Today’s topic: How to buy a baseball glove for kids.
When it comes time to buy a new baseball glove for your kid, there are a few important things that you need to consider. By the time you are finished reading this article, you will be able to buy that new glove with confidence!
As a father of four kids who have all played, and are still playing baseball, I have purchased dozens of gloves. Here I will share all of the tips I have learned over the years and answer all of your questions about how to buy a baseball glove for kids.
How to buy a baseball glove for kids – Things to consider
Just like any other purchase you plan to make, the first thing that we usually consider is price. When you decide to buy a new glove, setting a limit on how much you are willing to spend is the best way to avoid any confusion or disagreements that can arise while you are doing your research.
Keep in mind that you are buying a glove for a kid, and during the first few years you will most likely be buying a new glove at the beginning of each season. Keep your budget in mind. If your budget has no limit, then you will most likely want to look into the highest quality gloves like Nokona. They are definitely on the pricey side, but offer you some of the highest quality gloves on the market.
Gloves like these are made with the best materials available and the highest quality craftsmanship. If you have several children who play baseball, these gloves will be able to be passed down to each kid. The initial investment may be high, but if properly taken care of, it will last for years to come. Bonus: You only have to break it in once.
If you are like me and are operating on more of a restricted budget, don’t worry, there are lots of great gloves available for very reasonable prices. Glove makers such as Rawlings, Easton, and Louisville Slugger offer excellent gloves at all price levels.
My Personal Recommendations
I wrote an entire article about my own and my kids’ personal favorite gloves. These are great gloves at good prices that have stood the test of time. You can check them out by clicking this link. My top 5 baseball gloves. The link will open in a new tab so you can come right back and finish reading.
Choosing the Right Size
Choosing the right size baseball glove is one of the most important things to consider when buying a new glove. Keep in mind that when they are just starting out that they will probably be playing many different positions on the field. Don’t put to much emphasis on looking for position specific gloves. As they get older, most kids will start to play one certain position most of the time, but for starters, an all purpose glove is the best way to go.
Here are some general guidelines to get you started.
Age 8 & under: 9″ – 9.5″
Age 9 – 13: 9″ – 12″
Age 13 & up: 10.5″ – 13″
You can click this link to see a more detailed breakdown of glove sizes for infield and outfield.
Remember, these are just general guidelines and ultimately it comes down to individual player preference. The glove should fit pretty snug, but not so tight that it is uncomfortable. Remember, the glove is going to stretch somewhat during the break in process. Try not to think of the new glove like you would something like clothes, it’s not a good idea to buy the glove too big thinking they may grow into it. This usually leads to poor performance and frustration for the player. Plus, the glove will never have a chance to form to their hand.
Tip: A lot of players like to wear a batting glove inside their glove. Make sure to leave a little room if this is the case with your player.
Which Material Is Best
Over the years baseball gloves have been made from many different materials. In the interest of avoiding information overload, we will look at a few of the most common.
Cowhide: Cowhide leather is the most common material used for making baseball gloves. The quality of the leather can vary quite a bit. These gloves are fairly easy to break in and, depending on how the glove is cared for, will last a long time.
These gloves will become more and more comfortable as they form to your kid’s hand.
Pigskin: While often less durable than cowhide, pigskin leather gloves are a less expensive alternative. These gloves are a good choice for beginners who will outgrow their gloves quickly.
Synthetics: More recently, synthetics are becoming a common material for making baseball gloves.
New micro fiber materials are lightweight and comfortable. They are also easy to break in. With time and improvements, they are getting more and more durable.
While almost all serious players will say that a synthetic glove will never form to your hand or give you the same type of control that a leather glove does, others will say that synthetic gloves are the way to go. Again, this comes down to player preference.
My personal opinion on this topic is: If you are an established player and are looking for the highest performance and comfort, stick with the leather. If your child is just starting out, consider looking into synthetics.
The Louisville Slugger Genesis series gloves are a great entry level glove that my kids have used before with above average results. These gloves are a compromise, featuring an all leather palm with a mesh back.
How to buy a baseball glove for kids – Conclusion
Your kid’s glove is one of the most important pieces of equipment that they will own, especially when they are first starting out. Try to keep in mind that they will most likely outgrow their first couple of gloves pretty quickly. So unless you plan on passing the glove down to the next kids in line, there is no real need to buy the best glove out there.
Remember your budget when you started your quest. As with anything else you plan on purchasing, it’s important to keep your budget in mind. As I said earlier, this will help to avoid a lot of confusion and frustration.
I hope this article helped you with any questions you may have about how to buy a baseball glove for kids. This is an experience that you and your kid will really enjoy. If you have any other questions or would like to share some of your own tips, please leave a comment below and I will get back with you a.s.a.p.
Thanks for stopping by ~Jeremy
P.S. After you get that new glove home you will want to start the “break in” process. You can check out my article on breaking in your new glove here. Best way to break in a baseball glove I have used this process for the last 30+ years and it works like a charm. Hope you enjoy!