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Most dads can remember being at least a little nervous about buying the first “real” glove for his little baseball player. With that in mind, we thought to give dads (and moms, or maybe even grandparents or coaches for that matter) some help with research for the best baseball gloves for 8 year olds.
When you’re ready to buy a baseball glove for your 8-year-old boy or girl, start the process by thinking about comfort. This means both in terms of feeling while on the hand, as well as with ease of use in catching a baseball. You want to pay attention to its weight (keep it light), quality of material used (high grade leather is better but can be harder to break in), and an ample pocket, all with a nice overall exterior appearance.
The bottom line is, if a young player does not like how a glove feels on the hand, or loses trust in its ability to help play the game, he or she won’t use it. It’s that simple.
Pay Attention to Added Features Looking for New Baseball Gloves
So start with finding a glove model with features for comfort, like padded interiors, as well as quality material (hint: non-leather materials don’t last as long as leather or pigskin). From there, if your budget allows, look closely for features the player might really appreciate. They even have gloves today that wick sweat away from the hand. We’re not making this up.
There are some very good baseball gloves out there for post-tee ball players with specially designed pockets to help them better catch baseballs. Some new gloves are extremely easy to break in, helping to avoid a common frustration with baseball mitts.
That established, let’s dig into the baseball gloves out there for 8 year olds, and try to recommend some top choices.
- The Easton Professional Youth Baseball Glove tops our list ~ and was the only model we found “designed specifically” for players 8 years old. Note that it’s not “around 8 years old,” but specifically for players at the age of 8.
- While the Easton model just edged it out, the Rawlings Players Glove Series is probably the most popular youth baseball glove with a proven track record and exceptional user reviews. Hard to go wrong with this glove, honestly.
- Parents or coaches of brand-new players should seriously look into the Rawlings Sure Catch Glove Series. The “sure catch” part is a hint, and it’s not hyperbole.
- The Louisville Slugger Genesis Baseball Glove is super-cool looking, and extremely light in weight to boot. If they made a youth glove for play in space, this would be it.
- If low pricing is your priority, then look no further than the Franklin Sports Field Master Baseball and Softball Glove. In fact, affordability is true for Franklin and almost all the sports equipment it makes.
- With the best shock-absorbing design and a super-duper light weight, the Mizuno Prospect Baseball Glove is worth close inspection.
- Looking for a brand that few other players on the field would also have? Check out the Akadema AJT99 Rookie Series Glove, a model that’s been around a while but seems to be picking up steam in terms of buyers and usage.
Needs for a Baseball Glove for 8-Year-Olds
Baseball gloves are measured by length, from the bottom of the heel to the top of the index finger, in inches. That’s important to know for use by an 8-year-old player, but it’s not the only factor to be considered while researching and shopping.
Remember we mentioned the importance of comfort? Well in that vein, you should also pay attention to a glove’s weight, and, especially, how easy it will be to break in. Leather baseball gloves can be hard to use right off the shelf, due to the stiffness of the leather, depending on the quality of the hide.
Youth Baseball Gloves and Weight
The lighter the weight, the better. In general, for players age 8 and younger, it’s wise to stay under 1 pound. Glove models under 10 ounces are quite light.
The All-Important Pocket
Lastly, inspect the pocket. This is the large tied-in feature between the thumb and index finger, and descending into the upper palm. The pocket is where a baseball will strike the glove, from which point the glove is designed to wrap around the ball as the player squeezes the fingers together, to conclude making a catch.
Back to Length for Sizing
Recommended sizes for age levels can vary by manufacturer; here’s what ours said about sizing by length:
- 10.5 inches is for ages 6 to 8
- 11.5 inches is for ages 7 to 9
In reality, as long as the glove is not too heavy, going as high as 11.5 inches is acceptable for 8 year olds. The main drawback to lengthy gloves is handling the ball in transition, as in, getting it out of the glove to get ready to throw. Some new players may struggle with gigantic mitts especially those with super-long fingers. (And trust us, they’re out there, and some older players actually prefer them).
The only warning we might offer is not to go too small. Even after some seasons of seasoning, young players still struggle catching baseballs consistently, and an extra inch or so is definitely helpful. Little can be more exciting to a player than making a snow-cone catch ~ using every fraction of every inch in that glove!
