Baseball can be a difficult game to get into, especially for new players. However, having the right equipment can make things easier. A good youth baseball glove can help you learn how to catch the ball perfectly without fumbling. Did you know that the fastest recorded pitch in baseball history was thrown by Aroldis Chapman at 105.1 mph? That’s faster than the speed limit on most highways! Here is a list of some of the best youth baseball gloves to help you find the perfect one for your playstyle:
- Rawlings Player Preferred: A versatile glove that is great for both infield and outfield positions.
- Franklin Sports Field Master: A budget-friendly option that is perfect for beginners.
- WILSON A1000: A high-quality glove that is built to last.
- Rawlings R9 Contour: A comfortable glove that is perfect for players who want to improve their catching skills.
- Mizuno Prospect Power Close: A great option for beginners.
Also, there is a buying guide and a video tutorial for you to break in your new baseball glove at the end. Let’s start with the review.
Top 7 Best Youth Baseball Gloves Reviews
I know you’re itching to get started. And while there’s a lot to discuss here, I don’t want to keep you waiting any longer than necessary.
So, let’s get right into my reviews of the best youth baseball gloves that I’ve used in the past.
Table of Contents
1. Rawlings Player Preferred Glove Series
There are many options when it comes to the best baseball glove for youth players. But for the first spot, I decided to stick with the classic. The Rawlings Player Preferred has always been one of my favorite youth baseball gloves, and I have yet to come across another glove that could replace it.
I’ve recommended it so many times on Baseball Hover, and I’ll continue doing so until I find a better glove with such a great price-to-performance ratio.
If you watch major league games on TV, I’m sure you’ve noticed how a lot of players wear Rawlings gloves in their games. Well, while the Player Preferred isn’t necessarily on the same level as those top-tier baseball gloves, it’s still a pretty great choice for its price category.
The full-grain leather construction of the glove, along with its top-notch stitching, is what you’ll notice first when you pick up the glove. Durability is given with Rawlings baseball gloves, and if you take care of this glove, you can expect it to last you a couple of seasons easily.
While the build quality is great and all, what really makes this glove special is its Zero Shock Palm Padding. Youth players naturally require a bit more protection, and because of the extra padding around the palm area, they’ll be able to catch those high flyballs much easier with this glove.
Do you know how baseball gloves need to go through a massive break-in period? The Rawlings Heart of the Hide that I use religiously took me around a month to break in properly. But with this glove, however, you won’t have to worry about all that. It comes about 80 percent broken in from the factory, which means you could start using it the moment you get your hands on it.
Just make sure you’re buying the size that’s right for your hands. The glove comes in multiple sizes and webbing options. So, take some time to measure out your hand and go with the one that gives you the most comfortable fit. The glove comes with an adjustable wrist strap to give you more control over its fit.
But while it comes with a lot of size options, it’s really not meant for players with a smaller hand. What that means is if you’re getting it for a player under 8 years of age, he might not be able to use it comfortably. The smallest size option for the Rawlings Player Preferred is 12 inches, which makes things a bit complicated.
Apart from that, though, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a youth glove that gives you this level of performance. The glove costs you around 70 to 80 bucks which really isn’t asking much for its quality.
As an entry-level baseball glove for youth players, this is a great one. And remember the word “entry-level”. Just because I said it’s great, doesn’t mean it’s the greatest. It’s the best bargain glove you’ll find – that I can assure you!
- Break-in: 80% Factory, 20% Player
- Webbing Options: Closed, H-web, Basket, Single-post Double bar
2. Franklin Sports Field Master Youth Baseball Gloves
Even the best baseball gloves for youth are usually quite affordable. I mean, if you have a budget of around a hundred bucks, which is pretty reasonable if you ask me, you have some nice options already. Heck, the Rawlings Player Preferred that I talked about just now is also a valid choice for that budget.
But let’s face it, you’re not sure if your kid will stick with the game, and you don’t want to shell out a hundred bucks chasing a pipedream – I get it. Well, in that case, let me suggest one of the most popular choices when it comes to top youth baseball gloves – the Franklin Sports Field Master.
Is it on the same level as the Rawlings Player Preferred or Wilson A1000? – No. But if you’re looking for an entry-level baseball glove that does the job and gets your kid through a couple of seasons easily, then you’ll be pretty happy with its performance.
