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HG, How do you break in your gloves?

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  • HG, How do you break in your gloves?

    HiddenGem, I was wondering how you break in your gloves when you get new ones?

    I just oil mine and use it as much as I can but I used to use shaving cream and ties. I have a Zett catchers mitt I have had for years and it is still barely broken in, Ive really only used it approx 50 games or so. Anyhow this year it is feeling pretty good but I still get some pop outs from the stiff leather, I realize you are not a catcher but I value your input.

    Just curious on how you "pro" guys do it these days. I have heard alot about soaking in water and baking or just letting it form after the water treatment (5 minutes) but never liked the idea of soaking a $100+ glove in water.

    Thanks HG - Elijah

  • #2
    I'm breaking in my Catcher's mitt too, buddy.

    I just sit with it a few hours a day and crack balls in and out of it.
    "I feel like I'm the luckiest man on the face of the planet, I might have had a bad break or two but I have an awful lot to live for, thank you."
    -Lou Gehrig

    "You can learn little from victory. You can learn everything from defeat."
    - Christy Matthewson


    • #3
      Oil it, put a couple balls in the pocket and web and wrap it. When you unwrap it, use it to catch with for a while (not in a game) or continuously throw a ball into it while you're sitting around. Oil it and wrap it again when you put it away for the winter.


      • #4
        Well that is what i have been doing so I guess it just takes more time. It is a really good glove, well at least that is what I have heard, "the longer it takes to break in the better the glove"

        I may get another one, I have noticed some catchers mits with some really nice deep pockets on tv (spring training) and can't figure out what brand they are.

        I currently use a zett and it is nice but it doesn't snag balls like my old mizuno used to. What I mean by snag is that when a ball is way outside or unreachable the end web will kinda of stick the ball and suck it in nicely.

        So if anyone know what the industry standard pro catchers mitt is please let me know. What I mean by industry standard is a glove that the majority of the pro and semi pro catchers use. I will watch more closely when we get some more games on tv but sooner the better. Of course I will do some reseacrh on google too.


        • #5
          One word

          "I feel like I'm the luckiest man on the face of the planet, I might have had a bad break or two but I have an awful lot to live for, thank you."
          -Lou Gehrig

          "You can learn little from victory. You can learn everything from defeat."
          - Christy Matthewson


          • #6
            Take a look at a book called GLOVE AFFAIRS. Other than being a great book on the history of gloves, it also has a section on how to break them in. One of the things he says you can do with a catcher's mitt is take the blunt end of the bat & pound the heck out of the pocket. They say that if the glove is a good leather, it'll take whatever you put it through.

            Jimmy Dugan: ... But sneaking out like this, quitting, you'll regret it for the rest of your life. Baseball is what gets inside you. It's what lights you up, you can't deny that.
            Dottie Hinson: It just got too hard.
            Jimmy Dugan: It's supposed to be hard! If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.


            • #7
              No Oil!

              Don't use oil on your glove because it adds weight to it. Use vasoline instead. After the first time you use it (even if it's only a quick catch), spread it all over the glove. EVERYWHERE, even the laces. After that, wipe it off with a towel, stick a ball in the palm and tie a rubber band around it, and then put some weight on it. Every once in a while after that when you have a catch, repeat this.

              The easiest way to break in a glove is during practice. When the season is over, put a lot of vasoline on the glove and then whipe it off, and let a ball set in it for a couple of months. I never used a catcher's mitt, but I was able to break my outfielders glove in pretty easily. Someone said earlier "one word 'rawlings'." I am not sure why though. I have a Nokona glove and it is much better than any other glove, including a couple Rawlings, I had before.

              One last thing, if you really, really, really need the glove broken in in a short period of time, get something like a hammer and pound the pocket and creases of the glove. It is the same as using a ball to break it in, only harder. Some people who are experts on gloves say you aren't supposed to do this, but from the many gloves I have owned in the past, nothing bad happened as a result. Hope I helped
              Last edited by WhizKids20; 03-26-2005, 08:00 PM.


              • #8
                Vasoline seconded; Akadema gloves

                I use Vasoline (or any plain petroleum jelly similar to Vasoline) on our gloves, too. Matter of fact, that's what Nokona recommends. Vasoline is oil based, but the advantage is a small bit goes a long way because it spreads so easily. It helps preserve the leather, cleans it and aids in creating a seal to repel moisture. As you say, WhizKids20, ensure the Vasoline is wiped thoroughly from the glove.

                Avoid water and heat methods, they are bad for the leather. Some shaving cream can be bad for the leather, too, as some creams contain alcohol or other agents that dry the leather.

                For you guys who are serious about the gloves and don't mind spending some money, check out their website. Their catchers' mittt in the Praying Mantis series will cost you two bills.

                Akadema products link


                • #9

                  preying mantis $130

                  It does look good, i like the snap feature, when ball hits it automatically helps close shut.

                  Thanks Bob

                  edit $130 with free shipping, looks like I may give it a try.
                  Last edited by Elijah; 03-29-2005, 02:42 PM.


                  • #10
                    I have a Mizuno and that baby broke in within a week with barely any additives. They suggested using shaving cream on their website. But the best way, I've found, to break in a glove is to just use it. Oh, and don't let anyone else stick their hands in your glove.
                    The great trouble with baseball today is that most of the players are in the game for the money and that's it, not for the love of it, the excitement of it, the thrill of it. -Ty Cobb


                    • #11
                      Buy a Nokona and there is not much breaking it in. They are pretty soft to begin with. Also, they are the last company still left that makes their gloves in the good old USA!!!


                      • #12
                        Dr. Jackson's Hide Rejuvenator

                        I guarantee this product 100% and it will not injure your gloves leather at all, in fact it improves it. This product, along with catch, will break a glove in and make it last forever. Use the product on your glove lightly about once every two weeks or whenever the leather gets dry from use and you will not be disappointed. Here is a link you can get if from:

                        Dr. Jackson's Hide Rejuvenator

                        You should be also be able to pick it up at local leather shops like Tandy Leather.

                        I can not tell how great of a product this is.
                        Drive it like you stole it.


                        • #13
                          i found dunking it in water put your hand in it and then start shaping it and thrown balls in and out straight away. I did that with all my gloves and never had any problems with, Still in good shape after 10 years, and these werent cheap gloves either.

                          Just my 2 cents
                          It's Obvious You Wish You Were Part Of Yankees Nation


                          • #14
                            I along with many major and minor league players use a product called "Lexol" you can get it at Pep Boys. I oil the entire glove and then I put the glove in the microwave for about 15 seconds or so. Don't do it any longer than that at one time, or you could be in for a disaster. The glove will come out hot obviously but will be much softer. After that I take the glove down to the cage and and turn the Iron Mike machine on and catch about 50-100 balls.

                            Do this for about a week, along with using it during BP/practice and you should be good.

                            As far as the comment about "Rawlings", Very few catchers in the major leagues use a Rawlings glove. Piazza, Posada and maybe a couple others, but most use either All-Star, Mizuno or Wilson.

                            Fielding gloves is a different story.


                            • #15
                              If you soak your glove you are throwing a couple hundred dollars out of the window. What I do is I put shaving cream on the inside of the glove and put if in the microwave for about 45 seconds. If the shaving cream starts to bubble then take it out of the microwave. But if you get it right then your glove will be very well broken in.


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