| Glove Buying Guide

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Glove Buying Guide

Use this guide to help you find the right glove for your age, position and skill level. Learn about the different parts of a glove, the styles, the materials used in its construction, plus the recommended sizes to maximize your performance in the field.


  • Glove Anatomy
  • Web Types
  • Position
  • Size Chart
  • Store Services

Glove Anatomy

Webbing

Web styles are open or closed.

Open: Preferred by fielders for its quicker ball-to-hand transfer. Styles include I-Web, H-Web or Single Post. Helpful for catching fly balls, allowing players to see through the webbing and block out the sun.

Closed: Commonly used by baseball pitchers to shield their hand and the ball in the pocket to avoid tipping their pitch. Used by softball players to secure the ball better with less concern about transfer because of the larger size of the softball.

Pocket

Connects the fingers and thumb for ball control on impact. Features a tightly woven leather piece allowing fielders to close their hand and maintain possession.

Shallow: Preferred by infielders. Promotes quicker ball-to-hand transfer to gain split seconds to make a play.

Deep: Preferred by outfielders. Offers larger and deeper pockets to secure the ball better and make plays on the run.

Back

Also known as the "wrist closure" or "space" for the index finger. Some players prefer a more traditional open back design than the tighter fit of a closed back.

Open: Features a larger space for more flexibility to the wrist and hand plus greater ventilation.

Closed: Features a smaller hole for the index finger, providing added stability and support when making a tough catch.

Palm

Padding beneath the leather offers impact protection.

Heel

The lower portion of the glove on the palm side provides protection as well as the break point.

Hinge

Allows the glove to open and close easily.

Wrist

An optional adjustment feature common in youth baseball, fastpitch softball and slow pitch softball. Allows for an optimal fit. Includes D-ring fasteners, hook-and-loop fasteners and buckle systems.

Finger Stalls

The finger openings on a glove. Youth openings are generally tighter than adult models to help close the glove more easily. Some gloves are designed for players with smaller hands.


Leather

Ball gloves are constructed from a variety of different leathers, including American steerhide and hand-shaped Japanese Kip leather, affecting the feel, durability and price. Each brand details the type of leather used within the product description.

Full-Grain Leather

Features a natural grain from steerhide or cowhide. The standard for most Pro Series gloves, offering superior performance and durability that elite players demand. Stiffer and heavier during construction, usually requires a traditional break-in process after purchase.

Kip Leather

Soft and luscious cowhide used in many high-end gloves. Often preferred by younger players over traditional cowhide due to its lightweight feel which promotes more mobility and range of motion. Less break-in time needed vs. full-grain leather.

Premium Steerhide

Strong and durable. Taken from the back shoulder for its tough texture. Heavier and traditionally tougher to break-in. Often used by big league players for its ability to hold up over the course of a 162-game season.

Leather & Cowhide

Standard leather on more base models. Medium to heavy weighting breaks in a bit faster off the shelf than premium leathers and is ready for action sooner. Ideal for youth players.

Synthetic

Lightweight option for youth is easy to close with no break-in period required. Sometimes included in higher-price models to reduce weight while maintaining durability.


Break In

Each glove series is created to be broken in at a certain level after purchase. The level of break-in required by the players is called out by some brands as each glove comes out of their factory. This information is available in the product description on each page. A general rule: higher-caliber gloves may require more break-in time to be considered a "gamer," ready to be used in a game.



There are several tools available at DICK'S Sporting Goods which will help you to break in the premium leather construction. Customers who prefer to steam their gloves can bring their new leather to their local DICK'S Sporting Goods for our glove steaming services.


Web Types

Open and Closed style webs offer different benefits for different positons.
Here is a quick look at the most popular webs and the different benefits they bring for every position:


Fielders

I-Web

The most popular web type for infielders, with leather strips laced together to form a web in the shape of the letter "I." This open webbing usually has a more shallow pocket that promotes a quick ball-to-hand transfer, the preferred web style by players to snag and retrieve balls as quickly as possible.

H-Web

Designed with two strips of leather across a horizontal bar to form an "H" shape. This model is popular among infielders and outfielders as a great midpoint for quicker ball retrieval with a deeper pocket than the I-Web. This web type is also more flexible and open, allowing players to see through it when blocking out the sun or stadium lights.

Cross

The Cross web makes a simple cross shape, ideal for players who prefer a very open web type and maximum visibility.

Trapeze

Built with a single strip of leather interlaced on each side to the top of the glove, providing one of the deepest pocket depths of any glove. The added space helps secure and trap the ball, making it a preferred model of outfielders.

