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After testing, here are the Best Baseball Gloves our players and parents found.
By Brian September 22, 2020 3:03 pm
If you need one all purpose glove for a high school or youth baseball player then the A2000 1786 is a middle of the road as you’ll get.Amazon
In terms of a game ready, quality leather mitt made for a youth size hand, you cannot go wrong with Nokona's 11.25-inch Youth Glove.Amazon
Update September 22, 2020: We took a close look at 2020 gloves from the major manufacturers and still love the 1786 A2000 Wilson as the best glove out there. Great color options, remarkable user reviews, and a fantastic fit for any position in a younger player and a middle infield elite guy. We also like the 1788 and would be perfectly happy with the I-Web Rawlings 11.5-inch Heart of the Hide. But, in the end, the A2000 1786 won our tester’s hearts (and wallets).
|Wilson||Nokona||Wilson||Wilson||All Star||Rawlings||Rawlings||Shoeless Joe|
|A2000 1786||S-200 Alpha Select||A2000 1787||CM3000||Heart of the Hide R2G||GG Elite Series||1300-MT|
|Perfect Fit, Great Reviews||Easy Work In, Fantastic Full Leather Feel, Top Rated Glove||Great User Ratings, Long Life, Great History||Beautifully Crafted, Super Durable||A Work Horse, Rated The Best High End||Top 5% Leather, Great Ratings||Workable Leather, Great Value Buy, Tons of Sizing Options, More Affordable||Value Buy, Great Quality, Great User Reviews, Unique|
After hours and hours of use, as well as long conversations with players, manufacturers, and vendors, we think the best infield gloves are the 1786 A2000 from Wilson. There are, we note emphatically, a number of similar options from other brands which compete favorably. In fact, there are several patterns within the Wilson brand that compete well with the 1786.
But, in the end, the impeccable leather, useful 11.5-inch length, classic I-Web, and medium pocket of the full leather 1786 is the best infield glove.
Not interested in working a glove in.
We think the Wilson A2000 1786 is the best glove on the market. Some will argue that the Heart of the Hide brands from Rawlings are better. No doubt we like those. But, we think the 1786 fits every bill we we ever wanted. And the H web design on this middle infield glove will work for any level. It is, without surprise, Wilson’s most popular glove too.
This can work as a pitcher and short stop glove. Even an outfielder could make due with it if need be. Great ratings, great history and a great brand and design.
The Nokona Alpha Select S-200 is the best youth baseball glove on the market. The only thing it does not have going for it is the price.
The glove is made of American Buffalo hide (aka bison) and is very soft. It is super easy to work in and holds its durability quite well. We have yet to find a user review of the S-200 that was not glowing. We also like the reinforced T-Web on the 11.25 inch glove.
This design is for anywhere in the field. It is nice pitcher’s glove, an outstanding middle infield glove and can be used in the outfield, too. In fact, for small enough people, we would guess the glove would work at 1st base as well. The glove’s wrist strap comes threaded at the larger of the two options. But, even at that setting, the glove is a tight fit for a normal sized small hand.
As the glove gets worked in, expect that to loosen a bit. For the very small hand of a 6 or 7 year old, you may want to re-thread the glove to the smaller setting on the wrist strap.
We have spent considerable time with a number of youth baseball gloves. There are legitimate options. If we were asked to come up with a single best youth baseball glove for an 8 year old, we would choose the Nokona Alpha Select S-200.
The glove is made for small hands and has amazing user ratings that confirm our opinion from first hand experience. It comes with a pliable buffalo leather that kids love. Although not cheap, we recommend the glove to any 8 year old youth player looking to make a difference.
In fact, any 7, 8, 9 or 10 year old would do quite well with this glove. Our best infield glove article has other glove suggestions.
Wilson A1K 1788
Not a far cry from the S-200 Nokona stands the A1K from Wilson. These gloves are, essentially, a modified A2K or A2000 Wilson glove. They do not have the same premium leather as the A2K or A2000, but instead, the steerhide they use is worked in to be soft and nearly game ready out of the wrapper.
What the A1K does have over the Nokona S-200 is a serious amount of color and pocket options. Though we like the 1788 11.25 inch H-Web the most for smaller hands, the A1K also comes in a series of other patterns and lengths. If a modified T-Web in an 11.25 is not for you then we would suggest the A1K. And the best news of all? It costs about $30 less than the Nokona S-200.
Rawlings Youth Gamer
If you are on a budget, or would rather not spend your hard earned money on a glove that will be outgrown quickly, we suggest the Rawlings Gamer.
