Ballglove Buyers Guide

Size, Leather, and More: Things to Consider When Buying a New Baseball Glove

It’s important to understand the different factors you need to consider before committing to a new Nokona glove. This article will help readers who are unfamiliar with the process of purchasing a new baseball glove by going over all the things they should think about when shopping.  This includes glove size, player position, and materials.

A player’s glove, especially for a good defensive player, is his most personal piece of equipment, and it is treated with great respect and care.  When it comes to buying a new ball glove, it’s important to do it properly. You may be tempted to go down to order something cheap and generic online, but if you want a glove that can last, you should take the time to shop for one properly. Here are some of the different things you need to consider when shopping for a baseball glove.

Baseball Glove Size

Your baseball glove is meant to be an extension of your hand, which means it needs to fit correctly. If it’s too big or too small, it could affect your ability to play. Be sure to properly measure your hand and get the right fit.

How to Measure a Baseball Glove

Everyone’s hands are different, and, whether you’re looking for a youth or adult glove, you should know how to measure, size, and fit it correctly. It is important that you select the correct size for the position(s) that you play.  Baseball gloves are measured in inches.  To measure a glove, take a tape measure and measure from the heel of the glove up to the top of the index finger, pushing the tape measure up against the palm of the glove.

Baseball Field Position

The position you play in baseball/softball will greatly affect the type of glove you purchase. Different positions benefit from different features in a glove; a catcher, for instance, doesn’t necessarily need the same thing as an outfielder. Generally, infielders prefer smaller gloves than outfielders.  This is typically because infielders need to get the ball out of the glove quicker, and do not need a deep pocket.  Popular sizes for infielders are 11.25”, 11.5”, 11.75”, and 12”.  Outfielders use bigger gloves because they need to cover more area.  Common sizes for outfielders are 12.5”, 12.75”, and 13”.

Baseball Glove Webs

There are several different types of webs used in baseball gloves. Typically, the web changes based on the position that you play, but this is not a hard and fast rule. Much of the time, the web that is selected is personal preference.  Here are some of the more common web options:

  • Modified Trap – Popular among pitchers and outfielders view examples
  • I-Web – Popular among infielders, specifically shortstop and second
  • H-Web – Popular among third basemen and outfielders
  • Closed Basket Web – Popular among pitchers
  • Closed 2 Piece Web – Popular among pitchers
  • Full Trap – Popular among outfielders

Baseball Glove Materials

Ballgloves are typically either made of leather or synthetic materials. While synthetic gloves are usually more affordable, they generally don’t last as long as leather ones, and can’t typically be repaired very easily. Leather gloves are much more durable, though more expensive, and are considered a necessity if you’re serious about playing baseball.

Baseball Glove Leather

There are also different types of leather used to make baseball gloves. Depending on what leather is used, it can affect the quality of the glove, and you may prefer one type of leather over another.  Here are the Nokona specific leathers:


Premium-grade, full-grain Steerhides, sourced from American ranchers, tanned to our long-standing specifications, and offered in Walnut™ [our signature Steerhide, known for its classic “Crunch” look and feel]; Buckskin Stampede™ [infused with proprietary oils and waxes for a soft and pliable, yet dense feel]; and Generation™ [our pro-grade Steerhide, with a vintage, golden finish].


Sourced from wild-range Australian kangaroos, Nokona has been making gloves with this unique leather for over 50 years. Kangaroo is a high-performance and specialized leather that is stronger and lighter-weight than any other ballglove leathers at the same thickness. Kangaroo fibers interlock for greater strength, this leather is soft and flexible, and resists the effects of perspiration. When combining Kangaroo Leather with our Steerhides, we call it Buckaroo™.


Similar in strength to our Steerhide leathers, American Bison has a distinct grain, and is flexible and soft, for easy break-in. Ideal for Select gloves, and for Adults who are looking for a durable, flexible, and easy-to break- in glove. American Bison is also a light-weight performance leather.


Our CalfSKN™ leather comes from specialty-tanned Japanese Calfskin that has very tight fibers and fine pores. This leather holds vibrant colors very well, and results in a very smooth appearance that is extremely light-weight. Ideal for professional, college, high-school, and club players looking for high performance gloves.


AmericanKIP™ is the finest American Steerhide, with similar characteristics to Japanese and European ‘kip’ leather, in that it is both light-weight and nicely structured. This high-performing leather is durable, has a buttery feel, and is a top choice among our pro players.


Nokona’s newest, specialty-tanned Steerhide. This veg-tan leather is made with an organic tanning method that uses natural materials to cure and preserve the hide. SuperSoft™ has great flexibility and softness.


American Caiman provides a unique look and feel, and is ideal for parts of your Custom Nokona. The rigid reptilian scales, combined with its flexible portions, provide an exceptional leather for the palm liner of your ballglove, for its superior grip and customized feel.

Personal Preferences and Needs

Above all else, consider what you need, want, and like. Get a glove that you know you’ll be able to use; on the field, it is an extension of you.  Remember to consider your age, position, leather preference, and colors.  It is also important to remember that you can build a Custom Nokona specifically to suit your needs.  With the right information, you’ll find yourself with a comfortable, high-performing baseball/softball glove that will last for many years.

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