Modified Trap

The modified trap web features a strip of leather at the top, making this style more beneficial for infielders who can get to the ball quicker and prefer the additional layer of structure and support. Also common among pitchers, since the top strip of leather helps conceal the hand and ball before the pitch.

Basket

Intertwined strips of leather form a closed web, most often used by pitchers and softball players. The flexibility of the basket and woven design provide optimized stability and support.

Two-Piece

This closed-web style features two strips of leather laced together tightly to form a secure, tight pocket. Most often used by pitchers because of its strong structural support and durability.

First Base

Single Post

A common design among first base mitts, this style features two strips of leather across a vertical post allowing for flexibility and visibility. The added depth is enough to scoop tough throws in the dirt, but not too deep that it makes the ball tough to retrieve when a quick ball-to-hand transfer is needed.

Modified H-Web

The classic H-Web style with an added top piece that first basemen utilize for an expanded catch radius.

Dual Bar

Two horizontal bars stitched together form a pocket that helps secure and trap the ball more effectively. This web type is limited in visibility and mostly used by first basemen.

Catchers

Half Moon

Two pieces of leather, one which looks like a half-moon shape, is laced together to form a tight pocket with just a sliver of visibility. Just a bit more flexbile than other models that are fully closed. Also referred to as a Two-Piece Closed web.

One Piece

One larger piece of leather laced together around the outside of the pocket, forming a tighter, shallow pocket that is very common amongst big league backstops.

Position

Position

Gloves are tailored for every player and position on the field. Every glove page on DICKS.com will include graphics denoting which position each glove is best designed for.

Glove Buying Guide Position

Infield

Middle infielders playing 2B and SS generally prefer a shallow pocket glove with an open web like an I-Web (the most popular), H-Web, Dual and Single Post. The more shallow pocket is ideal for a quicker ball-to-hand transfer that gives fielders that extra split-second they need to get the out. Players at 3B can use a deeper pocket if preferred to handle those harder hit grounders and line drives at the corner. Players at the Hot Corner can use an open or stitched up pocket that balances lighter weight with added support.


Outfield

Outfielders generally prefer a wider, deeper pocket to trap the ball and secure it. The type of web is truly depended on player preference, some players prefer an open pocket like an H-Web or Dual Post, while others prefer a web that has a tightly stitched pocket offering greater support.


Catcher

The most demanding position on the diamond, comfort and durability are the name of the game for elite backstops who need to withstand the grind pitch after pitch. The rounded, oval shape of mitt's and the closed webbing are built to extend your range and stand tough over time, with added padding around the edges to withstand repeated high velocity pitches. The type of leather along with the comfort level of the wrist opening and finger lining will be paramount when finding the right mitt.


First Base

Another rigorous position that demands quite a bit from athletes, First Base Mitts also feature a rounded, oval shape that allows players to scoop out poorly thrown balls in the dirt. Larger, deeper pockets allow for a more secure catch and hold, an integral part of completing the must-have plays when the game is on the line.


All-Purpose

Also called a Utility glove, these are perfect for players who move all over the diamond. The in-between sizing allows players to keep their same glove when moving from the Infield to the Outfield, or from the Outfield to the pitchers mound.


Pitcher

To conceal the hand and the ball prior to getting into your windup, Pitchers generally utilize a closed web design. The right size can depend on player preference, but anything with a closed or stitched up web will be ideal to meet the demands of most hurlers.

Size Chart

To make a shoestring catch, a scoop at first, or a frame a perfect fastball, you need a glove that is ideal for your age, position and skill level. This glove size chart can help you determine the best fit for your hand so you can make a winning play.

Baseball

Age Position Glove Size
8 & Under All 9"-10.75"
8 to 12 Infield 10.75"-12"
Outfield 11.75"-13"
Catcher 31"-32.5"
First Base 11.5"-12.5"
13 & Older Infield 11.25"-12.25"
Outfield 12"-13"
Catcher 32.5"-35"
First Base 12"-13"

Fastpitch

Age Position Glove Size
Tee Ball All 9"-10"
8 to 12 Infield 10.5"-12"
Outfield 11.5"-13"
Catcher 31"-32.5"
First Base 12"-13"
13 & Older Infield 11.25"-12.5"
Outfield 12"-13"
Catcher 33"-34.5"
First Base 12"-13"

Slow Pitch

Age Position Glove Size
14 & Over Infield 12"-12.75"
Outfield 12"-14"

Store Services

Baseball & Softball Services

The skilled Softball and Baseball PROS at DICK'S Sporting Goods can get your glove or mitt into game-day condition with our in-store glove steaming service. Select locations also have bat regripping, glove relacing and HitTrax batting cages, so you can test bats before you play.

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