Hey everyone and welcome back! Today we will discuss the best way to break in a baseball glove.
In this article we will be going over one of my favorite projects; breaking in a new baseball glove 🙂
I hope you enjoy.
This method works just as good with softball gloves too!
Best way to break in a baseball glove
Breaking in a new glove is a really cool experience that I enjoy sharing with my kids. They get to see and feel how the glove goes from being new and stiff, to a well fitting, flexible defensive weapon. You should expect this process to take a couple of days to reach a comfortable level of break in.
Remember, you are actually molding the glove to your hand, so don’t expect it to be perfect right away. And for me, the best part is that I get to enjoy some quality time with the kids doing something that we all like doing.
There are lots of different methods that I have seen recommended over the years. I will be going through the process of the method that I have used personally for the last 20+ years that has worked every time, with every glove.
What you will need
~ Your new glove
~ 2 large rubber bands
~ 1 bottle of glove conditioner
~ Hair dryer
~ 1 Baseball/Softball
When you first get your glove, spend as much time with your hand inside of it as you can. Spend some time opening and closing it. (until your hand and forearm get tired). Grab the top of the web with your throwing hand and bend it down toward your wrist as many times as you can.
Be as violent as you can with it. You are doing everything you can right now to loosen the leather and let the glove know that it will conform to your will! Grab a baseball and throw it into the glove as hard as you can and as many times as you can.
Now that you have spent an hour or two getting to know your new glove, and making sure it knows that you are the boss, it’s time to break out the hair dryer.
The point of the hair dryer is to heat the leather up so the conditioner can work its way into the pores and fibers. You don’t need to get it too hot for this to work. Warm the glove to the point where you are still comfortable with your hand inside it. Now grab your bottle of glove conditioner and pour a good amount right into the palm.
Start working it into the glove, working your way out toward the web. Apply more conditioner every time it starts to get dry. You cannot put too much conditioner on your glove (The more the better).
Don’t forget to keep opening, closing, bending, and twisting the glove through the entire process. Everything you are doing right now is helping to loosen the leather and make the glove conform to your hand.
Try to make sure that the proud new owner of this glove is the one who has their hand inside it. I know this can be tough with a young one, but you really want the glove to conform to their hand.
This is the messy part of the break in. I usually try to do this outside, or in the garage, but you can do it inside as well. I will just get a piece of cardboard and some old newspapers and lay them down on the floor. It’s a good idea to have some paper towels or an old rag handy before you start.
This part of the process is not only helping us to break in our new glove, but it is also protecting the leather for years to come.
*Note ~ The conditioner will slightly darken the leather. Personally, I like this effect. I think it adds character to the glove, and that’s what I’m after.
At this point I like to get the baseball back out and throw the ball into the glove as many times as I can. The pocket is very formative at this stage. Squeeze the glove with the ball inside as much as you can.
You can even take it outside and play a little catch. Playing catch is one of the best things you can do to help break the glove in. At this point your glove should already be feeling much more broken in.
Whew! That was the hard part. Now on to the easy part.
Now it’s time for the rubber bands. Take the ball and throw it into the pocket a few more times, just so the glove knows exactly what it is suppose to do! Firmly push the ball into the pocket and take your hand out. Wrap each side of the web around the ball as tightly as possible.
Take one rubber band and wrap it around the bottom of the ball as tight as you can. Now re-wrap the top of the web around the top of the ball and wrap the other rubber band around the top. Again, try to keep everything as tight as possible.
Put the glove in a cool, dry spot. It’s a good idea to keep the glove on a piece of cardboard overnight, as there may be some conditioner that will run off before morning. I will usually keep the glove wrapped up tight for 8-10 hours. Now sit back and enjoy your favorite beverage! The glove will do the rest of the work.
Take a little break and do a little shopping. 🙂
Good morning…. Your new glove has been hard at work all night, getting to know the shape of its new best friend- the baseball. Take the rubber bands off and get your hand inside it. Start back at the beginning and start opening and closing it. Stretch out the glove as much as you can.
Remember, be rough with it. You can’t hurt it, and the glove needs to know that it will do what you tell it to do. Get it outside and start playing some catch. After a few more sessions of playing catch, your glove should be just about game ready. 🙂
A few more tips on breaking in a new baseball or softball glove
Microwave: I have read a few tips from MLB players who will actually take their new glove and put it in a microwave to try and speed up the break in process. My thoughts on this are: If you accidentally leave the glove in too long, you will be destroying the leather and other fibers in the glove. You may even catch it on fire.
Remember, the pros can walk over to the bin and get a new one. I have to purchase another one. If you’re anything like me, you do not want to buy another glove just because you wanted to speed up the process by a couple of hours. And I’m pretty sure no one is going to give me a refund for my half melted glove.
Oven: My thoughts on using an oven to heat up your new glove are pretty much the same as using a microwave….No thanks. If you decide to go this route, at least keep the temperature on a very low setting, and keep a very close eye on it.
I would truly hate for you to look around and see smoke pouring out of your oven with your brand new glove inside. Seriously, a simple hair dryer will give you more than enough heat.
Sunshine: There is nothing wrong with using sunshine to heat up your glove. I have done this myself several times. The only drawbacks with this method is that it can take a long time to heat up, and clouds become your instant enemy.
There are many different ways to break in a new glove. The method I have shared here is very inexpensive, and an enjoyable way to spend a little time with your kids. It hasn’t let me down yet.
I hope you enjoyed the article on the best way to break in a baseball glove. If you have any questions, or something you would like to share, please leave a comment below and I will get back to you a.s.a.p.
Thanks for stopping by ~Jeremy
P.S. If you would like to check out my top 5 recommended gloves, You Can See Them Here
Here are a couple glove conditioners I have used that work really well.