How to Break-in a Glove

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Break-in your glove like the pros

Breaking in a glove can be one of the hardest things for a player to overcome, both young and older players share this similar experience.

For a young player, it is possible that Dad might have to break in the first glove (sorry, Dad).

The good news is that a lot of gloves for beginners or youth players already come game-ready, meaning the leather will be soft enough to manipulate and that there will be hardly any break-in period. 

There will come a time when, your son grows, gets older and evolves in the game that they will need to break a glove in themselves. And with so many different tips and tricks available on how to break in a glove, you may be feeling dazed, confused and even overwhelmed.

I mean just go ahead and do an online search…. Yes!..That’s right, you’ll find about 15-20 different methods on how to break in a glove, each with their own trademark signature way on how to achieve glove break in perfection. 

Today, I’m going to tell you the best method out there, it’s what the pro’s use and it’s 100% FREE.

I know that it will sounds silly, but the best way to break in a glove is simple:

TO USE IT.

Using the glove on a daily basis and following these few simple steps:

  1. Play catch with your glove and beat on all laces as much as possible with a wooden mallet. Remember to remove your hand from the glove when beating it.
  2. Gently oil all laces, hinges and the palm of the glove where the ball is to be caught. This should only be done once, early in the break in process.
  3. The glove should always be worn by the person the glove is meant for. Each person has their unique way to wear a glove on their hand meaning that each person that uses your glove will also create different breaking points.
  4. When the glove is not in use, it is best to keep a baseball inside the pocket.

 

If after months of playing catch and beating the daylight out of your glove, it just refuses to budge and break in, the only trick I would suggest is to pour a cup of lukewarm water over the glove. This warm water will help loosen up the leather fibers and allow for the glove to be more manageable.

Ideally, you should be able to fully break in your glove in a 2-3 month time frame. But this will vary depending on the type of glove (catcher, first base, infield, outfield), the leather type (cowhide, steerhide, kip), and how often you catch with your glove to break it in.

 

What NOT to Do to Break in a Glove 

There are a bunch of tricks and shortcuts that people try, but generally, they just damage the glove and its leather. Two of the most common break-in mistakes are:

 
Steam Treatment

When you think about it, what is the worst possible thing for leather? It is steam and moisture. There are a number of things that can go wrong here like moisture going into the inner layers of the glove and creating mold.

Another problem is that when the leather gets wet, what actually happens is that the leather dries. When leather gets wet, the oils in the leather bind to the water molecules. As the water in the leather dries out and evaporates, it draws out the oils with it. The leather’s loss of natural oils causes it to lose its supple quality and turn brittle.

Although it’s not the best thing to do, wet leather is not a hopeless loss, but it needs to be addressed right away. If you’ve been caught in the rain and your glove is soaked, then some quick steps can be taken to prevent the glove from becoming brittle. Luckily, we cover what to do with a wet glove in this article. 

 

Oven/ Microwave

Putting your glove in the oven simply goes against everything that we are trying during the break in process. Heated leather becomes dry and brittle which will cause it to break quickly.

For this same reason you should never leave your glove for extended periods of time in the trunk of a car.

 

In conclusion

There you have it, breaking in a glove is now a much easier and fearless process that anyone from young to old or beginner to experienced can do. All it takes is to take out your glove and do what you would normally do,..Play catch!

Best of luck to you getting your glove game ready!

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