The Best Youth Catchers Mitt

A right mitt for your young ball player.

boy with catchers mitt

Got a young ball player in your life? There’s a pretty good chance that all of us have at least one kid with that skill level in our lives who plays youth sports. Typically, about 40-45% of children from ages 6 to 12 play on some sort of youth sports team.

Most of those kids need at least one piece of equipment. And for young baseball players, usually need a glove, shoes, and a uniform. They could also need a helmet and bat, depending on the league.

Special Mitt For Catchers

All of the kids playing baseball/softball are going to need a glove. Those kids who decide to be baseball catchers will need to have a special catcher’s mitt, as well. Catchers mitts are different because they don’t have separate finger slots inside for every finger, only some. A youth catcher’s mitt gives the fingers greater protection with its spacing. Catchers need more security than the versatility a baseball glove provides.

Does A Catcher Have To Wear A Catcher’s Mitt?

Most youth sports leagues will require the catcher to wear a catcher’s mitt. Even if they didn’t, though, it wouldn’t be a good idea to let a player use any other kind of mitt or glove. There are reasons the catcher’s mitt is designed the way it is. It gives the player more security in catching the ball, greater protection for the hand, and more surface area.

best youth catchers mitt

The Best Youth Catchers Mitt

  • How Do I Choose Youth Catchers Mitts?

There are just a few considerations you need to make when you’re selecting the best youth catchers mitt. You’ll be looking at the leather options, the back you want, the webbing, and the amount of extra padding you’ll want for your ball player.

  • Leather – You’ll have four choices of leathers. Catchers mitts can be made of soft leather that doesn’t cost as much, on up to tougher leather that is highly durable and will last a long time. For kids who are just starting out, sticking to a softer leather, less durable catchers mitt is your best bet. You can buy a high quality mitt version when you know they’re going to stick with it.
  • Back – The back of a youth catcher’s mitts can be open or closed. It’s ideal for a youth catcher’s mitt to be closed in the back to help protect the wrist. The open back gives the player greater mobility but less wrist protection.
  • Webbing – Most of the time you’ll find a catcher’s mitt to have closed webbing. It’s good because it adds support for catching fast pitches and other throws.
  • Padding – A youth catcher’s mitt should have plenty of padding to protect the child’s hand. It can cause the catcher to have less of a pocket for catching the ball. If that’s a problem, you can simply move up to the next size of catchers mitt.
youth catchers mitt on the ground

The Best Youth Catchers Mitt

  • What Size Catchers Mitt Should A 12 Year Old Use?

The size is measured by its circumference. A 12-year-old will usually need a catcher’s mitt with a circumference of 32-32.5 inches. The size they need is based on how big the ball will be in the league they’re playing in. Younger baseball players use larger baseballs at their level.

  • What Size Catchers Glove For 13 Year Old?

The catchers mitt for a 13-year-old is going to be smaller than a 12-year-old’s. At 13, kids enter leagues that use smaller balls. The younger catchers won’t need as big of a deep pocket in his or her catcher’s mitt.


How Long Do The Catchers Mitts Last?

This is usually dependent on the quality of the catchers mitt you buy and how often it is used. Generally, though, a youth catcher’s mitt should last for around 3 years. If you properly maintain it, you can maybe even extend the life. Using leather conditioner on a real leather catcher’s mitt can help you with that.

How Do You Break In A Catchers Mitt Fast?

You don’t want to wait until the last minute before games are starting to get your ball player a brand new youth mitts. Brand new mitt and gloves are usually pretty stiff, which makes them difficult to use effectively right off the shelf. But, should you find yourself in a situation where you need to break in a catchers mitt fast, here are a couple of methods you can try that won’t harm the mitt and comfortable feel when worn if they’re done properly.

  • Put a baseball in the catchers mitt and tie string around it to keep it closed. Then put it under a mattress someone’s sleeping on for the night. Be careful to place it in the right position so you don’t end up deforming it.
  • Apply cream that’s lanolin-based to its surface. It doesn’t get soaked down into the leather like oils do, so you won’t get the breakdown that oil can cause.
  • Pounding the pocket of the best youth catchers mitt with your fist, a mallet, free hand weights, or the end of a baseball bat will help to break-in the mitt and develop the pocket.

Can You Steam A Catcher’s Mitt?

Here’s the thing. You can steam any glove or mitt, including a catchers mitt. Whether you should or not can come down to opinion. Some experts will tell you not to steam any type of glove because it shortens the life of it.

In some cases, though, steaming a new catcher’s mitt to help break it in and get the pocket shaped for a game coming up is going to be your best option. Our advice is to take it to professionals to have it steamed and shaped. Don’t try to do it yourself.

Why Do First Basemen Wear A Mitt?

First basemen wear mitts because of the nature of their position. They need a lot of control and a glove type that’s good for scooping up grounded balls, balls thrown in the dirt, and also for catching many baseballs being thrown from all over the field. The rounded edge of a mitt coupled with the lack of separate finger slots for all five digits gives a player manning first base better control and maneuverability.

A boy using a youth catchers mitt

What Is The Difference Between A Catchers Mitt And A First Base Mitt?

A catcher’s mitt has a thumb slot, slots for the first two fingers, and then has one combined slot for the last two fingers. There’s also sometimes quite a bit of padding for the center of the catchers mitt, known as the pocket.

A first base mitt doesn’t have separate finger slots, has a rounded edge to help with scooping up balls, and has a less padded pocket area.


What Catchers Mitt Do The Pros Use?

A little over half the catchers in Major League Baseball use a Rawlings catchers mitt. Generally, they look for something that’s not too heavy so they can still be quick. Sometimes you’ll notice the catcher’s mitt with wrist straps sewn on to the edge, too. Many pro catchers like that extra protection.

The second-most popular brand is All-Star, though it’s used by far less professional catchers. All-Star catcher’s mitts are chosen less than half as many times as Rawlings encore series.


Wrap Up

Do the best for your ball player. You know what to look for now to be able to have the top youth catchers mitts. Make sure you get the right size for the age of your child. You want to go with a catcher’s mitt that will protect your player’s hand, allow a good amount of space in the pocket for catching the ball, and last long enough to at least get through a season. Rawlings makes all levels of gloves and mitts, so you can take a look at what the pros wear and see if your youth baseball player likes the idea. A little extra pride and confidence never hurt anyone.

Time to play ball!


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • What size of best youth catchers mitt should a young catcher use?
  • What size of best youth catchers mitt should an 11 year old use?
  • What is the easiest youth catchers mitt to break in?
  • How do I know what size adult catcher’s mitt I need?
  • What size of youth catchers mitt should a 12 year old with smaller hands have?
  • What size of best catchers mitt does Yadier Molina use?

  • What good quality catchers mitt do most MLB catchers use?

  • Should you steam a youth catchers mitt?

  • What brand of best catchers mitt do the pros use?

  • What size catcher’s mitt do most pros use?

How do I know my child’s glove size?
What is the most popular glove size?
How do I choose gloves?
What size catchers mitt should a 13 year old use?
What makes a good catchers mitt?

Other Resources


Last Updated on May 13, 2023 by Inma Barquero

DISCLAIMER (IMPORTANT): This information (including all text, images, audio, or other formats on is not intended to be a substitute for informed professional advice, diagnosis, endorsement or treatment. You should not take any action or avoid taking action without consulting a qualified professional.   Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions about medical conditions. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here a

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