best baseball glove buying guide

Best Baseball Gloves: The 2019 Guide & Brief Baseball Glove Reviews

Like King Arthur’s Excalibur, every hero needs that essential tool that helps them succeed.

For baseball players, that tool is a baseball glove.

Baseball bats come and go, but the best baseball gloves can last a lifetime.

Whether you’re looking for the best youth baseball glove or adult, it’s imperative that you study baseball glove reviews.

best baseball glove buying guide

These will allow you to identify the baseball glove brands that deliver the quality products you’re looking for to reach the highest levels of play.

But, choosing the best baseball glove can be a tough decision.

Even if you study the top 10 baseball glove brands, you’re looking at over twenty different gloves, each with its own design and unique features.

Not to mention, there are varying styles depending on what position you’re playing.

The Guide

Best Baseball Glove 2019 Buying Guide

The purpose of this 2019 Buying Guide for Baseball Gloves is to answer some of the most commonly asked questions with regards to buying the best baseball gloves, as well as acting as a resource that you can use when you shop for your glove, no matter if you’re looking for an adult glove or the best youth baseball glove.

By the end of this guide, you’ll have the necessary information to answer that one key question that all fielders ask: what is the best baseball glove for me?

How Does A Baseball Glove Work?

This may seem like a silly question, but, in order to shop for the best baseball gloves, you need to understand how each part of the glove functions.

Not only will this give you a stronger appreciation for every inch of your glove, but you’ll also be able to better understand baseball glove reviews and the features of each product that make them unique and high-performing.

Heel

This is the bottom of the inside of your glove, right where you’re hand fits. When sizing a glove, the heel is where you measure from (more on this later). The heal is padded with typically high density foam. Some gloves may reinforce this with a plastic insert.

Top quality baseball gloves will feature two separate pads on either side of the heel, which allows the glove to flex and close more easily.

Hinge

The next-door neighbor of the heel, the hinge is the crease of the glove where it folds to close.

You can usually find the hinge by tracing the stitching on either side of the glove to the point where they meet at the bottom.

Finger Stalls

This is where the player’s fingers go when they put the glove on.

The one thing to note about finger stalls is the difference between a baseball glove and a baseball mitt. Mitts don’t have individual finger stalls.

Catchers and first basemen are the only positions concerned with looking for the best baseball mitt.

Palm/Pocket

This is the center of the glove and lines up with where the player’s palm is inside the glove.

The palm is a common place to catch the ball, so expect a lot of padding in this area.

Catcher’s mitts have five times as much padding as a normal, position-player’s glove.

When possible, it’s advantageous for infielders to try and catch balls with the palm of the glove, as it makes transferring the ball to your throwing hand easier than digging it out of the deep webbing.

Webbing

This is the next big catch zone of your glove.

Catching a ball in the webbing isn’t painful, as catching in the palm can be, but it may take a few microseconds longer to transfer the ball and make a throw.

There’s several types of webbings that are favored by different players and positions. We’ll get into this more later in the guide.

How To Size A Baseball Glove

Aside from knowing how a glove functions and the purpose of each part, you also need to know how to properly size a glove.

Otherwise, you could find yourself buying a glove that is too small or too large for your person or position.

sizing a youth baseball glove

Most gloves display the size somewhere on the leather, usually along the pinky or thumb finger stalls.

If you aren’t sure of the size, you can measure it yourself with a fabric tape measure by checking the length from the middle of the glove’s heel to the top of the index finger stall.

Your typical baseball glove will run from 8 inches (youth baseball gloves) to 15 inches, with catcher’s mitts measuring as high as 35 inches!

The ideal size for a glove is based on the player’s position and their personal preference.

Some players may like a glove that is a little larger, or smaller, than the recommended length for their position.

baseball glove size chart for youth and adults

Again, these are recommended sizes. If you prefer a smaller or larger glove, then play with what best suits your preferences.

Top 10 Best Baseball Glove Brands

Before you know what to buy, you need to know the top 10 baseball gloves brands, as this will help you know which manufacturers to buy from.

There are many baseball glove brands that you’ll be familiar with, like Nike or Rawlings, but many don’t operate outside of the glove industry, which means they aren’t those household names we’re used to seeing.

