Mizuno is like a little brother to Rawlings and Wilson, equally good in many ways but just falls short in popularity to the big two companies. They have quite a bit of market share, but they don’t jump to most people’s mind when you ask them their favorite baseball glove brand.
I’ve used and abused Mizuno gloves in the past, but now I am doing a full-fledged break-in of a Mizuno Pro Select GPS1-600R (11.75″) to determine if and how much people are sleeping on Mizuno gloves. The Pro Select is a good starting point because it’s a mid tier glove and within the price range of many higher level ball players.
Here is our initial impression of the glove. I plan to update it frequently as I get further into the break-in, start taking ground balls, and eventually using it in competitive play.
About the Mizuno Pro Select
Just a quick introduction to what this glove is. Our model is a GPS1-600R, an 11.75″ model with a cross web. It is built with Steerhide leather and features a beautiful darkish tan look. We paid $265 (retail price) for it and will have pictures posted within this article within the next few days.
What I Like
- The glove looks, feels, and smells amazing out of the box. While this can be said about many new gloves, the clean all-brown look is just amazing.
- The leather, a Steerhide, is super smooth yet a bit rugged. In an age where companies are trying to continually create a smoother leader, this is a good balance that maintains the feel you want from a Steerhide glove.
- The pattern feels pretty unique. It’s very Japanese-esque, as expected, with a flat finger design and thumb-to-middle finger break. We’ll see how it breaks in over time, but it definitely feels different from many other mitts.
- The finger stalls and wrist feel a bit tighter than a normal glove. They’re not as small as, say, Wilson’s Pedroia Fit, but you can feel both are a bit tighter than many “regular fit” gloves. Players with regular-sized or small hands will be 100% fine, but bigger hands are going to feel quite snug.
- The wool wrist padding feels oh-so-good, and the hand liner is smooth as well. I wouldn’t say the liner is soft, per se, but it has a good balance of feel and durability that comes with a Steerhide palm liner (Mizuno calls it ‘Steersoft’ – a pretty good description).
- The pop of the pocket. With stiffness comes a lot of sound, and the sound of this pocket is beautiful. We’ll see if it holds, but early rounds of catch show a catching sound that is music to the ears.
What I Don’t Like
- I noticed the lacing was pretty bad. A lot of reviews say it is actually quite bad, and I can confirm that the laces throughout the entirety of the glove are thin, feel stiff but weak, and lack the suppleness that many gloves in its class have.
- The stiffness of the glove is insane. In an era where companies are releasing more game-ready gloves, this glove is a brick. You might like this, but I feel a bit more work in the factory would have been handy.
- The wool wrist padding may feel good, but there’s a reason most companies are moving away from it. It will feel amazing for a while, but over time it will flatten and even start to stink a bit if we really start sweating in it.
The Pro Select series is not a Wilson or Rawlings. And that’s a good thing. Many companies are copying each other in different ways, but this glove feels unique in many ways. From the pattern, to the design, to almost every part of the glove, it feels unique.
And as we play around more with this glove, we’ll see if this uniqueness puts it over Wilson and Rawlings gloves that are both more popular and more expensive.