Some of the most remembered and time-honored baseball theatrics have come at the hands (and gloves) of outfielders — Willie Mays’ and “The Catch,” Kirby Puckett’s leap in Game 6 of the 1991 World Series, Bo Jackson’s famous Spiderman-style grabs at the wall and so on.
With so much room to protect, these players have arguably the toughest and most active defensive positions on the diamond.
Thus, they need the best outfield gloves available to help with this expansive list of duties.
Routinely, they must move in to backup infielders, move way out to defend against the long ball, throw base runners out from impossible distances, dive for line drives hit into the gap, slide to snag a weak pop fly in the shallow parts of the grass and leap at the wall to protect from a would-be home run.
Outfielder’s gloves are the largest and will typically measure close to 13 inches. This gives them a greater reach in the field, which is especially crucial for making those highlight-worthy catches on the run.
When it comes to the design, a trapeze or H-web for outfield gloves are the most popular styles.
They are constructed in these ways because they offer the most webbing or largest “basket” that can be used to catch balls. Additionally, they allow the glove to open wider than other styles, which increases the surface area and “catch zone” of the glove. This can mean the difference between making a play and just missing the ball.
Choosing The Best Outfield Glove
When it comes to selecting the best outfield glove for you or your young player, there’s a number of things to consider. The largest concern, for most players, is price. Everyone has a different budget when it comes to shopping for sporting equipment and not every player can afford the top rated outfield gloves. Luckily, there are plenty of cheap outfield gloves that still deliver on performance and quality materials. So, whether you are a player on a budget or simply want a glove for playing catch with friends or a backup mitt for practices, there are options available.
For the most part, the biggest differentiator, in terms of the price of outfield gloves, is the quality of the leather and other materials used.
Expensive gloves are highly priced primarily because they use a higher (and thereby more expensive) cut or quality of leather; some gloves are even made from the hides of more exotic animals.
Higher quality leathers can be good for two primary reasons:
The first is their durability. This is especially important in terms of the lacings, as these thin leather straps are often the first part of good outfield gloves to go.
Secondly, some of the best baseball field gloves use high-quality leathers in their construction because they are lighter.
When a glove is made from lightweight materials, it is easier for the player to raise his or her arm to make a catch.
While this small difference in weight may seem insignificant, there are plenty of plays in the outfield where the fielder just missed the ball with their glove. Those extra microseconds with a lighter outfield glove can make the difference. Because of their impressive durability, the high end, top rated outfield gloves are an investment. That said, most players don’t need an expensive, high-quality leather glove. For example, the best youth outfield glove doesn’t have to be made from ultra-durable, kangaroo leather materials because it only needs to last a few short seasons.
Top 10 Outfield Baseball Gloves Reviews
Your legendary, Mays-esque Catch could be waiting in your next game and without the right tool on your hand, you could just miss it, literally.
The following are our picks for 10 of the best outfield baseball gloves of 2018.
We’ve assembled this list to take into account the various budgets and needs of different players. Thus, we’ve included both affordable choices and high-priced ones.
Whether you are looking for the best outfield glove for a 10-year-old or the absolute best outfield glove on the market to raise your game to the next level, this definitive list has got you covered. At the conclusion of these reviews, we’ll pick some of the best outfield gloves for various categories, like best youth outfield baseball glove, most affordable outfield glove, etc. As always, these are listed in no particular order.
Akadema Pro Soft Series ALN225 Outfielder Glove
Akadema has been around for just under 20 years. Their baseball and softball equipment sees play at all levels and the company’s advisory board even has a couple of Hall of Fame members, like Gary Carter and Ozzie Smith. Despite being professionally-inspired and designed for the top levels of play, Akadema equipment remains incredibly affordable to appease the non-professionals that are looking for a competitive edge. Akadema’s black leather Pro Soft Series ALN225 has a closed basket webbing with extra deep pockets.
At 12.5 inches, it is ideal for snagging line drives, chasing down pop flies or making an over-the-shoulder basket catch because it has such a sizable surface area. The closed back of the glove fasten with a strap to ensure a snug fit on any player’s hand. Thanks to the soft leather, this glove is not only easy to break in, but also comfortable on the hand. However, softer leather tends to be less durable and may need replacing after a couple seasons of heavy play.
Quality glove with affordable price
Extra deep pockets secure caught balls
5-inch pocket produces massive catching surface area
Soft leather is less durable
For its price, the Akadema Pro Soft Series ALN225 is one of the best cheap outfield gloves out there.
