How To Break In Your Glove

Posted by on Feb 14, 2018 10:40:07 AM

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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, is here to help educate you on the do’s and don'ts 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.
DON'TS For Breaking In Your Glove

These are things to avoid when trying to break-in your new glove:


The method of baking a glove has grown more popular over the past few years. Yes, the break-in process can be sped up through this option, however, you have to remember what you are doing to your glove. By baking a glove you are placing the leather under adverse heat conditions in order to force the structure of the leather to break down. This method substantially increases the chances of your glove deteriorating quicker over time.

What if I just leave it in my hot car..?

  • While this is certainly less extreme than an oven or microwave, the same premise applies. We do not condone either of these methods.
  • Basically, when it comes to baking a glove, unless you are planning to eat it, keep it out of the oven or microwave.



Many local sporting good stores will offer you the option to steam your glove. Typically the steaming process is broken down into three (3) steps:

  1. Apply a light coat of glove conditioner to the glove’s leather.
  2. Steam the glove at ~150 degrees.
  3. Use a mallet to form the glove following the steam process.

Steaming a glove will both soften and loosen key points in the leather to speed up the break-in period. While this option is far less intense than the aforementioned “baking” strategy, you are still forcing the glove to endure stressful conditions in order to compromise its’ factory-made shape.

  • Note: Some manufacturers will not honor the warranty of a glove if it has been baked or steamed.

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DO's For Breaking In Your Glove

All the best tips for breaking in your glove.

These are things we highly recommend when trying to break-in your new glove:


The idea behind wrapping a glove is quite simple --- tightly tie your glove with a ball inside to correctly set how your glove closes. This idea has been around forever and can be quite effective. You do want to be careful to not form the glove incorrectly. The following tips will guide you to the best way to wrap your glove.

  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 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

LESS IS MORE. Oils are almost always over-applied to new gloves and can cause it to deteriorate quicker.

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


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 pocket for about 5-10 minutes. 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 Glove Care Kit to provide you with everything you need to successfully break-in your brand new glove.


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 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. 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.

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Whether you are looking to purchase a new baseball glove or softball glove or just need guidance on glove break in, JustBallGloves would love to help you out! If you have any questions, please give our Customer Coaches a call at 866-321-4568 or Live Chat now. They are available 24/7 and will be there for you from click to catch! 

Topics: How To, Glove Care