Our Top Pick for 2018: Wilson Game Ready Soft Fit Baseball Catcher Mitt
Read our full review.
Arguably the toughest defensive position to play in all of baseball is catcher. As a catcher, you will rarely get through a game without some nicks, bruises, or scrapes. Foul tips off your knees, hands, arms, and face mask make it an incredibly physically demanding job. Of course, the body part that takes the greatest beating as a catcher is the catching hand. Snagging 95 mile per hour fastballs can begin to take its toll on your hand as the game goes on. Because of this, it’s important to have a high quality catcher’s mitt that will absorb the energy of the ball, keeping your hand padded and protected.
#1. Wilson Game Ready Soft Fit Baseball Catcher Mitt
Wilson Sports is responsible for some of the top sports gear on the market today. From football, to tennis, to baseball, Wilson manufactures products that are of the highest quality possible. Their specialty products in the sport of baseball are gloves. They make gloves for every position, whether it be outfield, infield, first base, or catcher. Their top catcher’s mitt at the moment is the Wilson Game Ready Soft Fit Baseball Catcher Mitt. Protective, functional, and durable, it stands tall next to any other mitt.
First, let’s talk about its functionality. Made of Cheyenne Penny Leather, it is both extraordinarily comfortable and highly durable. Though it does take time to break in completely, you won’t have much trouble using it the first day you receive it. In fact, it’s expressly designed to be ready on its first day of use. It’s soft enough to absorb energy off the ball, while being firm enough to grasp the ball with security and confidence. Measuring in at 34 inches, it provides you with a rather large surface area for snagging fast balls as well as sharp breaking pitches. Its discreet heel provides it with premium flexibility, allowing you to enlarge its catching zone, and assisting you in scooping up pitches in the dirt.
The Game Ready is constructed to be as durable, consistent, and reliable as possible. Its half-moon web makes it perfect for going down and getting balls in the dirt, providing you with the best chance possible of keeping wild pitches in front of you. Excellent palm protection is offered by its double-layered pocket. This essentially consists of the existence of a piece of leather between the internal palm liner and the exterior shell of the pocket. As well as giving it more structure, it also provides your hand with added protection, keeping you as safe as possible. Unlike some mitts, it is made completely of leather; from its laces, to its internal lining, to its pocket and webbing. This ensures that it is easy to break in, and ready to go from day one.
Online reviewers love it for how easy it is to break in, stating that it only took about two weeks to a month for it to feel completely comfortable on their hands. Reviewers also give it credit for how comfortable it is, noting its soft leather design, and terrific feel on both accurate and wild pitches.
Some reviewers complained that its pocket was too shallow, stating that the ball would sometimes fall out after the initial catch was made. Other reviewers with big hands complained that the finger pockets were a bit snug, noting that their hand felt cramped and constricted.
Overall, the Wilson Game Ready Soft Fit Baseball Catcher Mitt is an excellent product for anyone residing behind home plate. It combines supreme comfort with high functionality to create a mitt that will leave you feeling relaxed and confident all throughout the game. If you’re a teenage baseball player, or even an adult baseball player, the Wilson Game Ready Soft Fit Baseball Catcher Mitt is definitely something you should check out. It is available for around $150.00 on most online retail sites.
#2. Mizuno Franchise Baseball Catchers Mitt
Mizuno is a Japanese company that has been making top-notch sports equipment since the early 20th century. The company specializes in products for golf, volleyball, running, and baseball. Though they make all types of great products for baseball, one of their top products at the moment is the Mizuno Franchise Baseball Catchers Mitt. Beautifully constructed and very functional, it provides you with consistency, durability, and performance game in and game out.
Measuring in at 33.5 inches, it is very large and capable of covering a great deal of the batter’s box. This makes it great for snagging fast balls, breaking pitches, and wild pitches. Made of Java leather, it’s very soft and easy to break in. You won’t have much trouble holding onto the ball from day one. Its ParaShock palm pad does a great job of absorbing energy off the ball, keeping your hand protected, and allowing you to go the distance of the game with little to no pain or discomfort.
With an increased pocket size, it stands the best chance of stopping wild pitches while also keeping balls from making direct contact with your hand. Its web is reinforced for maximum durability and structure, keeping it consistent and reliable all throughout the game. It also contains an adjustable wrist strap that allows you to tighten or loosen the glove based on your particular hand size. Though it has a great deal of padding, it is not so padded that it’s difficult to flex and move around freely. You will still be able to get a very tight grip on any ball you can get your hand on.
