It’s important to get your young catcher a dependable, durable and well fitting youth catchers mitt. However, finding that right mitt can be a challenge, especially when you consider that a quick Google search of "youth catchers mitts" will turn up a mind numbing amount of results.
So we’ve sorted through the options to help you in your search, and we've narrowed the big list down to just a few of our recommended choices.
See below for our top picks for youth Baseball and for youth Softball catchers, as well as our budget pick for each respective sport…
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Best Youth Catchers Mitt
A catcher's mitt is one of the most important pieces of equipment that you can buy your young catcher. It is their primary tool for catching the ball and for protecting themselves from wild pitches.
It is something that – with a bit of care – should last them a long time as they grow and mature into the position.
This is why we advocate for parents to get a kids catchers mitt that's high quality and made by a reputable brand.
The good news is that there are many mitts out there made by good brand names. The challenge is to know which among them are better than average and worthy of your child’s use.
We wrote this article to do just that. Namely, to identify what is the best youth catchers mitt and to clearly describe why our picks are worth a closer look.
What Size Mitt Does My Child Need?
Catcher's mitts are unique when compared to regular Baseball or Fastpitch Softball gloves for a number of reasons. One is that they are measured by their circumference, not length.
Therefore, whenever you see advertisements for catcher's mitts typically in the 30+ inch range, know that the measurement is referring to the mitt's circumference.
For Baseball catchers 12 years old or younger, we suggest looking for catcher's mitts that are sized between 31.5 to 33.5 inches.
For Fastpitch Softball catchers aged 12 or younger, we recommend using a mitt that is slightly larger - typically, 32 to 34 inches will work well.
Keep in mind that you can always pick a mitt that is a little larger or smaller depending on what your child is most comfortable wearing.
The player's comfort - as opposed to any particular guideline about size - is what is most important.
What is the Best Youth Catchers Mitt?
Based on our research, we have concluded that the best youth catchers mitts on the market for Fastpitch Softball is the Rawlings R9 Series, and the best mitt for Baseball is the Rawlings Encore Series.
The following are all of our top picks:
- Rawlings R9 Series (Top Overall for youth Fastpitch Softball)
- Rawlings Encore Series (Top Overall for youth Baseball)
- Wilson A700 (Budget pick for youth Softball)
- Wilson A500 (Budget Pick for youth Baseball)
Continue scrolling to learn more about our choices for the best youth catcher's mitts for this season, including our top pick for those on a budget.
Best for Youth Softball: Rawlings R9 Series
Our choice for the best youth softball catcher's mitt is the Rawlings R9 Series for Fastpitch Softball (33 inches). It is an affordable and high quality mitt that will work incredibly well for younger catchers playing fastpitch softball.
The R9 Series mitt was purposely designed for use on a female catcher's hand, so it should fit at least as well if not better than comparable gloves for softball catchers.
It is built as an H web fastpitch mitt, and it is made with real steerhide leather. Additionally, Rawlings breaks it in up to 80% in the factory, so it doesn't require a ton of effort to finish getting it broken in once you open the box.
This mitt has a soft - yet durable - "tumbled leather" outer shell. It looks good in the matte style, gray colored leather with off-white lacing, and it has Rawlings' "R" logo near the thumb stall and the traditional rectangular Rawlings logo over the pinkie stall.
We are also fans of the enclosure over the wrist which can be tightened to better fit young catcher's hands, and we like the added palm protection to help minimize sting when catching.
In our opinion, the Rawlings R9 Series catcher's mitt is an excellent choice for youth softball catchers and a solid pick for the money.
A fastpitch catcher's mitt that's affordably priced
Built with good quality leather considering its low cost
Has a great fit over the hand for most young softball catchers
The wrist strap adjusts
The added palm padding is a big plus
This mitt is only made for right handed throwers (not for left handed catchers)
Close Up View of the Rawlings R9 Series Mitt
Best for Youth Baseball: Rawlings Encore Series
A solid pick for youth Baseball catchers
Our choice for the best youth catcher's mitt for Baseball is the Rawlings Encore Series catcher's mitt (2022 version, 32 inches).
Rawlings is a popular baseball and softball equipment manufacturer known for building high quality gear, including catcher's mitts used by a large number of pro and amateur ballplayers.
These mitts have a conventional back and are built as a 1 piece closed web. They are made of a lightweight leather that has a soft yet sturdy feel to it.
