Baseball outfielders have some of the most demanding tasks in the game – and you quickly discover this when that is your main position. An outfielder is responsible for covering a third of the entire outfield, so you are the one running around, making quick stops, catching fly balls, and so on – so it demands a lot of physical strength and speed. Basically, an outfielder must be explosive and fast, which allows them to catch balls and let go of them quickly when need be.
For this reason, an outfielder needs gloves that can handle these demands. You might initially think that all gloves are the same, but this is very far from the truth – different field positions need different tools to help them perform at their best. In this article, we look at the best five gloves you can get, as well as a buying guide to help you select the best one for your needs.
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Right and Left
Right and Left
Right and Left
11, 11.5, 11.75, 12, 12.5, 33.5
Wilson 6-4-3 Pedroia fit glove
This glove provides you with the much-needed combination of the right quality and affordability. Wilson is a premium brand, after all, and their gloves might seem out of reach for many people due to their cost; but it is certainly not the case here.
- Mostly infield model, measures 11.5 inches
- Pedroia fitting – incorporates smaller hand opening, snug fit, low profile heel, long laces
- Pocket reinforcement from the double palm construction
- Faster break in due to the rolled dual welting
- Double play leather for extra feel
Since it is at the mid-tier level in terms of its pricing, it will not have advanced features as some of the premium baseball gloves – but it still delivers on its promise due to the use of high quality materials. Regardless of whether you are a beginner, seasoned pro, or a couch that is searching for a good, reliable glove at a friendly price, this is a good choice.
Its length of 12” makes it good for pitchers as well, while the two-piece closed web will make it great for a comebacker playing in the center as it is deep enough to handle the ball.
The signature Double Play leather that is a hallmark of Wilson gloves features prominently in the shell, palm and lacing. The best attributes of this leather is its software and comfort, which play a major role in its comfort – but it is also important to remember that this might not have the highest rating on the durability scale.
However, since it is quite soft, it will take on your hand shape easily compared to most gloves, while also lasting for a long time if you take care of it properly.
Rawlings Pro Preferred gloves
Among the expert players and intermediate baseball enthusiasts, it is hard to deny the high quality of Rawlings gloves. The company emphasizes the use of good quality materials and combines that with the everyday patterns used in the game, with the aim of giving players high quality gloves for maximum performance.
- 100% wool padding, which aids in shape retention and pocket formation
- Comprised of a full-grain leather shell for premium feel and look
- Palm lining made from soft Pittard sheepskin to remove moisture
- Padding in thumb sleeve for comfort
- Strength and durability due to the Tennessee Tanning rawhide laces
- Factory break-in at 30%, player 70%
The main feature is the leather that has seamless knitting designs, and this makes the gloves versatile enough to handle many experiences on the baseball field. Thanks to the inclusion of sheepskin lining of high quality, the glove will not trap sweat and moisture, as the material is breathable enough to let in air as you play.
The glove size itself is about 12.75 inches, and the web design takes on a trapeze format. The combination of these two allows the glove to have a seemingly deep pocket that you can use to secure balls easily. In addition, there is some secure lace binding at the hand opening area, to ensure that the glove is easy to adjust when you need to.
Wilson A2000 baseball glove
Another glove from the Wilson company, the A2000 is among their most famous glove varieties that offers great levels of performance – it is not surprising to find many professional players endorsing it either due to this.
- Dual welting to add a double pocket and retain shape after break in
- 122.75 inches measurement
- 6 finger trap web
- Rugged feel and durability
- Comes in red, black and blonde colors
The most prominent aspect is the six fingers palm/web, as well as its one piece. It is also versatile enough to come in both left and right-hand throw versions, so it will cater to the needs you have. If you are searching for a glove to use in your outfield play that reduces rebound and is great in its fit, this is a good choice for you.
Another aspect is the material in use here, which is why this glove is our pick – it is Pro Stock leather, which you can get in three colors depending on your preference (red, blonde, black). The leather is fine and soft, has a good design, and is durable. In addition, the pinky stall will allow two fingers to rest; the credit for this development goes to the OT6.
The glove is also quite flexible due to the low profile heel, and it also makes it perfect for infielders because it can help them adjust faster to bad hop situations. For a player with smaller hands, it still remains comfortable because of its Pedroia fit, shorter finger stalls, and a smaller hand opening.
Rawlings R9 baseball gloves
This will give you plenty of great baseball performance on the field, through the inclusion of various features that make it comfortable to wear and useful enough in multiple positions; not just for outfield players.
