The best baseball glove
Although many players like to focus on the offensive side of baseball, it's important to build your defensive skills, too, making yourself into a well-rounded player.
One of the best ways to improve your defensive expertise is through using the right type of baseball glove. Match your glove to the type of defensive position you play most often for the best results or select a versatile glove model to play a variety of positions.
Our favorite baseball glove is Mizuno Youth Prospect Baseball Glove, which has a deep pocket to help players secure the ball.
Considerations when choosing baseball gloves
Deep pocket: A glove with a large and deep pocket simplifies catching throws from the infielder and catching fly balls by preventing the ball from popping loose. This type of glove is best for first basemen or outfielders.
Open webbing: Gloves with open webbing in the pocket allow grass and dirt to pass through. Someone fielding a ground ball benefits the most from this feature. The open webbing results in a smaller pocket, which is ideal for infielders who need to exchange the ball quickly from the glove to the throwing hand after fielding a ground ball.
Closed webbing: Gloves with closed webbing work best for outfielders, first basemen, and pitchers. A pitcher needs a closed webbing glove so they can adjust the grip on the baseball before throwing a pitch without the batter being able to see.
A pitcher's glove looks primarily like an infielder glove in the size of the pocket, allowing the pitcher to field ground balls easily.
Catcher's mitt: The catcher's mitt only works for a catcher. It has a small pocket with thick padding around the palm, encouraging the catcher to catch the pitch in the palm.
When shopping for the right baseball glove, pay particular attention to the size of the glove. Manufacturers measure the size of a baseball glove from the tip of the index finger to the edge of the wrist of the glove.
Youngest players: For the youngest baseball players, look for a glove measuring 10 to 11.5 inches in size. Smaller gloves are easier for young children to squeeze shut when securing the ball, since they don't need as much strength as with a large glove.
Pre-teen players: Look for a glove measuring 11 to 11.75 inches in size for players younger than 13. Kids in this age group likely play multiple defensive positions, so a versatile glove is helpful.
High school and adult players: Players in this age group focus on one or two defensive positions, so try to find a matching glove. Gloves between 11.25 and 13 inches are appropriate for these players.
The majority of baseball gloves for kids or amateur players are in the $20 to $100 price range. For professionals or those amateurs who play multiple times a week, a glove in the $100 to $300 range is appropriate.
Q. Is the color of the baseball glove important?
A. Not really. Some baseball leagues require the pitcher to wear a glove with a single color (other than white or gray).
Q. What's the best way to care for my baseball glove?
A. After each game, store the glove in a temperature-controlled room rather than in a car or equipment bag. Allow it to dry completely. During the offseason, some people keep a ball in the pocket to maintain the shape.
Baseball gloves we recommend
Best of the best: Mizuno's Youth Prospect Baseball Glove
Our take: Because of this glove's large pocket, players have an easier time securing fly balls and throws.
What we like: For players who want to begin using the glove quickly, it arrives partially broken in. Reasonable price point.
What we dislike: Large size of pocket may not work as well for those who play primarily infield.
Best bang for your buck: Wilson's 10-Inch Tee Ball Glove
Our take: As a first glove for a really young player, this model is a great choice with a very low price.
What we like: Available in black with blue or pink accents that kids will like. Very easy to squeeze the glove closed, which is important for youngsters.
What we dislike: Far too small for anyone but the youngest players.
Choice 3: Rawlings' Gamer Baseball Glove
Our take: A glove for older kids and adults that has a soft feel, helping defensive players catch and control the ball properly.
What we like: Adaptable glove style for playing multiple defensive positions. Requires minimal break-in time.
What we dislike: It's a little pricey. Laces tend to loosen over time.
Kyle Schurman is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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