How To Break In A Baseball and Softball Glove

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You must be wondering about the best ways to break in your stiff gloves. Well, there are so many ways and methods one can try and do this, but it is a must to know how to do it skillfully rather than causing any damage. 

So that is why I’m here today to tell you exactly how to break in your gloves perfectly. 

Let’s get into it!

Best Ways To Break In A Glove

Use a Mallet 

It’s pretty evident at this point! But if you’ve not considered buying a mallet then you definitely should try and get one. Because this method is the most efficient one to try and break in the glove easier compared to most other methods. Plus this allows you to focus on each part of the glove. Investing in a mallet will do you all the good since these will come in handy for your future breaking-in processes. 

Use Some Weight 

Yea, you could totally use this method, and I’m not asking for some crazy amount of weight that you should apply, something small, maybe like 5 pounds. What you should try and do is break the glove entirely on a whole. Mallets are good, but getting some weight on the gloves will try and break open those leather fibers that are super stiff and tough which will then lead to be smoother and easier to work with. 

Focus on the Heel 

The heel of the palm is the one with the most amount of leather present in it and you should try and loosen up the fibers of the leather by trying and continuously hammering it with a weight or with a mallet. Preferably go for the weight because that would generally soften up the leather thus enabling you to eventually close it. The heel is the most part of the glove, they help in the closing and opening of the glove. 

Break That Palm 

Another region that you can focus on to break a baseball and softball glove is the heel, this is the next most important place as most of the leather is in the palm. The palm has an immense amount of leather which makes it tough to close and can really harm you while trying to just close the gloves. With the same weight, hammer that area continuously and try to break the fibers, so that they are perfectly close. Breaking in the palm will soften the glove further and this will help break in a glove fast. 

Form Those Hinges

Just below the pinky region, stitching goes up diagonally, and there’s a space in between. The empty space in between that’s your target, you should try and get the hammer and keep beating them in between so, what that’s gonna do is that it’ll be easier so you to close and open the glove. When breaking in the baseball and softball gloves, if you concentrate on this region it will promote the ease of flexibly working with your gloves. 

how to break in a glove

Form The Pocket 

You need a pocket to be able to capture balls from any type of distance and trap them securely. New gloves don’t come with a pocket pre-made or anything else. And you for sure need a pocket since you need to secure the ball easily. So when trying to form a pocket you must concentrate on doing this method. Take a mallet and throw it in the glove and then roll it, keep repeating this while wearing the glove in your hand, this will form the pocket. You can even do the same method with a ball if you’d like. 

Form the Pocket II 

Well, there’s another method you can try and form the pocket, this method I have described in my previous articles and is super effective as well. What you can do is take a few rubber bands and then place them around the glove with the ball inside the glove. Leave this contraption for a few days as it is and then you’ll have a perfectly formed pocket, wherein a ball can fit easily. 

Soak It In Hot Water

No please don’t do this overnight or anything! You should be careful enough when working with hot water. Leather is a really tough material and can be really tough to work with as well. So you must be absolutely careful when handling it. You take some hot water and soak the glove, the glove will try and shape itself to the way you like since it has become much more pliable due to the heat. 

Stretch the Laces 

Don’t get scared to try and scared stretch those laces. Let me tell you why poor-quality, laces will tend to break with the slightest force applied to them, but the same doesn’t go for high-quality laces so don’t be afraid to try and stretch these laces out perfectly, giving them enough flexibility to move while giving the glove a more softened feature. This applies to both softball and baseball gloves. 

Play Catch 

Playing catch is one of the best methods to try and break in your gloves. Plus, this is gonna be another reason for you to get some practice. Playing catch will try and loosen up the glove fibers and will enable you to close the gloves properly. Baseball and softball gloves, both alike this method will extremely effective and will work charms. So yea, try the most common method and you’ll see wonders because your gloves will be game ready in no time. 

ways to break in a baseball and softball glove

Condition the Gloves 

After doing all this you are bound to end up with some scratches and scuffs on your glove. Not that’s a bad thing but look wise it doesn’t look the best. There are many leather conditioners out there, that are sold by different baseball glove brands. So you can always try and invest in these conditioners because this is obviously a good investment if you are looking to be in the baseball game for a long time. Here are some of the best baseball glove oils, check them out. These will smoothen the process of breaking in the glove easily.

Frequently Asked Questions 

  1. What is the fastest way to soften a glove?

The most fastest and easiest way to soften a glove is by applying a leather oil or leather conditioner. Then you could also use a mallet in sync with to try and loosen the fibers. Playing catch and squeezing the gloves this will loosen up the glove and therefore soften the glove quickly. 

  1. What does Vaseline do to a baseball glove? 

So vaseline is somewhat of a controversial method to use when trying to soften the glove. Although Vaseline will moisturize and soften the glove. It can cause some other problems like attracting dirt and other particles to themselves because of Vaseline’s sticky nature. These dirt particles may harm the quality of the leather. 

  1. How do MLB players break in their gloves? 

MLB players mostly focus on shaping their gloves. So they use conditioner and play catch, all in combination to try and soften the gloves as much as possible. Then another method they use is by using hot water and even use certain gloves steamers, to make the gloves pliable and easy to shape. 

  1. Can you use shaving cream to soften a baseball glove? 

Most players do use shaving cream to technically soften the glove and is used more commonly than you think in practice. What you can do is apply a small amount of shaving cream and then keep it overnight. Although this method can be risky since it may leave a residue on your brand-new gloves, which won’t give a really pretty look. 


There are many methods to try and break in a glove. But if you want something quick and game ready as soon as possible then use these methods. I guarantee you that you’ll get the desired results within a few days and then time the gloves will work their charm and loosen up the fibers eventually. Getting the right size and the right type of glove is of utmost importance, check out the sizing chart for baseball gloves and some of the best gloves for fastpitch softball. Also, let me add another bonus article, that I would recommend for casual players, check out some of the best gloves for slow pitch softball.

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James Arnold
I'm James, and I live in Stanislaus County, California. I'm playing Baseball for many years, and I love this sport so much that I also encourage my kids (Danny and Sara) to play Baseball & Softball.