Nonetheless, each company on this list makes a strong case for being the best baseball glove company out there.

It really boils down to player preference and price.

Nike

There is no sport out there that doesn’t know the name Nike and its swoosh logo.

It is easily the most recognizable sports apparel and equipment brand because they consistently make high-quality, stylish products.

They also make good baseball gloves that range the spectrum from youth to adult and affordable to expensive.

Wilson

Wilson is a dominant force in the industry and, without a doubt, one of the best glove brands out there.

Their Wilson A2000 and A2K model gloves are the highest rated baseball gloves all the way up to the pro levels.

No matter what position or type of player you are, these top baseball gloves are always a great option.

Spalding

One of the oldest baseball glove brands on the market and they are still making top baseball gloves today.

That alone is enough to be on this list of top 10 baseball gloves brands, but it definitely helps that their products are made from quality materials and with great design elements.

Rawlings

Next to Wilson, Rawlings is the other titan of baseball glove manufacturers.

Their top gloves are made from only the highest grade leather, which guarantees quality and long-lasting durability.

These gloves are used and loved by players at all levels of the game, including Major League Baseball.

Nokona

While not a household brand name, that shouldn’t stop you from exploring the Nokona company.

One of the standout qualities of their top baseball gloves is the kangaroo leather that the products are made from.

This exotic material is extremely lightweight. It’s also one of the most durable leathers in the world.

That’s the best of both worlds!

Shoeless Joe

In terms of the leather of the glove, the only brand that perhaps rivals Nokona’s kangaroo leather is the Shoeless Joe company.

That’s because their gloves are specially made to feel, look and even smell like a vintage baseball glove.

They use aged, antique tobacco leathers that are hand-sewn and rubbed with “Old Time Ingredients.”

The experience of playing with a Shoeless Joe glove is unlike any other.

Mizuno

Based in Japan, Mizuno has quickly become a favorite brand for many baseball players.

Mizuno’s entire focus is on making equipment that functions at a high level.

Their baseball gloves feature cutting-edge designs and patterns that put them a step above.

All Star

If you’re a catcher, then you definitely want to pay close attention to the All Star brand.

While they do make gloves for all positions, it’s their catcher’s mitts that really shine.

And, many of their gloves and mitts are reasonably priced.

Easton

There’s no doubt that the Easton brand name carries a lot of weight in the baseball world, especially when it comes to their always-cutting-edge bats.

In terms of gloves, they are also a top competitor and a must-include name when discussing who makes the best baseball glove.

Under Armour

There’s a lot of similarities between a glove company like Under Armour and Nike. Both are better known for their all-sport athletic apparel.

Yet, neither company lets that stop them from developing great baseball gloves for players of all ages and levels of play.

High-end Under Armour baseball gloves are some of the best tools that money can buy.

The Different Types Of Baseball Glove Webbings

There’s eight different styles of webbings, each with its own purpose or intent.

The type of webbing most suited for your best all around baseball glove will largely depend on your position, but there is some simple personal preference at play too, as there’s sometimes multiple different styles for one position.

Basket Web: Many types of webbings have small or large openings in between the stitching or the web itself, as is the case with I- or H-webs. Basket webbed gloves can be easier to close because of the interweaving leather pieces that create the basket.

Trapeze Web: Capable of opening wider than other glove webbings, the trapeze is a great option for players that need a larger catch zone.

Modified Trapeze Web: These gloves mirror a trapeze, but have a more reinforced webbing thanks to added construction to the top of the glove.

This added stability is good for snagging a scorching line drive with the top of the glove, as the reinforced webbing won’t bend back at the hard impact of the ball.

I-Web: Named because the leather of the webbing creates an I-shaped pattern, these gloves promise quick catching and transferring to throwing hand.

The transparent webbing makes it a little easier to catch pop flys, as you can look right through the webbing.

Dual Post Web: Also known as the H-web, this style shares a lot of commonalities with the I-web, but they are a little sturdier and more flexible.

Single Post Web: This web style looks a lot like an I-web, but with an added horizontal strip.

