It’s never easy when starting off trying to find the best equipment for a young player starting out in baseball. However, whether it be Little Leagues or Big Barrel, it is so important to be able to find the best youth baseball gloves to suit your needs. Of course having elite equipment won’t instantly make you a better player – but it will help better your technique, provide better comfort, and consequently, will make you perform better.
Of course, other than finding the right bat to suit your needs, a baseball glove is the second more important piece of equipment that all players need in their inventory. Quality doesn’t always mean expensive. When buying for a youth player, having regards to the price is so important. Young players will grow out of their gear reasonably quickly – but naturally, you don’t want to find something that only lasts one season.
This guide will seek to provide you the best information you need to have when finding the right glove. Whether it be the size, differences in infield and outfield gloves, differences in glove design, or differences in glove material – we seek to find the best youth baseball gloves. Price and quality are of upmost importance in any analysis.
|Image||Product||Our Rating||Quick Notes|
|Rawlings Prodigy Series|
Mako Youth Series
|Louisville Slugger Genesis|
This is just a brief overview as to what we consider to be the best youth baseball gloves. Take note of our small conclusions. Each product is looked at a little further in depth below. Just click on the ‘Read More’ to jump to it!
Factors to Consider
First thing – if you’re a catcher, then you would need to find a specific catcher’s mitt and the right gear for the position. They are measured differently, offer more padding and protection, and a generally much larger. The gloves on this list are not suited to catchers.
Usually gloves are split up depending on whether you are an infield player, outfield player, or pitcher. For beginner players, it doesn’t really matter too much as to what type of glove you get. Usually players will be placed all over the defensive field during their early years, and pitchers won’t have enough different throws that they need to conceal their grip. A well fitting infield or outfield glove is suitable for people playing at these young ages. Our recommendation is just getting a generic glove to start with until you have a permanent position.
However, if you’ve become a bit of a nifty pitcher, you’re going to want to conceal what grip you have on the baseball. You’ll need a suitable webbing.
Also – if you’ve been given a permanent defensive position, you’re going to need a suitable glove. This all relies on size. We do not look at first base gloves in this review.
Yeah. We probably didn’t even have to say it. Finding the right baseball glove is mostly dependent on making sure you have the right size.
First thing to remember – gloves go on your non-throwing hand. If you throw with your right hand, don’t get a glove that says “left throwing hand.” Seems silly? It happens more often than you’d think.
A good indicator for sizes is in the following table. If you’re a dedicated outfield player, as you can see, you’ll require a bigger size.
|Under 7||8″ – 10.5″||9″||9″ – 10.5″|
|8 – 10||10.5″ – 11.5″||9″ – 10″||10″ – 12″|
|11-13||11.5″ – 12″||9″ – 10″||11.75″ – 12.75″|
|14 and Over||11.5″ – 12″||10.5″ – 11.5″||12″ – 13″|
The best thing about finding the right youth baseball glove is that size isn’t too big of an issue. Make sure you don’t get a glove that’s too small. But if it’s slightly larger than recommended (one size up), then it usually be just fine.
Most gloves are easily adjustable at a youth age, so even where it may initially seem loose, it can be tightened. This is a huge benefit where a young player is due a massive growth spurt.
Before we mention what the best youth baseball gloves are made of, we need to make it clear. Do not buy plastic gloves. They are uncomfortable, unbreathable and break really quickly. They’re designed for infants to practice in a backyard – not for leagues like the Little League.
Professional gloves are usually made from authentic, high quality leathers. Whilst these are the most durable, they’re usually not the most ideal for satisfying best youth baseball gloves criterion. Youth mitts are made from other materials such as mesh, synthetic leather, and cheaper leather options. This is usually because youth equipment doesn’t need to be the same level of durability as professional gloves. Different materials does also mean different price ranges. The more durable, the more expensive.
In terms of webbing, some positions like outfield players and third basement need to have larger, deeper pockets. This is to take care of pop flies and line drives. In the alternative, infielders best suit a more open web in order to quickly transfer the ball to their throwing arm. If you would like to take a look at the different web options that are available to players, Baseball Monkey provides a great tutorial.
Don’t forget though – youth players do get moved around a lot. The best option – until they have a permanent position – is to just get a standard infield or outfield glove that ticks off all these requirements. You’ll notice that with most youth gloves, they are made with closed webs with larger pockets. This is mainly because youth players need to ensure that they learn how to best catch a baseball within the web as opposed to the glove itself.
Finally, pitcher’s gloves are unique – they want their webbing to conceal the pitch they are going to throw. In this case, any closed web or basket will be suitable for pitchers.
The Best Youth Baseball Gloves
This is where the fun begins. The following gloves are what we consider to be the best youth baseball gloves on the market at the moment. They all offer high quality, as well as an affordable price. There’s no point getting a glove to last 5 years for a youth player aged 7. We factor this into consideration. We also provide a little bit of detail as to what we think the glove is most suited to.
The Mizuno prospect is a great glove for beginners, made especially for youth players with a short break in period to ensure that younger players aren’t frustrated with how long it takes for the glove to feel comfortable. Mizuno is definitely one of the better companies when first buying a mitt, and surprisingly, will not break the bank for what it offers.
The PowerClose technology, patented by Mizuno, allows for the baseball to tuck in nicely within the mitt. Upon impact, the hinge allows for the easy grip of the ball, securing the catch. This is in conjunction with Mizuno’s Parashock Palm Pad, which allows for a greater understanding by children that the ball is to be caught in the web, not in the glove.
This glove’s only downside is it’s durability. This is mainly due to it’s price point, and the fact that it isn’t made with the highest quality of leathers. This is what makes the glove so soft – designed for youth players.
