The best baseball gloves are made from genuine leather, and are durable enough to withstand years of repeated sharp impacts, while also being comfortable enough to wear for prolonged periods of time without hand irritation or fatigue. A superior baseball glove should also manage to be lightweight while simultaneously being sturdy, and this is largely achieved through the use of real leather and first-rate stitching. The following five baseball gloves are among the very best you can get, and address all of these criteria, in addition to other innovative, patented features which vary from company to company. They are listed in order from least expensive to most expensive, and are intended to cover a range of positions. All glove prices listed are accurate as of November 2011.
The Akadema APX-221 ProSoft glove is designed with the outfielder in mind, and is light enough at a mere two pounds to not be cumbersome, while the 12.75 inch length of the glove remains large enough to catch any ball with ease. This glove features a three finger design, a semi-open web and an open glove backing. Made of US steerhide, the glove is also designed to hinge easily down the center and be flexible when enclosing itself on a caught ball.
The Akadema APX-221 ProSoft glove retails for between $90 and $100.
Easton is a well-known and highly regarded baseball equipment manufacturer, and their EPG 102B-SS glove is a good example of the company's attention to detail. This sleek, steer hide glove is designed to be an effective all-purpose catching glove, and features a split solid web and open glove backing. The lining of the glove is soft cowhide, providing chafe-free comfort during play. Though comfortable, the EPG 102B-SS glove is also durable, constructed with 2X2 lacing that is meant to handle a tensile strength of 100 pounds, reducing the likelihood of a blowout and the subsequent need to relace.
The Easton EPG 102B-SS glove is priced at between $120 and $200.
For infielders who take their game seriously, it would be difficult to outdo the quality of the Wilson A3000 K87 baseball glove. The advanced design of the glove features an "exoskeleton" structure which flexes in a forward, inward direction only to make gripping the ball a secure and easy endeavor. The A3000 K87 is made from lightweight kip leather, a form of leather with a compact grain structure which lends itself to a shorter break-in period as well as a prolonged durability. Unlike the other gloves listed in this article, the Wilson A3000 K87 features a breathable and moisture-wicking wrist lining, designed to keep the hand cool during play, and to prevent perspiration buildup. Even more comfort is provided by the Sorbothane index pad, a shock absorber which makes catching a fast moving ball a much less painful affair.
The Wilson A3000 K87 retails for between $200 and $250
From the respected Nokona Bloodline series of gloves comes this first rate glove, designed to be used by pitchers, third basemen and shortstops. This 12 inch genuine leather baseball glove features a genuine sheepskin pelt, breathable finger slots, and radial piping within each finger slot to preserve the original form and shape of these areas when the glove is not in use. Comfort is provided via the full grain glove liner and laminated palm area. The web of the Nokona Bloodline AMG 1200BLCW is basket-style, and designed to keep the ball securely in place with minimal slippage. Along with the breathable finger slots, the glove also features open backing for superior ventilation.
The Nokona Bloodline AMG 1200BLCW is priced between $280 and $300.
Mizuno is a Japanese-based sports equipment company which has been in business since 1906, and their sleek black GMP61BK baseball glove is indicative of their long-standing reputation for innovation. Made from soft, supple, Japanese-tanned Deguchi leather, the Pro Limited Edition GMP61BK is designed for infield players. This 11 1/2 inch glove is also designed to allow for independent finger movement, a glove design concept patented by Mizuno as "4D Advanced Technology," making controlled fielding easier and more efficient. Other notable features of the Mizuno Pro glove include a deerskin palm liner, and Mizuno's patented Deep III Web, a large, flexible and tough catching area that can take the shock of repeated impact as well as it can grip the ball securely.
The Mizuno Pro Limited Edition GMP61BK Infielder Glove is priced between $300 and $330.