How to break in a baseball glove? It’s unforgettable to feel the leather in your hands for the first time. It can be difficult to get a new stiff glove in game condition.
Each baseball and softball player has a unique connection to their glove. Through many catches, grabs, and snags, every seam and crease has been shaped. It took a lot of work to shape that mitt. The break-in is the most important step.
Anyone who has played for more than a year of baseball can attest that gloves must be properly broken in to function to their best. It is important to properly break in your glove so that it feels comfortable and fits well in your hand. It should feel like your glove is part of your hand. This cohesion is enhanced by breaking in the glove. It also eliminates any stiffness or rigidity. You can also make a pocket to hold the ball more securely.
There are many methods that you can use in order to soften and break in your glove. You can use some of these methods alone or together. We’ll discuss the various ways you can break in your glove and how to oil it.
Once you have chosen the right size and style and purchased your fielding glove you will notice its stiffness and lack of the pocket necessary to catch ground balls. A pocket is an important part of breaking in your glove. There are many ways to form a pocket. The best method will depend on the player’s preference. While some players swear by the microwave (we don’t recommend it), others prefer to use other methods.
Let’s discuss what NOT To do
1–Do not: Put it in the oven or microwave. You can never forget.
The laces become dry and brittle. This is what I have seen happen. Three brand new gloves Customers who had in fact baked their gloves caused the laces to become damaged.
2–Do not: Drive your car over it. You just bought a high-quality glove. Now you want to drive a 2,000-pound car over it. You can save the gas and the leather.
3–Do not: Oil can be used to oil the leather. The oil softens leather and makes it more malleable. The glove also becomes heavier because oil sits in it. Oil can also soak into the palm padding. Oil eventually will begin to degrade the leather.
Traditional or tried-and-true methods
This is the best way to get your glove in if you are a true purist. Play catch with a few friends. You will get a better feel for your glove if you practice it a lot. This method is time-consuming but it is the best and most preferred. This method is much more effective than other techniques that players might choose to use.
Glove steaming is a proven method that works. This is considered the best alternative to playing catch. Steaming the glove relaxes the leather and seams, making it ready for the game.
These are the steps that glove steaming typically requires
- To open pores in leather, apply glove conditioner
- The glove should be heated to 150°F
- Use a glove mallet to break in the glove
Handling a Glove
This is a great way to take out aggression. To soften the leather and shape the glove’s pocket, you simply need to pound it. You will need a glove mallet, such as the one shown below. Or you can make your own using an old baseball. Since it is meant for softball and baseball gloves, we recommend getting a genuine glove mallet.
Here are the steps to take.
- As you would normally, put the glove on.
- Use your throwing hand to grab the mallet, and continue striking the glove’s pocket with it.
- To further break in the glove, remove the glove from your hand, place it palm-side down on the ground, and then strike the back.
Other guides may tell you to wet your leather and place it in the sun. However, it is our recommendation to leave the sun and water out and follow the steps above.
You can use any of these methods to break in your baseball glove. The same methods can be used to break in a softball glove. However, you should use a softball instead of a baseball to make sure your pocket is large enough.
Additional Tips to Break in Your Softball or Baseball Glove
You might find yourself lost in the maze of misinformation when trying to figure out how to break into your baseball glove. Many myths surround how to quickly break in your baseball glove. It is important to take time and effort to properly break-in your glove. These are some additional tips for breaking in your glove.
Use of Baseball Glove Oils and Conditioners
Glove oils and conditioners can be used to soften leather softball and baseball gloves, even though they are not considered a break-in method. You should not use Vaseline, petroleum jelly, or olive oil to break in your glove. You should only use the recommended oils and conditioners if you plan to use them. These instructions are often included with the glove. Certain conditioners are specifically made for leather. Use oils sparingly. Rub the glove with a light coat of oil.
How to oil your glove
- Only use oils and conditioners that are recommended by the manufacturer.
- Do not apply too many oils. You only need a little.
Avoid using products that aren’t approved to be used with leather, or those that dry out easily.