As children, little is more exciting than breaking in a new baseball glove. The excitement of using the new glove on the field is enough to fill any child’s eyes with wonder, and this often carries into adulthood with the purchase of new gloves. While new gloves are exciting, there are a number of ways that can making breaking them in far more efficient, giving players a more effective piece of gear that will allow them to perform their best when it’s their time to shine.
The traditional way of breaking in a glove involves beating it – yes, beating this piece of equipment is one of the best ways of getting it ready for high performance standards. This doesn’t mean it should be hammered or run over by a car, it simply means it should be lightly thrown about in order to loosen the leather and make the glove more malleable. This makes it easier to use over time, effectively breaking in the glove for the player.
Another traditional way to break in a glove is to use natural oils in order to soften the leather. Any leather products can be soften by using oil, as it moisturizes the material allowing it to move with little effort. When oiling a glove, use a special leather oil if possible; leather oils can be purchased at any furniture or athletic store, and can be found inexpensively online. If this isn’t and option, try olive oil or coconut oil to break in the glove without causing harm to the material.
Since the inception of baseball itself, players have been coming up with new ways to more easily break in their new gloves, and one of the more lesser known ways of doing so is to heat the glove up using a method that will not damage the leather. One way of effectively breaking in a glove using heat is to place it in the bathroom during a long, hot shower. The heat and steam that collects in the room will absorb into the glove, making it softer and easier to use after just a few sessions. Err on the side of caution when using this method: gloves should never be thrown in the microwave or oven, as this can ruin not only the glove, but is a severe fire hazard that can result in much more than a destroyed piece of gear.
Finally, the easiest way to break in a glove for those not in a rush to use it competitively is simply to use it. Take the glove out for some practice sessions prior to using it on the field. A few catches with the new glove will have it fitting perfectly in no time, giving you a performance-ready piece of gear quickly and with little to no effort.