Baseball gloves for kids come in a variety of materials, styles and sizes, and are available by specific positions, such as outfielder or catcher. Youngsters new to the game may not know which position they will be playing, making choosing a glove an imperfect task. Knowing the basics about youth baseball gloves will help you make the right choice.
Types of Gloves
The starting point for choosing a baseball glove is knowing what position your child will be playing. For example, some mitts provide more padding because players at certain positions may be catching hard-thrown balls. The five types of glove you can buy are: catcher, pitcher, first base, middle infielder or utility and outfield.
For younger players who don’t know what position they will be playing, an outfielder’s glove has the deepest pocket and will help catch fly balls. A utility glove has a shorter pocket and allows the player to get the ball out more quickly to throw it. Starting with a glove that is comfortable for the child may be your best bet.
Most baseball gloves are made of leather, treated leather or synthetic materials. Leather is the most expensive and will last the longest, but starts out stiffer and will take longer to break in. Treated leather breaks in sooner, but might not last as many years as a leather glove. Synthetic materials are the least expensive and provide the best combination of durability and comfort.
Once you know what type of glove you’ll need or want, you’ll be able to spend your money more wisely. New gloves can range in price from $20 to $200, with the glove’s material as the major price factor. If your youngster is playing a position that requires a more expensive glove, such as first base, you may want to purchase a glove of lesser-quality material or consider a used glove if you want leather. Used gloves are available at thrift shops, online and at resale stores such as Play it Again Sports.
Gloves for preteens generally range in size from 8 to 12 inches. Gloves should be purchased for fit, not based on any size chart. If you purchase a baseball glove that is slightly too big for your child, you can try having your child wear a batting glove under the mitt. Remember, just as children outgrow shoes and clothing, they can outgrow–or grow into–baseball gloves; however, a glove that is too big will be unwieldy and result in poor play, so don’t purposely buy a glove that’s too big.