Planning with Youth Baseball Gloves
Know that youth players usually play, at age 8, at the top of their division, meaning they are usually paired with 7-year-olds (you’ll see the term “8U” used often, and it means 8-and-under, which means the division is filled almost entirely with 7- and 8-year-olds). Therefore, it might be wise to get a new glove for a kid at age 7, with hopes of it lasting at least 2 years.
A lot of youth baseball leagues divide kids using different names for different levels, like Minor and Major division, or Bronco vs. Pony. Simply know the ages appropriate for each level and go from there. You won’t find youth baseball or softball division names in manufacturer’s descriptions of gloves.
With that, let’s get at it! Hopefully the following will help with your purchase, and help make your little ballplayer that much better at the game moving forward.
Best Baseball Gloves for 8 Year Olds: Our Choices
1. Best Baseball Glove for 8 Year Olds Overall ~ Easton Professional Youth Baseball Glove Series
We easily could have named this glove the Best Up-and-Coming, because it’s so new to the market. But the Easton Professional Youth Baseball Glove just offers too much to ignore in features and a design specifically for 8-year-old players.
It is about the lightest glove you’ll find for this age bracket; applies Easton’s Flex Notch to make it easier for small hands to close; has a very soft palm lining; features a pigskin-synthetic blend that keeps it light and flexible; (and) comes with a 1-year limited warranty in case things go sour.
We just can’t envision that happening. Aside from the serious lightness, note the flex notch at the base of the palm on the pinky side. It’s a significant performance-enhancing cut compared with competing models, and combined with the glove’s mixture of soft pigskin and creative color schemes make this a superb glove for 8-year-old baseball players.
- Weight: 9.2 oz.
- Material: Pigskin-Hyperlite synthetic leather blend
- Color: 5 color schemes (2- or 3-tone)
- First available: August 2020
What We Like
- Specifically designed for 8-year-old baseball or softball players
- Flex Notch for ease-of-closing
- Extremely lightweight
- Cool-looking color matches
- 1-year limited warranty
Not So Much
- Price is a bit above-average (but still much lower than other Easton models)
2. Best Baseball Glove for 8 Year Olds for Popularity ~ Rawlings Players Glove Series
There are so many quality baseball gloves made by Rawlings that it was rather difficult to single one out. Yet, the Rawlings Players Glove Series stands above the rest for 8-year-olds, for several reasons. A top one could be the thousands upon thousands of user reviews that maintain the highest rating of any glove on our list.
That it comes in a solid range of sizes, from the small 9-inch up to the ample 11.5 inches for youths, is but one plus. This series offers a great variety of gloves, in the size range above and in many color configurations, to really customize for players age 3 to 9.
Two quick items for parents new to youth baseball or softball to look closely at with this model. First, note the design to let repeated play and time create a deep pocket specific to the individual. Secondly, notice the soft inner lining that just makes the glove feel comfy when on a hand. Remember, these gloves will be worn out in the elements for extended periods of time (especially if they’re on a bad team that struggles to get outs).
- Weight: 15.2 oz.
- Material: Textured vinyl
- Color: Multiple options (including 2- and 3-tone designs)
- Ages: 3 to 9
- First available: August 2018
What We Like
- Rawlings track record with quality youth gloves
- Quality textured vinyl for ease of break-in
- Neat appearance, with eye-catching accents
- Soft inner linings
Not So Much
- For a nylon glove, it seems rather heavy
3. Best Baseball Glove for 8 Year Olds for New Players ~ Rawlings Sure Catch Glove Series
While we rarely feature a brand back-to-back in our baseball equipment reviews, we must place the Rawlings Sure Catch Glove Series near the top for its ability to help new players learn how to catch. This glove has some kind of a neat design that just makes small balls stick in that web and pocket.
Much of what is offered in the Rawlings model noted above applies here. The big difference is the Sure Catch is entirely made of leather; and that special pocket design. Padded finger linings, details to ease break-in, and a tapered wrist opening means better fits and comfort.
The Sure Catch gets a lot of user ratings online, and a great majority of them are positive. It looks like parents (or maybe even coaches) appreciate how well their little players perform with this glove. We’re not surprised ~ it’s a fine choice, which could have been ranked even higher if you could believe that.
- Weight: Almost 11 oz.
