The research is in, and the facts are clear. Kids who are physically active are happier, healthier, and do better in school than those who are not. Baseball is a fun way to get some activity into your kids' lives. Aside from being the Great American pastime, baseball is great for hand-to-eye coordination, speed, and cardiovascular development. What's more, being part of a team helps with social development as well. And the great part about baseball is you don't need a lot of expensive equipment to get started. If you have a bat, a ball, and a baseball glove, you're ready to go.

You don't have to go any farther than your local department store to know how many different types of baseball gloves are on the market. There aren't just different sizes, but left-handed and right-handed gloves, and even gloves for different positions in the field. How in the world are you supposed to tell them apart? Well, don't worry, it's not as hard as you might think.

comparison table

How to Pick the Right Baseball Glove

girl playing baseball

Image from Pexels

Let's talk features and terminology. First, each glove's build, material, and size will separate it from the other gloves. Additionally, no matter if it's an outfielder's glove, catchers mitt, first base mitt, pitcher's glove, or infield glove, they share some of the same features. Each glove will have webbing, a pocket, a heel pad, and a back.

Webbing

Webbing is the material that connects the thumb to the fingers. The web is what snatches the ball out of the air and holds onto it. On each glove, the webbing looks very different. It changes depending on what you need the glove to do.

Some baseball gloves have closed webbing. That works best for general use, pitchers, and catchers. A closed web ensures a little more catching support than a glove with an open web. Additionally, a closed web glove hides what's going on in there, so pitchers prefer that option. However, an open webbed glove makes ball transfers quicker and easier to the throwing hand for athletes who play infield and outfield.

The pocket

Another term you will often hear in regard to baseball gloves is pocket. The pocket is the indentation in the palm of the glove. After a player catches the ball with the webbing, it falls into the pocket. So, you will hear the term "pocket depth." Each glove will have a shallow or a deep pocket.

Again, much like the webbing, you choose the pocket depth based on your position and needs. A shallow pocket works well for infielders who need quick access to grab the ball from the glove and throw during those super-fast infield plays. However, for outfielders and beginners, a deeper pocket is preferable. Gloves with deep pockets are ideal for outfielders and snatching those fly balls.

The back

Ankle support for the best youth baseball cleats comes in three kinds:  low tops, high tops, and mid tops. Low tops are best for those who want more speed, even at the price of stability. These would leave the ankle mostly uncovered but allow for flexibility when running. This option is hence best for infielders and batters.

High tops, on the other hand, cover up the ankle for the most support. That could restrict the player’s movement but also keep their ankles safe. A pitcher, catcher, or any other position would probably prefer these options. If you want to strike a balance between the two or if your child is playing a number of positions, you should go for the mid tops.

Heel pad

Finally, you will see the term heel pad. The heel pad is the part of the glove that rests on the palm of your hand. This feature doesn't affect your playing style. However, some gloves come with absorbent pads there or other special features. So, since you will see the term, we wanted to let you know what it means.

Sizing

Each glove lists different sizes. Of course, depending on the position you play, the size you want may vary. For example, an outfield player should use a slightly larger glove than one that plays infield. For children under eight, a 9-inch glove works for the infield, and an 11-inch glove works for the outfield. Of course, a large glove gives more room for catching, so think about that for beginners no matter their position.

For kids between the ages of eight and thirteen, a 9 to 10-inch glove works for the infield and an 11 to 12-inch glove for outfield players. And for high school aged kids to adults, a 10.5 to 11.5-inch glove works for infield and outfielders should use a 12 to 13-inch baseball glove. Remember, these guidelines are pretty basic. Baseball Monkey broke it down into a handy chart.

Handedness

Finally, please remember that you want to buy a baseball glove for the hand that is not the dominant hand. As you review each glove, they will say, " right-hand throw," or "left-hand throw." If a glove says that it is right-hand throw, that is for right-handed people. If you have a left-handed individual in the house, you'll want a left-hand throw baseball glove. Sometimes, the description will say RHT or LHT to let you know which one it is.

baseball gloves with several baseball ball

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How to Break In a Baseball Glove

Most baseball gloves require a breaking-in period before you can use them properly. Please note, a few of the gloves on our list come already broken in. However, to break in a new glove quickly, you will need the following:

  • A coated dumbbell or mallet
  • A bucket of water heated to 150 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit
  • A cup you can use to pour the water
  • The glove that you wish to break in
  • something soft to protect the floor and the glove

The breaking-in process isn't technically challenging, but you will need a little elbow grease. You should work it in shifts. Pour the hot water over the glove while holding it over the bucket. Then, you lay it on the mat and beat on it for around 25 minutes. After that, let it rest for approximately 40 minutes before you repeat the process. Work the glove three times before you let it rest overnight. Then, repeat as needed until the glove works as you want.

​How We Found the Baseball Gloves on This List

set of baseball gloves

Image via ​Pixabay

First, we looked at, professional reviews and top ten lists to see which models are considered the top contenders. Then, we looked up the best sellers from top retailers like Amazon and Dick's Sporting Goods. And, after that, we looked up what real customers said about the gloves to make sure that the information matched the actual reviews.

