Best Youth Baseball Glove 2017: Buyer’s Guide & Kids Glove Reviews

Children grow fast and they seem to outgrow their sporting equipment even faster. Each spring, we perform the ritual of assessing our son or daughter’s glove, bat and other pieces of equipment, in preparation for baseball season.

Some years, we discover that their equipment is battered and falling apart or they have simply outgrown it.

kid with a youth baseball glove

When it comes to buying a new youth baseball glove, there are plenty of questions that can arise involving which brands, models, how to size, types of gloves and so on.

This guide will answer those questions and more with helpful tips and advice that aim to make shopping for a new best youth baseball glove an easy, stress-free experience.

Sizing a Youth Baseball Glove

The first thing to bear in mind when sizing the glove is that players wear their mitt on the non-dominant hand.

Sometimes this can cause confusion because a right-handed person buys a glove for their left-hand, which is why gloves are usually labeled as RHT or LHT (right hand thrower / left hand thrower).

Luckily for shoppers, most sporting goods stores carry or display a baseball glove sizing chart. Often, these charts break the sizes down by age and position (certain positions use different styles of gloves), which makes it easy on the consumer to find the right fit.

Baseball glove sizing chart

AgeCatcherFirst BasePitcherOutfield
Under 729.5 – 30″11.5″8-10.5″9-10.5″
8-1030-31″11.5-12″10.5-11.5″10-12″
11-1330-32.5″11.5-12″11.5-12″11.75-12.75″
Over 1432-34.5″12-13″11.5-12″12-13″

While it is rarely recommended to buy too-big sporting equipment, with the idea that the child will ‘grow into it,’ baseball gloves are one area where you can get away with it (within reason).

This can save you money down the road, especially if your son or daughter is on the younger side and overdue for a growth spurt.

In addition, most youth gloves are easily adjusted, so even a large glove can be tightened for a snugger fit.

While most, if not all, gloves display their size somewhere inside the pocket or on the heel, you can determine the size yourself by measuring from the heel of the glove up to the top of the fingers.

Materials of Youth Baseball Gloves

Adult professional gloves are almost exclusively made from some type of authentic leather. When it comes to best youth baseball gloves, however, mitts are made from a wider variety of materials, including mesh, synthetic leather and others.

This is largely because youth equipment does not need to be quite as durable as their pro-level counterparts are.

Synthetic gloves are often recommended for very young players because of their lighter weight and lower price. Authentic leather has the best durability and fit retention.

Types of Youth Baseball Gloves

Baseball gloves differ from one another based on position – catcher, outfielders, middle infield, pitcher and third baseman. The biggest differences between these types of gloves are in the webbing and pocket.

Certain positions, such as third base and outfield, need deeper pockets to ensnare pop flies or line drives, while infielders need an open web for quick exchanges to the throwing hand and a pocket capable of scooping ground balls.

Pitcher’s gloves are unique in that the webbing or basket is closed to help the player conceal what type of pitch he is about to throw.

At the youth level, kids shuffle positions frequently to allow every player the chance to try and learn each area of the diamond.

It may not be until your son or daughter is ten-years-or-older that they begin staying at one defensive position.

For beginner players, we recommend either an infielder or outfielder glove because they cover the needs of most positions.

Best Youth Baseball Glove Brands

Brands such as Rawlings, Wislon and Easton are well-known and reputable companies when it comes to sporting equipment.

Many consumers will purchase from these baseball glove brands because they are familiar and loyal to them.

However, there are other brands that, while they may not be a household name, offer great youth baseball gloves and are definitely worth looking into.

Mizuno, for example, is a newer company, but makes some of the most innovative baseball gloves and protective equipment on the industry.

Their PowerClose and PowerLock technology not only helps the player’s performance, but also helps teach proper catching fundamentals.

Mizuno gloves are, perhaps, the only glove on the market that are capable of this unique teaching ability.

While their price is slightly above your typical Rawlings or Wilson glove, they are still reasonably affordable compared to an ultra-premier brand like Nokona.

Overall, the most important aspect of any glove will be how it fits. It is highly recommended that your young player test out a few different models and brands to further their understanding on the brands that feel best to them.

Best Youth Catcher’s Glove

Rawlings Renegade Series Catcher's Mitt

The Rawlings Renegade RCMYBB Youth Baseball Catcher’s Mitt is not only an affordable option, when it comes to this type of specialty glove, but it also uses high-quality, full-grain and authentic leather (many youth mitts will use synthetic leather or another lesser material).

Rawlings Renegade Series Catcher's Mitt

Real leather has the best durability of any of the materials, which is especially important for a catcher’s glove since it has to endure a lot heavier play.

The Renegade uses high-density padding to protect the player’s hand, while the interior lining is comforting to the fingers and palm.

All-Star Pro Youth Baseball Catcher's Mitt

With a slightly higher price point, the All-Star Pro CM1100PRO Youth Baseball Catcher’s Mitt offers a handful of interesting features that give it a slight performance edge.

All-Star Pro Youth Baseball Catcher’s Mitt

For instance, the mitt is designed with a wide heel channel (the heel is the bottom of the glove), which allows it to closer easier on balls.

This All-Star Pro glove also has an added padded leather strip that protects the catcher’s wrist.

Add in the adjustable wrist strap and premium leather material and you have a high-grade youth catcher’s mitt.

Best Youth First Baseman’s Glove

Mizuno Prospect GXF102 Youth Baseball First Base Mitt

Few baseball glove manufacturers craft mitts with as many performance-enhancing features as Mizuno.

Mizuno Prospect GXF102 Youth Baseball First Base Mitt

The Mizuno Prospect GXF102 Youth Baseball First Base Mitt is no exception, as it benefits from such glove technologies as the ParaShock palm pad, which reduces the sting upon impact, and the PowerClose/Lock design.

