When picking a baseball glove, we first have to determine the type of leather we want to keep us within our budget. There are two options when it comes to leather gloves, genuine supple leather and Kip or kipskin leather.
Genuine supple leather is a more affordable option that will still be durable to withstand those harsh baseball months.
If you can budget in the Kip leather it is recommended for 13 and up or even stronger 12 year olds. The Kip skin is a softer leather by feel, but still is a leader in durability and over all function.
The next thing to consider is the size of the glove. Picking a glove on the smaller side has its benefits, it can be much easier to find the ball, even in a deeper pocket and it’s much easier to maneuver and use for smaller hands.
The last thing we want is to buy a glove we can “grow into”. Sizing charts will all be relative to hand size. Here is a general rule: 7-9 10”-11 1/2” 10-12 11”-12” 13 on up 11”-12.5”. At the 7-9 age, trying to look for a shallow pocket vs deeper pocket, closed back vs open back or closed or open web can fall into a preference category.
Younger age kids don’t need to specialize their glove by position because they simply will play too many. Deeper pockets are used at third base and the outfield positions. Closed-back gloves are used primarily for the outfield to add for more strength in the wrist of the glove.
Open-back gloves can be found in most infield positions to let the wrist be a little more mobile and flexible in the glove. When it comes to webbing, an open web or an I-back is used primarily in the infield to let dirt and debris fall through the glove rather than scooping it up and sifting through to find the ball.
Another version of an open web is a trapeze web to help with making the web much easier to close, more like a net; however, it is used primarily in the outfield.
When it comes to options of the glove, there are also plenty of cool color options to completely customize your look. When it comes to first base and catchers mitts, the open-web usually won’t be an option because of the demand that is put on those gloves.
Lastly, one choice that is often missed is the index finger pad to add a little more comfort when catching balls in the infield. The finger pad isn’t recommended for outfielders, but still an option.
There are a lot of things to consider when buying a glove, but if you can remember some of these simple tips on picking a glove you’ll be in the general area for what glove works best for you.