I remember my first baseball glove as a kid, just a random glove from a toy store that did the job in the back garden. Things have changed so much over the past decades, and there are lots of options now.
I have tried everything, and before moving on, you need to ensure you get a glove for your position. But when it comes to infield gloves, they are suitable for more positions because of how they are made.
An infield glove is supposed to provide top-notch stability, and excellent stitching to control the ball comfortably. You are going to use it for hours to catch balls coming at you at high speeds.
Besides, a quality glove could be the reason why Javier Baez and Jose Altuve perform so well. Again, you do not necessarily need to be an infielder to opt for such gloves.
With these thoughts in mind, what are the best infield gloves out there? Plenty of options, indeed, but here are the best gloves I have ever used, not to mention some of your favorite players’ gloves.
At first glance, many of these gloves seem similar in specifications. As you dig deeper, you will realize small details make the difference. I have used each of them and can swear by their side. If you are currently using nameless or cheap gloves, any of these options will change your world.
Wilson A2K – Best for Catching Balls
Can you ever go wrong with Wilson? Exactly… I have tried pretty much any type of glove from Wilson, and this is by far one of the best. You will also see some professional players wearing such gloves. They are based on some of the most premium types of leather today – pro stock select.
Leather hides are triple-sorted to ensure a consistent feel throughout the glove. Only the best of the best is used when crafting these gloves. They come with dual welting. It is built in, and besides the better appearance, the technology provides more support.
The double palm construction based on the liner and outer shell ensures the pocket is stable, while wrinkles are less likely to pop up on the palm. Besides, you have a dimpled pattern, which is not all about design, but mostly about reducing the spin of the ball. Basically, there is less friction involved.
The ComfortPro fit ensures you can wear these gloves and catch speeding balls for hours without feeling fatigue or tiredness. The liner has an incredibly soft feel against your skin. Besides, gloves come with a comfort sleeve, which is quite new and provides even more comfort for the wrists.
It is pointless to mention that you can choose any hand orientation and a bunch of designs and colors.
- Excellent levels of comfort
- Good wrist support
- Reduces friction and spin
- Less palm wrinkles
- Superior leather
- Might be difficult to break in because of its thickness
SSK Z5 Craftsman – Best for Value for Money
SSK’s Z5 Craftsman may not be as famous as its competition, but trust me, it can make a difference. These could be the best infield baseball gloves on the market if you want value for money, a decent price, and quality similar to what you could find in more reputable gloves.
Based on top-notch cowhide nameshi leather, the gloves are lightweight and durable, but they are also easy to shape. They will adapt to the shape of your palms, as well as your playing style. Despite the material, these gloves will not really require breaking in.
The process is undergone by the manufacturer for a game-ready experience.
The dimple sensor design will allow you to retain the ball once you touch it. Basically, the grip is flawless. The technology is introduced in the palm. Not only does it increase the grip, but it also reduces the spin, which ensures safe and easy ball handling.
Even the laces are based on top-grain leather. They ensure great strength and stability, but they are also durable for great performance. While some may not really care about it, you should know that all Z5 Craftsman gloves are Shokunin approved by professionals.
- Lots of different models and designs
- Premium weather design
- Little to no breaking is required
- Dimple sensor technology
- Grain leather laces
- Those with large hands may find these gloves a bit tight
Wilson A2000 – Best for Leather Durability
I have seen quite a few professional players using the Wilson A2000, which is a pretty good indication of their quality if you ask me. What should you expect, then? First of all, they come in a bunch of different color combinations and styles, as well as multiple sizes.
The blonde saddle tan combo is classic. You have rolled dual welting, which does not just look good but is also well integrated into the liner. This way, you have top-notch support, while the glove will likely retain its shape in the long run.
Wilson knows that some players prefer playing with a finger outside the glove. Flat finger binding is excellent for more control and comfort, as there is little to no space between the finger and the glove. If you play like this, you probably know how painful it is. Well, you can forget about the discomfort now.
Based on pro stock leather, these gloves have impressive durability. The liner also feels soft and comfortable, as it was improved from the previous generations. As if all these were not enough, gloves come with a new sleeve for the finishing.
Finally, the DryLex lining around the wrist keeps hands comfy and dry.
- Available in more colors and styles
- Excellent support
- Can keep hands dry
- Superior leather design
- Flat finger binding
- Fitment seems a bit inaccurate, as the gloves tend to be smaller than average sizes
Rawlings Heart of the Hide – Best for Comfort
Available in numerous color combinations and designs, Rawlings Heart of the Hide is suitable for both left and right-hand throwers. Just make sure you get them in the right-hand orientation for your playing style, a common thing many new baseball players forget to think about.
This glove feels extremely comfortable, whether you are a new high school player or you aim to become a professional athlete. I find it difficult to describe it in words, but it fits perfectly. Not too loose, not too tight, just perfect. It also adds to your confidence, knowing that it is like an extension of your arm.
Featuring professional-grade leather, this glove is likely to last for ages. It feels comfortable as well, which is something you need, especially since you are supposed to catch high-speed balls all the time. Besides, the padded thumb sleeve adds to the overall comfort.
Talking about comfort, you will also love the deer-tanned cowhide palm lining. Moreover, the thermoformed hand opening adds to wrist stability and breathability.
Other than that, given the build and quality of materials, chances are the gloves will need breaking in. The manufacturer does most of the job, but players also need to do their roles.
