The Best Baseball Gloves in 2017 - The Ultimate Guide

Baseball is a sport you can play in your backyard. Lots of parents find it a great way to spend quality time with their kids, build connections and also get some physical activity. However, this game can’t be played without one of its most essential tools: the baseball glove. To become a better player you will need a fielding glove, and to get the best baseball gloves these days is becoming more difficult due to the fact that there are thousand of products out there in the market and it can be tough to be confident you’re making the right choice. That’s where we come in!


There are factors that you need to consider when choosing the best baseball glove such as the comfortability, durability, affordability and size which will be discussed in the later part of this article.


This article is a comprehensive guide on everything you need to know to choose the best baseball glove.

The Best Baseball Gloves by Position

Image

Name

Rating/Price

Size

Position

Review

Latest Price

Rawlings Pro Players Preferred Catchers Baseball Gloves
Rawlings Pro Players Preferred Catchers Baseball Gloves

The Rawlings Pro Preferred

Best baseball Gloves - Cost 4

33"

Catcher

Wilson A2000 Clayton Kershaw Game Model Pitcher Baseball Glove
Wilson A2000 Clayton Kershaw Game Model Pitcher Baseball Glove

Wilson A2000 Clayton Kershaw

Best baseball Gloves - Cost 4

11.75"

Pitcher

Rawlings Pro Players Preferred Catchers Baseball Gloves
Wilson A2000 1786 11.5" Infield Baseball Glove

Wilson A2000 1786 11.5"

Best baseball Gloves - Cost 4

11.5"

Infielder

Wilson 2016 A2K 1799 Outfield Baseball Glove
Wilson 2016 A2K 1799 Outfield Baseball Glove

Wilson 2016 A2K 1799

Best baseball Gloves - Cost 4

12.75"

Outfielders

Wilson A2K Brandon Phillips Baseball Glove
Wilson A2K Brandon Phillips Baseball Glove

Wilson A2K Brandon Phillips 11.5"

Best baseball Gloves - Cost 5

11.5"

First Base / Hybrid


Introduction

There is nothing more pleasurable than doing great in the game you love which is why having the best gear for your baseball game matters a lot. The use of baseball gloves (or mitts) dates far back into the 19th century, where gloves were made with their fingertips cut off which is intended to just give an extra padding while still maintaining full hand control to catch or field balls on the diamond.

In recent times, with the innovation of the baseball gloves, they are now being made in different designs, sizes, cuts, and manufactured more efficiently from different materials based on players’ preferences. The shape and size of a glove are determined by patterns and more specifically the position of each baseball player.

Some of the different positions taken by fielders include; catcher, pitcher, infielder, outfielder, first base, second base among others. Each of these players has their specific duties which require them to have the right gloves to carry out their roles effectively. Whether you are new in the baseball game or a pro in need of a new glove, this guide will provide the detailed information you need to know about the specifics of a baseball glove and other things you might need to know before making your next purchase.

First Baseball Glove
GloveSpot - Baseball Glove


Guidelines for selecting the best baseball gloves

There are some key considerations you need to take note of before choosing your next baseball glove so as not to purchase something that might not work for your needs. Factors such as the age of the player are important to note before buying one, as the age of the player also determines the position he takes on the field and the size glove that would fit perfectly.

Someone new to baseball may be asked to start at the shortstop or pitcher position, but as skill level and knowledge of the game increase, added confidence gives the ability to decide what position interests the player. There is no one-size-fits-all, so carefully choosing a glove will help produce both the best throwing or catching.

The material used in making the glove is also to be considered before choosing one. While leather is the most common material gloves are made from, some might be synthetic. Many times a stiff leather glove is best. It takes a longer time to break-in, but the stiffer it is the better and more durable your glove can be. Some gloves are laced with oil while others are purchased together with oil that makes breaking-in easier.

Another important factor to note is to understand the parts of the gloves. A baseball glove consists of the web, hinge, palm, lacing and heel. Each part is essential to the catching or fielding of the ball and therefore must be correctly attached to the glove.

The Webbing

The webbing of a glove is necessary to control the ball on impact. It connects the other fingers to the thumb and also allows fielders to close in on the ball.

Baseball Glove - Webbing

The Palm

The palm is the heart of a glove which is the main reason for using a glove in the first place and therefore it is fully padded to receive the full impact of the fly balls and protect the palm beneath from blisters or injuries.

Baseball Glove - Palm

The Hinge

The hinge part of a glove enhance your ability to catch and give a perfect throw, as it helps you with easy opening and closing of the gloves.