What you can expect to pay for a new baseball glove

As far as what you need to budget for a new baseball glove -- that depends on a few things. First, if you are purchasing a child's glove, those will be a little bit cheaper. You can get one for as low as $20, but you should expect to pay anywhere from $25 to over $100. For an adult, we found gloves that range from $49 to over $300.

​The Top Baseball Glove Selections for the Whole Family

Now that you know all the critical terms and instructions, it's time to get into our list. Below, you will find a list of gloves designed to work for any member of your family. We included the best baseball gloves for kids as well as adults.

Mizuno Pro Select Baseball Glove Series

Next, we have one for the kiddos -- the Mizuno Prospect Baseball Glove Series. These gloves come equipped with "Power Close Technology" which makes the glove snap shut easily. It's great for building the confidence of new players. You can get quite a selection of these gloves in an assortment of colors. The best part about these gloves is that they come already broken in.

  • 11.50-inch pattern
  • Deep III web (open web design)
  • Right-hand throw
  • Open back
  • A special pattern that places the pocket under the web for "perfect break in"
  • Made of U.S. steer hide
  • "Steer soft" palm liner
  • Padded thumb
  • Index finger pad

Reviews

First up on the list is the Mizuno Pro Select Baseball Glove Series. Mizuno is a Japanese brand that has been developing gloves for over 110 years. The link we provided takes you to a series of gloves for different positions. However, they all have a few key things in common. These gloves allow the user to choose if they want a deep pocket or not.

Mizuno Prospect Baseball Glove for kids

Next, we have one for the kiddos -- the Mizuno Prospect Baseball Glove Series. These gloves come equipped with "Power Close Technology" which makes the glove snap shut easily. It's great for building the confidence of new players. You can get quite a selection of these gloves in an assortment of colors. The best part about these gloves is that they come already broken in.

  • Shell made from full-grain leather for improved durability
  • A "Power Lock Wrist Strap" to help improve the fit
  • MZO lining in the palm to reduce sting
  • "ButterSoft Palm Liner"
  • Right-hand throw or left-hand throw

Reviews

On Amazon, these gloves scored 4.4 out of 5 stars; they scored 4.5 out of 5 stars on the Sports Authority website; and on Justbats.com, they also scored 4.5 out of 5 stars. Parents are raving about this glove. Many reviews state that it's the perfect size for little hands. Also, a lot of reviews state that it's effortless for their kids to use these. On the negative side, these gloves are very small. So, keep that in mind when you choose.

Rawlings Heart of The Hide Glove Series

Third on our list is the Rawlings Heart of The Hide Glove Series. Derek Jeter worked with Rawlings to design this glove, so you know it's good. They come in several sizes, and you can get several different types of gloves (or patterns) depending on which position you play.

  • Deep pockets
  • Made in all leather with top 5 percent of steer hides
  • Fit pattern: narrow with a small opening and extended pocket
  • Open back
  • Pro I web (open web design)
  • Right-hand throw
  • Black

Reviews

On Amazon, these gloves scored 4.7 out of 5 stars; they scored 5 out of 5 stars on eBay; and on Justbats.com, they scored 4.6 out of 5 stars. First, a lot of reviewers stated that they bought these for their older children and they work great. The reviews for this glove are overwhelmingly positive. However, please note that a few users said this glove takes quite a while to break in.

Wilson A900 Baseball Glove Series

Next up we have the Wilson A900 Baseball Glove Series. These gloves are ideal for younger players or players with small hands. They come in a range of sizes from 11.5 to 12 inches. Additionally, these baseball gloves have a much lower price point than most of the others on our list.

  • "Pedroia fit" made to work perfectly on little hands
  • Use double palm construction for extra support
  • 100 percent leather shell
  • No break-in required
  • Low profile heel

Reviews

These gloves scored 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon; on Baseballsavings.com, they scored 4.8 out of 5 stars; and on Justbats.com, they scored 5 out of 5 stars. Again, the reviews for these gloves are mostly positive. Many users said it's a great value for the price. A few users did note, however, that the glove is still pretty stiff and will require some breaking in.

Rawlings Gamer Glove Series

Rounding out our list is the Rawlings Gamer Glove Series. These gloves have a lower price point than most items on our list. They come in a range of sizes and patterns, depending on your needs. These gloves are some of the most popular gloves that Rawling's has available.

  • Tennessee Tanning rawhide laces
  • Conventional open back
  • Padded thumb sleeve
  • Open web
  • Soft "fingerback lining"
  • "Pro Soft" leather shell
  • Right and left-hand throw

Reviews

On Amazonn (at the time of this review), these gloves scored 4.7 out of 5 stars; they scored 4.6 out of 5 stars on eBay; and on Justbats.com., they scored 5 out of 5 stars. Again, the reviews for these gloves are overwhelmingly positive. Most users said that these are great gloves, perfect for learning how to play infield positions. Many users stated that they barely even needed to break these in. Be careful, these gloves are on the smaller side, so if you have large hands, these may not be for you.

​Now It's Time to Get out There and Play

And there you have it -- the top baseball gloves for you and your whole family. Active kids are successful, healthy, and happy kids. And baseball is a great way for the whole family to join in on the fun. You don't need a whole team to have a good time. Learning how to hit the ball and catch the ball can take a long time. That can turn into excellent quality time while you practice. No matter what, it's all about being together and staying as active as possible.

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