Baseball softball glove buying guide
DICK'S PRO TIPS | Glove Buying Guide
Start here for the gear you need and advice from our experts
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
- Size Chart
- Store Services
Baseball & Softball Glove Anatomy
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.
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.
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.
Padding beneath the leather offers impact protection.
The lower portion of the glove on the palm side provides protection as well as the break point.
Allows the glove to open and close easily.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|8 & Under||All||9"-10.75"|
|8 to 12||Infield||10.75"-12"|
|13 & Older||Infield||11.25"-12.25"|
|8 to 12||Infield||10.5"-12"|
|13 & Older||Infield||11.25"-12.5"|
|14 & Over||Infield||12"-12.75"|
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.Learn More >