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Baseball Glove Leather 101

Baseball gloves are made from a variety of leathers, but for the most part be separated into four categories: Cowhide, Full grain, Kip, and Premium Steerhide. Leather type impacts the break-in time, appearance, feel and of course, price. We want to make sure you have an understanding of the leather types that are available on the market today and the types of Leather we offer for our handcrafted gloves.

Cowhide (aka Leather):

"Leather" means cowhide, usually medium weight, but sometimes it can be heavier. Cowhide performs well and will have a fast break-in period, but has the potential to wear out faster than other leather. Cowhide is generally the best all-around glove for youth players.

Cowhide is used for our Phenom handcrafted gloves.  

Full Grain Leather:

Full-grain leather is Steerhide or cowhide leather on which the natural grain remains. This creates a glove that is stiffer and heavier than other leather gloves and creates a longer break-in period. Full grain leather gloves are superior in both performance and durability.

Kip Leather:

Kip leather is a soft and luxurious cowhide used by the majority of professional players. It is from calf hide and because it comes from younger cows it is thinner, softer, and lighter. Kip leather tends to be lighter in weight as compared to cowhide. This makes it a preferred material for high-end baseball gloves where quick hands are key. 

Kip leather is used for both our ICON and Prodigy handcrafted gloves.   

Premium Steerhide:

Steerhide is stronger than cowhide. Gloves made of this leather tend to be stiff and somewhat heavy, with longer break-in periods.  The benefit of Steerhide is that the gloves are extremely tough for many years.   
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