How to Get a Break in The Baseball Glove?

(Last Updated On: February 22, 2023)

A top-quality baseball glove is among the most crucial investments players of softball or baseball can make to enhance their playing.

Selecting the correct glove that is appropriate for your position and way can make a huge impact on your performance. Although no single glove can help you become a better defensive player choosing one that is comfortable and feels comfortable will increase your confidence in the field and assist to make plays more smoothly and consistently.

This assurance comes with a substantial cost the best softball and baseball gloves usually cost anywhere from $300 to $400. If you choose an item that is a little lower than “elite” grade, you’re likely to shell out $150-$250 to buy an excellent leather glove.

Due to that it is a common occurrence for parents and players (especially those purchasing their first quality glove) need to know how to maintain it. One of the things to consider is to properly break it in.

If you know how to properly break in a baseball glove in the correct method, you can be sure that the glove will last and last for many long time to follow. There’s a great deal of incorrect information about the best method and the wrong one If you’re not careful , you can cause damage more than you gain.

In this article we’ll talk about the proper way to make the baseball glove. In addition, we’ll go over why some of the common practices can be counterproductive.

How to Break in a Baseball or Softball Glove

Thank you for your purchase! Leather gloves of the highest quality are costly however they demonstrate that you’re serious about your sport and are prepared to take your game into the higher levels. High-end models like that of the Wilson A-2000 and the Rawlings Heart of the Hide are expensive, but if you take care of and keep your new glove in the right way, it’ll be at your throughout the seasons to be.

Why Do Baseball Gloves Need to be Broken In?

One of the factors that makes leather an important and useful material is its toughness. However, unworn leather that is just from the manufacturing line is usually as hard like a rock. the type of leather used by the manufacturers of baseball gloves isn’t any different.

Read More: When Was Baseball Invented?

If you’ve tried at catching a ball using an entirely new glove, then you’re aware of the problem. It’s nearly impossible to close and bounces out as if it’s thrown into an unfinished brick wall.

Although gloves made of synthetic materials are made to be ready for play right off the shelves, gloves made of real steerhide or cowhide have to be softened. The quality of material, process of breaking in could last from a few several days up to weeks.

It is true that making a genuine leather glove is definitely worth the effort as its design and functionality is far superior to what synthetic materials can provide.

How to Break in a Baseball Glove – The Right Way

A former Boston Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garcia Parra was a man with a rule: no one else’s hand could be in his glove. Nomar’s rule is a standard one for elite ballplayers.

Why? because when you put on the glove, the leather expands and forms to be a perfect fit for the shape of yourhand and allow for themovements. You need a glove that feels comfortable on your hands like it’s part of the arm, which you don’t even realize is there.

This is why the most effective way to learn to use a glove – as well as the best one to go to buy, if possible, the most straightforward: catch baseballs using it. Through repetitions and time, the glove will shape to your hand, giving you the perfect fit and pocket that is adapted to the way you are able to catch the ball.

There are shortcuts to aid in softening the leather of a glove quicker but none can provide the same level of outcomes. If you are looking for the most comfortable and most efficient glove it is necessary to take it apart playing catch. Also, breaking in a glove through playing catch is not damaging to the leather and is not a danger that is associated with certain methods of speed mentioned in the article.

So throw, grab ground balls or shag fly balls when you are able to take a ball in your glove, go for it. It’s not easy however it will be definitely worth it.

How to Break in a Baseball Glove Fast

The fastest way to break inside a glove is by using warm water and hand-handling. Wilson Sporting Goods’ Shigeaki Aso, one of the top glove experts is able to break the procedure by showing the below video.

You’ll need:

  • Hot water in a bucket ( not boiling)
  • A cup
  • Soft surface (a carpet or pillow)
  • Glove mallet/glove hammer

Before we get into the details the method, it’s worth noting that, despite his famed reputation, there’s some doubt about the effectiveness of his technique.

Aso is a leather expert who creates the best gloves available. He’s a professional who knows his trade. The method used by Aso uses water which makes the leather more comfortable to work with, but it can make it dry and dry if applied incorrectly. If you decide to go with this method, make sure you adhere to the guidelines exactly — and be aware that mistakes could cause damage to your glove.

There are two kinds of gloves hammers that you can make use of for this method One of them is a ball with a shape at the top of it that forms pockets, while the second is an asymmetrical device which you simply use to hit the glove.

Mizuno trademark glove mallet that has an rounded tip.

To tear the glove by this method to break it in, fill the cup with hot water and then pour into the glove. The water loosens the leather which makes the glove more flexible. Avoid soaking the glove as this could lead to swelling and eventually drying too long.

If your glove is slightly damp the goal is to concentrate on applying the maximum amount of pressure on the region indicated as the yellow arrow in the photo below. This is the part which needs to be flexible (because the glove must be close in order to catch the ball).

Here is when the mallet for glove is useful. Make use of the mallet to hammer into the pockets, this loosens up the creese , and also help the fold of the glove.

Another effective method of shaping your pocket would be to place your hands in the glove and then use the mallet. This will help you to make sure you’re getting exactly the exact same kind of customized fit that you would get by playing catch, though probably in a smaller degree.

Other Tools and Methods

Glove Steaming

Steaming your gloves is simple fast and efficient. However, it can adversely affect the fibers of your leather. (That’s why steaming is a violation of Wilson’s one-year warranty on gloves.)

