Breaking In Baseball Glove

By Dan O'Connell •  Updated: 11/28/18 •  5 min read

Your baseball glove is arguably the most important piece of equipment every player owns. So you obviously want a glove that feels good on your hand and is properly broken in and cared for. If your glove is not properly cared for or broken in, it could very well cause problems catching the ball and could also cause the ball to fall out of the glove if used before it’s ready.

Breaking in a New Baseball Glove

Breaking in a baseball glove properly and in time to use is the most important equipment issue every player needs to deal with. If you break in a baseball glove incorrectly it will be hard to us or worse yet you could ruin a brand new baseball glove.

Learn More: Choosing the Right Baseball Glove

So what is the best way to do this? Well, if you have a new glove there are several things you can do to get you glove feeling good on your hand and ready for game action. Here are some of the best methods you can use to break in a new glove.

Play Catch to Break in Baseball Glove

What better way to get a baseball glove broken in that to play catch and use the new glove to catch a baseball repeatedly. The more you do so, the more the glove will begin to form and create a natural pocket around your hand. Not everyone has the same size hands, so getting your new glove used to your hand will allow it to begin creating a pocket that becomes specific to you. Spend as much time as possible playing catch with your new glove using a hardball or whatever type of ball you would use on your team.

Stretch Your Glove Out

Another way to get your new baseball glove broken in is to manually stretch the glove out. Using your hands, stretch and twist all parts of the glove from the fingers to the heel. This should hopefully loosen the leather and begin to stretch it out so that it’s not quite as stiff as when you first got it. Stretching your glove out manually and working it with your hands can make the transition to a new glove a little easier. But you still want to continue to use the glove by playing catch to get it formed to your particular hand.

Add a Glove Lubricant

There are many theories on ways to break in a new baseball glove. But one thing is clear. Baseball gloves are made of leather and leather responds well to a natural type of lubricant to keep it’s flexibility. You don’t want a stiff or even a dried out glove, but rather one that is well formed and has a certain amount of flexibility.

Therefore, you’ll also want to use a conditioner for the leather. Sure, there are many types on the market, many of which you may have probably used. However, one that has been around awhile may be one of the best for adding the natural lubricant that your leather baseball glove requires. This classic glove conditioner, Nokona Leather Treatment (NLT), has been around for over 60 years with proven results. It’s the one I use.

When using the product, you want to rub the product all over the glove, not just into the palm or pocket. Since it is a natural lubricant, it will soak into the leather and moisturize the glove. Think of it as moisturizing your glove just as you would moisturize your skin. For ongoing maintenance of your glove, add a little bit more of the product every few weeks to keep the moisture in the glove and avoid it from drying out or starting to break down. With proper maintenance, your glove should last you a long time and become your most trusted piece of equipment.

Caring For Your Baseball Glove

Your work is not completed once the glove is properly broken in. You must care for your now perfect glove.

Clean your glove regularly and repeat the steps above as needed to get the baseball glove in top playing shape. Lightly apply the Nokona Leather Treatment as needed.

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