- Breathable profile
- Reduced breaking in requirements
- Solid and durable materials
- Comfortable design
- Wrist stability
- No bells and whistles, like adjustments, finger slots, and others
Mizuno Pro Select – Best for a Consistent Grip
Mizuno has always designed some of the best infield gloves out there, and the Pro Select set can definitely stand out. These gloves come in a few different colors and designs, as well as different hand orientations. Make sure you pay attention to this aspect when you place an order.
Based on high-quality hide leather, the gloves are built to last. They are suitable for beginners, but they can also last a whole season with no issues at all, whether you aim to become a professional or you play in an amateur league.
A similar type of leather has also been used for the palm liner. The difference? You feel the extra comfort associated with a glove, but at the same time, it feels like you are holding the ball directly. The feel is simply exceptional, and the grip will never let you down.
The gloves come with an interesting player pocket design. The pockets are specifically designed to help with the breaking in process. Some may see these pockets as some extra bells and whistles, but they can and will help in the process.
In terms of comfort, the thumb slot adds to the comfort but also secures the fit.
- Superior grip
- Comfortable to wear
- High-quality materials
- Easy breaking in process
- Available in more colors and styles
- May take a few good weeks to break in
Choosing the Best Infield Gloves – Our Buying Guide
There are a few things that make perfect sense when you try to find the best infield baseball gloves. For example, you want infield gloves because you are an infielder. If you are an outfielder or a pitcher you should obviously look for different types of gloves. What else?
Choosing the Web Type
When looking for new gloves, most players do it with the position in mind. They focus on appearance, price, and technology then. While most professionals pay attention to the web pattern, too, newbies often overlook this aspect.
Try to become familiar with different types of web patterns in order to figure out what works for you. The web pattern is tightly connected to the position too. Besides, there are all kinds of improvements on a yearly basis, so you may have to adapt.
To help you get an idea, the basket web is suitable for pitchers. On the other hand, infielders should stick to the modified trap web, as well as H/dual post and I types. Their names are given by the forms the strips of leather make.
The double post web is also used by infielders, but it is not very popular.
Deciding on the Material
The best infield gloves are based on leather, but there are more types of leather out there, and each has its own particularities.
Full-grain leather retains the natural grain. Such gloves are a bit stiff and heavy. They obviously require more time to break in, but they are totally worth it once you get there. The durability and performance are flawless.
Kip leather has a more luxurious profile, so it is mostly used in expensive and high-end gloves. It is light in weight and ensures a fast ball transfer. Steerhide is relatively strong and quite stiff, but incredibly durable too. It is tough to break in, but many professionals prefer it for its strength and performance.
Finally, classic leather or cowhide should not be overlooked either. This is the most common material for baseball gloves. They are somewhere in the middle, meaning they have a decent weight and a solid overall performance.
Compared to other materials, cowhide will break in much faster than steerhide, but it will also wear out quicker. While not always a general rule, some cowhide gloves are oiled to make breaking in a breeze. In terms of pricing, they provide good value for money.
How About the Size?
Baseball gloves must fit snugly. Too small? Impossible to wear. Too large? Your hand will move inside the glove. As an infielder who handles the ball most of the time, you need to make sure the glove feels like an extension of your arm. There should be no excess movement whatsoever, not to mention sliding out.
If the brand you choose has a hand-size chart, that should be your primary source of information. Most brands do not provide such things, so you may need to rely on general unwritten rules. Sure, you should know better if your hands are much larger or smaller than average for your age.
Kids under seven years old can do with sizes 8 to 10.5. Those younger than 10 can go a bit higher, with sizes ranging between 10.5 and 11.25. Kids under 14 should get gloves between 11 and 11.5 in size. Now, how about teenagers and adults?
Sizes normally range between 11.25 and 11.5 for anyone older than 14. Again, abnormally large may ask for a size up. Opt for quality leather that requires a bit of breaking in because it will only go to your actual size, rather than large.
Best Infield Gloves – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Should infielders flare their gloves?
This is not always a general rule, and each infielder will have different preferences. However, over the past years, more and more infielders are seen with flared gloves. The design provides access to an almost instant transition during certain game moments. It is a matter of convenience.
How should an infield glove fold?
When you fold your infield gloves, do it in half. There should be a ball located by the pocket base. The idea is to come up with a crease starting in the point where the finger stalls and pocket meet. Keep tightening each glove and tie it in the respective position, whether you use laces, ties, or rubber bands.
Why do infielders use smaller gloves?
Different baseball positions require different baseball gloves. Designs are different, as well as shapes and sizes. Compared to other positions, infielders use smaller gloves, normally between 10.5 and 12 in size. The infielder needs to be able to pull the ball out without too much effort before throwing it.
There are no doubts about it. Choosing the best infield gloves requires a bit of research. There are a few major brands out there, which you may have seen while watching your favorite players too.
Then, there are less-known brands, which may provide pretty high quality and impressive performance. Then, you have the nameless gloves, which we all used at some point. But as it is time to advance, you need to up your game with a more professional set at some point.
Wilson A2000 is not the most expensive option out there, and quite a few professional baseball players prefer it. However, you can also find a cheaper option that can provide similar performance, the SSK Z5 Craftsman.
Which is the best one? The final choice is entirely up to you and your needs.