There are many differences within a baseball glove and those variations can range from its many functional uses. There is no more significant glove variation than pro-level and youth baseball glove modifications.
One of the first modifications we can see that separate them immediately is the type of leather used. A pro glove will mainly have Japanese Kip leather, pliable, soft leather that still retains its extreme durability.
A youth glove will use a more supple cowhide leather which is much more manageable. Youth hands are much smaller and just not strong enough to open or close a Japanese Kip glove.
The backing, pocket, and webbing on a Kip glove are smooth but very firm, making it extremely hard to flare open or close for smaller hands.
It’s recommended that youth 12 and under use the supple cowhide, and 13 and up can start thinking about upgrading to Kip leather. Another significant difference is the weight.
The smaller chamber of the glove in a youth glove can lighten the glove up significantly. A pro-style glove with an adult chamber and bigger overall size gives it a thicker feel.
However, the sleek design of a Japanese leather glove does keep the weight down quite a bit.
Another clear difference is the overall size of the glove. Youth gloves can range from as small as a 10” infield glove to a 13 ½” outfield glove.
The small side of a youth glove would start at 10” whereas an adult pro glove would start no smaller than an 11” glove. For youth players, the supple cowhide glove has a narrow hand fit and scaled-down finger stalls to help those smaller hands feel protected while maintaining flexibility.
Youth gloves are often made too thin and offer no protection for youth hands. Easily managed but too flimsy to use. Relentless Sports has the perfect supple cowhide leather glove that’s manageable and durable for youth hands.
They also make the best Japanese Kip high-end leather glove for any aspiring pro players.