Breaking in a softball glove is an important process to ensure that it is comfortable and functional for a player’s specific needs. When a glove is new, it is often stiff and difficult to maneuver, which can make catching extremely difficult. However, there are several ways to break in a softball glove and make it feel like an extension of the player’s hand.
Ways to break in a softball glove
Disclaimer: Use any of these methods at your own risk. There are plenty of YouTube videos that detail each one of these methods much more deeply than we will be going into here and we highly recommend you fully research the pros and cons of each method before attempting them.
Playing Catch: One of the most common ways to break in a softball glove is by simply playing catch. The more a player uses the glove, the more it will begin to conform to their hand and the ball. Players can speed up the process by playing catch with the glove frequently.
Oiling: Another way to break in a softball glove is by oiling it. There are several oils on the market specifically designed for this purpose. These oils can help soften the leather and make it more pliable. However, it is essential to choose an oil that is appropriate for the glove’s leather type. One oil that a major glove manufacturer recommended to us was Lexol Leather Conditioner. It is not made specifically for gloves only, however, it is what we have used on all our gloves after that recommendation.
Using a Mallet: Another effective method to break in a softball glove is by using a mallet. By hitting the glove with a mallet, players can soften the leather and create a pocket for the ball to sit in. Players should be careful not to hit the glove too hard as this can damage it. The Hot Glove Mallet is fairly inexpensive and works fine for this job.
Using a Bat: Another way to break in a softball glove is by using a bat. Players can place the ball in the glove, close it around the ball, and then place the glove and ball between the ground and the bat. By pressing down on the bat, players can create a pocket in the glove for the ball to sit in.
Steaming: Another method to break in a softball glove is by steaming it. Players can hold the glove over a pot of boiling water or use a steamer specifically designed for this purpose. Steaming the glove will soften the leather and make it easier to manipulate. However, it is important to be careful not to over-steam the glove, as this can cause the leather to become too soft.
Sunlight: Lastly, players can break in a softball glove by leaving it in the sun. The heat from the sun will soften the leather and make it easier to manipulate. However, players should be careful not to leave the glove in the sun for too long, as this can cause the leather to dry out and crack.
In conclusion, breaking in a softball glove is an important process that can significantly improve a player’s performance. There are several methods to break in a softball glove, including playing catch, oiling, using a mallet, using a bat, steaming, and leaving the glove in the sun. Players should experiment with these methods to find the one that works best for their specific glove and playing style.
Now go play ball!