This glove is built much like the A1K in terms of decent, but not outstanding leather. But, with the intent to be used for only a year or two before it is outgrown, the glove makes perfect sense. Also like the A1K, and not like the Nokona S-200, the Gamer series from Rawlings comes in a number of options and patterns.
We like the 11.5 inch G200GYT for its modified T-web. T-Webs are good for every position. Best news of the day is that the Gamer series from Rawlings are rarely over $100. This is a considerable savings from the A1K and S-200. You do lose a bit of quality in the leather as it is a step down from premium american buffalo hide. But, for a glove only meant to last a year or two, who cares?
What could you possibly want from the A2000 that it doesn't offer? You name the length and webbing and they have it. They paved the way in the custom glove too and their Glove of the Month (GOTM) is a useful way to spend $259 more than you were planning on every few weeks.
To boot, there are a ton of Pro level guys using the exact A2000 (with same quality leather and design) that you can find in your local (albeit serious) sporting goods shop. Want Dustin Predoria's Glove? Done. Clayton Kershaw? Done. How about Altuve, Cano, Longoria, Lester or Frazier? Done.
They also run most A2000 gloves with a superskin backing. Which does remove the amount of premium leather in the glove but does make it lighter and an easier work in. A number of pro guys like the Super Skin feel better too boot.
In short, Wilson leads the pack of the best baseball glove brands due to its enormous offering, long history of quality glove production, pro uptake and massive distribution.
After the 1786 we think there are several top baseball gloves. Here are a few we've come across that should be worthy of your consideration---assuming the 1786 isn't your cup of tea for any reason.
A2000 1786 Wilson
As our choice for the best infield glove, the A2000 1786 from Wilson has several features that qualify it as the quintessential infield glove. For starters, the 11.5 inch length makes the perfect size for the traditional short stop.
In addition to that ideal size, it also accommodates the many who play 2nd or 3rd. 11.5-inches really is the universal infield glove size. Further, the I-Web design, clearly the most popular among infielders for its look, creates a more shallow pocket and the wider reach. Those are features infielders tend to prefer.
As well, A2000 gloves also boast a top shelf leather with a great out of the wrapper pocket shape. Note, too, the A2000 1786 may be the most popular single pattern on the market today. You will be hard pressed to find any serious team at any level of the sport that does not carry at least one 1786 Wilson A2000.
A2K 1788 Wilson
The top shelf adult 11.25 inch ball glove market, made specifically for elite 2nd baseman, is replete with a number of solid options. On the top of our list is the 1788 A2K. This is the smallest glove in the entire line of adult elite gloves from Wilson and still boasts all the great features the A2K line uses.
We love the soft leather feel and the perfect out the wrapper shape. The I-Web makes for a shallow pocket and a flatter glove for great side to side reach and easy ball access. The rolled finger welting adds to the premium feel and the synthetic wrist backing makes for a cool feel even during hot days.
We have yet to meet anyone that has put on an A2K 1788 and thought the glove was not outstanding. The 1788 A2K is used at every level of the sport.
Although a traditional 2nd Baseman glove, we would guess several smaller players might also like it as a short stop and the occasional younger player might even find some use at third. It makes for remarkably light and quick hands. That lightness is made possible by the lightwieght and durable Superskin backing on the some parts of the glove shell.
Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRO 314
For all the same reasons we love the 1786 Wilson A2000, the Heart of the Hide 314 Rawlings Dual Core is one of our favorites. In fact, it is hard to make the case this Rawlings 11.5 inch middle infield glove is any different than the A2000 1786. Both use top shelf leather, have a fantastic name brand and are used at every level of the sport.
In fact, at the MLB level, the Heart of the Hide models are at least a little bit more popular than the A2000. The 314 also comes in a number of options that can be customized on the Rawlings Custom site. Often, Rawlings offers this model in a number of one-off color options or a small offering of unique version gloves like, for example, a spring training offering. As well, almost every year this 314 glove is updated with color scheme and maybe a feature or two.
Rawlings Pro Preferred 205 Wing Tip
This section might as well be titled the best 11.75-inch glove instead of the Best 3rd baseman's glove. Since most consider the 11.75 length the ideal third baseman's glove we simply make our choosing easier by limiting the category.
And while there are a number of 3rd baseman happy with an 11.5-inch or even 12-inch glove, we think the 11.75-inch Pro Preferred Rawlings Wing Tip in the 205 pattern is the best 3rd baseman's glove on the market. Of course, with each selection on this page, the categories are tough to narrow down. Several companies, including Marucci, Wilson, PRO44, Nokona, Shoeless Joe and a host of others make really good 11.75 gloves.