- Material: Leather
- Sizes: 9” to 11.5”
- First available: July 2019
- Ages: 4 to 10
What We Like
- Rawlings brand engineering for youth gloves
- How it helps new players build confidence in catching balls
- Rawlings factory break-in (they claim 90%)
- Attractive pricing for such quality
Not So Much
- Probably not suitable for use over more than 2 seasons due to how much the glove contributes to success in catching (as players develop they should learn to catch with both hands properly)
4. Best Baseball Glove for 8 Year Olds for Appearance ~ Louisville Slugger Genesis Baseball Glove Series
The Louisville Slugger Genesis Baseball Glove just looks cool. That mesh outer shell gives it a shiny, space-age look, accented by the darker parts of leather. The super-padded index finger hole, and Velcro-adjustable wrist strap just add to the allure.
We can’t gauge how it actually performs for users, as the model does not yet have thousands of buyer reviews like well-established brands (e.g. Rawlings) enjoy. Still, for the users who do post reviews, it appears the LS Genesis glove lands somewhere around above-average.
This may not justify the pricing, but it’s the best this well-established manufacturer offers for kids age 8. Its super-light weight combined with that futuristic, almost metallic look could make it a worthwhile investment.
- Weight: 9.52 oz.
- Material: leather-mesh combo
- Type: “Pitchers Model”
- First available: August 2018
What We Like
- Very lightweight
- Soft weave web design
- Super-cool exterior appearance
- Ballistic nylon (mesh) shell to cut weight and ease break-in
Not So Much
- Limited color choices
5. Best Baseball Glove for 8 Year Olds for Affordability ~ Franklin Sports Field Master Series Baseball and Softball Glove
Franklin has been producing baseball gear for the very young for a long time, and for parents with doubts about how long their little one will stick with the game, the Franklin Sports Field Master Baseball and Softball Glove is a perfect choice. It’s probably the most-affordable youth baseball glove you’ll find, with acceptable quality.
These gloves are all synthetic leather which is good to keep the weight down and to ease trouble in breaking them in. The challenge is in how long the glove will last. Leather is expensive, but also is proven to last longer than the nylon, mesh, or “synthetic leather” applied to baseball gloves.
The number of buyers (and reviews online) is near-Rawlings level, so a lot of American parents have tried out Franklin glove models for new players. At this price point, probably every parent of new ballplayers should at least take a peek.
- Weight: 14.46 oz.
- Material: Synthetic leather
- Sizes: 10 inch to 14 inch
- Glove type: Utility
- First available: August 2015
What We Like
- Synthetic leather is easier to break in than all-leather
- Affordable compared with high-end youth baseball glove models
- Fitting system based on contours, helping with customized thumb adjustments
- Many sizes available to choose from
- 90 day limited warranty
Not So Much
- Rather heavy for an all-synthetic glove
6. Best Baseball Glove for 8 Year Olds for Shock Absorption ~ Mizuno Prospect Baseball Glove
Besides the difficulty of learning to catch a baseball, there also is the fear of having your hand hurt from all the impacts. With that in mind, we bring you the Mizuno Prospect Baseball Glove, specially designed just for youth players.
Make no mistake, there are plenty of selling points to this glove (we almost gave it the Marketing Text award with all the acronyms). But it’s the concern for the comfort and feel for the player that adds this model to this list. It’s starting to get a lot of user reviews, too, and they’re not all that bad.
That Mizuno chooses to lead marketing copy with its PowerClose technology says much. If you look at images of this glove, notice unique lacing patterns, and a big notch at the base of the palm on the pinky side. This helps make the glove very easy to close, even with its all-grain leather construction.
- Weight: 9.17 oz.
- Material: Leather
- First available: July 2016
What We Like
- Very lightweight
- MVO Lining to wick sweat away from skin
- Full grain leather shell for durability
- Notched lower palm to ease in closing
- Palm liner for comfort
Not So Much
- You pay extra for innovations, in any baseball glove model
7. Best Baseball Glove for 8 Year Olds to be Different ~ Akadema Rookie Series
While this model has been around for some time, the Akadema AJT99 Rookie Series Glove appears to be gaining traction in the new baseball player market. Note that the manufacturer markets this model by stating “Replica of Manny Ramirez’s black baseball glove made for young players.”
Probably the first item to note is the full grain soft leather material for the inside, and much of the shell. This glove looks designed with a priority on ease of breaking it in; and, comfort is up there as well. The weight is not too heavy nor too light, still okay for players age 8 and under.