Baseball Glove - Hinge

The Lacing

The lacing of the glove gives shape and integrity to the gloves. Leather being a preferable lacing material used allows the laces to break-in naturally as the glove is used.

Baseball Glove - Lacing

Glove Fasteners - *Important Note

All gloves should come with a wrist adjustment tech that allows the player to easily adjust the wrist hold to keep the glove fit snug on the hand. Fasteners like Velcro or a D-ring are usually used in this case and should do the trick of properly adjusting the size. Also, the type and thickness of glove padding depend on the position, but in general, all gloves should be well padded.

There are different grades of leather materials used in making baseball gloves and these have a lot to do in determining the stiffness, durability, look, feel, and break-in time of the glove. Stiff leather might take longer and be quite tough to break-in, but they last longer and get molded into the player’s hand better than other soft types.

Baseball Glove Fastener


There are other types of leather such as the synthetic leather usually used in making gloves for starters and they are cheaper to buy; a second-grade quality leather made from top-grain leather is softer, thinner and can be easily flexed during use.


The highest grade leather is the full grain leather from which the best quality and stiff gloves are made. They retain their grains even after several seasons of use thus providing durability and breathability of the gloves. These gloves are more expensive but worth the cost as they prove to be true and lasting friends on the field of play. Some other gloves are oil treated to ease their break-in period and make it easier to conform to the player’s hand giving a game-ready feel each time you get on the field.

Now that you know all parts...

Having understood the different parts of your glove, you may also want to consider based on your personal preference the comfort level of the glove, the build, the grip, style and how resistant it is to water in case you are playing a game in a not-so-ideal condition, you wouldn’t want to risk a slippery grip.


How to find the perfect fit

In finding a perfect glove fit for you, there are some other factors to be considered aside from your size and field position. You need to find a glove that fits your hand securely and comfortably; one that is stiff enough for strength, yet flexible to allow control on the field and also the color that fits you.


Though most gloves come in black or brown color, others come in a different colors depending on your preference. Most important of course though is position and size.. A sizing chart is included below to make choosing easy for you.


Baseball gloves sizing chart

Baseball gloves come in different sizes for different age groups and positions. Therefore it is imperative to choose a glove that fits perfectly for your position and size. Baseball glove sizes start at 9 inches and above and there are times you might feel tempted to get the exact size of your hand because it fits so well, but it would be advisable to go for the next closest size, as an easy fit would be too tight for you; and unlike choosing an oversized wear at the mall with an expectation that the child would grow or increase in size, baseball mitts cannot be chosen as such, as a wrong choice in size would affect one’s efficiency as a player.

The catcher's’ mitt is bigger in size than the gloves used by other fielders. The size ranges from 31-34 inches, while a young player can use 31 inches, the older ones can use 32inches or more depending on which fits best. A first baseman’s mitt is generally measured from wrist to fingertips and come in 12.5-12.75 inch sizes, an infielder’s glove also has 11-12 inch patterns while a pitcher’s glove size lies between 11.75 to 12 inches, although some pitchers can use size as large as 12.25 inches while an outfielder glove has a 12-12.75 inch pattern.

Age

Catcher

First Base

Short Stop

Third Base

Pitcher

Outfield

Under 7

29.5" - 30"

11.5"

8" - 10.5"

8" - 10.5"

8" - 10.5"

9" - 10.5"

8-10

30" - 31"

11.5" - 12"

10.5" - 11.25"

10.5" - 11.5"

10.5" - 11.5"

10" - 12"

11-13

30" - 32.5"

11.5" - 12"

11" - 11.5"

11" - 11.75"

11.5" - 12"

11.75" - 12.75"

Over 14

32" - 34.5"

12" - 13"

11.25" - 11.5"

11.5" - 12"

11.5" - 12"

12" - 13"


Types of baseball gloves and how they differ from each other:

Catcher's Mitt

Baseball Catcher

The catcher’s mitt is normally shaped to look like a claw and this helps to catch the pitched ball and provide a good target for the pitcher. Because the catcher's’ mitt is usually measured around the circumference, its size seems different from others and ranges from 30- 34.5 inches in size.

The catcher’s mitt generally has a closed web style and could be a standard web design or basket web. The pocket is a shallow deep oval shaped basket that allows an easy retrieval of the ball for fast throws after catching.


Because the catcher in a baseball game is exposed to injuries, yet expected to do much of catching, the catcher’s mitt should be fingerless and heavily padded to absorb the impact from the pitcher’s throw without pains felt on the catcher’s palm.

