How to Break in a Ball Glove

Watch how to properly break in a new ball glove using a glove steamer.

Looking to get your glove in game-ready shape? Players of all skill levels should break in their baseball glove or softball glove before play. Properly breaking in your glove helps ensure it’s comfortable for use and moves well with your hand. Breaking in the ball glove also helps creates a pocket that will more securely hold the ball.

Achieve a more custom glove with these steps:

MOISTEN THE GLOVE’S LEATHER 

Pour a small amount of hot water at (150 to 170 degrees) over any area of your new glove you want to make softer. Do not put your glove in the microwave or use detergents to soften the glove, as this can damage the leather.

WORK THE MOST RIGID PARTS OF YOUR GLOVE 

Bend the thumb and pinky back and forth toward each other and away from each other. Squeeze the thumb and pinky together. Push the back fingers down and squeeze the palm liner. Pull the web top to stretch a little. Repeat this process six to eight times before your glove is completely dry.

SOFTEN THE GLOVE 

With the glove off your hand and using a wooden mallet or 5-pound neoprene dumbbell, pound the glove at the pocket where you would catch the ball. Make sure the glove is off  your hand. Pound the web as well to create a fold where you want your glove to break. Be sure to pound both the back and palm side. Try throwing a ball into the pocket 30 or so times before the glove dries. This can further breaks in the pocket and allows the glove to conform to your hand

SHAPE THE GLOVE 

Put a ball in the pocket and wrap your glove with two to three rubber bands. The bands should be very snug but not tight. Allow to set for four to five hours then repeat step three. This can help your glove begin to take the shape you want when it dries, and not revert back to its natural shape.

CONDITION THE GLOVE 

Once completely dry, rub the entire glove with a high-quality glove conditioner. Repeat the process of conditioning your glove three to four times each season and before storing for the off-season. Remember to store your glove in your house as opposed to in your garage for longer life and maintaining better condition.