Note that the H web is typically (though not always) used by outfielders. Still, this web design is right in the middle of the pack in terms of sizing, and if fully broken in we could imagine a young player being thrilled to use this glove.
- Weight: 12.7 oz.
- Material: Full grain soft leather
- Ages: 5 to 9
- First available: April 2007
What We Like
- Mesh material behind fingers to cut weight
- Neat coloring
- Soft grain leather in palm and play side
- H web for outfield play
Not So Much
- High on the weight side
Final Thoughts on Buying Baseball Gloves for 8 Year Olds
Every time a young baseball or softball player jumps up an age division, it’s a good time to think about equipment. Gloves, in particular, grow along with the player; and gloves for 8-year-old ballplayers might be the first step in that progression.
You see, for tee-ball players, most parents just go with the cheapest glove available. Who knows if the kid will even like the game, right?
But by ages 7 and 8, it becomes a sort-of transition year, where performance on the field could be make-or break in terms of whether the player chooses to stick with the game.
Baseball is very hard to play. It now not only competes for youths’ attention with basketball and soccer, it also loses kids’ interest levels to video games and the internet.
The easier you can make the game for your child (or player, for your coaches), the more likely he or she will enjoy the game and continue playing as long as the sport takes them.
Today there are probably more choices for baseball gloves for young players than ever before. Online shopping has expanded the horizons of many shoppers, and really serious parents will do their research before investing in a top-quality glove.
It’s very important to remember here that the overlying matter here is comfort. If a kid is uncomfortable wearing a glove, or just doesn’t seem to do well with it, he or she won’t use it. That said, take notice of these factors when doing your search:
- Extra padding, whether on the underside of the palm, on the inside of the wrist strap, or inside the fingers seem to help with comfort.
- Pay attention to the look of the pocket, and how often the pocket is promoted by manufacturers. A baseball glove’s pockets can mean wonders for catching ~ and you can pretty much see it in images. If the pocket looks elongated, or maybe stretched back deep between the thumb and forefinger, it probably is designed that way on purpose (See our Sure Catch recommendations above).
- For glove materials, it’s easy to remember which is light, and which will last. If it’s made of leather or pigskin, it will last longer. If it has a synthetic material, either in full or part, it will be lighter but probably won’t do well under punishment.
- Size matters. Beware of too-heavy gloves, or over-sizing a small player.
- Be realistic. Few parents want to spend in the triple digits on a sports glove. However, there is a great range in prices for an almost innumerable number of models available. Paying an extra $5 or $10 for better leather might be all the difference between lasting 2 seasons, or just a few games.
- Did we mention comfort? Pay attention to features that manufacturers promote for “comfort,” or “confidence.”
Question: How important in reality is the glove for 8-year-old baseball players?
Answer: Probably more important than you imagine. Think from an 8-year-old’s perspective. If the glove is uncomfortable, does not perform well (regardless of “user error”), looks silly, etc., he or she will refuse to use it. And possibly even walk away from the game. If you want them to keep playing, make sure they are comfortable and confident with what they will wear about half the time in baseball.
Q.: Are any baseball gloves durable, really?
A.: Depends on your definition. No baseball glove will last a lifetime; in reality, you’re lucky to keep using the same one for 5 consecutive years. In marketing these products, the question really is, How short will it last? While the leather or synthetic leather is certain to break down in time, some gloves use better materials and engage better production methods, making their gloves last longer. In general, expect 2 full seasons out of a youth glove.
Q.: What if my young player plays multiple positions?
A.: Our first thought is, then get him or her 2 gloves. But at a young age that’s usually not practical. At age 8, maybe look for a model with the term “utility” applied, or for glove type, look for “pitcher” because it’s basically a generic glove style. (Basically, infielders’ gloves tend to be smaller in length, with closed webbing you can’t fit fingers through; and outfielders’ gloves feature longer fingers and “H” styled webbing where you can peek through relatively large holes).
Q.: What if it’s clear my 8-year-old will play mostly catcher or first base?
A.: Specialized first-baseman mitts are better for older players, with skills at scooping the ball out of the dirt, so at the young ages, regular gloves work at any base (besides home plate). Even at catcher, for fastpitch softball for instance, special gloves are not needed until about age 10. However, if it’s clear your player will catch and play nowhere else, look for other reviews specific to catcher’s mitts. It’s hard if not impossible to compare catcher’s mitts with regular baseball gloves. They are different beasts.
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