One of the biggest reasons why this glove costs so low is its synthetic leather construction. Synthetic leather, as I’m sure you know, rarely feels like the real deal. For what it’s worth, though, I think Field Master did a good job with this one, getting the glove to feel as close to real leather as humanly possible.
I mean, no, it’s not as durable as a genuine leather baseball glove. But it offers a decent bit of impact protection. And since it has virtually no break-in period, you can start playing with it the moment you take it out of the box. So for a beginner or casual youth player, it’s a fantastic deal.
What makes this glove really great is that despite its synthetic leather construction, the pocket is hand formed. As a result, catching flyballs with it is easier than a regular synthetic leather glove. It also has a built-in wrist strap that lets you get a more comfortable fit.
The only downside of this glove is that it really doesn’t hold up against other “more expensive” youth baseball gloves. If you take care of it, it’ll last you one or two seasons. But after that, you might need to consider replacing it if you want your kid to get serious about the sport.
You have plenty of size and webbing options with this glove, which is surprising considering its sub-30-dollar price tag. Franklin Sports has always been a brand for the people; this glove clearly shows how much they care about your playing experience, even if you’re on a tight budget.
- Break-in: None
- Webbing Options: Trapeze, Modified trapeze, Basket, I-Web, H-Web.
3. WILSON A1000 Baseball Glove Series
Go big or go home – that’s the philosophy that I live by when it comes to baseball. And if you’re like me and want to give your kid the best possible start in the sport, then you need to make sure he is equipped with the right gear. That means no skimping on his baseball glove.
While Rawlings Player Preferred is an amazing glove in its own right, I wouldn’t call it a Pro-tier glove. That honor goes to Wilson with their premium-grade A1000 youth baseball glove. Rawlings has a pro-tier youth glove of their own, but I’ll get to that later. For now, let me talk about what makes the A1000 so great.
The A1000 has it all – pro stock full-grain leather construction, fully leather lining, rawhide laces, you name it, the Wilson A1000 has it. And as a bonus, the manufacturers also decided to go with dual welting on the leather to push things to the next level.
Now for those that don’t know, dual welting might not seem like a big deal. But when it comes to improving the protective features and responsiveness of the glove, this small element makes all the difference. Not only is it extremely durable, but it also offers a premium feel and performance.
The DriLex wrist lining in the glove also improves player comfort and ensures your hand remains dry when you are out on the field. This lining wicks the moisture from your hand, keeping it fresh, and lets you focus entirely on the game at hand. The professional-grade lacing also looks stylish and durable.
Similar to the Rawlings Player Preferred glove, the Wilson A1000 comes 80 percent broken in from the factory. Now this might not be that important if you were an adult player, as adult ballplayers like to break in their gloves themselves. But since it’s a youth glove, this design comes as a pleasant addition to its arsenal.
The only real downside of this glove is that it’s expensive. With its 150-dollar price tag, it’s easily the most expensive baseball glove on this list. But then again, quality doesn’t come cheap, and if you want the best for your kid, then this is the only choice that makes sense. As for its size options, it’s not bad, but it’s not great either. Its 11 to 12.5 inches size range should be fine for most kids between the age of 10 to 14 years, but younger players might not find it comfortable to wear. The webbing options, on the other hand, are pretty impressive with this baseball glove.
- Break-in: 80% Factory, 20% Player
- Webbing Options: Single post 3X, Single post 3 bar, Dual post, H-web, X2
4. Rawlings R9 Youth PRO Taper Baseball Glove Series
Remember how I said Rawlings had their own pro-tier youth baseball glove models earlier? Well, now that I have talked about Wilson and their A1000, it’s only fair to come back to Rawlings. I mean, while the Player Preferred is a great glove, it really doesn’t hold a candle against the A1000.
If you’re comparing with the A1000, then from the side of Rawlings, the R9 Youth Pro Taper Baseball Glove would be the fair competition. Similar to the Wilson glove, this is Rawlings’s premium take on youth baseball gloves. And naturally, that makes this glove pretty expensive.
If you’ve tried their Player Preferred before, then you’ll see a noticeable improvement in construction material with the R9 Pro Taper. Though both of these gloves are made of full-grain leather, the material in the R9 Pro Taper feels much more premium and durable.
