As with new leather boots, you will have to break in your leather baseball gloves. Thus, if you have just bought a new pair of baseball gloves, it is important to know the answer to “How to break in a baseball glove?” This will take away any discomfort created by the stiffness present in any new leather products.
Even professional players in the MLB break in their baseball gloves. So, rest assured that it is a useful skill. This article will show you the best way to break in a pair of baseball gloves, as well as other helpful tips on taking care of your gloves.
In short, the steps to breaking in a baseball glove are:
- Work Out
For elaborated details on each step, continue reading!
Best Way to Break in a Glove
Below, we have curated a tested-and-proven method of breaking in baseball gloves. The materials are affordable and accessible. Plus, it is relatively easy to follow.
What You Will Need to Prepare
Aside from your baseball gloves, gather the following materials:
- Hot water
- Wooden mallet
- Glove oil or conditioner
Once you have everything, you are ready to proceed!
What You Will Need to Do
Follow these steps to break in your new baseball gloves.
Step 1: Moisten
In this step, you will be adding moisture to the leather of your baseball gloves. Pick up the gloves in one hand and have them hovered over a sink or basin. Using your other hand, pour a bit of hot water over the gloves. The water should not be boiling, but hotter than lukewarm.
A temperature between 150 degrees Fahrenheit and 170 degrees is sufficient. Do this slowly and meticulously. Make sure the water comes in contact with all the parts of the glove. Do not add any detergent or soap into the water since these are not necessary; you are only moisturizing the glove. Be careful to avoid burning yourself. In particular, children should seek help from an adult.
Alternatively, you can apply glove oil or conditioner to moisten the leather. However, you have to be extra mindful of the product you use. There are many options available in the market, but there are also many that are sub-standard.
Find oil or conditioners that are made for baseball gloves. Invest in a good product. Trust me, your gloves deserve only the best of the best. You can find glove oils and conditioners online or offline. It is recommended that you look for products offered by renowned baseball brands, such as Nokona, Mizuno, Rawlings, and Wilson.
You can also consider getting baseball glove care kits, which include other accessories that you will need in conditioning your gloves.
The glove oil or conditioner will add moisture to the leather and soften it up. This, in turn, will assist you in breaking the gloves in. But it is important that you apply only a thin layer. With oils and conditioners, a little goes a long way!
Oversaturating the glove will do more harm than good. The construction can be ruined permanently. Ultimately, your baseball gloves will be a bad mixture of greasy and heavy on the outside and dried out on the inside.
Apply using a soft-bristle brush or a dry leather brush. If you do not have either of these, you can also use a soft toothbrush or a clean and thin cloth. Coat thinly with a little amount of oil or conditioner. Use gentle massaging motions along with light dabs.
Regardless of whether you are moisturizing with hot water or a glove oil/conditioner, be careful and diligent. The more moisturized the leather of your glove is, the better and easier it will be for you in the following steps.
Step 2: Work Out
Here, you will work the rigid components on your baseball glove. In detail, these are the thumb and pinky. Use your hand to bend each back and forth, toward one another, as well as away. Move them around as much as possible to work them out.
Use squeezing and pushing motions to break into the stiff leather. You can also exercise the liner and webbing of the gloves. This step is a bit time-consuming, but it is the bulk of this procedure. Be patient and repeat the step from nine to ten times to break the leather in well.
As with the previous step, the more effort you put into this step, the less you will have to exert in later steps.
Step 3: Soften
Now, you can further soften the gloves to make them comfortable for future use. The best way to go about this is playing catch. It is the traditional method but it works. Plus, it is very safe. When you wear the glove to play catch, the glove conforms to your hand.
This optimizes comfort and guarantees a snug fit. By this token, the glove is for you and you only! On top of that, you can practice your catching skills. Kill two birds with one stone, what better technique can you opt for, right?
However, if you do not have time, you can speed up the process with the mallet that you have prepared. A wooden mallet is the most suitable in this case. If you do not have a mallet, you can also use a mini dumbbell.
Use it to pound the pocket portion of your gloves. This ensures that there is a nice and deep valley for the baseball to fall into. Apart from pounding motions, you can also use the mallet or dumbbell to iron out any wrinkles and creases on the leather. This will leave a neat finish and eliminate any aesthetic eyesores.
Aside from the above steps, there are a few other important tips that you should always keep in mind when breaking in baseball gloves.
- Regular Conditioning
Just because you have broken in your glove does not mean you get to stop caring for it. Be sure to apply a thin layer of oil or conditioner on it regularly. This will help lengthen your gloves’ lifespan and keep it in prime condition. After all, it is a good habit to have.
- No Oven Shortcuts
Even though there are sites that tell you the oven is the best to break in a baseball glove fast, it is a misconception and should be avoided at all costs. An oven may soften up your gloves’ leather in the beginning, but it will also draw out moisture. This leaves the leather supple once it cools down. It will be dry and brittle. As a result, you will have a useless pair of baseball gloves.
So, with that, you have reached the end of this article on how to break in a baseball glove. Hopefully, it has been helpful.
To recap, these are the steps you should take to break in your gloves:
- Work Out
If you have any other follow-up questions or thoughts on this topic, feel free to let us know in the comments. We are always delighted to hear from our readers. So, do not hesitate.
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Five years as a baseball player, my training approaches with this game give me the motivation to inspire and support young players more. Like all sports, we should start with the desire to have fun and maintain our resilience to strive better at any competition. But, of course, some of us want to have some fun and train for better health. It does not matter what your initial purpose is; I believe that most people ever holding on to the baseball bat will fall in love with the games as I do.