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How to Break in a Catchers Glove

Updated on October 1, 2013

The Best Process to Break in a Softball Catchers Glove

Like all real ball players, we get attached to our gloves. They fit us perfectly, they smell right, and well quite frankly, they just feel like they are apart of us. But when a glove has reached its point of no return, there comes a time that you must replace that glove with a new one.

However, like all "new" gloves, your glove may be a little stiff and uncomfortable. The leather is rough, the closing of the glove is hard, and so far, it isn't exactly easy to play with. If you don't get that glove broken in, it could really hurt your game play.

But before you rush back to the dumpster to find your old glove, know that there are great ways in which you can quickly get your glove up to game time status. Some would have you sit on it, or just open and close it multiple times. But these techniques would take you forever and by the time it "fits like a glove," you may have a problem on the field.

So to help you with this dilemma, I will show you 5 easy steps to get your glove squared away and ready to play. Furthermore, I will give you the "do's and don'ts" to breaking in your glove so that you don't actually destroy or discolor your glove. Follow these steps and you will soon be one with your glove!

A Good Start to Breaking in a Catchers Mitt - Sort of.....

This is a special presentation by Wilson about their premium gloves and they offer good tips, however there are some key and vital things that you should do to really improve the breaking in of a catcher's glove.

Step 1: Rub Shaving Cream on your Glove

The first step to breaking in your new catchers glove is to rub a small amount of shaving cream with a clean, dry cloth on your glove. Why use shaving cream? As anyone who shaves can tell you, shaving cream is a great moisturizer, and it helps to the surface whether that be leather or skin. For this reason, shaving cream makes for the perfect moisturizer and the best initial step in making your glove fit.

Once you have applied the shaving cream the outer shell of the glove, then work your way to the palm and then back to the outer shell again. Make sure you put shaving cream on the whole glove and remember that you only need to coat the leather, so make sure not to soak it.

Another benefit to using shaving cream is that it polishes the fibers in the glove making it look nice while also serving to loosen the material. It also eliminates cracking and stiffness to the glove thus protecting it in the process.

Step 2: Play Catch with a Friend

Let your glove dry for about 12 to 24 hours. I know it is hard to have to wait till you can use your glove. However, you have to in order to make sure your glove gets nice and dry. Then once this whole process is over, you will be able to use your brand new glove and be glad you waited those long dreary hours.

Finally those long hours are over, so now is time for the fun part. Wipe your glove off and play catch with someone for 10 to 15 minuets. Make sure you throw extra hard so your glove will surly be broken in. This stretches and forms the glove to fit your hand for comfort.

Step 3: Put a Softball in the Pouch and Secure with a Rubber Band

When you are done playing catch and had some fun, its time to wait again. Put a softball in the pouch of your glove and secure it with a rubber band. If you do not have a rubber band you can still do this step. Just put a softball in the pouch and put your glove under a couch or bed, something that will put a lot of pressure on the outer edges of the glove the glove. Also if you put it under a bed or whatever, make sure the ball stays in the pocket.

Make sure to let the glove sit for a few days. This process is to make the pocket in the glove nice, big and deep. With a deep pocket, it will be easy to catch the softball and hear that sweet SMACK when the pitcher puts it right in there.

Step 4: Add Giovolium Glove Oil

As your glove starts to break in, pour Glovolium glove oil on a clean dry cloth. Then carefully rub the oil on your glove, starting from the outer shell of the glove and then to the palm, and back to the outer shell again. Remember you only need a small amount of oil.

I wish I could tell you there was a better free option to applying an oil to your glove. But sadly, there isn't. Glovolium oil has been specifically designed for gloves and is perfect for softening but protecting your catchers mitt. Furthermore, it leaves no stain and is odorless which is extremely important.

When buying glove oil you don't want to go cheep and just get any oil out there, because remember, this is your glove we are talking about. So if you are going to get glove oil, I strongly recommend Rawlings Glovolium. Speaking from experience, this is the best on the market and gets the job done!

IMPORTANT: Don't forget when you are putting the oil on the glove you only need a little bit. You are just coating the glove not soaking it.

Note: You only need to oil your glove at most twice a season.

RAWLINGS SGOBP GLOVOLIUM SPRAY
RAWLINGS SGOBP GLOVOLIUM SPRAY

This oil unlike others is not heavy and will not make the leather on your glove into a flimsy mush overtime.

 

Step 5: Let it Dry

Let your glove dry thoroughly for about 24 hours, so the oil has time to condition the leather. Don't get antsy, but wait till your glove is dry or else your glove will not be be conditioned.

Once your glove is dry your new glove is ready to be shown off, and your playing skills will be a lot better with your new broken in glove. When you are not using your glove, make sure you store your glove in a cool dry place with a softball in it and a rubber band wrapped around it so as to improve the pocket when its not in use.

Glove Repair Do's and Don'ts

Glove Repair Don'ts:

- Do not ever put your glove in the water, you may think this a quick and easy way to clean your glove or break it in, but really this is just a way to make your glove get cracked and dried out.

- Do not use a microwave or oven to "cook" your glove.

- Do not use a heat source on your glove such as a hair dryer or else you will quickly reduce the life of your glove.

- Avoid a pre-broken in glove. Even though its tempting, they are not as durable and will not last as long.

Glove Repair Do's:

- Keep a ball in your glove when it is not being used.

- Make sure to occasionally condition your glove so as to prevent drying and cracking.

- If you really want to protect your glove, wear a batting glove when using your glove so as to protect it from sweat.

- Make sure to tighten your laces occasionally. This is because the leather will loosen over time.

Keep your Glove in Shape

Make sure your glove is always in good shape. That means make sure the laces are always tighten and not broken or loose. Be sure to check your laces after every season.

If you have any comments please leave them in the comment box below.

Wilson A2000 Baseball Glove Care Kit
Wilson A2000 Baseball Glove Care Kit

This is the same kit used to repair A2000 gloves for MLB playersKit contains: Both black and tan rawhide lace, lacing tool, awl, cutters, threading needles, glove oil, brush and A2000 leather carry bag

 

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    • TheHonestWebGuru profile image

      TheHonestWebGuru 3 years ago

      This technique really works! Thanks

    • profile image

      CottonEyedJoe 3 years ago

      Dear TheHonostWebGuru,I would like to commend you on this excellently well written article. Although I am not a catcher, I do know a few who have had trouble breaking in their. I am eager to share this with them. Your quick and simple five steps are just what they need to help them out. Thank you so much and I hope you continue to have much success in your softball career. Sincerely, CottonEyedJoe

    • profile image

      CottonEyedJoe 3 years ago

      Dear TheHonestWebGuru,I would like to commend you for this excellent, helpful, and well written article. Although I am not a catcher I do know a few who have had trouble breaking in their gloves and I am eager to share your article with them. Your five steps will make it very easy for them. Thanks again for this article and good luck with your softball! Sincerely, CottonEyedJoe