Despite being built with stronger material, the glove manages to feel soft and light. The leather shell is extremely flexible, making it comfortable to wear even for a new player. Many pro-level gloves forget to account for player comfort, but Rawlings makes it their top priority, as you can see from this glove.
The glove also offers excellent impact protection featuring a reinforced palm pad and thumb loop. For youth players, every bit of protection counts, and while it does sacrifice its mobility a bit, it makes the glove a lot safer for youngsters who are still learning their way around the sport.
But yes, the mobility is a downside here that’s worth knowing about. And another drawback here is that it’s pretty expensive. While it’s not quite in the same price range as the Wilson A1000, it’s still over the 100-dollar price mark that you’ll see for most of the gloves on this list. Regardless, it’s one of the best baseball gloves under 150 dollars for youth players.
Other than that, though, it’s a great little glove that can last you a couple of seasons easily if you take care of it. Similar to the Player Preferred, it comes about 80 percent broken in from the factory, leaving the rest 20 percent of break-in entirely in your hands.
The glove comes with multiple webbing options, and the size range for youth players is also pretty versatile. So, you will get plenty of options when you’re picking out the size and webbing for yourself. For youth players, this glove is a fantastic choice that can help them take their skills to the next level.
- Break-in: 80% Factory, 20% Player
- Webbing Options: Modified trapeze, 31 Pattern, Pro H-Web, 2-Piece Solid, Modified Pro H-Web, 1-Piece Closed, 1-Piece Solid
5. Mizuno Prospect Baseball Glove Series
It seems like I’ve been talking about either Rawlings or Wilson for ages, so let’s take a step away from those two brands for a bit. There are other great brands out there, after all. And for the next one, I think it’s time to talk about one of the best gloves for youth baseball – the Mizuno Prospect.
Mizuno might not be as big a brand name as Rawlings or Wilson, but it still holds a respectable place in the MLB professional scene. Many players, including the former Gold Glove winner Austin Riley proudly wear their tried-and-true Mizuno baseball gloves. So don’t make the mistake of counting out this brand just yet.
The Prospect Baseball Glove Series by Mizuno is their take on entry-level baseball gloves designed for youth players. It’s built well, comes at a good price, and offers some nice features to make it perfect for any newcomers to the game. So let me talk a bit about what makes this glove so good.
First off, the glove is made using Full-grain pigskin leather. At its price point, nobody would have blamed them if they went with synthetic leather. But because of their material choice, this glove is extremely durable and also feels pretty soft and comfortable on the hand once you put it on.
In addition to its excellent leather quality, the Butter Soft lining, along with MZO lining, gives the glove a flexible and responsive feel. The MZO lining specifically helps in wicking moisture from your hand to make sure you are fully comfortable as you are giving your all in the field.
Player comfort is a top priority with this glove, and the mesh backing of the glove showcases exactly that. The mesh backing allows air to circulate through the glove keeping everything comfortable for the player. This is a small design element that drastically improves your experience with the glove.
Of course, this is an entry-level baseball glove, and while its built quality is decent, you can’t honestly expect it to last more than two seasons. That’s one of the only real drawbacks of this glove. The other one is that its palm area doesn’t see as much attention to detail as the rest of its sections.
For a price tag of around 60 bucks, though, you can’t complain much here. It’s available for all playing positions, offers a nice range of webbing options, and is also available in all sizes for players of all ages. So as a starter youth baseball glove, you can’t go wrong with this one.
- Break-in: 90% Factory, 10% Player
- Webbing Options: Deep III Web, T Web, H Web, Tartan Flex Web, Tartan Shock Web
6. Rawlings Select Pro Lite Youth Baseball Glove
By now, I apologize if I start sounding like a broken record recommending another Rawlings glove in this list. But in my defense, they offer a lot of amazing options. And if you’re a youth player looking to get your first baseball glove, it’s an amazing brand to go with.
So if you haven’t found the perfect glove for you, then perhaps the Rawlings Select Pro Lite Youth Baseball Glove is the one that you’ve been waiting for. In terms of pricing, it’s the cheapest Rawlings gloves on this list. But in terms of performance, it’s a pretty great one to start your baseball journey.
The Select Pro Lite comes with a soft leather shell similar to what you would find on the Player Preferred. It has a Youth Pro Taper fit to make it more comfortable for the player to wear for their games. So if you’re a beginner, this glove would be perfect for you.
