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Rawlings R9 Series

Rawlings R9 Series

Rawlings has just released their latest additions to the Rawlings R9 Series. And this release will include baseball, fastpitch and slow pitch models! We typically receive a number of inquiries as to what these gloves are really all about. So we thought, why not just breakdown the R9 series in one blog post? We'll give you an overview of the construction, fit and quality of the R9s plus a few Expert Picks too. Let's dig in!

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The Construction:

The R9 models are made with a  full-grain leather to provide a soft feel for fielders (80% broken-in). And if you're looking at the palms of the gloves, you will notice a leather cushioned palm padding in each one. That extra layer of protection is extremely valuable as it protects the palm during a catch and it especially helps younger players who are not quite as skilled with their glovework. And to hold everything together on these R9s are quality laces that should be able to last for many seasons! As long as you give those laces a little oil every now and then, they should be set to keep the glove together for many seasons!

The Latest Rawlings R9s!

The Fit:

Rawlings has been known for their Heart of the Hide and Pro Preferred models for a long time . And understandably so as those are great gloves. However, those series do not serve as a viable option for a younger player given their more adult tailored fits. In order to provide for younger or smaller handed players, Rawlings crafts this R9 line of mitts. Most of the R9s will be made with fits that are more designed to fit a smaller hand. Their most recent release included 6 baseball gloves and mitts with Rawlings' Contour Fit that is specifically made to fit only youth hands (adult hands won't even be able to squeeze their hands into these gloves).

Be sure to note that the non Contour Fit Rawlings R9 gloves do typically provide a slightly snugger fit than a Heart of the Hide or Pro Preferred, but an adult hand can typically fit into these gloves. 

The Latest Baseball Release of R9s Have The Rawlings Contour Fit

The Quality:

Regarding quality, the natural thing to do is to compare these R9s to their most famous Rawlings counterparts: the Heart of the Hides. A Heart of the Hide is going to be built with a US Steerhide Shell and on the inside it will have a Deer Tanned Palm Lining plus Soft Full Grain Finger Linings. All in all, the Heart of the Hides will technically have a better build as the R9s have more of a Cowhide Shell and the hand slot will incorporate some non leather material. 

However, that is not all bad. Most players that will be looking for an R9 will be younger than high school age and wanting a glove that will break in fairly quick. The R9 is perfect for those players as Rawlings advertises that only 20% of an R9 break in needs to be done by a player (when compared to a Heart of the Hide which requires closer to 60% of the break in to be done by the player).

Shop These Soft Rawlings R9s[These Rawlings R9s Feature A Softer Leather
Than Their Heart of the Hide Counterparts]

Expert Picks:

Rawlings R9 Contour Fit 11" Youth Baseball Glove: R9110U-19BT

Rawlings R9 Contour Fit 11 Inch Youth Baseball Glove

The new release of youth R9s was truly built with young baseball players in mind. They feature the Rawlings Contour Fit which means they get a true trifecta in regard to modifications for fitting a young baseball player's hand:

  • Narrow & Lowered Finger Stalls
  • Adjusted Back Opening
  • Smaller 6.5 - 7.0 Inch Wrist Opening

And with this specific model being 11 inches it should work really well for players aged between 7 and 12 years of age.  It definitely has an infield look to it, but for a young baseball player, it could be used pretty much anywhere on the diamond.


Rawlings R9 12" Fastpitch Softball Glove: R9SB120U-6GW

Rawlings R9 12 Inch Fastpitch Softball Glove

The awesomeness of the R9s expands beyond baseball. Rawlings has crafted R9s for fastpitch players too! These fastpitch R9s will feature the same soft leather as the baseball models plus they will also have a V Flex notch near the heel of the glove. That combo will allow the glove to be very easy to squeeze right from day one! In addition, there will be an adjustable pull strap wrist opening to give fastpitch players optimal fit and comfort when wearing the glove. Lastly, this glove will serve a teenage (or older) player well on the infield, but a younger player could use it all over a fastpitch field!


Rawlings R9 13" Slow Pitch Softball Glove: R9SP130-6DB

Rawlings R9 13 Inch Slow Pitch Softball Glove

For the first time ever, Rawlings has released an R9 model for slow pitch softball. This glove will compete to be one of the absolute best slow pitch options on the market. Most slow pitch players want a glove that they can tote out to the field for game number one and use right away. Depending upon your preferences, these R9s could do just that for you as Rawlings says that only 20 percent of the break in will be left to the player. And this specific glove will catch everything as it has a 13 inch length! And if you're interested, Rawlings has also released 13.5 inch, 14 inch and 15 inch slow pitch R9s too!



Thank you for reading through our review of the R9 gloves. If you have any questions, our Glove Experts are available via telephone at 866-321-4568, through To Catch!

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