the glove that’s right for you depends on things like your playing positions, your skill level, what age group you fall in, how much you’re willing to spend, etc. And once you take all these questions into consideration, you’ll be able to go with a glove that ticks all the right boxes.
With that said, there are a couple of things to understand about the glove itself. So let me address some of the things that you might want to check to figure out which baseball glove is right for you.
· Construction Material
The first thing that most people will check when they’re buying a new glove is its construction material. A lot rides on the construction material of a glove – its durability, its response, and even how well you can catch with it, to some extent. So that’s what you should start with.
Now baseball gloves feature different types of leather depending on their price range. Let me give you a quick rundown of some of the common leather types for baseball gloves.
Synthetic leather baseball gloves are the cheapest ones you’ll find at the market. But with the lower price comes a couple of major disadvantages – they rarely feel as good as real leather gloves and also don’t last very long. As a result, synthetic leather gloves are only suitable for casual players.
The Field Master by Franklin Sports is a good example of a high-quality synthetic leather glove. It’s a decent glove for youth or casual players, but for competitive players, it’s not that good of an option.
With Full-grain leather gloves, you’ll get your first real taste of what a true leather glove feels like. It’s a classic and is used to manufacture many of the popular gloves in the market. While full-grain leather gloves feel heavy at first, after a while, it molds perfectly to your hand shape.
I’m sure you’ve noticed how most of the gloves on my list are made of full-grain leather. Well, this material can be both expensive and affordable, depending on the quality. But in most cases, it’s cheaper than steer hide or cowhide leather.
Cowhide leather gloves offer a serious upgrade over full-grain leather. It’s much lighter and also more flexible than full-grain leather, which means it’s easier to break it in. In addition, cowhide leather gloves offer superior durability compared to full-grain leather.
But then again, cowhide leather gloves are pretty pricey. This material is a prime choice for many mid to high-tier baseball gloves. If you’re a serious player, a cowhide leather glove is a good investment.
Steer Hide Leather
Steer hide leather, in terms of pricing, is pretty much on the same level as cowhide leather. It’s heavier than cowhide and also has a longer break-in period, but it is often considered the more durable of the two materials.
Pro-grade baseball gloves often use steer hide leather as their primary material because of their impressive durability. So, if your budget is good, and you want an indestructible glove, this is a great material to go with.
Kip leather is the most expensive material that you’ll find on the best baseball gloves. It’s a lightweight leather that’s also quite flexible. That, combined with its superior durability, makes it a prime material for top-tier baseball gloves.
But a kip leather glove might not be an affordable choice for a casual or youth player. It’s a significant investment, and unless you are planning to go pro, it might not be worth it for you.
· Age Groups
Age is also an important consideration when buying a baseball glove. The best baseball gloves for adults might not be the same ones that you’ll go for as a youth player.
Let me give you an example – the Rawlings Heart of the Hide baseball glove is a fantastic choice for an adult competitive baseball player. But for a youth player, it might be too big of an investment.
So, make sure you consider your age group and go with a glove that’s more suited to your league.
· Size Options
One of the biggest mistakes that a ball player can make is to buy a glove that doesn’t even fit their hands. And while it might seem like a basic thing to consider, you’d be surprised how many people don’t think to check their hand size before buying the glove.
Make sure you don’t make the same mistake by measuring your hand properly and buying a glove that will fit your hand comfortably. Here’s a proper guide to help you size your baseball glove properly before buying.
Some baseball gloves come with an adjustable wrist strap to help you get a more comfortable fit. You can alternatively tighten the glove using the laces if it feels too loose. But these tricks only work if the glove you bought is close to your hand’s size.
· Web Designs
Baseball gloves come in a variety of web designs, and they have a huge role to play in the glove’s overall performance. And while a beginner might not think much of it if you’re planning to get the most out of your glove, spend some time doing research on different baseball glove web designs.