Online reviewers laud it for how easy it is to break in, stating that it’s already fairly broken it when it arrives and that it only takes about a month of use to form a comfortable, customized pocket. Reviewers also give it credit for how well it catches, saying that it can be snapped close easily whilst accommodating both baseballs and softballs.
Some reviewers criticize it for how heavy it is, stating that it’s difficult to hold up for prolonged periods of time. Other reviewers remarked on its finger slot size, noting that their hands did not fit all that well inside the mitt. They were cramped, and felt a bit of discomfort whenever they were using it.
All in all, the Mizuno Franchise Baseball Catchers Mitt is a highly functional and well-constructed product that is great in both casual and competitive settings. Highlighted by its soft leather feel and supreme performance, it will receive any type of pitch with consistency and reliability. If you’re a catcher and are looking for something that will provide you with full confidence all throughout the game, you should definitely take a look at the Mizuno Franchise Baseball Catchers Mitt. It’s available for around $60.00 on most online retail sites.
#3. Easton Mako Comp Series Catcher’s Mitt
Easton has a reputation as one of the premier manufacturers of baseball equipment and apparel. The company puts out products of all kinds, including shoes, bats, and gloves, to name a few. Their top catcher’s mitt at the moment is the Easton Mako Comp Series Catcher’s Mitt. Its precision construction and top-flight performance provide you with consistency and reliability all throughout the game.
Measuring in at 34 inches, it’s plenty big for snagging pitches of all varieties, whether they’re in the strike zone or they’re in the dirt. Its twice-oiled primed cowhide material makes it very soft while also providing with a great deal of structure and durability. Though it does take some time to break in, it is already fairly broken in upon arrival. Combine that with its exceptional padding and ability to absorb shock, and you’ve got a mitt that will serve you well game in and game out.
As far as construction goes, it provides quality at every turn. Its fingers are welted twice, giving you exceptional control and allowing you to build a pocket that is completely customized to your hand shape. This will make it easy to open and close, making your job as simple as is humanly possible. The interior of the mitt is lined with sponge-tricot lining, providing excellent sweat absorption, and maximizing your overall comfort at all times.
Online reviewers love it for its craftsmanship, stating that it is durable and well-structured, making it easy to open and close. Reviewers also give it credit for its light weight, noting how easy it is to hold up all throughout the game.
Some reviewers noted that its sizes ran small, stating that it didn’t fit as well as expected upon arrival. A few reviewers said that it took a long time to break in, though most had no problem with this aspect of it. It could just be an isolated incident.
Overall, the Easton Mako Comp Series Catcher’s Mitt is a fine product with top-notch construction and functionality. Easy to use and form-fitting, it will customized itself to your hand, providing you with a comfortable finger alignment and pocket. If you’re a casual or competitive baseball catcher, the Easton Mako Comp Series Catcher’s Mitt is definitely a product to check out. It is available for around $80.00 on most online retail sites.
#4. Rawlings Renegade Series Catchers Mitt
Maybe you’re a casual or beginner baseball player who’s interested in playing catcher. Perhaps you’re a father looking to catch for your son as he practices in the back yard. In both cases, you might not want to spend a great deal of money on a catcher’s mitt. Fortunately, there are a lot of high quality mitts on the market that can be purchased for a very affordable price. One of these is the Rawlings Renegade Series Catchers Mitt. Providing you with excellent functionality and comfort, it is comparable to the other gloves on this list, but for a cheap price.
It’s available in two sizes, including 31.5 inches and 32.5 inches. This allows you to pick one that is more agreeable to your preferences. While the 32.5 inch one will give you more surface area for catching, it is also going to weigh more than the 31.5 inch one. Rawlings already considers it to be 80% broken in, meaning you will only have to work on the other 20%. This will allow you to form a customized pocket and hand position. Palm and index finger padding provide your hand with excellent protection that absorbs shock and catches the ball with softness and ease.
Construction-wise, it’s made of full grain oiled leather, providing it with both incredible durability and excellent structure. This will allow you to tightly grasp the ball with consistency and reliability game in and game out. Helping you to hold the ball securely is its one-piece closed web, which allows you to snag the ball with confidence and scoop up wild pitches in the dirt. An index finger slot on the top of the mitt allows you to free your finger from the wrest of your wrist without sacrificing any safety. This will give extra variety as to how you want to wear it.