Steaming your glove can soften it, but also weaken it. Users also notice that the glove that is steamed does not keep its shape and continues to break down until it becomes too soft to be used.

This is an option to consider if you require a sporty glove now… Just don’t think that the glove will last more than a few months.

The most effective method of steaming the glove you are to allow Dick’s take care of it.

There are three steps to the process of steaming:

  1. Technicians apply a glove conditioner to let the pores of the leather to become open and relax during the steaming.
  2. The technician should place the glove in a steamer. This can soften leather and allow it to be more flexible.
  3. The technician will get the mitt and begin to hit the mitt with a mallet, releasing key areas.
  4. This process can be repeated many times.

Glove Wrapping

Wrapping your glove in a wrap is a great additional method of breaking the glove. There are two theories one being to wrap using balls in your pocket, or to wrap with having a ball inside the pocket. Of these the two, only one is right and you should never put your glove using the ball inside your pocket. (You are able to learn more how to do this in the section on the mattress method below.)

Wrapping your glove doesn’t have to be an arduous procedure.

  1. Shut the glove (with a ball inside the pocket) and then press the thumb and pinky.
  2. Cover the glove with elastic, string bands made of rubber, any other thing that can hold it securely in the closed position.
  3. Allow it to rest for a few days, then remove it from the wrapper and then repeat the procedure.

The glove is wrapped around the leather and keeps it for a long duration, which makes it more comfortable to use.

Glove Conditioners and Oils

Oils and gloves can be utilized both during and after the break-in time. The first rule of using glove conditioners and oils is to use only manufacturer-approved products.

Do not put Vaseline chapstick, petroleum jelly or even olive oil in your glovethey all harm and/or soak the leather (leaving it heavy, greasy or dry).

Five of the top-rated conditioners can be found below. It is possible to find them in a local sporting goods store or buy them from Amazon using the hyperlinks below:

  1. Nokona Classic Leather Glove Conditioner
  2. Mizuno Strong Oil Glove Conditioner
  3. Rawlings Glovolium Glove Treatment
  4. Wilson Pro Stock Glove Conditioner
  5. Wilson Pro Stock Mink Oil Paste

When it comes to oil or conditioners, just a tiny amount is a lot. The majority of the time, you’ll have to apply a light coat and then rub it in with a clean towel.

The purpose of these products is to preserve the quality of the leather and, sometimes, help it soften. Too much use could cause the saturation of the leather, which can damage the leather.

Remember that you don’t require (or need or) to soften your glove’s webbing which is much thinner that the rest of your glove and is expected to easily break in by itself.

Mink oil is a good choice to be extremely beneficial for making leather products water-resistant.

The Wrong Way to Break in a Baseball Glove

In the previous paragraph, we discussed some different ways to getting your new baseball glove. Now, you’re ready to go over the things you shouldn’t do (under any circumstance).

Don’t: Microwave or Bake It

The microwave and the oven are meant for food preparation. Leather gloves are not food, and it isn’t edible. So , we should keep the gloves out of the microwave and oven!

Many people believe that the use of ovens can soften leather. It could be so initially, since the heat can make leather more flexible. But hot air is generally dry, and that’s certain to be the case for steaming hot air from ovens.

In the event that you bake your glove it draws moisture out of the leather. So, when the glove cools down it will be dry (and occasionally, hard and crumbly).

The Wilson A-2000 that was left in the car.

Don’t: Leave Your Glove in the Car

Cars heat up when left in the sunshine. They’re actually portable ovens… that leads some to believe that putting gloves on hot car dashboard could be an alternative to baking it or microwaving it.

You’ll also get the same outcomes (as previously mentioned) A glove that is dry which no glove conditioning product can repair.

Don’t: Use Shaving Cream

A popular method for breaking into a glove is to apply Barba sol shaving cream to act as conditioner. In the past, shaving cream was laced with lanolin, an organic oil that is derived from sheep.

Lanolin is decent leather conditioner. Today, virtually none of the shavings contain the ingredient lanolin. Barba Sol shaving cream contains some however, not an enormous amount.

What shaving cream contains is a lot of synthetic chemicals which were not intended to treat leather.

What happens if you apply shaving cream in the break-in process for your glove?

You may have realized that one of the most common problem with a glove that is well-conditioned is dryness. Like heat, the chemicals in shaving cream could remove moisture from the leather. In addition some chemicals contain compounds that could actually degrade and weaken the fibers of leather.

Don’t: Put Your Glove Under a Mattress

The principle for the method of mattress is comparable to the one used for glove wrapping when you force the glove to close position it is stretching the leather, making it more flexible and quickly. However, the outcomes of these two methods are quite different.

A wrap around your glove using strings or rubber bands helps you stretch the leather around the crease, leading to the glove folding properly. In contrast, the mattress technique creates a glove that is flat which looks like a pancake of leather.

The glove should not be floppy or flat They should be semi-firm and generally maintain their shape even if there’s no ball inside the pocket. Placing your glove on the mattress can reduce the heal (the hard leather bar that runs from the bottom of your palm) that is an essential element that makes a glove what it is.

When a glove has been broken correctly it is not necessary to squeeze it to hold the ball, since the impact of the ball striking the pocket will force the glove into a closed position nearly all on its own. However, if you do create a fold in the heel and you’ll be left with an unflattering glove which you must actively squeeze to prevent the ball from slipping out.