- Has a Pro-style pattern design
- Reinforced palm pad and thumb sleeve, which absorbs impact and helps you stay comfortable
- Soft feel in the fingers due to the padded finger back linings
- Shell comprised of 100% leather
- 80% factory break-in
The inclusion of a trapeze web, reinforced pad and unique 12.75 inch pattern helps it to reduce the impact of the ball and helps you stay comfortable on the field. In addition, there is a thumb loop included in the design that adds to the performance and comfort – all at a very friendly price. The design aesthetics are not just at the front of the glove though, as this extends to the back – which retains a conventional yet classy appearance.
The leather that is in use here is highly durable, and this ensures that the gloves will serve you well for many years to come. In addition, they are very comfortable to wear and soft, even coming partially broken in by 80% to make your work easier.
They also have the signature padding of the finger slots through thumb loops. At the end of the day, the glove will work well for players that are at intermediate or beginner levels, and gives great performance at an affordable cost.
Mizuno franchise baseball glove
The major advantage of these gloves is their emphasis on the comfortable hand-based patterns in their makeup, and this is why they fit in well with outfield players who are required to pick fly balls frequently.
- Comprised of Java leather that is long lasting and game-ready
- Alternating lace patterns (HiLo lacing) which gives flexibility and durability of closed webs
- Mzo material for lining to remove moisture from skin
- Palm padding made of Para shock plus material – reduces impact
- Split welting type
The pockets are not as obvious as the other outfield gloves as you would expect; the design is under the web. This is purely intentional, as it allows you to shape the glove in a similar way to professional players, which also makes them great for maximum levels of performance.
You will also notice that the use of Java leather helps it to maintain high levels of durability, as well as giving it its game-ready feel and high comfort levels.
The main pattern in use here is the HiLo design, which allows the glove to retain a high level of flexibility even as it retains the web integrity of the full lacing. There is also a Parashock Palm padding to absorb impact and protect your hands from injury.
What to look for in outfielder baseball gloves
There are a few factors that you will need to keep in mind when considering your purchase, although many of them can still apply to general glove purchases. A basic rundown includes:
- The material of the gloves
- The sizing, which influences your efficiency on the field
- The position you are playing on the field
- Versatility of the glove – can it work in other positions as well?
When it comes to picking a pair of gloves for your baseball game, the last thing you want is picking those that are too small or too big – it will just make you uncomfortable. In addition, wearing the wrong gloves can leave you vulnerable to injuries and accidents on the field, because they will not allow you to throw or catch the ball correctly.
Before purchasing the glove, make sure it fits your size correctly. This will also depend on the age, as a child from the ages of 4 to 6 will work well with 10” gloves, and adults will use bigger gloves (depending on their hand size).
In addition, the gloves that infielders and outfielders use will not necessarily be the same, and outfielder’s gloves need to be slightly larger. This will be by a small increment though, usually about 0.5 to 1 inch larger.
Ease of breaking in
The gloves that have a higher price tag on them are harder to break in compared to the budget-friendly ones, and it all has to do with the materials that make up the glove. Note though that there is no glove out there that has absolutely no break in time (unless it is for a very young child), as all gloves will need this regardless of which position you are using them in.
The material that is used in the glove will influence many other attributes, although youth baseball gloves do not have a specific ‘best material’. This is due to the qualities of the gloves used by youth players will not always follow the same standards that are present in adult and professional leagues.
An instance would be the leather varieties that feature prominently in various baseball gloves, and the synthetic materials that also feature. When it comes to materials, leather is always superior to synthetic materials, even if it is of a lower grade. However, this will not be as important when looking at gloves for younger players, because they have not developed their hand strength and skill enough to use premium gloves. This is made even more complicated due to the break-in time that premium gloves need.
Different materials have different attributes, which are:
- Synthetic – the lowest grade of material, and can either be synthetic fibers or flexible plastic. Unfortunately, they are not durable, although they are lightweight.
- Pigskin – this is the lowest grade of leather. It tends to lose shape over time, especially after heavy use in fast pitch situations, so it is better for a young player to develop hand strength.
- Cowhide – the most common form of leather, and suitable for young players who have gone through their first growth spurt. It is also durable as long as it is maintained well.
- Steer hide – this is very durable (lasting a minimum of five years), but is also very stiff and requires a long break-in time. It is not necessary for a child unless they are a teen player or participating in competitive leagues.
- Buffalo leather – this has the durability and stiffness of steer hides, but is also lighter. The only disadvantage is the price.
The hand you use for throwing
Before you spend money buying a baseball glove, you need to know which hand you primarily use for throwing balls, then purchase the glove for the opposite hand.
For instance, right-handed throwers need a glove for their left hand, and the opposite also applies. Most stores will sell gloves for both hands, while others take on a more specialist approach.
Getting a good outfielders glove is not as difficult as it sounds, as long as you keep your hand size and the material in mind. It is also easier to get the best quality from well-established brands, and this list will hopefully help you to get one that suits your needs.