The 10 Best Youth Baseball Gloves 2018 | A Buyer’s Guide

Without a baseball glove it would be really hard to catch a ball that has been hit far into the outfield. Baseball gloves protect your hands from the fast fly balls and they provide a larger bed to catch the ball in, making it easier to get the batter out. The baseball glove is the second most important piece of equipment for baseball players, behind the baseball bat. Having the best youth baseball glove can greatly improve out fielding and catching ability.

Parts of Youth Baseball Gloves

Before figuring out what to look for in the best baseball glove, it is important to know the four different parts of a baseball glove.

  • Webbing: This is the area of the glove that is between the thumb and forefinger.
  • Palm: The palms are is sometimes also referred to as the pocket of the glove.
  • Heel: This is the bottom part of the glove, just above where your hand and wrist meet.
  • Fingers: This part is pretty obvious, it is where you put your fingers.

Top Youth Baseball Gloves Comparison Chart

Things to Consider

There are many different types of gloves; varying brands, sizes, and models, which can make finding the best youth baseball glove a little intimidating. But if you know what to look for before making your purchase you will be able to determine which glove is best for your rookie.

Glove Material

Baseball gloves are typically and most popularly made of leather. But they can also be made with other types of material, such as; synthetic, mesh, and treated leather.

  • Leather

    Being the most popular choice amount baseball gloves, it is also the most comfortable and durable. There are many different types of leather to choice from; top grain, full grain, and premium. When purchasing a leather baseball glove it is important to know that to break these types of gloves in you will also need to purchase conditioning oils made specifically for leather baseball gloves.

  • Synthetic Material

    Synthetic baseball gloves are typically used by youth baseball players because it’s inexpensive. The material used in these gloves are stiff and not very durable so they can break down quickly.

  • Mesh

    usually only found on the back of a leather glove, mesh is used for players that need a lighter weight glove. Also, mesh gloves are used by players that are constantly in warmer temperatures to keep their hand from getting too sweaty.

  • Treated Leather

    Some baseball players prefer getting treated leather because these gloves have already been pre-conditioned so the break-in period doesn’t take as long.

 

Youth Glove Sizing

Just like anything else you are going to wear, it is important to make sure that the glove fits the hand correctly. But sizing for a baseball glove can be a little confusing at first. A baseball glove is measured from the top of the index finger straight down to the bottom heel of the glove. In most gloves, you can find the size etched onto either the thumb or pinky of the leather. It is the easy to buy a glove that is too large for the player, especially if you are worried about the child growing out of the glove too quickly. But an ill-fitting glove can cause an ill-catching player and a lack of support which can cause injuries.

  • Position

    It is also important to know that not every defensive player will wear the same size gloves. Some gloves will need more pocket space than other because the ball will be traveling at different speeds when landing in different areas on the diamond. For example, an outfielder will have a larger glove than a middle infielder, so it is easier for them to catch high fly balls. And shortstops and second basemen need a shallower pocket so they can quickly whip the ball out to make a double play.

  • Average Size Chart

    All these different rules for sizing can still be a little confusing, so we have provided a chart to help determine what size glove you will need to buy. But keep in mind these sizes are based on an average size of children these ages.

AgeCatcher1st baseman2nd baseman /
Shortstop
3rd basemanPitcherOutfielder
5-729.5” – 30”11.5”8” – 10.5”8” – 10.5”8” – 10.5”9” – 10.5”
8-1030” – 31”11.5” – 12”10.5” – 11.25”10.5” – 11.5”10.5” – 11.5”10” – 12”
11-1330” – 32.5”11.5” – 12”11” – 11.5”11” – 11.75”11.5” – 12”11.75” – 12.75”
14+34” – 34.5”12” – 13”11.25” – 11.5”11.5” – 12”11.5” – 12”12”-13”

 

Webbing

Another thing that is a little dependent on the position of the player is the webbing on the glove. The webbing is the pattern that is found on the back side of the glove where the ball will be hitting upon each catch. While there are many different types of webbing, they all fall under one of the two categories; open webs or closed webs.

