Things to consider before buying your catcher's mitt
Catcher's Mitts and gloves are made with deep pockets and oval-shaped pocket design with extra padding to cushion the constant hits of pitches, fastballs in particular. The webbing is usually always closed for a better and more assured catch with minimal bounce or chance of injury or issue for baseball players.
Materials and Features to consider when buying a Catcher's Mitt
Materials to consider when buying a new Catcher's mitt:
- Synthetic Leather Gloves - A light and supple option. Easy closure with hardly any “break-in” time.
- Cowhide and Leather mix gloves - Slightly heavier than synthetic leather, this is a good option for youth and teenage players as it is not too heavy and stiff.
- High-end Steerhide gloves - A heavier alternative but with the heavier weight comes increased durability.
- Kip leather gloves - A softer leather that doesn't need as much break-in time. A lighter alternative to other leather gloves made of a material such as cowhide.
- Full Grain Leather gloves - The most popular material in professional gloves and mitts. High performance with high durability.
Glove and Mitt Features to consider:
- Webbing - If you are a catcher then closed closed web design is probably best for your game, for the more secure catch.
- Palm Protection - Depending on your position you will want additional padding, especially if you are a catcher, constantly dealing with fast pitches.
- Heel Protection - Extra protection to defend the bottom of your hand from hard or fast pitches.
- Lacing - What kind of shape of mitt do you need being a catcher? How stiff and deep do you need your glove for the best catch?
- Glove Hinge - This lets you access your glove with ease and adopt a variety of styles or a more well rounded style.
- D- Ring fastener - This allows you to make adjustments to your glove's lacing so you can find the perfect fit for your role on the field.
How do you know what catcher's mitt to use?
A good mitt is essential for any catcher in baseball toolbox and can make the difference between winning and losing during a tight game.
Catching demands a lot from the player. You need to present a proper target to the pitcher, use multiple stances, block pitches in the outfield, and keep track of runners for a quick throw to first base, all while performing the toughest of tasks: calling pitches from the catcher.
From your position, you face opposite your teammates. Therefore, you see the whole game in action. You see the precise path of your pitcher’s throw. You watch the eyes (or face) of the baserunners. And the batter – your opponent – you hear his ragged breaths and see his style as he steps into the batters box and prepares for his swing.
With that wide lens, you can analyze and understand the game better than anyone else. All of that, the whole thing and everything it entails, centers on a proper mitt.
To find this important piece of catcher’s equipment and items, you first need to know what to look out for.
Do catchers use a glove or a mitt?
The easiest way to differentiate a glove and a mitt is that a mitt has only two holes, one for your thumb and one for your other fingers. On the other hand, a glove will have five individual holes, also called finger slots, for each and every one of your fingers. This is the reason why both first basemen and catcher's playing in a catcher position wear a mitt and not baseball glove.
How to Measure a Catcher’s Mitt
If you look at outfield or infield gloves versus catcher’s mitt, you might notice that the measurements are different. Fielder’s gloves typically range from 10 inches to 14 inches, depending on age group and sport. Catchers mitts can range from 30 inches to 35 inches, also depending on age group and sport. Youth players will need a mitt that is less than 31 inches long whether they're right-handed player or left-handed players or even non-traditional players. Adult catchers will want a mitt that’s at least 32 inches long.
So why is there a huge difference between the various sizes? Because catchers’ mitts are measured in terms of the circumference of the mitt while fielders’ mitt are measured in terms of length, the former is smaller than the latter. Fielders will be concerned about length depending on their position for: transitioning from defense to offense, fielding ground balls, and catching fly balls with a low response time. A catcher, on one hand, will be more interested in how large his mitt is for catching the ball from the pitchers and digging wild pitches out of the dirt. On the other hand, he will be less concerned about how big around his mitt is.
Catcher’s Mitt and glove sizing
- Step 1: Use both of your hands to spread the catcher's mitt as wide as possible.
- Step 2: Following that, press it downward, with the palm side down, and firmly on a flat surface to ensure it is flatten out as much as you possibly can.
- Step 3: Finally, use a flexible measuring tape to measure around the perimeter of the mitt. The number you will get will be the mitt’s circumference, or more simply, its size.
Catcher’s Mitt Sizing Charts
When choosing a new baseball glove or catcher's mitt, it is important to ensure that you find one that fits your hand and is appropriate for the sport and level at which you will use it. Because you will be making lots and lots of quick movements with the ball when you're batting, you don't want the glove to be too loose or too tight on the hand and wrist. It is also important for catchers to understand the difference between a baseball and softball glove.
The baseball catcher’s mitten has a deeper pocket and thicker side walls to accommodate for larger balls. Baseball catchers’ mittens are also measured differently than standard field gloves. Instead of the standard measurement, they are measured around their entire hand to capture the entire catching surface of the glove. The standard size range for baseball and softball is from 29.5 inches to 34.5 inches.
Catcher Mitts Break In Time
Once you’ve found a catcher’s mitt that works well for you, it‘s important to shape the palm and webs into a proper pocket before using it.
Leather choice is the biggest determiner of break in time. Leathers made from softer materials wear out more easily, and they break-in sooner than leathers made from harder materials. Because pigskin leather can usually be broken in within a couple of hours of use, they're a good choice for new players.
Meanwhile, the harder leathers like steerhide might take up to two or three months of regular use before they're fully broken in. A professional player will purchase a new steerhide glove before his or her primary mitt wears out and wear it on a part-time basis to get it ready to be used regularly. Remember that most models come pre-broken-in from the factory which would speed up break-in time significantly.
So, if you have a game coming up in the next few days, consider choosing pigskin for your baseball gear.
But if you have more time or if you're playing in an advanced league, or if you've committed to multiple seasons of playing, then a stronger leather will be well worth the investment.
The bottom line is that while you're crouching there, enjoying the view, make sure you know which glove is best suited for your needs and your position of catcher, because as a catcher, the ball will eventually come to you no matter where you are. This is how All-Star Pro Elite Catchers and other professional catchers do it!
Reach out now to know which kind of catcher's mitt is the best for you or to know if we have your preferred glove in stock or also premium leather gloves, pitcher-specific gloves, outfield gloves, recreational gloves, left-hand throw glove, heavy leather gloves, left-handed glove, fastpitch gloves, modern gloves. You can be sure we have the perfect glove for you.