Beginner’s Guide: How to Choose a Glove

Learn how to choose the perfect baseball or fastpitch glove for beginners.

 

From All-Stars playing in the big leagues to a young player taking his or her first at bat in a game, when it comes to gloves, how a glove fits and feels on the player’s hand are the most important points.

When initially practicing skills and developing a love for the game of baseball or fastpitch, having a glove that properly fits the player’s hand and wrist will immediately make a difference in how comfortable he or she feels on the field. If the player feels like the glove is going to slide off his or her hand when his or her arm is down by their side, chances are, the glove, or at least the hand opening is too large for the player. Wilson incorporated features into baseball and softball gloves for younger players to offer a smaller and more tailored fit, allowing for a more secure, snug feel. Equipment that fits comfortably not only allows young players to focus on skill development, but it also increases the likelihood that they have fun.

Ball Glove Construction

Before purchasing a glove for your baseball or softball player, it is important to understand the different parts of a baseball glove to ensure you get a glove tailored to your player’s individual preference and on-field needs.

 

Especially for younger players, choosing a glove comes down to fit and function. In other words, how a glove performs when on your hand is paramount. Additionally, it must be easy to close, lightweight enough to maneuver and help inspire confidence on the field.

Many of the Wilson non-Pro Stock models are designed with younger players in mind. The gloves use lightweight materials that are easier to close, and there is little to no break-in process needed. Hand openings are smaller, finger stalls are shorter and narrower, and the glove lengths are shorter so that young players can have greater control of their glove. Meanwhile, when shopping for gloves for more serious players, Wilson Pro Stock gloves – in other words, an A2K® or A2000® – are Wilson’s top glove lines to consider. These gloves consider a myriad of additional factors; materials, construction, position-specific designs, and size are just a few of the features older players (generally 12 years old and up) should consider before purchasing a new Wilson ball glove.

For fastpitch players, Wilson offers multiple design options to improve the fit of the glove for players including a drawstring closure or an adjustable velcro pull strap. Both closure systems make adjusting the fit of the glove simple, even in the middle of a game, and offer a complete custom fit for the glove to fit snug and secure to the player’s hand and wrist. In addition, Wilson fastpitch gloves are built with a thinner heel pad and deeper pocket design, which combine to make it easier to handle the size of a softball. Altogether, Wilson fastpitch gloves allow players to field the ball with confidence and quickly transfer the ball to their throwing hand to make the quick plays the sport demands.

Quick Reference: Baseball and Softball Glove Size Chart

The first step in choosing the right baseball or softball glove is to determine what size glove is right for the player based on age and hand size. A comfortable range where any beginner should be able to find a comfortable, easy-to-use glove is between 10.75 and 12” depending on age. Reference the chart below for more information.

 

Size is the most misunderstood aspect of ball gloves. Some parents might think a small glove will make it harder for a player to catch the ball – but that’s not the case. A smaller glove allows for easier for a young player. The more control of the glove a player has, the better they can get their body and glove in position to catch and secure the ball.

If a player is using a glove that is too large, it will feel awkward and potentially be a distraction. Function can be boiled down to this: can a player easily and successfully squeeze the glove closed? If a player cannot close a glove, the player should try another glove size. That is why Wilson designs all youth patterns with game-ready materials, meaning there is little to no break-in period for these gloves.

 

 

Understanding Glove Sizes by Position

An important factor in choosing a glove is to choose the right glove for your position. Depending on what position you play, you will want to have a glove tailored to the demands of your position.

Infield Gloves 

Infield Gloves are often the smallest gloves on the field. They feature a shallower pocket, allowing infielders to quickly transfer the ball from their glove to throw out baserunners. A common misconception is that infielders need larger gloves, but even professional baseball players use gloves as small as 11.25” to allow them to transfer the ball quickly. For youth players, infield gloves range in length from 10.75”-11.75”. For high school through adult baseball gloves range from 11.25” to 12.25”. Fastpitch infield gloves range from 11” to 12”. Slowpitch Softball gloves range up to 13”

Outfield Gloves

Outfield Gloves are typically larger gloves designed to help players have extra reach as they track down fly balls. These gloves feature a deeper pocket that prioritizes securing the ball after the catch. For baseball players, outfield gloves range in size from 10.75”-12.5” for youth players and 12.5”-12.75” for adults. Fastpitch and slowpitch outfield gloves tend to be larger, ranging from 12”-13” and 13”-14”, respectively.

Pitcher's Gloves

Pitcher’s Gloves tend to be sized more closely to an infield glove, while featuring a closed-web pattern to conceal the player’s grip when throwing a pitch. They range in size from 9”-10.5” for tee-ball, 10.75”-12.5” for youth, and 11.5”-12.5” for adult baseball and fastpitch players, and can be as large as 14” in length for slowpitch players.

Utility Gloves

Utility Gloves are designed for players who play multiple positions and need a glove that can handle the needs of both the infield and outfield. They tend to be on the larger end of the spectrum for an infield glove, and often feature a closed-web design to accommodate players who also pitch. For baseball players, utility gloves range in size from 11”-12” for youth and 11.75”-12.5” for adults. Fastpitch utility gloves typically range from 11.5”-12”, and slowpitch utility gloves can be up to 13” in length.

 

 

Choosing the Right Wilson Ball Glove

Another quick way to understand which Wilson glove is right for you or your player is to look at the different Wilson glove lineups.

A200 gloves are built for tee ball players, and A360 gloves have options for those getting their first experience on the field and even veteran slowpitch softball players, too. Both use lightweight materials, and even 3 and 4-year-olds are able to open and close the gloves.

From there, players age 7 and up can try the A450 and A500 lineups, which offer a wider variety of patterns and sizes as players start aligning with specific positions. As players continue getting older and gaining more hand strength and size, they can transition to the A700 and A900 glove series. These gloves carry a more substantive feel – and can even be used recreationally by some adults. The A1000 is a great series to bridge between the more game-ready gloves and an A2K or A2000.

For elite baseball players who are just entering travel ball or those with smaller hands or who are simply looking for a more snug fit, Wilson offers the Pedroia Fit™ lineup. These Pro Stock gloves are designed with a smaller hand opening, as well as shorter, narrower finger stalls for a much more secure fit. Another Pedroia Fit feature that significantly benefits younger players is a drastically thinner pad in the heel of the glove to make closing and the breaking-in of the glove much easier. Most Pedroia Fit gloves include SuperSkin™ to keep the glove as light as possible. The Pedroia Fit lineup includes glove options for infielders, outfielders, catchers and pitchers.

 

 

For serious ballplayers, there are no better options than the A2K and A2000. The A2000 lineup features some of the most innovative technology in baseball and fastpitch, from the Comfort Pro™ system that comfortably molds to your hand over time, to the all-new Spin Control Technology™, and much more. Every Wilson A2000 is handcrafted with Pro Stock™ leather for premium quality. The A2K® series takes this yet a step further by using the most premium ball glove materials in the world – the flawless Pro Stock Select™ leather - and Double Palm™ construction which creates a more stable pocket, helping each glove hold its shape longer than most other gloves on the market today

For the full lineup of Wilson ball gloves, click here. Looking specifically for a youth model? Here you go.

Need more tips? Check out our articles explaining how to break-in a glove, how to keep your glove game ready, and how to re-lace your wrist strap.