Why don't glove companies make youth gloves in the highest end quality leather?
Mar 8th 10:03am
The quick answer is functionality. The reason Youth gloves for 5-12 year olds are made of a lower grade of cowhide leather or many times synthetic leather (or plastic/polyurethane) is because the strength of the hand of a 5-12 year old can't break in the highest end quality leather glove. That is why you typically see youth gloves made of synthetic leather or softer cowhide leather. These gloves are squeezable for a kid that age. An MLB or college high grade leather glove won't be functional for 5-12 year old. This leather doesn't work for them and I would advise against trying to get high end leather for kids under 12 years old. What would be the point of getting the highest quality leather for a kid under 12 if they can't squeeze the glove? Its not functional and they can't break it in right away.
At Rico Gloves our youth gloves sizing starts at the minimum of 8 years old and goes to approximately 12 years old or a teenager/adult with a smaller hand. We make our Youth gloves from tumbled cowhide leather and its stiff when new but the break in is fairly quick if the glove is being used regularly. I often have the question that my kid is 9 and plays elite/major baseball and he needs the high end leather. A 9 year old doesn't need the high end leather because it may take him 6 months to break it in with his hand strength. The parent is better off getting the tumbled cowhide leather used for Youth Series that he can break in faster and then replacing the glove in a year or two if needed. The functionality is much more important than the idea of getting the high end most expensive glove used by MLB and college players. This is my personal opinion and at Rico Gloves we try to make a custom glove that is ideal for age and the level of play. We do offer the high end leather for MLB, college, and Elite HS players in our Select and Ultra series gloves. These series of gloves just aren't ideal for youth players.