  • Open Webbing

    An open webbed baseball glove has a looser cross pattern that has spacing between each piece of material. Kind of like the lattice of an apple pie.

    • Single Post Web

      This type of webbing has one single vertical line that goes from the top to the bottom of the glove. This type of webbing creates a larger depth in the glove, allowing the player an easier ability to scoop up balls out of the dust. This type of webbing is usually used by the first basemen.

    • Dual Post Web (H-Web)

      Similar to the single post web style, but has two vertical lines running the length of the glove, which creates an even larger pocket than the single post. This dual post webbing style also provides more flex than the single post web. These gloves are typical for multiple positions; outfielders, first basemen, and third basemen.

    • Modified Trapeze Web

      This is also called the T web because the reinforced horizontal post that crosses the single post on the top of the glove creates a “T” like shape. The lacing system that is featured in this type of glove provides durability which is great for outfielders.

    • Trapeze Web

      Different from the modified trapeze web, this type of glove only has one vertical post that runs from the fingers to the heel of the glove. But this glove still features a lacing system that gives it a deep pocket and durability that makes it great for outfielders.

  • Closed Webs

    Closed web style baseball gloves are good for pitchers and infielders because they typically have shallower pockets. Plus, you can’t see the pitchers grip on the ball, keeping the batter clueless on what type of pitch he will have to hit.

    • I-Web/ V-Web

      Even though these two types of webbing systems are a little different, they have a similar X style lacing that attaches the web and glove together. Because of the attachments in this type of glove it provides a shallower pocket and is best for middle infielders and third basemen.

    • Basket Web

      just like it sounds, a basket webbing glove looks just like a woven basket. It is a completely closed design making it a great choice for pitchers to conceal their grip from the batters.

    • One Piece Closed Web

      Instead of a woven patter, this type of glove is created using multiple pieces of leather that are attached to the glove by laces. While this type of glove is typical for a pitcher to hide his hand, it is also common for a catcher or first baseman because they are incredibly strong and can handle a lot of use.

Padding

The padding of the glove is another important thing to consider when purchasing a baseball glove. Like most aspects of a glove, this is determined by the position that is being played. The player that needs the most padding is the catcher to protect his hands from the fast pitches. First and third base may also need a little more padding than the others to catch the fast throws to get the opponents out.

Wrist Adjustments

In recent years a newer feature has been appearing on baseball gloves that allow the player to adjust the fit of their glove. With wrist adjustments, players can have a tighter fitting glove that is easy to put on and remove. There are a couple of different fasteners used for this; Velcro, buckles, lace, or D-ring fastener.

 

Best Youth Baseball Gloves Reviews

Rawlings Youth Players Series Glove

Perfect for Little Leaguers, this glove is preconditioned and already broken in. It has a durable basket weave pocket that is very deep and easy for any child of any age to catch the ball. Because of the closed weaving pattern this glove is great for pitchers and infielders. It shields the pitcher’s hand and is durable enough for a lot of use. The glove also has a cushioned palm and finger back lining that provides extra comfort, so catching a ball won’t hurt as much. Equipped with an adjustable wrist strap so the glove can fit securely onto the child’s hand without worrying about it falling off. A unique feature with purchasing this glove is that it comes with a soft play baseball. This ball is soft enough so it doesn’t hurt the child if they are accidentally hit with it. This ball can also help with training hand and eye coordination and catching.

PROS

  • Comes with a softball
  • Flexible and easy to control

CONS

  • Comes in small sizes for beginner ages (3-5)
  • Only right-handed

 

Rawlings Select Pro Lite Youth 11.5″ JJ Hardy Pitcher/Infield Baseball Glove

This 11.5 inch glove is a right-hand throw model and it features a Youth Pro Taper Fit which offers a hand opening that is slightly smaller than a regular glove.  It’s designed after JJ Hardy’s game glove, and this one is designed to have a “game-ready” feel.  That means it needs nearly no break-in time – Wi-Hooo!

