Breaking In A Glove
How to Break in an Outfielder's Glove
How to Break in an Infielder's Glove
How to Break in a Catcher's Mitt
How to Break in a First Basemen's Mitt
The best way to break in a glove is to use specially designed glove oil. Glove oil keeps the leather "alive" while providing a softening condition and minimizing weight gain. Apply a small amount of glove oil to a sponge or cloth, then use the sponge or cloth to apply the oil to the areas of the glove that are currently firm. Start with the palm, the break point of the glove and then web. Then use the glove oil on all other parts of the glove including the entire inside to help moisturize and protect the glove. Work the glove oil into the leather evenly. Do not apply the glove oil directly to the glove, as it will be too concentrated at the point of application.
Also, make sure that the laces get oiled so they can stay moisturized so they will not dry and begin to crack. Otherwise, the webbing of the glove will come loose. Remember that leather is skin and leather experts tell us not to treat glove leather any differently than you would your skin. Therefore prolonged harsh temperatures (oven, microwave) excessive water soaking, especially use of hot water, abrasives, the salt and acids produced from perspiration and excessive dryness all or individually can be harmful to the glove leather. You may also use this method and substitute glove oil for shaving cream with lanolin.
Important Points to Remember:
- Excessive glove conditioner/oil will damage and shorten the life of a new glove.
- Allow the glove oil to absorb into the leather for 24 hours in a warm area, temperature between 70-90 degrees.
- Play catch daily until the glove is ready for game play.
- Use the glove oil sparingly; you can always add more.
- At the end of the season, apply glove oil very lightly to keep your glove from becoming brittle.
- Store your glove in a dry place with a ball in the pocket to maintain shape.
- Never put your glove in an oven or microwave, the heat can damage the fibers of the leather.
- Do not use neat's-foot oil, linseed oil or silicon-type spray, these tend to close the pores of the leather, causing it to dry, harden and become heavy.
- In general, there is no short cut to breaking-in a glove, playing catch remains the best way.
- Do not apply the glove oil directly to the glove, as it will be too concentrated at the point of application, apply to a cloth first.
- Water will cause the leather to dry out, crack, and the laces to become brittle.
- A glove that is troublesome breaking in usually means that the leather is very high quality.
- Pummeling a new glove speeds up the break-in, but the glove will be better served if this extra abuse is avoided.
A professional ball player will sometimes break in a glove in a way that will contradict what glove manufacturers recommend. This method is not endorsed by glove manufacturers because it will shorten the life of your glove. Professional ball players usually receive their gloves free of charge, so they are not as interested in longevity, as a quick break-in period. We understand that some players who are not professionals also weigh a real quick break-in more important than longevity of the glove, so we will let you know how many professional ball players break in a glove.
First, they submerge their glove in a bucket of very hot water for 1-2 minutes. Then, they will put a baseball or two in the pocket of the glove and tie the glove up tightly with a sock, large rubber bands, or string forming the pocket around the ball. One baseball in the pocket is usually for infielders, and two baseballs are usually for outfielders. The two baseballs create a bigger pocket. Directly from there, with the baseball(s) still in the pocket, they will put their glove in the clothes dryer on hot to dry the glove. The clothes dryer helps beat up the glove while tumbling, which adds to the quicker break-in.
Next, they will untie the glove and work in shaving cream with lanolin, or glove oil. If you are using shaving cream, you can apply it with your bare hand. When using glove oil, apply to a sponge or cloth, then use the sponge or cloth to apply the oil to the areas of the glove that are currently firm. Start with the palm, the break point of the glove and then web. Then use the glove oil on all other parts of the glove including the entire inside to help moisturize and protect the glove. Work the glove oil or shaving cream into the leather evenly. At this point, it is time to start pummeling the glove. You can use the barrel of a bat to do this. Pummel the glove at the break points to loosen it up even more. This will speed up the process, but you will still have to play a lot of catch and work the glove to get it broken in all the way. Remember, this method will shorten the life of your glove.
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