In addition to offering a comfortable fit, the shock-reduction palm pad in the glove also enhances its protective capabilities. Youth players often prefer protection over mobility, and the thicker padding in this glove is designed to negate impact damage as much as possible without compromising anything.
Now you might be thinking – doesn’t more protection mean a heavier weight? Well, in most cases, yes. But the textured vinyl material used in the glove keeps it flexible and lightweight. So, you won’t have to worry about it becoming a burden in your games.
Of course, there are some downsides to this glove, as is true with any other entry-level affordable gloves. First off, it’s not as durable as the R9 Pro or the Player Preferred, though it’s of the same brand. And secondly, the glove is only suitable for casual games; competitive players might have better luck with another option.
On the bright side, though, the break-in period for this glove is virtually non-existent. It ships about 90 percent broken in from the factory. So, if you play a bit of catch with it when you get it, it’ll be game-ready within a couple of hours. That’s a neat addition for casual players.
So, if you’re on a tight budget and want a low-cost, well-made baseball glove for casual games, then this is a great pick. It might not hold up against gloves like the Wilson A1000 or the Rawlings R9, but as a beginner baseball glove, it’s not a bad deal at all.
- Size Range: 11.25 to 12.25 inches
- Playing Positions: All
- Material: Soft, Game-ready leather
- Break-in: 90% Factory, 10% Player
- Webbing Options: Closed, H-web, Basket, Single-post Double bar
7. MARUCCI Acadia M-Type Baseball Glove Series
There are many up-and-coming brands in the world of baseball, but none of them really manage to make a mark in the industry. But with Marucci, it’s different. Despite being a smaller brand, they have often come up with gloves that can go toe-to-toe with the big boys.
But I’m not really here to talk about those premium gloves. Instead, what I’ll give you is a great glove for youth players – the Marucci Acadia M-Type Glove Series. Is it the best glove for youth baseball? – far from it. But it’s still a great way to wrap up this list.
The most surprising part about the glove is how the manufacturers managed to use Full-grain Cowhide leather for its construction, and that too at this price point. Looking at the material alone, picking up this glove is entirely worth it. It’s a premium leather type that speaks volumes about the durability of this glove.
To account for player comfort, this glove features a smooth microfiber lining both at the wrist and the finger area. This drastically improves the responsiveness of the glove and lets you make quick, reflexive catches with it if you use it in the infield. Don’t worry; outfielders will also have a good experience with it.
The blend of durability and comfort make it an excellent glove to go with. If you take care of it, it’ll easily last you as long as the Rawlings R9 or the Wilson A1000. But keep in mind, those two gloves will cost you well over a hundred bucks. So, from a value perspective, Marucci wins.
Then again, there are some downsides to this. Since the Marucci M-Type is made of full-grain cowhide leather, it takes a while to break in. If this is your starter glove, and you don’t have a second set to use, you’ll be waiting a while before you can use it in a real game comfortably.
And another drawback to this glove is that it’s only available in two sizes. So, you won’t have a lot of options when it comes to finding the right fit for your hands. If the two size options are not right for your hand, then you need to look at another glove to pick up.
But if it fits, then this might be the best investment you can make as a youth player. This is a stylish glove that’ll help you learn the ropes of the game and will also last you a long time if you take care of it. And its attractive price point also makes it a pretty great buy for those on a budget.
- Size Range: 11 and 12 inches
- Playing Positions: Infield and Outfield
- Material: Full-grain Cowhide
- Break-in: Long
- Webbing Options: H-web, single post, I-web\
How to Choose the Best Youth Baseball Gloves
Now that you have a general idea about the top youth baseball gloves, I’m sure you’re starting to notice a pattern. There are some things that I prioritized, such as the construction material and the size options, while some elements that I didn’t focus as much on, such as the style of the glove. Well, there’s a reason for it.
You see, there are many nuances to a baseball glove that can make things difficult for a new buyer. But when you understand which things to focus on, choosing the perfect glove for you becomes a lot easier.
With that said, here are some of the things I like to think about when I’m looking for the best youth baseball glove.
· Construction Material is the Top Priority
Whether you are buying a youth baseball glove or the best baseball glove, the first thing to check is the glove’s construction material. You already know that baseball gloves are made of leather. But the quality of the leather that’s used to make it can vary from one glove to another.