This innovative design allows a youth player to learn and better understand the fundamentals of catching a baseball by making the glove naturally close and “lock” around an incoming ball.

This helps teach young players to catch the ball inside the pocket and not on the heel or palm.

Easton Natural NATY 3000 Youth Baseball First Base Mitt

A similar, but slightly cheaper, first baseman’s glove is the Easton Natural NATY 3000 Youth Baseball First Base Mitt.

It features Easton’s VRS palm pad, which performs the same function as Mizuno’s ParaShock Palm pad.

Easton Natural NATY 3000 Youth Baseball First Base Mitt

To help the glove open and close more naturally, it is designed with a double “X” stitching on the webbing.

While this does not “teach” proper fundamentals, like the Mizuno Prospect, it does help youth players catch the ball more effectively.

Best Youth Infielder’s Glove

Mizuno Youth MVP Prime Future GMVP1150PY1 Baseball Infield Glove

The Mizuno MVP Prime Future GMVP1150PY1 is made from Oil Plus material that blends a velvety softness with top quality leather.

The Tartan Shock webbing helps absorb impact and eliminate the sting on the young player’s glove hand.

Mizuno Youth MVP Prime Future Infield Glove

For comfort, the MVP Prime Future has a SteerSoft liner and a center pocket interior that offers a snug home for your son or daughter’s fingers.

Despite being designed for infield use, this Mizuno glove has trapeze webbing, which offers an advantage for outfield positions well.

Thus, this glove is ideal for youth players who are still trying to find their ‘home’ on the diamond or utility players who often play multiple positions, both infield and outfield.

Marucci MFGGX1100I Geaux Series Youth Baseball Glove

For years now, Marucci has been a powerful force in the baseball bat industry because of their Major League Baseball player-inspired designs.

Since their successful burst onto the baseball equipment scene, they have begun introducing a line of baseball gloves that also have the influence of real MLB all-stars.

Marucci Geaux Series Youth Baseball Glove

The Marucci MFGGX1100I Geaux Series Youth Baseball Glove leaves little to desire. It uses a soft, but durable steer-hide leather material to maintain shape, even after a season’s worth of play.

The glove’s I-Web design is the classic style for infield mitts and helps player’s field groundballs efficiently.

Best Youth Outfielder’s Glove

Nike MVP Prospect Baseball Glove

Nike has designed their MVP Prospect Baseball Glove (Youth) specifically with outfielders in mind. The wide, trapeze style and six finger web are perfect for making those highlight reel worthy plays and snaring everything hit to the outfield.

Nike MVP Prospect Baseball Glove (Youth)

With a size of 12 inches, there is more than enough real estate and length to the mitt. The MVP Prospect’s cowhide leather promotes lasting durability and a smooth feel. This means it will last for seasons on end, without losing its integrity.

Inside the glove, your youth slugger will enjoy the comfortable feel of quality cow leather as it protects their hands and makes catching easier.

The big league inspired design of this glove inspires confidence on the diamond and it is available in several color options (black/red, black/blue, etc.).

Rawlings Youth Gamer Outfield Baseball Glove

Another option for your young outfielder is Rawlings’ Gamer Youth Pro Taper Series glove. This black leather glove implements a H-web design, instead of the trapeze style of Nike’s MVP Prospect.

However, both are classic styles of mitts for outfielders. They help securely catch balls deep inside the webbing, so they cannot accidently pop out.

Rawlings Youth Gamer Outfield Baseball Glove

For comfort, Rawlings uses a deer-tanned, cowhide lining that is extremely soft to the touch. In addition, the palm is reinforced to eliminate sting on balls that are not caught correctly in the pocket.

Similar to the MVP Prospect by Nike, the Gamer has a 12-inch pattern, which makes the glove large enough to offer plenty of room for the ball to find itself in.

Best Youth Pitcher’s Glove

While there are youth gloves that follow the closed webbing style of a pitcher’s glove, they are often referred to as “infield/outfield” gloves. At the youth level, having a dedicated pitcher’s glove is not necessary for multiple reasons:

  • Firstly, the purpose of a pitcher’s mitt’s enclosed style is to hide the ball from the batter to prevent accidently revealing what pitch is about to be thrown.

    Youth player’s typically do not have a wide arsenal of pitches to accidently tip to the batter.

  • Second, youth pitchers fill roles in the field when they are not on the mound, unlike big league pitchers who get days of rest.

Thus, having a glove that has a lot more utility than a role-specific glove is recommended.

Conclusion

When it comes to shopping for a best youth baseball glove for your son or daughter, the various styles, brands and models can lead to lots of confusion.

However, if you equip yourself with the right knowledge, the purchasing decision becomes much easier.

The first step, as always, is understand how to correctly size your child for their ideal glove.

Next is deciding the style of glove to choose, which is predominantly determined by your child’s position in the field.

Many youth players do not have an established position yet, so choosing a glove that suits the needs of many defensive roles is advantageous.

The last step in the journey to the perfect youth mitt is landing on a brand and particular model that fits the correct size and position of the young player.

This is largely based on personal preference, price and the overall fit and feeling of the glove.

Certain models feature innovative technologies that can help a youth player better grasp and establish their fundamentals.

For example, many Mizuno models implement the company’s PowerClose and PowerLock design, which teaches players to properly catch the balls in the pocket, and not on the heel or palm of the glove. These features are wonderful, although they will frequently add dollars to the price tag.

Affordability is not an issue for everyone, but it is certainly a factor worth considering, especially in terms of youth sporting equipment because it may be outgrown quickly.

Ultimately, your son or daughter will have the final say in their baseball mitt, but having the right knowledge can help you steer him or her towards the right styles, brands and type of glove.