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The best baseball glove is more than a piece of gear: It’s an extension of your hand and fingers. And that’s true for all baseball players — whether you’re playing catch with your kids or competing at a high level.
But finding the best baseball glove for your hand, position and play style can be tough. Below is a quick guide to understanding the different types of baseball gloves, plus four of our favorite baseball gloves to buy right now.
How to Choose the Best Baseball Glove
When picking up a new baseball glove, you’ll want to consider the build quality and the glove’s intended position. Quality is pretty straightforward: Respected brands use high-quality leather and solid stitching for a glove that can hold up for years. A glove’s intended position is a bit more complex. Different positions require a specific kind of glove, although some gloves can be transitional in friendly games.
Infield gloves are typically smaller and lighter for fast movement. The pocket also needs to be relatively shallow so infielders can quickly switch the ball to their throwing hand.
Pitcher’s gloves have the unique job of hiding the pitcher’s hand and therefore need closed webbing. Otherwise, pitcher’s gloves are about the same as an infield glove with a slightly smaller size for quickness.
Outfield gloves are on the large side with longer fingers and a deep pocket. This allows for maximum reach when wrangling fly balls and a secure catch.
Utility gloves are ideal for most beginner to intermediate players enjoying friendly games. They feature closed webbing for pitching, a mid-range size for playing outfielder or infielder and an in-between pocket depth for fast movement infield.
Catcher’s mitts are the most distinctive of the bunch, sporting a large size and lots of padding for handling fastballs without any pain. In serious play, first basemen often wear a special padded mitt as well.
What Are the Best Baseball Gloves?
1. Wilson A2000 Baseball Glove
The Wilson A2000 is the best baseball glove around. Period. Premium leather ensures durability and a high-performance feel that only gets better over time. The A2000 comes in a variety of sizes for different positions, but its shallow pocket makes the glove best as a utility or infield glove. This shallow pocket allows for fast transitions to the throwing hand, and the glove develops a nice flared shape after its broken-in. An H-webbing also permits quick movement, although its not suitable for pitchers.
2. Rawlings Outfield Baseball Glove
Another top-of-the-line baseball glove is Rawlings Heart of the Hide. The glove is well known for its high-end steer hide leather. Steer hide is slightly thinner and more firm than normal cowhide, increasing comfort and security. Hence the Heart of the Hide’s most popular use as an outfielder glove. The material and a long 12.75-inch length make the glove fantastic for catching fly balls. Inside, it’s very comfortable thanks to full-grain finger back linings and a tanned cowhide palm. It’s also factory broken in at 65 percent for a perfect fit in fewer uses than other gloves.
3. Rawlings Sandlot Series Baseball Glove
This Sandlot glove (also from Rawlings) is great for casual players and beginners. The glove comes in styles for every position (including the catcher), but we highly recommend this 12-inch closed-web option as a utility glove for switching roles. Construction is high-quality, as the glove boasts full grain leather for durability over many uses. The glove is designed for comfort with zero shock palm pads and padded finger backs. The brand also broke it in at 90 percent at the Rawlings factory so you can use it in games right out of the box.
4. Franklin Sports Baseball Fielding Glove
If you often find yourself in the outfield, check out this glove from Franklin. It features a large 12.5-inch size for catching flies and a deep palm for securing the ball. The glove is also very comfortable (while waiting outside the diamond) thanks to a quality cowhide build and a soft palm lining. This cowhide has some stiffness for using the fingertips, although it’s flexible enough to break it in quickly after buying it. We also think the glove does well in the style department with chrome stitching.