How to Break in a Baseball Glove

Tips on How to Break in Brand New Baseball Gloves With 4 No-nos

Bought a new baseball glove and don't know how to break it in? The following article will take you through the steps of how to break in a baseball glove and make it perfect for use.
SportsAspire Staff
Last Updated: Mar 16, 2018
After the Game
Finally! A new, shiny baseball glove in place of the tattered mess that you were carrying around for ages. And now, ladies and gentlemen, for some awesome game with the new glove, you think. But... the glove won't give. It's stiff and hard and can't be bent for nuts. How are you supposed to play with something that won't even move? The problem is that your glove needs to be broken into. You know how you have to wear out your new jeans to have them fit your body? It's the same with the gloves―you need to break in the glove. We have solutions for that, of course. In the sections that follow, we will take you through the different ways of how you can break in that baseball glove and turn it into a great tool of excellence.

The recommended way for breaking into that glove is to simply do what it's supposed to do―play with it and use it extensively for over two weeks. Then it'll take the shape of a proper glove and help you use it for a great game. But if you don't want to wait that long and want this equipment to do your bidding immediately, then here are some ways of how you can achieve that.

Lubricating the Glove
Why is the glove simply not usable? That's cause the leather that is used to make the glove is new and not been worn in. This prevents the glove from being accommodating and molded as one wishes. What needs to be targeted therefore is the leather. The leather needs to be made softer. There are several lubricants that one can use to carry this through. The most common lubricants being mink oil, baseball glove oil, saddle soap, linseed oil, neatsfoot oil, and the like. There are several companies that are manufacturing their own professional products that can be used just as well. Follow these steps:
  • Use a small quantity of the lubricant and spread it evenly over the entire glove, with special concentration on the pockets.
  • Use a soft cloth to spread the lubricant so that it does not lead to any scratches.
  • Do not use extra quantities and do not allow the glove to soak in this oil. An excess patch can cause the glove to stain.
  • Similarly, soaking the glove in the lubricant will cause more harm to the glove than benefit it.
  • Once the lubricant has been spread evenly over the entire surface of the glove, store it in a dark spot overnight so that the oil makes the leather sufficiently soft.
  • The glove will then be easier to mold and shape through.
Creating a Pocket
The pocket of the glove is where all the action is. That is basically what makes a glove, a glove in the true sense of the term. That is what will allow you to get all those catches... you get the picture. Basically a new baseball glove will not have that perfectly carved pocket, you'll need to make it happen. How do you go about doing that? There are a couple of methods. Here's how:
  • Take a baseball and put it inside the glove. Tie the glove with strings, shoe laces or a belt. Then place the glove outside in the sunlight for sometime. This will get the leather soft and create the pocket well enough. Remove the ball and press into the pocket with your hand. Try the glove on and open/close a few times. Throw a ball into the center of the glove to form the perfect pocket.
  • Another way is to put the ball in and tie the glove with strings, then place the glove under your mattress and let it stay for a night or even two. This will create the pocket well enough.
  • The best way to form a pocket is to use the glove―play a few catches with a partner. If not, then get into a baseball net and try catching the baseballs that the machine throws your way.
  • Using a hammer that has a rubber end (with no sharp edges so that there are no scratches), turn the glove inside out and beat the glove to shape it.
Things to Avoid
Here are some things that one must keep in mind when going about breaking into the glove:
  • Never break in a glove for someone else cause it'll then take the shape of your hand and might be an ill-fitting glove for whoever uses it next.
  • Many people use shaving cream to break in their glove, though this step is usually not recommended. The reason being that shaving cream gets the leather drenched and thereby causes the leather to crack and split.
  • Do not soak the glove in water and then microwave it. Even though it softens the leather faster, it also causes the leather to dry out and thereby causes it to crack and get scratches.
  • Similarly, hot air from blow dryers or other heating devices should not be used to dry leather as well for the same reason.
And now that you know how to break in a baseball glove you can use that knowledge to get the perfect fitting glove... even though it's new, especially if it's new. No more stopping the game now.