It has a conventional open back, cushioned fingerback lining for extra comfort, and durable all-leather laces ensure a properly formed and maintained pocket.  A soft leather shell gives you extra durability and it works to keep its shape.  It even has extra palm and index finger padding to help with extra shock resistance!

 

PROS

  • Fits snug
  • Flexible trapeze webbing

CONS

  • While durable for a soft glove, it’s not as durable as some others that require a longer, harder break-in time

 

Mizuno GPP1150Y1 Youth Prospect Ball Glove

Mizuno is a great baseball glove manufacturer, especially for beginners. The best feature on this glove is the Mizuno trademarked “Power Close” technology. This technology has hinge-like features on the glove so it can open and close quickly and easily. Other Mizuno trademarked technologies in this glove are their Sure Fit foam finger slots, Para Flex Palm designs, and Para Shock, which all provide comfort, protection, and a snug fit to your hand. Meaning you can catch any fast and hard balls without the sting. The Mizuno Prospect baseball glove also has a Velcro wrist adjustment strap to support the wrist and hold the glove on better.

PROS

  • Minimal break-in need
  • Mizuno trademarked technologies

CONS

  • A little heavy, weighing 23 ounces

 

Rawlings Playmaker Youth

The Rawlings Playmaker was designed to already be broken in so the player has little to worry about, except getting the opponents out. Made with a strong basket weave webbing pattern, this full grain leather glove is incredibly durable, flexible, and easy to open and close to secure the ball. To enhance its already snug fit, the Rawlings Playmaker glove has an adjustable Velcro wrist strap that helps keep the glove in place while playing. The wrist strap also provides support on your wrist to avoid any potential injuries.

PROS

  • 80 % broken in
  • Adjustable wrist strap and support

CONS

  • A little pricey

 

Louisville Slugger Genesis

The Louisville Slugger brand has been around for over 100 years, so it is safe to say they know what they are doing when it comes to baseball equipment. This glove is made from both full grain leather and nylon mesh. The mesh is on the back side of the glove and allows for an easier opening and closing. Despite being made from buffalo leather, this glove is already broken in and ready for some gameplay. The buffalo leather also provides great durability allowing this glove to last for many seasons. Louisville Slugger made this glove to fit smaller youth sized hands and with an adjustable Velcro wrist strap to help keep the glove secure, it is great for any young baseball player.

PROS

  • No break in time needed
  • Buffalo leather durability

CONS

  • Only made for right-handed people

 

Nokona Youth Alpha Series

All of the Nokona products are not only American made, but they are also handmade by expert baseball glove makers. These gloves are top of the line and created from full grain and high-quality leather. A little heavier than the average baseball glove, this glove is durable and can prepare the young baseball players for their next level. With a modified trapeze webbing, this glove has a wide flexibility range to help with easy opening and closing. Although a little pricey this glove is built to last and will not let you down in the years to come.

PROS

  • Durable
  • Made for both left and right handed players

CONS

  • A little small for outfielders
  • On the pricier end

 

Wilson A360 Youth Baseball Catcher’s Mitt

Created for both left and right handed throwers, this Wilson glove is a great choice for young baseball players. Made with a pigskin leather palm and full grain leather, it is durable and will last. With a full half moon webbing, this glove is perfect for young catchers. It has an adjustable velcro wrist closure and a full pigskin leather palm.  Wilson has added a hook a loop strap, which helps young ballplayers’ gloves feel secure in their hand while also giving them a professional feel.