It provides great visibility that is good for receiving a ball around the infield or pop flys.

Double Post Web: Single and double post webs look very different from one another, but they function very similarly.

The biggest difference is that double post webs don’t have that supreme visibility.

Two-Piece Web: These gloves are generally heavier because there’s added leather in the webbing, which is stitched tightly together.

Similar to the basket web, the two-piece web is closed, so there’s no visibility.

Baseball Glove Types By Position

Each position on the diamond has unique responsibilities, which separates it from the other eight spots.

choosing the right glove for your position

Depending on what part of the field you play, you need the best baseball glove type to help you handle those duties.

What Is The Best Type Of Glove For Pitchers?

The best glove for a pitcher is something with a closed webbing. This helps disguise their grip on the ball.

If they used an I-web glove, it would be easy for the batter to pick up what type of pitch is coming, based on the gripping.

Thus, pitchers generally prefer a basket or two-piece web.

In terms of the biomechanics of pitching, the heavier two-piece webbed gloves act as a slight counterweight to the pitching arm.

What Is The Best Type of Glove For Infielders?

Infielders have a lot of options when it comes to the type of webbing in their glove.

By far, the most favorable is the I-web, especially for middle-infielders.

These gloves are typically lighter, so the player can really flash their glove for a quick catch, whether on a line or a grounder.

And, the webbing has high visibility, which helps when a player is covering the bag or settling under an infield flyball.

Single post and H-web gloves are also great options for infielders.

What Is The Best Type of Glove For First Base?

As mentioned before, first basemen actually use baseball mitts, instead of gloves.

These are better for scooping balls in the dirt, which can potentially save a bad throw from skipping by the fielder and hand the runner an easy extra base.

As far as webbing style, the number three position favors the single post web.

What Is The Best Type of Glove For Second Base?

The great visibility and lightweight design of I-web gloves is perfect for any middle infielder.

What Is The Best Type of Glove For Shortstop?

Same as second base, the I-web is really unmatched, especially when you want to quickly transfer the ball and try and turn two.

What Is The Best Type of Glove For Third Base?

The best glove for third base is a toss up between an I and H-web.

Like any infield position, the I-web is a great and popular choice.

But, third basemen will sometimes choose an H-web because it is a little sturdier and can help stand up against bullets down the line.

What Is The Best Type of Glove For Outfielders?

Outfielders are split on which style is the best.

Some prefer the visibility of an h-web style, while others like a trapeze or modified trapeze webbing, because this creates the most amount of catching surface.

More catching surface is great when you are ranging to make a long catch and need that extra inch of leather.

What Is The Best Type of Glove For Catchers?

Catchers need an extra padded mitt that is specifically designed for the position.

Some catcher’s mitts use a brighter color leather in the pocket, which makes it easier for the pitcher to see the target.

The Best Baseball Glove For Each Position

Now that we’ve looked at the best types of gloves for each position, it’s time to look at specific gloves from some of the best glove brands.

choosing the best glove for each position

Unlike our typical review guides, which include lengthy descriptions of each product, this buyer’s guide will be much more brief.

We’ll look at two options for each position, including some options for the best youth baseball glove.

Best Baseball Gloves For Pitchers

Best In Show: Under Armour Flawless 12-Inch Baseball Glove

It may be surprising to see an Under Armour glove considered one of the best pro baseball gloves because the market is so dominated by brands like Rawlings and Wilson, but this glove delivers.

Under Armour Flawless 12-Inch Baseball Glove UAFGFL-12002P

A mix of high-quality Japanese Steer Hide and Pittards leather makes for a quality, comfortable glove.

And, the two-piece web design is perfect for masking pitchers.

The drawback is the massive price tag that this glove carries.

Runner Up: Wilson A2000 B212 SS 12-Inch Baseball Glove

The Wilson A2000 is a glove that you’re going to hear a lot about; it’s possibly the best baseball glove for the money.

Wilson makes a lot of different versions for various positions and each one is better than the last.

2018 Wilson A2000 B212 SS 12-Inch Baseball Glove

This model is slightly longer than other Wilson A2000 gloves. This larger pocket coupled with a two-piece web is perfect for hiding your grip before delivering that punchout pitch.