Online reviewers love this glove for how easily it breaks in, stating that it already feels fairly broken in when they first receive it and that it only take a few weeks of play to conform to their specific hand shape and size. Reviewers also give it credit for how well it holds onto the ball, stating that it has very deep webbing.
Some reviewers complain that it is sized too small, stating that it didn’t fit their hand comfortably upon initial arrival. A few reviewers thought that it would be more durable than it is, but realized that it was a trade-off for being so cheap.
Overall, the Rawlings Renegade Series Catchers Mitt is a high-quality glove for an affordable price. Combining excellent functionality with supreme comfort and protection, it will serve you well throughout every casual or competitive game. If you’re just getting into catching, the Rawlings Renegade Series Catchers Mitt is definitely a product to check out. It is available for around $35.00 on most online retail sites.
A very important aspect when it comes to any type of baseball glove is its durability. Because gloves can take such a long time to break in, you don’t want to have to be replacing them every year or two. Most that you find will be reasonably durable, though it’s important to find one that is made of high quality leather. Leather is both soft enough to absorb a great deal of shock and tough enough to take a great deal of wear and tear. Typically, the more genuine leather that a mitt contains, the stronger and more durable it will be. If a catcher’s mitt contains pure leather ties, pockets, and webbing, it will stand a very good chance of lasting a very long time.
Size is a very important aspect of a catcher’s mitt. Typically, the larger it is, the easier it’s going to be snag fastballs and sharp-breaking curve balls. Of course, a bigger glove is also usually going to weigh a bit more, making it a little more difficult to quickly move it to where it has to be. Some professional catchers will wear different sized mitts to accommodate specific different pitchers. When they’re catching for a knuckle ball pitcher specifically, they will often wear gloves that are much bigger as they have more surface area to cover sudden and unexpected movement of the ball.
Unlike other baseball gloves which are measured length-wise, catcher’s mitts are measured by circumference. When they are open wide, they form a circle or oval shape. The bigger the circumference of the circle or oval, the more surface area there is to catch balls. As a guideline, children under 7 years of age should use a mitt that’s between 29.5 inches and 30 inches. Children between 8 and 10 should wear one that’s between 30 inches and 32 inches. Children from 11 to 13 should wear one that’s between 31 inches and 32.5 inches. And, people over 14 should wear one that’s between 33 inches and 35 inches.
There are three main components of a catcher’s mitt’s construction. These three components are the heel, pocket, and webbing. The heel is the part of the glove that rests over the bottom part of your palm. It is very padded, protecting your hand from misjudged balls and keeping you as safe as possible. The pocket is the large soft, padded part of the mitt. It takes up most of the space on the glove, providing a large catching surface that allows you to snag pitches with confidence, safety, and security. The webbing is the small, thinner piece of leather that resides between the thumb and the index finger. It is where you want to catch the ball in order to reduce pain and discomfort to your hand. A quality mitt will be reinforced in both the pocket and the webbing. This will provide it with added durability as well as maximum protection and functionality.
As with any product, price is a very important aspect to consider when perusing catcher’s mitts. Though there are a number of mitts that are priced well over $100.00, there are also quite a few priced under that figure. Some of the expensive ones are really not worth their price, while some of the cheap ones far exceed their price tag. It’s important to consider your budget when purchasing your glove. If you’re trying to purchase one for under $100.00, you can certainly find one that provides very high quality. It may not be quite as nice as a high-priced one, but it will definitely serve its function. If you’re going to spend over $100.00, you should make sure that what you’re spending your money on is worthwhile. Not all expensive catcher’s mitts are created equally. Read reviews, test them out, and find the one that is perfect for you.
Conclusion (Wrapping it up)
If you want to stay healthy behind the plate, a nice catcher’s mitt is an absolute necessity. Of course, they aren’t all created equally. Some contain more padding. Some have larger webbing surfaces. Generally, a mitt that costs more is going to be of higher quality and stand a better chance of protecting your hand in the long run. Before making a final purchase on one, you must get a feel for it in person. See how it fits on your hand. Get an idea of the extent to which the padding will absorb energy from the ball. Once you find something that feels comfortable and is capable of protecting you, you’re all set to put the money down and put the mitt to good use.