Rawlings Pro Preferred Outfielder Glove
Jumping up the price scale is the brand new, Pro Preferred Outfielder Glove by Rawlings. Constructed from bruciato leather, this is a great example of a H-web glove made from one of the best leathers available. Not only is it sturdy and provides a short break in time, but the leather also looks immaculate with a stylish tanned, tawny appearance. The laces are made from Tennessee tanned rawhide, which helps hold the webbing of the glove together for longer and provides an all-around better structure to the glove.
Rawlings also doesn’t spare any expense when it comes to the lining of this outfielder glove. A combination of Pittards Performance Sheepskin lining the palm and 100% wool lining the wrist makes even the longest game feel cool and comfortable. For performance, the Rawlings Pro Preferred glove has a vast 12.75-inch pattern, which yields plenty of surface to snag a ball and get the putout. Because of this large design, it is one of the best outfielders gloves for high school and older, adult leagues.
High quality, bruciato leather, looks, feels and performs well
Massive catch surface means fewer balls will drop in for hits
Glove laces have long-lasting durability to increase the longevity of the mitt
H-web design isn’t every fielder’s preference
High cost means it is a big investment for a player without a large budget
The Rawlings Pro Preferred bruciato leather glove achieves what it sets out to do and that is be a high-quality glove capable of high performance. The drawback is that it achieves this with expensive features, which isn’t in every outfielder’s budget.
Easton MAKO Pro Series Outfielder Glove
With a 12.75-inch pattern and a combination of authentic steer hide and synthetic leather, the Easton MAKO Pro Series glove for outfielders is a great and affordable option. The synthetic leather (dubbed “Syntec Hide”) is used in areas of the glove that take less abuse during play, while authentic cowhide is placed in the webbing and pocket because of its extra durable characteristics. Thus, the glove is lighter than most, thanks to the Syntec Hide, but remains durable. Also helping the glove’s durability is the rawhide lacing, which has a tensile strength of 100 pounds.
This means you never have to worry about the lacing tearing and needing repair, no matter how hard you play. As a light glove, the Easton MAKO Pro Series allows the user to bring their glove hand up faster, which is tremendously helpful on line drive plays and when catching balls on the run. The large size, deep pocket and H-web design makes the MAKO Pro Series glove an excellent tool for any outfielder.
Lightweight materials make flashing the leather on tough plays all the easier
Extra strong laces ensure long-term durability
75-inch webbing produces a larger-than-normal pocket that is both wide and deep
An older glove that isn’t available everywhere
H-web pattern only
The Easton MAKO Pro Series outfielder’s glove is a cheap outfield glove that has a big pocket to devour balls.
Nokona X2 Elite Series Outfielder Glove
The main reason for the Nokona X2 Elite Series’ high price point is because it made from kangaroo leather. This exotic animal’s hide is actually one of the toughest leathers in the world. And, also one of the lightest. When it comes to baseball gloves, it is easy to see why kangaroo leather would be almost without equal. The light weight allows players to move their gloved hand quicker, which is vital when charging down scorching line drives and extending the mitt for the catch.
The 12.75-inch pattern is standard for outfield gloves and is an ideal size for ensnaring pop flies. Aside from the benefits of the kangaroo leather, the Nokona X2 also features a top-grain steer hide on parts of the glove’s exterior. Inside the glove, the company’s specialty Nolera Composite Padding System delivers superb protection and a moderate amount of comfort. This is enhanced by the already-soft feel of the kangaroo leather. The Nokona X2 Elite Series allows players to choose between a modified trapeze web or the H-web design.
Choosing the latter, however, means paying an increased price. This is worth an eye-raise considering the already high price of this outfielder’s glove.
Kangaroo leather is one of the most durable and lightest materials for gloves
Available in both H-web and trapeze pattern
Hand is protected thanks to the Nolera Composite Padding System
Very high price
Interior comfort leaves something to be desired
Similar to the Rawlings Pro Preferred, the Nokona X2 has a tremendous design and uses some of the best materials available, but these features come with a hefty price.
Rawlings Prodigy 12-Inch Youth Outfielder Glove
Youth players desire a professional-looking glove that fits their hand. That’s why the Rawlings Prodigy has a 12-inch pattern, as it is better suited for a younger player’s size and needs. The all-leather shell of the glove and H-web structure makes it look like what the Major League All-Stars use.
Both the palm and fingers of the player are padded. For younger players, this is nice because they are still learning the fundamentals of fielding, which means they don’t always catch balls in the webbing. Reinforcing this padding is a 3D foam lining, which adds a little bit of extra protection, but also some comfort. The Pro Taper structure of the glove produces a snug fit on any young player’s hand. Youth gloves, the Prodigy included, have typically long break-in periods.
Thus, it is advisable to purchase this and other youth gloves before the season starts to have ample time to loosen the otherwise-stiff leather up.