It’s a little cheaper and lighter than the Under Armour Flawless, but you still get quality leather and a great design.

Best Baseball Gloves For Infielders

Best In Show: Wilson A2K Series Baseball Glove

The Wilson A2000 may be the best glove for the money, in most circumstances, but the A2K is the Holy Grail of Wilson’s lineup (and perhaps all baseball gloves).

The price is hard to swallow, but this glove is practically guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Wilson A2K Series Glove (WTA2KRB181787)

This price and durability are thanks to Wilson’s commitment to only use the top 5% of the leather they receive for these gloves.

The stronger leather takes some time to break in, but it comes in several different sizes and the I-web style is perfect for infielders.

Runner Up: Rawlings Gold Glove Collection Opti-Core Baseball Glove

Rawlings is another titan in the glove market. Their Gold Glove Collection is the height of their lineup.

Each glove is handsewn; there’s no machine manufacturing here!

Rawlings Gold Glove Collection Opti-Core Baseball Glove

They even number and sign each glove with the maker’s name.

There’s two things that make these gloves a great secondary option.

  1. First, a premium palm lining on the inner hand makes this glove one of the most comfortable to wear (you’ll love it during long innings in bad weather).
  2. Second, Rawlings Opti-Core technology consists of layers of pre-curved cushioning that not only protects the hand, but also adds to the comfort of the palm lining.

This thing feels like a cloud on your hand!

For more information on infield baseball gloves refer to the “Best Infield Glove 2019 Buying Guide”.

Best Baseball Mitts For First Basemen

Best In Show: Rawlings Heart Of The Hide Dual Core First Base Mitt

Available in either a 12.5- or 13-inch pattern, the Heart of the Hide series of Rawlings gloves and mitts are a favorite by athletes even at the Major League level.

It’s a single post, double bar webbed mitt made from Tennessee rawhide laces and Horween “Featherlite” leather.

Rawlings Heart Of The Hide Dual Core Series First Base Mitt

These materials create a sturdy, but lightweight mitt that’s capable of scooping balls out of the dirt, quickly applying the tag and any other task on the first baseman’s list of duties.

If you’re looking for the best youth baseball glove, there’s a smaller Heart of the Hide glove for younger players.

Runner Up: Rawlings Renegade First Base Mitt

If you’re looking for a good, cheap baseball glove with plenty of quality features, then look no further than the Rawlings Renegade.

Whether you’re a youth or adult player, Rawlings makes a renegade mitt for you.

Rawlings Renegade First Base Mitt

This mitt has a deep pocket that securely contains balls, so you don’t have to worry about that throw in the dirt bouncing out.

For hand protection and comfort, the Renegade mitts have palm pads that disperse impact.

The sizes for this mitt range up to 12.5 inches.

So, if you like a larger pattern, as a first baseman, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

Best Baseball Gloves For Outfielders

Best In Show: Nokona X2 Elite Series Outfielder Glove

You might not be familiar with the Nokona brand, but top-level players know that they make some of the best pro baseball gloves.

One feature that baseball glove reviews always point out, and we mentioned earlier in this guide, is that these gloves are made from kangaroo leather.

This material is not only one of the most durable leathers out there, but it is also very lightweight.

Nokona X2-1275 Elite Series Outfielder Glove

This makes it easier for the outfielder to quickly throw their glove up and make that outstanding catch in the hardest to reach parts of the field.

Outfielders can choose between an H-web or modified trapeze design, which appeases the common glove type preferences held by outfielders.

Runner Up: Wilson A2000 Series Outfielder Baseball Glove

Again, the Wilson A2000 makes an appearance as one of the top rated baseball gloves for any position.

It’s more affordable than the Nokona gloves (kangaroo leather isn’t cheap).

The leather that this glove is made from is high-quality and durable.

Wilson A2000 Series Outfielder Baseball Glove

Inside the glove is a Dri-Lex lining that helps control sweat, even during the hottest day games.

It’s constructed with the popular H-web, which gives an outfielder great visibility, especially on pop flys when they are battling the sun.