The web design that an infielder goes for is usually different from what an outfielder uses. Similarly, pitchers go for a more closed glove shape to hide their pitches from the hitter.
Ideally, you want to go with a glove that suits your playing position and play style.
· Break-in Period
Most leather baseball gloves out there require breaking in once you buy them. Before breaking in your glove, it will feel stiff and uncomfortable. Only after breaking them in will you get the full performance out of your glove.
Now, the break-in time and difficulty can vary depending on the type of glove you buy. And if you’re the impatient type, you might not like the thought of spending weeks breaking in your new glove.
So, it’s best to give the break-in time of your glove some thought when you’re buying it. Most pros don’t mind taking their time breaking in a new glove, but if you want to skip most of the hard work, go for a glove that comes at least 60 percent broken in from the factory.
· Pocket Depth
You might think that the pocket depth of the glove doesn’t matter all that much. It’s different with each glove, after all, right? Well, yes, it’s different depending on how you break it in, but if you think it doesn’t matter – you’re sorely mistaken.
You see, your play position dictates whether you’ll perform better with a shallow pocket or a deep pocket baseball glove. Infielders, for example, prefer using a shallow pocket glove to make it easier for them to scoop up ground balls and transfer the ball to their throwing hand.
On the other hand, outfielders like using a deep pocket that aids in securing those flyballs more easily. While the ball transfer is slower, it makes it much easier to catch the ball without fumbling. So make sure you take pocket depth into account when choosing your baseball glove.
· Price Range
Baseball gloves come in all price ranges to accommodate the needs of many. If you’re a casual player or a beginner, going for the most expensive glove on the market might not be a good idea. You won’t be able to use it to its fullest potential anyways.
So, it’s important to understand how much you should spend on a baseball glove depending on your skill level and age group. Overspending is not really a good idea here.
I’ve talked about all sorts of gloves in my list at different price ranges for this very reason. Go for the glove that best suits your requirements. If it’s still unclear, let me give you a quick list of the different tiers of the best baseball gloves.
Competitive High-End (Pro Tier)
- Rawlings Pro Preferred
- Rawlings Heart of the Hide
- WILSON A2000 Infield Baseball Gloves
- Mizuno Pro Select Baseball Glove Series
Competitive Mid-Range (Mid-Tier)
- Wilson A1000 Baseball Glove Series
- Mizuno MVP Prime Baseball Glove
Casuals and Beginners (Low-Tier)
- Rawlings Player Preferred Baseball Glove Series
- MARUCCI Acadia M-Type Baseball Glove Series
- Franklin Sports Field Master Baseball Glove
Frequently Asked Questions
As a coach, people often come to me with their questions when they’re buying a baseball glove. And naturally, you might still have some questions. So before I take my leave, let me address a couple of common questions that I’ve faced.
How much should I spend on a baseball glove?
Well, there’s no easy way to answer this. The proper budget for your baseball glove depends on two things – your skill level and your age group. If you’re a casual player, I wouldn’t recommend going over the hundred-dollar price mark for a new glove. There are some pretty great gloves under 150 dollars that you might like too if you’re willing to splurge a bit.
For a serious ballplayer who wants to hone his skills and compete at the highest level, though, going with an expensive glove pays off in the long run. It will last you longer and also help you perform better.
How long should my baseball glove survive?
A baseball glove, at least in the hands of someone who plays regularly, takes a lot of beating. But even then, you should expect your glove to survive one or two seasons. However, for that to happen, you also need to properly take care of your glove and condition it regularly.
There’s a lot to consider when you’re looking for a new baseball glove, and that can, of course, make things difficult. But as long as you’re clear on the things that are important and focus on those key factors, you should be fine.
Remember, the key here is to focus on the details. Yes, we all want a glove that looks good, but looks will only get you so far. Other elements like the pocket depth or the material choice of the glove take priority over its aesthetics.
I hope my in-depth review of the best baseball gloves can help you figure out which glove is better suited to your needs. Cheers!