Now since you’re looking at youth baseball gloves, you don’t need to worry about expensive leathers like Kip leather or Steerhide leather. In most cases, you’ll either have to choose between synthetic or full-grain. And if you have to choose between these two leather types, I would always recommend going with full-grain.
Synthetic leather is cheap and will give you a more affordable glove. But it doesn’t last as long as full-grain leather, nor does it feel as good. Full-grain leather typically lasts longer and also has a better feel and responsiveness.
· Don’t Overlook the Glove Padding
While the leather shell of a baseball glove does offer a primary layer of protection, it’s not enough when you want to save your hand from the impact of catching a baseball hurling through the air. You also need to look at the padding level of the baseball glove.
MLB professionals usually go with less padding on their gloves because mobility is their priority. But for youth players, that’s not the case. Since youth players are less experienced and have a softer hand, it’s always better to go with a glove that offers more padding in strategic positions.
Then again, extra padding adds some extra weight to the glove. And if the glove feels too heavy, it won’t be comfortable for the player. So, you need to find the right balance that gives you enough protection without the cost of adding too much weight to the glove.
· Get the Right Fit for Your Hand
If there’s one thing that’s more important than choosing the right material for your glove, it’s finding the right fit. You see, baseball gloves come in different sizes. And if you’re shopping for a youth baseball glove, you need to make sure it’s the right fit for your hands.
While going one size up is fine when you’re buying new shoes, for gloves, it’s usually best to go for a snug fit. You need to measure your hand and go with a glove that fits like a charm. Otherwise, you’ll have a hard time catching a baseball with your glove.
Sizing a baseball glove requires careful consideration. So don’t rush through this step when choosing your glove.
· Also Choose the Appropriate Webbing
I’m sure you’ve noticed how a baseball glove can have different types of webbing. And while it might seem like a cosmetic thing to a beginner, webbing plays a huge role in dictating a glove’s performance. So, you need to give it a fair bit of thought before you go with a specific web type.
Typically, infielders want to go with a web that promotes ball transfer. Pitchers want to go with one that lets them hide the pitch from the batter. And outfielders generally want a web that lets them block out the glare of the sun when they are tracking the baseball through the air.
Understanding which webbing type is best for your playstyle comes with experience. If you have a friend or a coach, talking to them about which web is right for you might give you a better idea about it.
· How Long is the Break-in Period
In my experience, youth players prefer a glove that they can start using the moment they get their hands on it. On the other hand, adult ball players understand the importance of breaking in their gloves to fit the shape of their hands perfectly. That’s why the break-in time doesn’t matter much to them.
However, youth players would generally prefer a glove that comes game-ready from the factory. And the manufacturers know that. That’s why most of the youth gloves come broken in about 80 percent when you buy them. You can break in the rest when you get the glove.
Of course, if you don’t want to wait at all, you can find gloves that come fully broken in. The options are limited, but they are certainly there. And if you go with a synthetic leather glove, you don’t have to worry about breaking it in at all.
There are ways to make the break-in process of your glove go faster. So, if you have a glove that feels still, follow the steps that I talked about in my article here.
· Pocket Depth Matters
Don’t make the mistake of not thinking about the pocket depth of the glove when you’re buying one. I’ve seen it happen too many times to count, and honestly, it bugs me a lot. The pocket depth of the glove has a direct relation to how comfortable it feels in your hands.
Besides, your performance with the glove will also vary depending on how deep its pocket is. If you go with a shallow pocket, you’ll be able to transfer the ball to your throwing hand quicker. On the other hand, a deeper pocket will help you catch the ball more reliably.
Because of this, infielders typically prefer using a shallow pocket with their gloves, and outfielders like going with gloves with a deeper pocket.Use this info as a reference when looking at the pocket depth for your baseball glove.
Let’s Get Comfy!
I know how frustrating it can be when you can’t figure out which baseball glove is right for you. I’ve been there, and thankfully, I’ve had some nice people around me to help me out with this tough decision. And now, I’m simply trying to return the favor by doing the same for you.
The Rawlings Player Preferred that claimed the top spot is the classic choice. If you want a safe glove that’ll get you through a couple of seasons easily, that’s a no-brainer.
However, for those on a tight budget, it’s hard to beat the value that comes with the Franklin Sports Field Master. And if you’re after premium performance, then the Wilson A1000 is the one for you. Cheers!