When choosing a baseball or softball glove you should consider sizing, budget, feel, and player position.
Let's talk about cost first. While it's not the most important consideration, it does warrant some attention, since like bats, gloves have a wide price range. The cheapest recreational mitts cost between $20 and $50. For growing children, it's a good idea to watch your budget. Before you know it they'll need a new glove. Plus, you don't want to spend $200 on a glove just to find out that Junior isn't interested in the sport anymore.
What about buying for adults? Expensive gloves and mitts are well-constructed and can be expected to last a long time. However, no amount of money will miraculously improve your skills. You might find that the more money you spend, the better fit you get. This is not a steadfast rule though.
Sizing by Age
Gloves are measured by their "pattern size", a measurement from the heel of the glove (by your wrist) to the top of the glove on the palm side. You want to find a glove that feels comfortable on your hand, which is free of rough edges or tightness. Take into account that the glove will feel stiff until it is properly broken in.
* Adult gloves are typically between 12".
* Youth gloves range from 8" to about 12".
* When measuring gloves, it's important to use a flexible tape measure, rather than a stiff ruler. When you do this, lay the tape measure across the palm of the glove, causing it to fold down and into the indenture of the glove, down to the heel of the glove.
** When purchasing a youth sized glove make sure the glove isn't too large.
** You do want a little space to grow into, but not so much that the child is unable to properly lift or close the glove.
* Eight yearglove'>11" gloves, but it all has to do with the individual. Trying the glove on is the best way to determine if the size is right.
When it comes to specialized gloves and mitts, you will have to reconsider sizing. Here's a rough breakdown:
* Adult Outfielders Gloves are 12" to 13".
* Adult Infielders & Pitchers Gloves are 10 3/4" to 12".
* Adult Softball Gloves are 12" to 14".
You should also remember that gloves are sized differently to suit different tasks.
*catcher's mitts are unique in design.
* Gloves for softball are typically larger. Find a glove best suited for your positions needs.
Lastly, if you want to get into specifics, here are things to know about webbing and backing in relation to field position.
* '''Open Web''' Preferred by outfielders and third basemen.
* '''Closed Web''' Preferred by middle infielders and pitchers.
* '''Open & Closed Back''' Individual preference, though middle infielders like open back.
What to do once you bring your glove home.
Breaking a brand new glove in may be one of the grayer areas of baseball gear. Generally speaking, manufacturers agree on the fact that shaving cream (yes, shaving cream) are perfectly fine to use for softening the leather. However, it's vital to avoid applying anything to a glove that contains silicon, which will undoubtedly dry the leather out, causing it to be tougher to use and shortening its lifespan. Below are a few more tips to follow when breaking in your investment.
* Though some people still swear by it, baking and heating methods should be avoided. This is the best way to dry leather out.
* To create a pocket, most people stick a baseball (or softball) in the glove where the ball will/should be caught, then wrap shoelace, string or rubberbands along the outer edge, so as to condition the glove to the shape of the ball. It's ideal to keep the ball wrapped in the glove for at least a day or two.
* Throwing a glove into a dryer will cause the leather to crack, which effectively ruins your investment.