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Your Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right Baseball and Softball Glove Size

Your Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right Baseball and Softball Glove Size

Choosing the right softball or baseball glove size is crucial for success in either sport. Whether you’re in the outfield, infield, on the pitcher’s mound, at third base, or anywhere else, a properly-fitting glove will be your game’s foundation.
Identifying the correct measurements can be tricky, which is why we’ve put together this guide. Keep reading for our recommendations based on age and position.

Softball and Baseball Glove Size Charts

The ranges in our sizing charts accommodate smaller, average, and larger hands. We carry each size in our baseball, fastpitch, and slowpitch collections.

Youth Baseball Glove Size Chart

Age Outfield Catcher First Base Second Base/Short Stop Third Base Pitcher
11–13 11.75–12.5" 31–32.5" 11.5–12.5" 11–11.5" 11–11.75" 11.5–12"
8–10 10–12" 31–31.5" 11.5–12" 10.5–11.25" 10.5–11.5" 10.5–11.5"
7 and under 9–10.5" na 11.5" 9–10.5" 9–10.5" 9–10.5"

Adult Baseball Glove Size Chart

By age 14 and above, ideal glove sizes become standardized.

Age Outfield Catcher First Base Second Base/Short Stop Third Base Pitcher
14 and above 12–13" 32–34.5" 12.5"–13" 11.25–11.75" 11.5–12" 11.5–12.5"

Youth Fastpitch Softball Glove Size Chart

Age Outfield Catcher First Base Second Base/Short Stop Third Base Pitcher
11–13 11.75–12.5"" 31–32.5" 12–13" 11.5–12" 11.5–12.5" 11.5–12.5"
8–10 10–12" 30–32." 11.5–12" 10.5–11.5" 10.5–11.5" 10.5–11.5"
7 and under 9–11" n.a 11.5" 9–10.5" 9–10.5" 9–10.5"

Adult Fastpitch Softball Glove Size Chart

Age Outfield Catcher First Base Second Base/Short Stop Third Base Pitcher
14 and above 12–13" 33–34" 12–13" 11.5–12.5" 11.75–12.5" 12–12.5"

Slowpitch Softball Glove Size Chart

Slowpitch softball gloves come in a smaller range of standard sizes that fit players of all ages.

Outfield First Base Second Base/Short Stop Third Base Pitcher
15.5–15" 31–32.5" 11.5–12.5" 12.5–13" 12.5–13"

How should a baseball/softball glove fit?

As you can see in the charts above, recommended baseball and softball glove come in a range of sizes. To ensure a glove’s suitability, you’ll need to evaluate how it fits on the players wrist and hand. The glove should fit snugly. A floppy glove will reduce your ability to catch properly whereas an overly-tight glove will make for an uncomfortable fit.
Key factors to consider when choosing the correct glove size are the wrist size and fit on the hand. If a glove is too large it will feel loose on the hand, palm and fingers. A glove with an adjustable wrist strap is a great option for younger players or those with smaller hands.

How to measure a baseball/softball correctly?

New gloves come with specifications on the tag. You can typically find the measurements etched into either the thumb or pinky finger. If your glove doesn’t have any specifications, stretch a measuring tape between the tip of the index finger, down along the glove, and to the center heel.


Tips for selecting the right Baseball or Softball Glove

Everything you need to know about webbing, padding and glove materials

Carefully consider the type of webbing

Webbing comes in different styles, some of which are better suited for particular positions. See the chart below.

Type Of Webbing Description Ideal Positions
Two Piece Closed A two-piece closed web allows you to hide the ball and your fingers. It’s popular among pitchers for this reason.
  • Pitcher
  • Middle Infielder
  • Catcher
  • First Base
Modified Trapeze If you don’t have a particular webbing preference yet, the modified trapeze style is versatile enough to start with for most positions.
  • Pitcher
  • Third Base
  • Outfield
Trapeze Web The trapeze web style is very popular among outfielders because it helps with catching balls that make it out that far.
  • Outfield
I-Web I-Web gloves are very popular with infielders because the large gaps easily allow dirt and debris to fall through.
  • Infield
H-Web The H-Web design is very sturdy. Large gaps also allow players to keep an eye on fly balls.
  • Outfield
  • Third Base
Basket Web The basket web is another style that allows you to hide the ball easily, which pitchers prefer.
  • Pitcher
  • Third Base
  • Catcher
  • First Base

Fastpitch softball players should choose an open web design for the following positions:

  • First Base
  • Middle Infielder
  • Outfield
The open web design helps you get the ball out of your hand and ready for throwing much faster.