Appropriate Youth-level size
Padding and foam liner provide both protection and comfort for the player’s hand
Has a professionally-inspired look to it
May take some time to break in and loosen the leather up
A youth glove with the specialty of being designated an “outfielder’s” glove is a rare commodity. With its padding and foam liner, it protects the player’s hands from hard line drivers and will keep a young player in the game longer.
Wilson A2000 Series Outfielder Glove
The Wilson A2000 gloves are right on the cusp of being a high-end glove and, depending on the depth of your budget, may in fact fall into that category. Nonetheless, their Pro Stock Leather makes the price all worth it. This leather material has a tough grain structure which allows it to retain shape and maintain the glove’s integrity longer than other mitts.
Also helping to improve shape retention is the A2000’s rolled dual welting process. The dual post web of the A2000 is a classic style for outfield gloves because it creates an ultra-deep pocket and allows the glove to be opened wider. This expands its surface area further than the typical 12.75-inch pattern would allow, for even more catching potential. For comfort and breathability, Wilson constructed the A2000 Series with Dri-Lex lining on the wrist strap, which helps wick sweat and maintain a snug fit on the player’s hand. There are a number of different styles to the Wilson A2000, many inspired by the models that the real pros use. If those don’t appeal to you, you can even make your own custom glove, which not only allows you to choose the style, but also all of the color options.
Holds its shape for longer
Interior of the glove leverages Dri-Lex lining to wick sweat and maintain a comfortable fit
Large pattern yields wide catching surface and deep pocket
Mid-to-high range price may be a little too much for some players
A lot of players swear by the Wilson A2000 and for good reason. Its ultra-durable and maintains its shape for longer than the offerings of Wilson’s competitors.
Mizuno MVP Prime SE Outfielder Glove
The Mizuno MVP Prime highlights a lot of the reasons why some outfielders prefer trapeze-style webbing. The center pocket of this glove is constructed to be in the middle of the index finger, which creates a more versatile break-in. This means the player can form the glove to their choosing. It is made from Bio Soft leather that has a smooth, cushiony feel to it. Despite its soft profile, the glove remains firm and maintains its shape well. This delivers more control by preventing caught balls from sinking too deep into the webbing of the glove.
Unfortunately, as soft as this leather is to the touch, it takes some time to break in before it is ready for play. This comfortable feeling extends to the inside of the glove, which is covered in ultra-soft lining and helps produce a snug fit. This fit is especially great around the pinky and thumb slots of the glove’s finger holes, as the laces for these fingers produce a more stable feel. Lastly, the Heel Flex technology in the glove means it has enough give to be comfortable on the wrist.
Soft leather delivers an excellent feel, both inside and outside of the glove
The center pocket design and webbing creates more options when breaking in the glove
Heel Flex technology produces good flex in the leather
Bio Soft leather has a medium length break in period
Not offered in an alternative H-web design
Durability could be improved
The Mizuno MVP Prime SE is a good, average glove. Its price and features reflect that. If you are looking for a simple glove for practice or non-competitive use, this glove delivers.
Rawlings Heart Of The Hide Outfielder Glove
Rawlings’ Heart of the Hide gloves are made by hand from only the top 5% of all steer hides used by the company in manufacturing mitts. This helps ensure the most absolute, premium quality of materials. The high-grade leather helps improve durability and couples with a deer-tanned cowhide and wool blend padding on the inside of the glove.
This mixture is comfortable on the player’s hand and allows the Heart of the Hide glove to last more than a season of play before beginning to show wear. Even the Tennessee Tanning Laces are top-cut and stand the test of time and hard, rigorous play. The glove pattern is inspired by professionally used models and the 12.75-inch measure offers plenty of surface to land a ball on. The Rawlings Heart of the Hide is available as either a trapeze mesh or H-web design. Unfortunately for players that prefer an H-web, Rawlings inflates the price of their Heart of the Hide’s with an H-web design. Nonetheless, both styles produce a deep pocket that is more than capable of snagging balls on the run. Rawlings Heart of the Hide’s webbing has been a favorite of outfielders for decades because it securely traps the balls and does not allow it to bounce out unexpectedly.
Handmade from quality-controlled leathers for only the finest end product
Comfort-enhancing features that are built to last and stand the test of time
Deer-tanned cowhide padding, coupled with a wool lining, helps protect the hand
The price of a handmade product
Having a handmade glove from only the best leathers that Rawlings gets their hands on is an experience you can’t really compare another glove to. However, having that experience is going to cause a significant hit to your wallet.
Shoeless Joe Pro Select Outfielder Glove
The Shoeless Joe Company understands that there is something inexpressibly magical about the look, feel and smell of an old, aged, leather baseball glove. Thus, they began manufacturing gloves that are hand-rubbed with “Old-Time Ingredients” and made from aged, antique, tobacco leather hides. This gives the gloves every quality of a game-worn mitt, without actually being battered or damaged from play.
