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.
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
|Under 7||29.5 – 30″||11.5″||8-10.5″||9-10.5″|
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
Best Youth First Baseman’s Glove
Best Youth Infielder’s Glove
Best Youth Outfielder’s Glove
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.
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.