How To Break In A New Glove

New baseball glovesThere’s nothing like getting a brand new baseball glove. That first time you put it on your hand and smell the new leather is memorable. Getting a stiff new glove into game condition can be a daunting task.

First, let’s talk about what NOT to do –

1Don’t stick it in the oven or a microwave.


The laces dry out and shatter. Trust me on this – I’ve relaced three brand new gloves that had laces damaged by customers who in effect baked their glove.

2Don’t drive your car over it. Think about this – you just spent a decent amount of money on a quality glove and now you want to run a 2,000 pound vehicle over it? Save the gas…and the leather.

3Don’t cover it with oil. Sure, oil softens the leather up and makes it more pliable. Oil also sits in the glove making it a bit heavier. In addition, it can soak into the padding of the palm. And eventually, oil will start to break down the leather.

Now, here’s what you CAN do –

1Play catch with it. By far, this is the absolute best way to break in a glove. It will form exactly to the shape of YOUR hand and in time will become exactly the way you want it.

2 – It’s OK to use a mallet to pound the pocket of a glove, especially a catcher’s mitt. That will help soften the leather a bit. Just don’t over-do it.

3 – Use a lanolin-based cream in moderation. I generally recommend putting it in the pocket; some will put it on the outside of the fingers, too. Unlike oil, lanolin-based creams don’t soak into the leather and don’t make the glove heavy. Professional Baseball Instruction has a couple of these creams in stock in our pro shop including Gloveolium (a fine Rawlings product). I’ve also used shaving cream with a lanolin base.

4 – Put a ball in it and tie the glove closed and/or put it between a mattress and bed spring.

5 – See #1. Play catch with it.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Jim Monaghan here at PBI.

If you’re looking for a new glove, check out these tips from PBI’s Doug Cinnella –