We further narrowed our list by considering only those with the I-Web. This is a debatable topic as many 3rd baseman, especially at elite levels, prefer a single or dual post design on their hot corner glove. Those web designs make a bit of a deeper pocket. But, they also provide more durability for grounders that are usually smoking. In the end, though, we thought the utility gained from an I-web that can also be used at short stop and 2nd enough to give the 205 Wing Tip the edge.
Easton MAKO Legacy 11.5-inch
The value infield glove space absolutely DRAWFS the infield premium glove space. As such, deciding on the best infield glove with a value price tag is more controversial as it boxes out a number of great gloves. The Gamer series from Rawlings and the A1K group from Wilson, to name a few, offer really great gloves at less than ridiculous pricing.
We liked the Easton MAKO Legacy glove better than the others for its soft leather smooth look. It also fit the bill of a popular 11.5-inch pattern with an I-web. And by "better" what we really mean is we liked it at least as much as anything else tried. Of course, with each selection on this page, the categories are tough to narrow down.
Several companies, including Marucci, Wilson, PRO44, Nokona, Shoeless Joe and a host of others make really good 11.75 gloves. We further narrowed our list by considering only those with the I-Web. This is a debatable topic as many 3rd baseman, especially at elite levels, prefer a single or dual post design on their hot corner glove.
Those web designs make a bit of a deeper pocket. But, they also provide more durability for grounders that are usually smoking. In the end, though, we thought the utility gained from an I-web that can also be used at short stop and 2nd enough to give the 205 Wing Tip the edge.
The highest rated Catcher’s glove we could find, across all brands and vendors, is the CM3000 from All Star. This glove isn’t cheap, but in terms of a high end glove that will last a life time this is the go to for many MLB players. And you can get one too.
Expect a beast of a work in. Like, you'd do good to own a 2 ton truck that you can drive over the glove a few times. It's an absolute monster. But, once broken in, expect to catch Chapman type fastballs for an entire game without a care in the world.
Options, Options, Options
There are several great catchers gloves on the market. Our favorite is the Wilson Pudge glove. It consistently gets the best ratings across multiple sites, comes with a great brand name we love the back hand webbing. The fit is perfect for a normal sized hand and the pocket depth is right where most of our catcher's wanted it.
Give yourself a few months to get this thing in game shape. They come rock solid. But, expect it to be able to take a beating and last you several good seasons.
Look, Heart of the Hide, 1st baseman’s glove. What else needs to be said? They increased some heel pad protection in this version and it comes 25% the way worked in. It’s a brilliant glove and you really can’t go wrong here.
There are several options in the first base space. Of course you could settle happily for an A2000 with Miguel Cabrera's MC24 mitt. That's a solid choice. But, we wanted to choose something a bit off the beaten path. Take, for example, Shoeless Joe's 1st base glove.
The 1200 from Shoeless fits great, feels perfect and looks just like it should. We like the long T-web. It gets great ratings across the board. In so many ways it is the perfect 1st baseman glove. Those looking for a serious glove and considering Wilson's A2k or A2000 line will really like the 1200 from Shoeless.
If you're looking to buy a good glove, but not willing to break the bank just yet, the market has a ton of great offerings. We really like Easton's Gamer series for youth in the good baseball gloves category. Wilson's A700 line gets great ratings as does their A950 glove line. But, if we had to choose a good not necessarily great (i.e. expensive) glove then we'd go with Rawlings GG Elite Series. These gloves range in the $100 to $150 range in any size imaginable. (GG stands for Gamer Glove).
These gloves come with great, workable leather in ideal patterns of all glove lengths. The use the same soft material in the wrist strap that Rawlings uses on their Pro Preferred line. The laces are Heart of the Hide quality. For all intents and purposes, the guy looking for a good, usable glove at a reasonable price will be much happier with a GG Elite than a HOH or A2000 for more than twice its price.
They don't have the distribution of a Wilson, Rawlings, Easton or Marucci. But, like Nokona, their gloves are legit and compete with the best in the business in terms of feel and function.
Of course there are some other great outfield gloves too if the Shoeless 13-inch doesn't fit your bill.
Wilson A2000 YP66 Game Model
We are the very first to admit that there are several very good outfield gloves on the market today. If your eyes are closed then most top end, high quality leather gloves are very difficult to distinguish. In otherwords, despite our claim that this article is revealing the best outfield gloves on the planet we are far from convinced that elite players have several elite options.
Despite all our caveats on choosing the “Best Outfield Glove”, we did find the YP66 rise to the top time and time again. On at least a few vendor sites it was the most popular 12.75 inch glove. That, and the following features, went into our decision.