First baseman’s gloves

Baseball First Base

The first baseman’s gloves are usually wide enough to scoop up grounded or badly thrown balls from the infielders. The webs are sometimes opened in cross latches which allow dirt packed while picking the ball to sieve through before fielding it to the next base.

The long size of the gloves is its unique feature among other gloves and aids a first baseman in fielding long throws from an infielder. The pocket is shallow and allows them to retrieve a ball swiftly and easily in order to pass it on quickly.

Infielders

Baseball Infielder

The infielders except the first baseman use a lightweight glove with a shallow pocket to give a quick throw to the pitcher while he tries to beat the base runner’s rush. The glove has a strong, open web with leather strips that forms an ‘I’, ‘H’ or a ‘trapeze’ shape which creates the pocket.


The infielders’ gloves have open backs which facilitate fast reflex catches and excellent flexibility. The padding is made to be comfortable but not as thick as the catcher’s mitt. The infielder’s gloves are usually the smallest on the team.

Outfielders

Baseball Outfielder

The outfielders are more interested in saving a ball from hitting the home-run and would, therefore; use a glove with a deeper pocket to catch fly balls and to prevent what could have been a home-run ball from the offensive team.


The gloves are longer than other gloves in order to easily make an extended reach for a high-flying ball. The web is closed between the thumb and other fingers though the size and web designs sometimes depend on the player’s choice.


The closed webs are usually trapped webs connected to each side by a thin leather strap. The trap web proves efficient in trapping a caught ball in the glove thus providing an extra grip for the outfielder. Most outfielders’ gloves are open backs or fastbacks for extra wrist stability while on the field.

Pitcher

Baseball Pitcher

A pitcher’s glove is usually differentiated by its closed webbing which makes it easy to hide the ball from prying eyes since the plan is to be tricky and guarded with the soon to be pitched ball. Though the standard basket web is more common on the field, some other pitchers use the two piece web which is quickly gaining ground.


The back of a pitcher’s glove is open to allow more wrist flexibility and get enough air in the hands while playing. A pitcher’s glove also has a shallow pocket for easy pitching of balls.


Proficiency Level

There are different levels in the baseball game such as the beginner, advanced and professionals. These different levels are also factors to be considered before buying a glove. Beginners who end up buying a professional’s glove would have a very difficult time on the field and could end up feeling frustrated because his hand is not strong enough to work the stiffness of the glove.


For most beginners, it is usually possible to start them off at the shortstop or pitch, so the size of the glove should be between 10 to 11 inches. Synthetic leather gloves with extra padding would be preferable for easy flexibility and palm protection while on the field. It is lightweight and comes without a break-in period.


An advanced player is already aware of his strength and capability on the field and knows his place as a fielder, so it is much easier for him to choose between gloves. Since he is still working his way to the top of the table as a professional, he has to be able to work the less stiff gloves until he gets to the professional level where his gloves become his best companion and will want something more durable.


Cheap vs. Expensive gloves

For beginners, it is best to go for synthetic leather gloves which are cheaper and can easily be traded for a finer quality as expertise increases.

Some people complain about money wasted in purchasing a particular glove that is not giving them the best result which is why research ahead of time is important. The stiffness and weight of the glove have the greatest influence on player performance.


So when it comes to choosing the best baseball gloves; it would be preferable to start with simple gloves with easy break-in that are also less expensive and then when you become a pro in the game, you can then invest in a pro stock leathered glove, since you know the importance of fitted glove in the baseball game.

In some cases, there are some fine quality gloves that come at very affordable prices, so getting the best for your money also depends on how many reviews and how much web surfing you are willing to do to find them and you can also read the article on the top baseball gloves in 2017 here.


Top brands to consider while choosing your gloves

There are so many brands to consider when choosing your baseball gloves, some brands like Wilson, Rawlings, Mizuno, Louisville slugger, and Akadema are popularly known for their years of manufacturing high quality baseball gloves for great performance.

In order to ease your stress, we have made a compiled list of top brands you can easily look up for. We have also narrowed down your search by positions, so you can easily skip to the important details you need for each position.


How to break-in a new baseball glove

Now that you have a list of brands to choose from, the next thing you need to know is how to easily break-in your new glove to get a perfect and less stressful experience while using it. Glove break-in is not too difficult once you have the right guide to follow, and a perfectly fitted glove guarantees a good performance while playing.

