A good baseball glove can give your defensive game a boost, but the right one for you depends on many factors, like type of leather, what position you play, and what the heck do all those web patterns mean? We carry a lot of gloves, so educating yourself will help you narrow all those gloves down to a manageable list you can then choose from. Because you want the glove that will maximize your chances of handling any ball that comes your way.
Gloves are made from a variety of leathers, but most can be separated into four major categories: full grain, kip (or kipskin), premium steerhide, and cowhide. Leather type affects the look, feel, durability break-in time, and price of your glove. Here you’ll get a good sense of what each type has to offer.
Full Grain Leather
Full-grain leather is steerhide or cowhide leather on which the natural grain remains. This causes the glove to be stiffer and heavier than other leather gloves, which means you have to spend more time breaking it in. It’s worth the extra work however: Once broken in, full grain leather gloves are superior in both performance and durability.
Kip (Or Kipskin)
Kip leather is a soft and luxurious cowhide found in high-end gloves. It tends to be lighter in weight than cowhide, which helps particularly infielders snag the ball and makes the transfer from glove to hand faster. Gloves made from kip leather are also easier and take considerably less time to break in than a glove made from full-grain leather.
Steerhide is stronger than cowhide and tends to be stiffer, heavier, and more durable than other types of leathers. Taken from the back shoulder of grown steers is what makes this leather incredibly tough, and tough to break in, but it’s still a premium material and popular choice of pro players.
Leather Or Cowhide
This will be your baseline for baseball gloves. Leather means cowhide, usually medium weight, but sometimes heavier. Cowhide performs well and will break in faster, but also wears out faster than steerhide. Oftentimes, this grade will come “pre-oiled” to reduce break-in time. Cowhide is generally the best all-around glove for youth players.
When players shop for a new baseball glove on BaseballSavings.com, they probably start by position. After that, how players choose a glove usually depends on how it looks and how much it costs. But another important factor should be web type. Knowing the details about different web designs allows you to find a ball glove that doesn’t just suit your position but also your preferences. Do you prefer a lighter or heavier glove? How important is flexibility and visibility? Do you prefer a loosely-stitched or tightly-stitched glove? Web type affects all of it. So start studying up. With this information, you’ll be able to acquire a baseball glove meant for your hand.
As technology advances there are modifications to web patterns every year.
Many pitchers use baseball gloves with basket webs, which are made from tinny intertwining leather straps. These types of webs are easier to close because of the flexibility of the basket weave design that anchors the web. A basket web allows the pitcher to hide the ball and hand from the view of the batter.
This web type is used mostly by outfielders. It consists of a thin leather strap connected to either side with lace interlacing.
Modified Trap Web:
The modified trap web is used by pitchers and infielders. It’s similar to the traditional trap web, except the modified trap has a section of leather along the top to add stability to the baseball glove.
H/Dual Post & I Webs:
The most common web types used by infielders, the H and I webs are named because the strips of leather form the shape of an H and I, respectively. H/Dual Post webs can also be used by outfielders. I-webs (used by infielders only) help infielders snag and retrieve the ball more quickly. H-webs are typically more sturdy and flexible and allow infielders to see through the webbing at high and fly balls.
Single Post Web:
Single Post webs are mostly used on first base. Made of horizontal and vertical strips of leather woven together, the single post web offers flexibility and visibility.
Double Post Web:
The double post web is primarily a pitcher’s glove, but can be used in the infield occasionally. Made of horizontal and vertical strips of leather woven together, the double post web also offers flexibility and visibility. Choosing between single post and double post often comes down to personal preference.
The two-piece closed web is another popular choice of pitchers because it allows them to conceal the ball and their hand in the glove. If you prefer a heavier baseball glove, try a two-piece closed or solid web, which has more material, are stitched together tightly, and have a bit more weight.
Pitchers must hide their grip on the ball so they don’t tip off batters what pitch might be next. Using a baseball glove with a closed web is the best way to do this. Selecting gloves with basket webs, two-piece solid webs, or simply closed webs will keep your hand hidden and hitters guessing.
Shortstops and second basemen not only have to snag and snare every grounder hit their way, but also have to be quick transferring the ball from glove-to-hand. Gloves with a more open web pattern and shallow pocket allow middle infielders to pluck the ball from their glove quickly and easily, giving them enough time to gun down that lead runner or turn two. I-webs, H-webs, and dual or single post webs are ideal for middle infielders. The pockets of these gloves feature a few solid pieces of leather with loose stitching and larger holes, allowing you to reach down and scoop the ball from the infield without having to worry about clumps of dirt collecting in the pocket. The lighter weight also means faster movement, crucial for infielders looking to get out of an inning.
Third basemen frequently handle some of the most sharply hit grounders and line drives in the game, so a glove with a slightly deeper pocket seems appropriate. Trouble is, third basemen still must make fast plays in the infield and can’t afford mishandling the baseball on the glove-to-hand transfer any-more than another infielder. So balancing the support of heavier, closed webs with the lighter weight and speed of more open webs becomes crucial at this position. Our advice? Look for baseball gloves with modified basket webs designed to balance support and speed.
Outfielders should look for gloves with a deeper, more tightly stitched pocket and greater support than the ball gloves used by other infielders. These would include trapeze, T-web, and larger H-webs and single-post webs. Trapeze and T-webs have similar pockets, with a single piece of leather stitched between the thumb and forefinger. T-webs tend to weigh less however, with slightly looser stitching. If you want a super lightweight glove with larger holes in the pocket, look for ball gloves with large H-webs and single-post webs.
You can make the right decisions regarding leather and web type, but it won’t matter if you choose the wrong size. The size chart below will help ensure the glove you buy will properly fit your hand so you can start the break-in process rather than the return process.
Our goal at BaseballSavings.com isn’t simply to put the first glove on your hand that works. Our goal is to equip you with the kind of glove that gives you the best chance to succeed in any situation. Most ballplayers can make the routine play. We want you to make the extraordinary play. Remember, the devil’s in the details. A baseball glove with loose stitching might not seem important at checkout, but when you miss turning a double play by a nanosecond, you’ll wish you had considered it. We’re here to make sure you turn that double play.