Rawlings Heart of the Hide 3039
If you want a very similar glove the YP66, but need it in a different model for whatever reason, may we suggest the 3039 from Rawlings’ Heart of the Hide series. This is the more popular outfield glove in the MLB and it prices exactly the same as the A2000 YP66. The 3039 HOH uses a very traditional Pro-H Web for a monster reach on a monster glove. The outer shell leather, palm lining and Tennessee
Tannery are Rawlings’ mainstays and a passion for many a glove fan. You can see our full Rawlings 12.75 glove review here.
Rawlings Heart of the Hide Bryce Harper Glove
Bryce Harper’s Rawlings Heart of the Hide 13-inch outfield glove is likely the best selling outfield glove in the history of the world. Do note, it does come in other design colors than red. This is much like the 3039 from Rawlings but giving you the extra 1/2 inch.
It is meant for very large and strong people or those who think they are. We would guess several softball players might like this one too. This glove stands as our favorite 13-inch outfield glove. For some other ideas in this space, see our full Bryce Harper Glove Review here.
Mizuno MVP PRO
If you want a great glove but don’t want to spend a great amount of money, we suggest the Mizuno MVP PRO in a 12.75 inch. It usually runs less than $100 and comes with the same patterns that many elite outfielders use. It does cut some corners on leather quality and palm lining but you can line your pockets with the $150 you just saved.
There are several legitimate outlets where you can purchase baseball gloves. Of note, most people end up buying a glove in a brick and mortar store. They want to touch and feel the glove. This approach makes some sense. However, the limited supply and price points of brick and mortar locations often produce a sub-optimal result.
We highly recommend online glove buying. And reading our glove reviews is a helpful step. After you decide on a glove, we suggest you look closely at places like closeoutbats.com and justballgloves.com. As well, eBay’s glove section, as well as Amazon’s baseball glove section, are worth a look too. Most new gloves from the significant manufacturers require no less than some determined minimum price. If you are buying a “this-years” glove from a legit retailer, you can expect to pay the same anywhere.
As a general rule, the best youth baseball gloves are made from the best leather. The best leather is both softer and more durable. Some manufacturers argue that Kip leather, made from the hides of small cows, is the most premium leather. Others claim that buffalo hide is the best. Also, some gloves use sheepskin on the inside while others might use real deer-hide. Those are just some of the considerations when choosing the best youth baseball gloves.
Many manufacturers make youth baseball gloves. Wilson, Rawlings, Marucci, Nokona, Louisville Slugger, Easton, Akadema, and several others produce youth baseball gloves.
Pro baseball players tend to use quality gloves from a few select manufacturers. Rawlings is currently the most popular MLB glove brand. Wilson is next. After that, several brands have played in the majors.
That includes groups like Louisville Slugger, Marucci, and Nike.
Depending on the position and the size of the player, most eight-year-olds would appreciate an 11 to the 11.5-inch glove. We would recommend the Nokona S-200 in the 11.25 if the budget were not a concern. If you still wanted a quality glove but wanted to spend less than $100, we would suggest the Rawlings Gamer in an 11.25 or 11.5-inch pattern.
Our criteria for the best outfield glove consisted of a few useful metrics. First, the glove needs appreciation and use by the best players in the game. Second, we considered the reputation of a durable break-in relatively high as most gloves at these price points intend for long life. Third, we settled on a 12.75-inch length with a strong and big pocket as the perfectly shaped glove. We were not as concerned with color and style as we were with functionality, but we were naturally more attracted to impressive-looking gloves.
Anyone reading the above lists of best baseball gloves might suspect a bias towards Wilson and, in particular, the A2000 models. We have yet to hear a convincing argument as to why the A2000 line is not among the best glove on the market. Sure, there are other great glove lines. Wilson’s A2K, Rawlings’ Heart of the Hide, and Pro Preferred, to name a few. But even those struggle slightly in terms of the name recognition the younger generation wants on their hands. The A2000 rules the roost and for a good reason too. It has a reputation for excellent material, a great break-in, and a durable nature to last you for years and years to come.
Many articles boast the best glove list. Although prevalent, we struggle to find them wildly helpful. Many of them seem more bent on word counts and Amazon links than anything useful. That said, we did refer to the customer ranking system on Amazon a few times.
We also spent time on closeoutbats.com glove section, trying to determine which gloves were best sellers and get a better feel on pricing. We also spent some time on our best infield gloves article. Although a different topic, the idea behind the search and criteria was a good reminder. The fact an A2000 won that category also gave us a little pause in terms of our bias meter. But, in the end, these gloves were our favorites.