It is important to note that how you break-in your glove will determine the longevity of the glove, so in order to ensure a proper break-in, you can try the traditional method by playing catch with your friends before getting on the field for a real game. The more you squeeze the gloves to catch, the more broken in they become. This method is undoubtedly the best and natural way to break-in your glove.

For quicker methods, you can try any of the following:

  • Steaming method allows you to pre-condition your gloves by applying a special glove conditioner on each part of your gloves. Thereafter, you can steam the glove to about 150 degrees after which you can use a glove mallet to break it in properly.
  • You can also break-in your glove by putting it on your hand and beat the pocket of the glove with a mallet using your throwing hand. You can also place it with the palm side facing the ground while you keep striking the back side with a mallet until you get the desired break-in.

Precautions

  • It is important to note that while some may advise you to place your gloves in a microwave or oven, it is not an advisable method of breaking a glove as it would damage the gloves by drying out the leather and cause lace brittle which eventually causes them to break.
  • Other unconventional methods of breaking a glove that should be avoided include wetting and leaving the glove out in the sun to dry or placing inside a hot car, as much as these methods may seem quicker, they reduce the durability of your glove and leave you in search of a new glove you would still have to break in few months.
  • Only the manufacturer recommended oils and conditioners should be used whenever conditioning is needed on the glove. Never use products that are not approved for use with leather.

Care and Maintenance of baseball gloves

Every baseball player can attest to the fact that a baseball glove is a major identity while on the field to play; this is why it is very important to take proper care of the gloves whether in use or not. There are certain tools you need to take good care of your baseball gloves such as a good brush, a smooth surface cotton rag, leather cleaner and a glove conditioner. A well-kept glove can be passed down to generations to come.

Learn from the pro's how to care for your baseball glove


The Best Baseball Gloves By Position

If you are in search of the best baseball gloves in 2017, you are in just the right place. The baseball glove, otherwise known as mitts is one thing players can’t do without while on the field. Usually made of leather or synthetic materials based on individual preferences, the baseball glove is webbed between fingers and ensures the player can relate to the baseball.


Your baseball glove also serves to protect the hands from forceful impact or the sting of catching, hiding or throwing the ball depending on your position on the field; catcher, first base, infielder, outfielder, second base,shortstop or pitcher.


With thousands of choices, it could be difficult for you to select the best glove that suits you. Since your glove is generally a longer term investment, it’s best to get the one that makes you feel more comfortable and safe, and enhances your game skills..


We’ve done our best to save you the stress of surfing online for the best baseball gloves as you can take your time to read here, the top 5 baseball gloves in 2017.

Image

Name

Rating/Price

Size

Position

Review

Latest Price

Rawlings Pro Players Preferred Catchers Baseball Gloves
Rawlings Pro Players Preferred Catchers Baseball Gloves
The Rawlings Pro Preferred
Best baseball Gloves - Cost 4

33"

Catcher

Wilson A2000 Clayton Kershaw Game Model Pitcher Baseball Glove
Wilson A2000 Clayton Kershaw Game Model Pitcher Baseball Glove
Wilson A2000 Clayton Kershaw
Best baseball Gloves - Cost 4

11.75"

Pitcher

Rawlings Pro Players Preferred Catchers Baseball Gloves
Wilson A2000 1786 11.5" Infield Baseball Glove
Wilson A2000 1786 11.5"
Best baseball Gloves - Cost 4

11.5"

Infielder

Wilson 2016 A2K 1799 Outfield Baseball Glove
Wilson 2016 A2K 1799 Outfield Baseball Glove
Wilson 2016 A2K 1799
Best baseball Gloves - Cost 4

12.75"

Outfielders

Wilson A2K Brandon Phillips Baseball Glove
Wilson A2K Brandon Phillips Baseball Glove
Wilson A2K Brandon Phillips 11.5"
Best baseball Gloves - Cost 5

11.5"

First Base / Hybrid


Conclusion

Baseball gloves are too important to be sidelined which is why it is very necessary to choose the perfect one for your position and game. Although many baseball players have varied needs and expectations based on their individual choices and positions to take, in every case it is best to select lasting gloves that can weather all games throughout a season.

Each glove has its size and fits, and there are different factors to be considered other than your preferences before choosing the perfect baseball glove for the game.

We hope this guide has touched every aspect you need to know before you get your next baseball glove. Remember, the size of your glove matters a lot if you want to be efficient in the game. Also, despite the different methods of breaking your new gloves, it is advisable to follow only the ones that will break-in and not break down your new glove.

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