PROS

  • Full pigskin leather
  • High customer satisfaction

CONS

  • Stiff glove – takes some break-in time

 

Akadema Rookie Series: AJT99 Youth

We’re sold on this glove if for no other reason than we simply could not find a bad quality in this durable piece of baseball equipment.  Akadema has gone all out to create this Rookie Series of glove by adding a stellar degree of quality and comfort even for a kids’ glove!  This particular line of Akadema gloves has begun to attract a serious following among younger players who are committed to this game.  This glove has a combination of materials – the US Steerhide and the AkademaLyte Leather, resulting in a super light but also durable mitt.  Each glove is handcrafted for that extra touch (also helps with easy break-in).  It’s a reasonable price and it does not sacrifice performance and quality.

PROS

  • Durable  materials
  • Affordable

CONS

  • Um, I dunno!  Perhaps if $45 is beyond your budget, then yes, it’s “pricey”

 

Easton Mako Youth Series Glove

Easton Mako is a line of products known for their speed and quality.  The Mako Youth glove is no exception and certainly lives up to the reputation.  Easton has borrowed from its own design processes for pro gloves (both design and materials) and tweaked them for optimal youth play.  It features JPro Cowhide (thinner hide for more “feel” and less resistance to break-in.  It’s oil-tanned and tumbled soft, providing comfort, flexibility and lightweight.  Oiled Hog Hide palm lining is used along with a really soft finger lining for ultimate comfort.  It’s rated for infield use and it sports an 11″ pattern with right-hand throw.

PROS

  • Little break in time needed
  • Durable leather
  • Pro features scaled to youth players

CONS

  • Because it’s so soft and virtually no break-in time is needed, it may not last more than a season or two.

 

Louisville Slugger FG Omaha Select

This Louisville Slugger Omaha baseball glove is designed for young right-handed players. Despite its large size at 12.5 inches, it is very lightweight, so it is comfortable to wear the entirety of the game. With a flexible heel, it fits properly and snug, plus, it provides support for your wrist to avoid any unwanted injuries. Treated with oils and conditioner, this cowhide leather glove is durable and ready to use upon purchase. The Louisville Slugger company suggests that this glove be used by experienced or transitioning players.

PROS

  • Durable leather
  • Flexible webbing

CONS

  • Only for right handed people
  • Best for experienced players

 

How to break in a Glove

Many young baseball players are not well educated when it comes to keeping the glove conditioned and broken in. While most youth baseball gloves are pre-broken in, it is important to know how to break in leather gloves. When breaking in these gloves you must use leather oil that is designed specifically for baseball gloves, sometimes household leather oils can break down or wear out the leather used in baseball gloves. You need to work the oils into the glove to help give the glove more flexibility. After the glove is well oiled, put one or two baseballs into the gloves palm, this is all based on preference or the size of the ball you will be playing with. When the balls are in place wrap the glove with a belt or stick it between your mattresses to give the glove a little bit of stress to help it stretch and form to the size and shape of the ball you will be using.

It is also important to know that when the glove is not in use you should keep a ball in the palm of the glove so it does not lose its shape or form.

Conclusion

While there are many different gloves offered over a variety of brands, shapes, sizes, and types, it is great to single out which gloves are the best on the market. All ten of these gloves are the best for any youth baseball player, but some of them are specific for right or left handed players, or young players, or their specific position.

When looking at the gloves overall, the best youth baseball glove would be the Rawlings Renegade glove. This is a very versatile glove that can be used for multiple positions. Plus Rawlings made this glove for both left and right-handed people and in a variety of sizes. The flexibility in the webbing and full grain leather makes it easy to catch and secure the ball, and the leather is already preconditioned so there is no break in times needed, and you can play with it the moment you make the purchase.

If you want the highest quality baseball glove on this list you should go with the Nokona. Although it is a little pricey, it will last for many seasons, so you will get the best bang for your buck. American made and handcrafted by experts, this is a high-quality glove that is well worth the price tag. While this glove is more specific for pitchers and infielders, you can purchase it in different sizes and for either left or right-handed players.

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