Each one is made by hand from cut to sew, which means each glove is subtly different from one another. Players enjoy these super loose and broken in gloves because they are ready right away and have a better feel than most antiquated gloves. In addition, the Shoeless Joe Pro Series gloves are available in a variety of styles and patterns. Whether you prefer trapeze, modified trapeze, H-web or another glove style designed for outfielders, the Shoeless Joe Pro Series has got you covered with a glove that fits that style. Aside from the tremendous style and look to this glove, it also has a number of performance-enhancing features. The XRD foam in the palm of the glove protects the hand from every catch, while 100% Steerhide leather delivers a durable, long-lasting mitt. It has a 12.5-inch pattern which is smaller than some of the high-end gloves.
Incredible, authentic and old-timey feel, smell and look to the glove
Available in all styles of outfielder glove patterns
Hand cut and sewn for stunning quality and a small bit of one-of-a-kind-ness
Appearance doesn’t catch balls
5-inch pattern is smaller compared to other outfield gloves
Mid to high price could fall out of some player’s range
The Shoeless Joe Pro Select glove gives you the look and feel of an antique, age-worn glove, with all of the comforts, performance and protection of a modern mitt.
Wilson A360 Outfielder Glove
Competing with the Rawlings 12-inch Prodigy glove for youth players is the Wilson A360.This is a slightly more affordable glove and while the designated “Youth” version of this glove has a 12-inch catch pattern, there’s also the option for a half-inch longer glove pattern, which makes a little bit wider of a catching surface and may be better suited for an older child. The glove’s palm and web is constructed from pigskin leather. This material might not be as exotic as kangaroo leather, but it produces a fair amount of durability and a soft feet.
However, as mentioned earlier, softer leather typically doesn’t last as long as others, which may diminish this glove’s integrity over time. The Wilson A360 has a synthetic backing to help reduce break in time and give the glove a little more flexibility. The drawback to this design is some players report that the backing begins to separate from the leather and suggests issues with its durability. Despite the potential issues of this glove, it does have a one-year warranty. If you run into issues with the A360’s durability early on, you may have the opportunity to have your glove replaced.
Extra affordable Youth-level glove
Available in a 12-inch or 12.5-inch pattern, perfect for older, larger youth players
One year warranty
Has a number of durability issues because of its synthetic back and soft leather materials
The Wilson A360 is an affordable, cheap glove that is ideal for young players, but it has a number of potential issues that could hurt its durability and require a replacement by the end of a season.
Best Outfield Gloves
With our top 10 outfield baseball gloves listed, it is now time to look at some of the best outfield baseball gloves for various topics.
Best Youth Outfield Baseball Glove
The two youth options to make our list are the Wilson A360 and the Rawlings Prodigy. Both gloves offer a 12-inch pattern, but the A360 also has option of being a slightly larger 12.5 inches. However, the A360 also had a number of design flaws that hurt its durability. Thus, while being a little more expensive, the best youth outfield glove has to be the 2018 Rawlings Prodigy 12-inch Youth mitt.
Best Outfield Glove For 12-Year-Old
At 12-years-old, players need a glove that is somewhere between a youth glove and the high-end gloves that high school and collegiate players use. For this purpose, we have a tie between the Akadema Pro Soft and the Easton MAKO. The MAKO is a slightly larger glove and is the same size of many pro gloves, but at a cheaper price. However, if the 12.75-inch pattern is still too big for a 12-year-old outfielder, then the Akadema is a great pro-inspired glove that can help transition them to the next level of play.
Again, the Easton MAKO gets a mention. There are cheap gloves and then there are affordable gloves and the MAKO is the latter. It has great features and decent materials, so you aren’t getting a cheap product. But it’s price will definitely help you save.
The Wilson A2000 is probably the most popular outfielder’s glove, but is it really the best? Does it edge out the Nokona X2 and its kangaroo leather or the handmade Rawlings Heart of the Hide? Thanks to its enlarged catch surface and dual post web for even more catching surface, the Wilson A2000 makes a strong case for the best glove for outfielders. Plus, its price is comparable to the Nokona X2 or Heart of the Hide, even if you make your own custom A2000.
No matter what type of outfielder you are, this buying guide and selection of reviews will help you determine the best outfield glove for you and your unique needs and preferences as a player. We’ve done our best to only include the latest and greatest outfield gloves on the market today, so you can be assured knowing you’re looking at the most updated list of products available. Thus, no matter what glove you choose, it will not only be available online (if not at your local sporting goods store), but it will also have today’s latest glove technology and design. It won’t be long before you are laying out for that first highlight reel worthy catch and becoming the outfield hero of your team.