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What size catcher’s mitt do you need?

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Written By
Xan Barksdale

I get emails all the time from players, parents, and coaches asking me questions about anything, and everything, about catching.  There are a few questions that pop up really frequently so I thought it would be a good idea to address them in my blog.  So, in the first installment of my “FAQ Blog Series” I’m going to discuss what size mitt you need because that is probably one of the most common questions I get asked.

A few times a week there is a message in my inbox that says “Coach, should I buy a 32.5″ mitt or 34″ mitt for my son?”

I have a standard reply that I send out to all the concerned dads asking me about their son’s mitt and it is: “Get him the one that feels comfortable to him and he likes!”  I know that sounds like the easy way out, but I honestly believe that there isn’t a big difference between the “small” mitt and the “huge” one.  I don’t think that using one mitt or the other is going to make a difference in how well you catch, block, or throw the ball.

If you haven’t really thought about it before, 1.5″ sounds like a big difference, but it really isn’t.  If you consider the math involved, they’re actually very close in size.  Let’s take a look at the math involved in finding out how much bigger a 34″ mitt is than a 32.5″ mitt:

Mitt Geometry 2

Once you actually look at it, you’ll find that there is less than a 10% difference between the “small” one and the “large” one.  With that small of a difference, I recommend finding a mitt that the player likes, feels comfortable with, and has confidence in.

I know that in today’s world most of your shopping is probably done on the Internet.  I even do most of my shopping on the Internet!  However, when looking for a mitt, I recommend actually going to your local sporting goods store and trying a few different mitts on.  Everyone’s hand is different and different mitts feel different to each individual.  You will quickly find out which mitts you like, and which ones you dislike!

I hope you remember that the way a mitt feels is much more important than the numbers attached to it!  Choose a mitt that feels good to you, is comfortable, and is made by a reputable company with a good warranty!

P.S. If you want to see the mitt that I recommend CLICK HERE.

Written By
Xan Barksdale


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Xan Barksdale

Of course, if that's what you like.


Is it okay to use a 32” in varsity level ?

Dougie Silva

I am a lefty catcher so their are not many gloves in stores I can find for me.

Xan Barksdale


Patrick Gaffney

I can't see your recommendation because the link is not active (for you choice of catchers glove).

Danny Lowery

i need a large catchers mitt to catch my grand daughter with.she throws 57 mph. i cant find any mitts that fit my hands comfortably.any suggestions.

Steve Chace

I’m late to the party but I’ll throw my two cents in anyway… My son is 12 and has been catching since 10U Spring ball. We upgraded from his “starter” Mizzuno catcher’s mitt last fall and started off looking at all the well-known brands (Rawlings, Wilson, Mizzuno, All Star, etc.) About that same time he started working with a local catching coach affiliated with Jay Weaver’s New England Catching Camp who happened to be a Vinci ( dealer. He brought in 6 different models for my son to try and we ended up going with the SW1979-L. It’s a beautifully crafted, 33” piece of art and my son couldn’t be happier (he keeps it dust free in a Ping, felt lined golf shoe bag). The pocket is the perfect depth, the wrist strap is very adjustable and it’s incredibly light in spite of the size. It might be worth a look for someone in the market.


Thanks for all the great info. Coach! I'm looking forward to learning everything you share with us. My sons 8 and this is first year of catching. Except the ball bounces out of the glove, a lot!⚾️

Jacob Grant

CM3000SBT orCM3000XSBT


That kind of thinikng shows you're on top of your game

Dar lva

I catch for my varsity team in New Mexico I had a Rawlings pro perfered. 32.5" I liked it for a month or two then the glove got real soft. I lost my pocket so I kept dropping balls no matter how hard I tried to form my pocket I also have a Rawlings 11.25" primo which I like the only thing is is the leather gets a little softer with Rawlings then with other brands such as Wilson and Allstar which can cause you to lose your pocket. I see Wilson as a "working mans glove" it'll form just how you want and stay that way for many seasons but Rawlings will stay formed for a couple months then you lose your pocket but that's my expirence with all 3 brands. Its just what your son feels comfortable with. (I'm sure I'm to late already but this is for anyone else wondering)

Coach Xan

I think that Rawlings makes a good glove. I think they use a very high quality leather and the mitts seem to hold up. I personally prefer a mitt with a deeper pocket and the Rawlings mitts seem to be very shallow. Not a bad thing at all, just a personal preference. Hope that helps!


Looking into getting the Rawlings Heart of the Hide Buster Posey 34" glove for my son. He is 16 & catches for his school's varsity team. Does anyone have any insight or info on the glove? Mike


my daughter is 11 moving up to the 12U level, at tryouts she said her hand hurt since pitchers were throwing 50+mph, I am looking for some solid advice on a new mitt with good padding. She is tall for her age and currently has a Mizuno GXS92DRG (black w/neon green trim) 34" mitt which she handles beautifully. Any suggestions. I'm looking at Akadema AEA65-12, worth liberty LACMWN, Mizuno GXS92 and GXS57. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Alex Robertson

Hi I have used a 33.5 in a while but was thinking of getting a 32.5 pudge a2000. Would that be a tough transition?

Coach Xan

The CM3000 is a great mitt. There's no need to buy one for a few years!

D John Mustard

I went from a 32.5 mitt to a 33.5 a few years ago, the only difference I notice is that the 33.5 seems to create a deeper pocket. All-Star makes some great (albeit expensive) catcher's mitts. I am currently using a CM3000 and don't plan on getting another glove any time soon.

Best Catcher's Mitt | First Base Coach

[…] 101 offers a quick geometry lesson for anyone that is interested. His entire point is that there is a pretty small difference between a […]

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