Wilson also allows you to choose the colors and aesthetic design of your glove, which makes the A2000 one of the best looking baseball gloves out there.

Honorable Mention: Shoeless Joe 1400HW Outfield Glove

This glove makes the list because they are some of the coolest baseball gloves, in terms of appearance.

As mentioned earlier, the Shoeless Joe gloves are built from special aged tobacco leather, which is then hand-cut, sewn and rubbed with “Old Time Ingredients.”

Shoeless Joe Professional Series 1400HW Outfield Glove

The end result is a product that looks and feels like an antique baseball glove, with the durability and performance of any glove offered by the best baseball glove brands.

If you’ve never worn an older, antique glove, it is an experience unlike any other.

This outfield glove has a massive 14-inch pattern and is an H-web pattern.

Shoeless Joe also makes the same glove with a trapeze and modified trapeze web.

Best Baseball Mitts For Catchers

Best In Show: All Star Pro Elite Series CM3000 Catcher’s Mitt

All Star’s CM3000 catcher’s mitt is used by more pro catchers than any other competing product.

Made from Japanese Tanned Steerhide Leather for long-lasting durability, this mitt is handcrafted and immensely soft.

All Star Pro Elite Series CM3000SBT Catcher’s Mitt

It’s protective, yet also lightweight and the bright tan leather of the pocket is a great target for pitchers.

Also great wins for this premier baseball mitt are the extended pocket and premier toe features, which are designed to make it easier to scoop balls in the dirt and prevent them from scooting away.

Runner Up: 2017 Wilson A2000 32.5-Inch Pudge Catcher’s Mitt

Despite being a 2017 model catcher’s mitt, the Wilson A2000 32.5-Inch Pudge is an exclusive model inspired by one of the game’s greatest players behind the plate, Ivan Rodriguez.

It features the same Dri-Lex liner to wick sweat, which is key for the catcher’s position.

Wilson A2000 32.5-Inch Pudge Catcher’s Mitt

The open back design and large, 32.5-inch pattern are added bonuses.

The pocket of this mitt is not only deep, but also made from durable, quality leather, which provides continuous performance for many seasons to come.

For more info on catcher’s mitts (for youth and adults) refer to the “Best Catcher’s Mitt 2019 Buying Guide.”

Best Youth Baseball Mitts

Best In Show: Rawlings Renegade Youth Series Baseball Gloves

We mentioned the Rawlings Renegade as one of the best baseball gloves for first base, but there are also youth Renegades available in different styles for other positions.

The Renegade stands out because of its soft, quality leather.

The youth models feel no different from their adult counterparts, so any young athlete can feel just like the big pros.

Rawlings Renegade Series Youth Baseball Gloves

And, it is possibly the best youth baseball glove for players that want to save some money because it is one of the best affordable baseball gloves too.

Runner Up: Mizuno Youth MVP Prime Future GMVP1150PY1 Glove

It’s no secret that youth players can be a little afraid of the ball, whether they are at the plate or in the field.

The Mizuno Youth MVP Prime Future tries to fix this issue with Tartan Shock Webbing.

This feature is designed to reduce any sting or discomfort felt when catching or fielding a ball.

Mizuno Youth MVP Prime Future GMVP1150PY1 Baseball Glove

It’s helped by the soft, smooth leather that is oil-rubbed for even added comfort!

This glove is very versatile and is usable by youth infielders, outfielders and pitchers.

Honorable Mention: Mizuno Prospect GXF102 Youth First Base Mitt

This product is designed for a youth first baseman and it has a lot of performance-enhancing features that help this position.

For example, the ParaShock Palm Pad cuts down on any pain caused by catching a hard-thrown ball.

Mizuno Prospect GXF102 Youth Baseball First Base Mitt

Another feature, the Power Close/Lock technology, allows this mitt to open and close more naturally than other models.

This can be an invaluable tool for a young player that is only just learning how to properly catch a ball.

Conclusions

As you journey to find your Excalibur, the best baseball glove for you, we hope that this buying guide is a resource you can continuously rely on to answer questions and refer back to.

For more in-depth baseball gloves reviews, be sure to check the other resources on this website.