Tips on How to Break in Your New Baseball Glove

December 27, 2017
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A baseball glove is not an item you can buy and immediately put to use; or at least, it’s not an item you should do that to. If you want to get the most from your new glove, you’re going to want to take the necessary steps to allow the glove to work at its best, modifying its base performance for your own usages. Below, we’ll detail the most effective ways of getting a new baseball glove to feel old and used-- which in this case, is a good thing!

What You Shouldn’t Do

There’s a lot of information online that suggests ways and means to break in a new baseball glove. Much of this is helpful, but some of these “life hacks” will outright destroy your glove. So, before we delve into the “do”, it’s important to get the “don’t” out of the way first:

  • Do not expose your baseball glove to excessive heat. This is most commonly done using an oven or a microwave, but some “life hacks” suggest using a hairdryer or even the heater in your car. Do not do this. Exposure to excessive heat is a surefire way of drying out the leather of your glove, usually beyond repair.

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What You Should Do

There are a few different methods to help break in a baseball glove.

Glove steaming is a popular option, but it’s not something that you can do at home yourself. You will need to speak to a sporting goods store for their advice on this process.

One of the best ways to break a glove in requires a substantial time investment, but if you’re not in a rush, you might want to give it a try:

  • Place a baseball in the glove pocket;
  • Use string or a belt to bind the glove closed around the ball;
  • Wait for at least two weeks, though a month is better.

This method allows the shape to develop naturally, and for the leather to permanently stretch and adapt to the position of the ball. However, it isn’t particularly time efficient.

If you’re in a rush, then you have a few other options:

  • Place a baseball in the glove; this will be used to form the pocket your glove needs;
  • Use a glove mallet -- or just an old baseball if you don’t have a mallet -- and strike against the pocket a number of times. This should help to relax the leather.
  • Some guides suggest you use a mallet while wearing the glove, but this is inadvisable due to the potential risk of injury-- and there’s no guarantee that wearing the glove would make that much of a difference anyway!

Good Glove Care

Finally, when your glove has taken a shape you are satisfied with, you will want to apply a good oil. The best oils tend to contain lanolin, so look for this ingredient when considering your options.

By following the above recommendations, you can break in a new baseball glove right in time to be ready for the next season.

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