This particular glove comes in an 11.5 inch size, but is also adjustable to ensure that the fit is suited to the player. We would not recommend this for anyone over the age of 13. If you’re player is just starting out aged around 5-7, Mizuno also have the glove in an 11 inch size.
A fantastically affordable mitt, and one of Amazon’s best seller. This is a serious contender for best youth baseball gloves, and our Top Pick.
The Wilson A360, whilst not made specific to youth players, is a fantastic option in terms of affordability and quality. Coming in an 11-inch size, whilst it may not suit a dedicated outfield player – Wilson assures it does the job all around the ballpark. This will absolutely fit younger players starting from about 7 years old up to 11 years old (dependant on hand size and prior mitt sizes). This is a short term option and usually too small for adults.
This particular glove is made with half leather/half synthetic material. The quality is exceptional given it’s price point. However, don’t expect it to last forever. This is a one or two season glove at most.
The A360 also takes no time to break in. However, the most important feature is that this mitt could be perfectly suited to a starting pitcher due to the enclosed web design. The corset web will hide any grip you may have on the baseball. The only downside is the pocket doesn’t really stretch that deep.
A fantastic option at a really affordable price point. One of the better options out there to start with.
When people say baseball, people think Rawlings. It’s an age old brand with equipment that meets their reputation. The Prodigy Series, in particular, is a step up from their Player Series glove. The Player Series, whilst a fantastic glove, is more suited to beginner players aged 3-5. Their 11 inch Player Series glove is also mostly suited to beginners, with a weaker material. If that’s the type of glove you’re after – that’s the glove for you.
Back to the Prodigy Series glove, what makes it so special is that it is made with high quality, all leather shell. It definitely isn’t top grade leather, but it’s better than most other options out there. Durability will probably last one or two seasons. However, due to this increased durability, it will take a little bit of time breaking in. Rawling states that it’s 20% Player Break in, which means 80% is already done for you. Something to keep in mind.
This youth baseball glove is what can be considered a pro-model glove in terms of shape, style and feel – but suited to youth with growing hands. This is seen as the glove is designed with smaller hand openings, and lowered finger stalls. Size is 10.75″ and will work for either infield/outfield or pitcher.
If you want a Rawlings, then this is what we think is the best youth baseball glove made by Rawlings. Slightly higher price – you pay for increased quality.
This is definitely Easton’s premier baseball glove for youth players – but with great quality, comes a higher price. The Easton Mako Series glove is made with a oil tanned and soft cowhide that is absolutely perfect for youth players. It’s soft, doesn’t require a long break in period, and super flexible to hold onto those catches. It is 100% leather, and comes in 11″, 11.5″ and 12″
It also has the professional feel about the glove. Similar to the Rawlings, Easton do not underestimate the seriousness that youth players take in baseball. This is a glove designed for youth players who want that authentic feel and can make the step to adult gloves seamlessly. This is a very high quality glove, and if not for the slightly higher price point for a youth player, would probably be one of the best youth baseball gloves on the market.
Before purchasing, make sure you understand that the 11″ glove has an I web, 11.5″ has amodified trapeze and the 12″ has an H type web. Most different companies have different webbing for different sizes. The most common web is the I-Web (as shown above).
The Louisville Slugger brand is also a historic, renown brand of baseball equipment – so you know that what you’re buying is usually of the highest quality. In particular, the Genesis meets this criteria. It’s made with a full grain buffalo leather and nylon mesh backing. The nylon mesh is there to enhance the flexibility of the glove so youth players find it easier to open and close the glove. Similarly, the leather is already broken in, so it will feel soft to the hand straight out of the box.
Similarly, as it’s made from a buffalo leather, you can be assured that the glove will be fairly durable. Expect it to last a season at the absolute minimum.
Finally, the glove is lined with Lousville’s X-ultrasoft material. Not only does this make the glove extra soft on the inside, but the enhanced comfort level means that a youth player can focus on improving their skills, as opposed to constantly wanting a more comfortable glove. The Velcro strap on the wrist of the glove makes sure you can adjust it to their own size.
A seriously good option, but more suited to younger ages of 5-8.
Breaking in the Glove
People often want to know what the best way to break in a brand new glove. As expected, the best way to break in a brand new glove is to play with it. Practice with it every chance you get, and over time, it will start to conform to your hand and feel nice and soft.
These gloves that we consider to be the leading and best youth baseball gloves are all mostly already broken into at the factory stage. Our recommendation is to avoid all the gimmicks in trying to speed up the breaking in process. A baseball glove oil or conditioner will slowly loosen the leather over time – but in our opinion, the best method is get the glove on your hand, and go practice with it.
Apart from bats, having a good quality, strong and durable youth baseball glove is absolutely necessary for any budding baseballer. Not only will these gloves help aid players learn the basics of catching, but they are comfortable and designed purely for youth players. All gloves on this list are considered to be the best in the current market.
In terms of quality, a low price range, and something that will last for more than a season, we can’t go past the Mizuno Prospect.
In saying that, research will only get you so far. This guide is only our opinion. Checking Amazon reviews for customer feedback, as well as asking any of your teammates, colleagues or friends will help immensely in your quest to find the most suited glove for you.
Furthermore, if you have a preference to brand, have used their gear, and have had no issues. Then there is no real reason why you should not stick with them. Then again… if you want a change, it’s best to stick with similar characteristics that made you fall in love with your old glove.
None of these the best youth baseball gloves to you?
If we have missed anything that you consider to be important for youth players when looking for the right glove for baseball, please let us know. We’re always on the open to reviews, opinions and general feedback.