How to Break in Your New Glove

How to Break in Your New Glove

How to Break in Your New Glove

Getting a new glove is exciting! You want to get out and use it right away, but it usually takes some work to get it ready for action. Most of our pro-style gloves come with a 75% break-in, meaning that it’s up to you to take it across the finish line—unless you purchase our break-in option on the glove care page, which brings it closer to a 90-95% break-in. Our glove break-in method includes using our glove break-in machine, catching baseballs off a pitching machine, followed by mallet work and light conditioning.

Here are some tips to help you break in your glove correctly:

1. Play Catch

One of the most tried-and-true ways to break in your glove is to play catch. We've done extensive research and found that it takes approximately 500 catches with velocity to get our gloves field-ready. This means they are ready to take to the field and use in practice or for a game of catch. Once you exceed that and go into the 500-1000 catch threshold, your glove begins to become more game-ready, depending on your glove break-in preferences.

When playing catch, we recommend putting two fingers in the pinky slot or in the "shifted" position to assist with initial closing. After playing extensive catch, it’s good to put a small amount of Yardley Sports Glove Conditioner on the glove.

2. Use a Glove Mallet

Another effective method is to use a glove mallet. Gloves have hinge points at the heel that help with closing. Break in your glove along these points with a mallet and work your way around the top of the glove and web. There is a lot of structure in the web with leather and lace. Making your web flexible will help when receiving the ball into the glove.

This process should be followed by applying a small amount of Yardley Sports Glove Conditioner to protect and hydrate the leather.

3. Glove Wrap or Belt

The third option is to use a glove wrap or belt to help the glove stay closed. When using this method, it is important to place two baseballs or a softball in the glove so it retains its pocket. Avoid over-tightening or wrapping the glove. It should fit like you would put a watch on your wrist: tight enough to stay on but not too tight. This will help the glove stay closed and develop a pocket.

Things to Avoid

  • Hot-water methods are very effective but should not be used unless experienced with the method.
  • Avoid steaming methods unless used correctly. Steaming is an effective method of breaking in gloves; however, most people do not know how to use it correctly.
  • Do not run over, put under a mattress, excessively fold, or beat the leather. This will damage the leather, cause creases in the glove, and can degrade the integrity of the finger stays and felt inserts.


Breaking in your glove correctly takes time and patience, but the results are worth it. Whether you choose to play catch, use a glove mallet, or employ a glove wrap, these methods will help ensure your glove is game-ready. Don’t forget to periodically apply a small amount of Yardley Sports Glove Conditioner to keep the leather in top condition. Enjoy your new glove!

Back to blog