This article originally appeared on BaseballMonkey.com
Anyone who's played more than a year or two of ball can attest to the fact that gloves need to be broken in to perform to their fullest potential. There are various methods you can use to break in and soften your glove. Some of these methods can be used individually or in conjunction with others. Read on and we'll cover the different ways to break in your glove, plus different methods on how to oil gloves.
Breaking in Fielding Gloves
After you determine the proper size and style and buy your fielding glove, you'll probably immediately notice that it's stiff and doesn't have the pocket needed to catch fly balls and ground balls with ease. Part of breaking in your glove is forming a pocket. Forming a pocket can be done in several different ways and the ideal method depends entirely on player preference. Some players use a microwave and swear by it, but others believe there are better ways to do it.
There are several ways to break in your glove.
Tried and True or Traditional Method
If you're a purist, this will probably be your preferred method to break in your glove. Simply get a couple friends together and play catch. The more times you squeeze the glove around a ball during practice, the more it will be perfectly broken in and ready to go for the season.
One tested method that has been known to work is glove steaming. Outside of playing catch, this is often considered to be the next best method. Steaming the glove helps relax the leather and seams to get it game ready. Depending on where you go to steam the leather, the process usually involves:
- Apply glove conditioner on the glove to help open pours in the leather.
- Steam the glove to around 150 degrees.
- Break in the glove using a glove mallet.
If you happen to be in the area of a Monkey Sports store, you can come in to get your glove steamed by one of our specialists.