The following positions fastpitch baseball should use closed web designs for their additional support:

  • Pitcher
  • Third Base
  • Outfield

Choose an appropriate amount of padding

The ideal amount of padding also depends on what position you play. See the chart below.

Position Amount Of Padding Needed Explanation
Catcher Extra Pitches travel very quickly. Ample padding is needed to prevent injuries. Padding also wears down quickly in a catcher’s mitt, which is why you need plenty to begin with.
First Base Extra The first baseman requires mobility when scooping balls out of the dirt.
Pitcher Not Much The pitcher’s glove is designed to be flexible, light, and comfortable. Pitchers still do need to catch drives coming in their direction but generally aren’t as concerned about padding as players in other positions.
Infielder Not Much Infield gloves tend to be on the smaller side to allow for faster transitions.
Outfielder Not much; more emphasis on support for fingers Outfield gloves are typically on the wider side with more support in the fingers. This makes it easier to catch from this position.

Try different types of leather

There are four main types of leather used to produce baseball and softball gloves. They are as follows:

Full-grain leather

Full-grain leather gloves are stiffer than most other types. This is a result of the grain being left intact during the manufacturing process. Once the glove breaks in, however, you’ll find it lasts longer and feels better than most other types of leather.
Ideal For: Frequent players, given the rigorous activity required to break a full-grain leather glove in.

Premium Steerhide

As the name would suggest, premium steerhide is one of the more luxurious baseball glove materials. It still arrives fairly stiff and will need to be broken in. Professional players typically use premium steerhide.
Ideal For: Serious players who don’t mind spending a bit more money on a glove.

Kip

Kip is also a premium baseball and softball glove material but arrives more supple than premium steerhide.
Ideal For: Players who want a premium glove but don’t want to spend hours breaking it in.

Basic Leather or Cowhide

This is the base-level glove. It breaks in very quickly but also wears down rapidly, showing its age faster than the other types of leather.
Ideal For: Casual players or those just getting started in the sport.

Don't have preferences yet? Stick with the basics

Padding, webbing, material, and fit give you plenty of variables to think about when choosing a baseball or softball glove. If you’re new to the sport and haven’t had time to develop preferences, don’t worry! Here are our recommendations for each position.

Sport Catcher First Base Pitcher Infield Outfield
Baseball
Fastpitch
Slowpitch
  • N/A

Components of a Baseball/Softball Glove

When shopping for gear, you need to consider not just your softball or baseball glove’s size but also its various components and how they’ll affect your gameplay. Let’s look at the various components of softball and baseball gloves.

Webbing

A baseball or softball glove’s webbing connects the thumb and fingers. This component is essential for catching the ball and keeping it in your mitt. Certain hits like fly balls and line drives would be near-impossible to catch without webbing.

Palm

The palm on a baseball or softball glove is heavily padded (for some positions more than others) to offer protection against impacts. This prevents the ball from damaging your lunate, ulna, scaphoid, and radius bones.

Heel

Your glove’s heel lies just below the palm. It’s also typically padded.

Hinge

Baseball and softball gloves have a section at which they fold shut. This section is called the hinge and it makes holding onto your catch possible.

Adjusters

Adjusters aren’t present on every glove but tend to be found on those meant for youth baseball and softball. They’ll allow you to customize your glove’s fit based on conditions.

Fingers

A baseball or softball glove’s fingers are, of course, where your four digits go. Some gloves actually lock the middle and index fingers in place to offer better control. This is an alternative to what many players do, which is stick those fingers outside of the glove.

Lace

Lace is what holds the baseball or softball glove together, giving it form. These are typically thin pieces of leather that become more flexible over time as your glove “breaks in.”