Its black and silver leather combined with white stitching looks really good, and the Rawlings logos above the wrist, thumb and pinkie finger stalls stand out in a good way.
Lastly, Rawlings' Encore Series youth catcher's mitts come with extra palm padding and padded finger liners, which is an added benefit to help fight sting when catching faster pitching.
Please note: Rawlings Encore Series catcher's mitts are currently only available for right hand throwers.
Has a nice quality leather shell
It's competitively priced considering it's good quality
Contains extra padding over the palm and fingers
Looks great with its black and silver leather combined with its white stitching
Has a very comfortable feel when you put it on
Already 65% broken in at the factory
Though it comes with some break in, you will still need to do some work to get it fully ready. Make sure to get some glove oil for it.
Close-up Image of the Rawlings Encore Series Youth Catcher's Mitt
Budget Pick for Youth Softball: Wilson A700
Our pick for the best affordable Fastpitch Softball youth catcher's mitt
The Wilson A700 is a good looking youth catchers glove made by a popular Baseball and Softball brand.
This mitt measures 33 inches and has a well built H web on a full grain leather shell. It was designed to be worn by female athletes, so it has a good fit with an adjustable wrist strap that can be tightened for smaller hands.
The A700 catcher's mitt is lightweight and, very importantly, comes mostly broken in right out of the box. So, it should require minimal break in before you're able to use it everyday.
At a very affordable price, the A700 youth softball catcher's mitt is an incredibly pick for the money.
Please note: This catcher's mitt is currently only available for right handed throwers.
Very budget friendly Fastpitch catcher's mitt
Durable leather shell that is lightweight and looks sharp
Its H web is strong and allows for improved visibility
The internal padding could be thicker
Close-up Image of the Wilson A700 Pocket
Budget Pick for Youth Baseball: Wilson A500
Our top budget pick for for youth Baseball catchers
This affordable catcher's mitt is a good pick for young athletes playing behind the plate. Built by Wilson, the A500 is a top youth catchers glove measuring 32 inches and containing a half moon web.
It has an all leather shell with a fairly deep pocket for the size. The hand opening is made for younger catchers, so despite not having an adjustable wrist strap, it typically fits well for those playing at the youth level.
This mitt is lightweight and features and is made with real leather laces. Additionally, we simply like the look of this mitt with its all black leather and tan stitching, which pops against the black.
In short, it's hard to beat a good quality youth catcher's mitt like this at such a low price point.
Please note: This catcher's mitt is available for right handed throwers only.
Great quality to affordability ratio
Has a smaller hand opening designed for younger catchers
Lightweight and comfortable, unlike many cheap catcher's mitts
It really does look good
The internal padding is not the thickest out there. If sting is a worry, we'd encourage you to pair this with an inner protective glove.
Close-up of the Wilson A500 Pocket
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Question: Can my child use an adult catcher's mitt for practices or games?
Answer: Anyone can use an adult catcher's mitt, even if it's a kid. We encourage catchers to use a mitt that's comfortable to them as opposed to any specific rule about size.
Nonetheless, using an adult mitt may not be the best solution for many youth catchers. Adult catcher's mitts can be heavier, more difficult to close and have a larger hand stall than youth mitts.
In lieu of this, choose the best type considering your own personal situation and your catcher's size, strength and skill level.
When in doubt, if your catcher is youth aged, we'd suggest defaulting to a youth-specific catcher's mitt.
Question: What should I do if the leather in my child's catcher's mitt is not thick enough to keep his/her hand from hurting?
Answer: If you have a new mitt but your child's hand is still hurting when catching, you have options.
We'd suggest getting a simple padded inner glove to wear beneath the mitt. They're affordable and they're effective.
If the problem is mostly sting around the index finger, you can get a cheap finger pad instead of a padded glove.
Either way, each of these solutions will no doubt help to reduce sting and hand pain when catching.
Question: What size catcher's mitt should I buy my child?
Answer: Many parents have questions about the best size mitt to get their kid. And rightly so, it's a big investment and details about glove size can get confusing.
To help answer these questions, we wrote a detailed article on catcher's mitt sizing that we encourage you to check out. It should answer your questions. If it doesn't, feel free to contact us directly!
Thank You for Reading!
We hope this review was helpful to you.
If you have any questions for us - whether it's about youth catcher's mitts or catching in general - then don't hesitate to reach out by heading over to the Contact Us page or by sending an email to scott [at] catchershome [dot] com.
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