How to Break in a Baseball Glove

Glove is the most important piece of equipment in baseball. The right glove can make you a star, but it also makes your life much easier on and off the field. To break into a league, players need to have certain skills that are taught by experience: like using their hands properly, catching pitches cleanly or hitting balls far enough out of play so they don’t get caught in an inning-ending double play..

The “how to break in a baseball glove overnight” is a method that people use when they want to break in their gloves. The process takes about one week, but it can be sped up by using the oven.

Baseball in the baseball glove.

rmccurdyb’s photo

The baseball season has begun, and it’s time to get your softball gear ready for the beer league squad. Getting a new baseball glove and breaking it in was one of my favorite childhood memories. I recall my father sharing all of his insider knowledge on how to acquire a good, broken-in glove that would make Willie Mayes envious. There are almost as many methods for breaking in a glove as there are guys who have played the sport. Every player has their own process for breaking in a mitt, which they will adamantly defend as the finest and only method to do it.

With that in mind, I’ve included a few ideas and recommendations for breaking in a baseball glove that I’ve seen and heard throughout the course of my baseball career. Try them all on until you discover one that fits your hand perfectly and has a pocket that appears to magnetically draw the ball.

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Make the leather more supple.

The leather on new baseball gloves is rather stiff, so the first thing you should do is soften it up. Here are a few examples on how to go about it:

Simply put it to use. Getting out there and letting your baseball glove get some activity is probably the best method to soften it up. Find a friend and go to a park to play catch. Your baseball glove should be lovely and soft after weeks of fielding grounders, shagging fly balls, and just plain playing catch.

The difficulty with this approach is that it takes a long time to break it in, and the entire point of breaking it in is to make it more comfortable for playing ball. Continue reading if your team has a game next Monday and you need to break a glove in quickly.

It needs to be oiled. There’s a lot of debate among baseball players about whether oils and other lubricants should be used to soften up a baseball glove. There’s a case to be made that you shouldn’t since it causes your mitt to degrade quicker and may make your baseball glove heavier because the leather absorbs all the moisture.

To soften up my glove, I’ve always used some form of chemical. It’s worked for me, and my glove’s condition hasn’t suffered as a result. If you want to soften your baseball glove by massaging it like a Swedish massage, you’ll need to pick what kind of lubricant to use. Here’s a partial list of things you may want to try:

  • Baby oil
  • Vaseline
  • Cream for shaving
  • Soap for saddles
  • Gloves with special oils

It is entirely up to you to choose what you want to utilize. I always used a can of my father’s Barbasol shaving cream as a kid. It’s inexpensive and effective. Experiment with various drugs to find out what works best for you.

Don’t go overboard with whatever you choose. It’s not necessary to soak your glove in baby oil to make it supple. Simply sprinkle it on the leather and work it in. As needed, repeat the process.


It should be beaten up. Another time-saving (and cathartic) method for softening a baseball glove is to just beat it up. Start beating on the outside and inside of the baseball glove with a hammer, ideally a ball-peen hammer. You may even bury your glove in the soil and attack it with a baseball bat, similar to how a bookie would attack knee caps. This strategy appeals to me personally. The mix of male aggressiveness, a baseball bat, and actual dirt seems to delight the baseball gods, who reward you with a beautiful soft mitt.

Bring it to a boil. I’ve never tried it, but I’ve heard from multiple players that heating up a glove is the best method to soften it up. Using heat to soften a baseball glove is, once again, a controversial issue. Heat, like applying oils to soften a glove, may hasten the deterioration of the leather on a glove. Some players would sooner have their pinkie amputated than allow this to happen.

Here are a few options if you decide to utilize heat to soften your glove:

Microwave oven. Yes. Microwave oven. One player I know heated up his new baseball gloves in the microwave to make them supple and warm. If you use this approach incorrectly, your kitchen will smell like a cow that has been hit by lightning. The oven, to be precise. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius). Turn the oven off after it reaches the pre-set temperature. We’re not baking cookies here, so the temperature doesn’t have to be kept constant. After that, put your glove on a baking sheet and bake it for 10 to 15 minutes. Check on it from time to time to make sure it isn’t on fire. The glove should be left in the vehicle. The temperature inside your automobile might exceed 150 degrees Fahrenheit. So, although leaving a newborn in there is illegal, abandoning your glove to the heat is a wonderful idea. Park your vehicle outdoors on a hot day and leave your glove inside. Your glove should be pleasant and soft the following morning.

Child wearing a baseball glove.

Make a pocket

The gap between your thumb and forefinger is the glove’s pocket. Catching baseballs is considerably simpler with a well-formed pocket. Playing catch for a few weeks may help create the pocket once again. If you don’t have time, you’ll have to be creative.

In the pocket, keep a ball. Putting a baseball in the glove’s pocket, tying it in twine, and leaving it overnight is an old reliable approach. Rubber bands are available from Rawlings specifically for this purpose, but why pay $3 when you can do it for free? If you opt to tie your glove down with twine, don’t knot it too tight or you’ll end up with some ugly wrinkles.

Set a ball in the pocket and place it beneath the mattress for the night for a new take on this strategy. As a child, this was my preferred method. It’s probably because my 10-year-old mentality thought sleeping on top of my baseball was the best thing in the world.


Repetitive pounding Throwing a ball into the pocket as forcefully and as often as possible is another approach to develop the pocket. When you need a vacation from work, this is a fun pastime to do.

Make the glove.

I would bend and mold my glove to my preference during the whole procedure. The idea is for the glove to feel as natural on your hand as feasible. There’s no right or wrong way to do it. Continue to bend it until it fits like a glove.



Breaking in a baseball glove is one of the most important steps to take when buying a new glove. It will help you get the best performance out of your glove, and it should be done at home. Reference: how to break in a baseball glove at home.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the easiest baseball glove to break in?

A: The easiest baseball gloves to break in are the Wilson A2000, Rawlings Heart of the Hide, and Mizuno MP50.

How do pros break in their gloves?

A: Pros break in their gloves by taking them on and off dozens of times. The process takes a while, but wearing a new set of gloves over the old ones will speed up the process significantly.

What is the best oil to use to break in a baseball glove?

A: The best oil to use is either mineral oil or coconut oil. I recommend you start with the latter and then go back to it if needed.

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