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How To Break-In Your Baseball or Softball Glove

How To Break In Your Baseball or Softball Glove


Anyone that has played baseball or softball knows the patience typically required to break in a new glove.

While there are multiple methods out there to streamline this process, JustGloves is here to help educate you on the dos for how to break in your glove.

Learn how to break in mitts, gloves, and so much more in this Glove Resource Guide. Or, make it easy, and grab this Glove Care Kit.

But before we get into the DO’s for breaking in your glove, let’s talk about a couple of DON’Ts. Microwaves, ovens, and leaving your glove in the sun or a hot car are not only bad for your glove, but they can also be dangerous. Depending on your glove's construction, leaving it in the oven or microwave can start a fire, which is both dangerous and costly. The intense heat can also damage the leather and shrink the glove overall, which can mean breaking your glove instead of breaking it in.

DOs For Breaking In Your Glove

All the best tips for breaking in your glove.

There are a few tricks and tips to breaking in your new baseball or softball glove. Here's what we recommend:


The idea behind wrapping a glove is quite simple --- tightly tie your glove with a ball inside the pocket to correctly set how your glove closes. This idea has been around forever and can be quite effective. Patience is important during this process. You do want to be careful to not form the glove incorrectly. Use the following glove tips to help you wrap your new glove correctly.

  1. Fold your glove in half with a ball at the base of the pocket. You want to make sure that you form a crease from where the pocket meets the finger stalls.
  2. Fold in the finger stalls within the already folded glove. (Starting with the pinky stall)
  3. Further tighten your glove and tie it firmly to hold this position. You can use rubber bands, glove ties, shoelaces, or old glove laces. You may wrap your glove without a ball inside of it, but you will want to make sure you do not leave it this way for too long or you may actually hinder the pocket formation.
  4. Let the glove sit for a few hours and then unwrap the glove. You will want to make sure you continue to close the glove with your hand inside of it periodically to continue to develop the desired fit.
Glove Oils

We offer you three words of advice. LESS IS MORE. Oils are almost always over-applied to new baseball and softball gloves which cause the leather to deteriorate quicker. Check with the glove manufacturer or contact our Glove Experts for advice on the best type of glove oil, conditioner, or cream or to use with your glove to ensure compatibility.

You want to apply about a dime-sized amount of oil and thoroughly work it into all areas of the mitt: the palm, fingers, laces, and back. When done correctly, these conditioners will serve as a major benefit to the break-in process of your glove. Find your glove oil here.

Remember: water, no matter the temperature, is not a good option for softening the leather of your baseball or softball glove. Everyday oils such as vaseline, olive oil, and petroleum jelly should also be avoided.


After you have wrapped and/or oiled your new glove, we suggest that you either play catch or utilize a mallet to further create the pocket. Position your hand comfortably inside the glove and begin to beat the base of the pocket with the mallet for about 5-10 minutes. Aim for the pocket where a ball will actually be caught. This will help to simulate the impact of a ball being caught over a much shorter time frame than playing catch would.

  • Tip: JustBallGloves offers a Trusted Glove Prep option at checkout to get a jumpstart on the break-in process.


Play Catch

When you buy a new pair of running shoes, you don’t take those shoes straight from the box and place them in the oven. No, you wear them. Maybe it’s a couple of paces back and forth throughout your house, a walk in the park, or even a quick jog --- the fact of the matter is that you are breaking them while they learn to fit your particular foot.

Your glove should be handled in the same manner. The glove needs to learn how to close to your hand for the perfect catch. We realize this is the most tedious of the methodologies, but your patience will certainly be rewarded by the resulting longevity and customized fit of your brand-new glove. Plus, added practice on your game can't hurt. 


Whether you are looking to purchase a new baseball glove or softball glove or just need guidance on glove break-in, JustGloves would love to help you out! If you have any questions, please give our Glove Experts a call at 866-321-4568 or  Live Chat now. They are available and will be there for you from click to catch! 


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