How to break in a catchers mitt

Wooden mallet

This wooden mallet will help pound in a nice pocket

After you get your catchers mitt, you will want to soften that baby up!  If you haven’t picked out a mitt yet, head on over to our best catchers mitt 2014 page and look at our top three choices.  There are many ways people use to soften their glove up.  Some will say to oil your glove to help soften it up, but some of them are very wrong.  First off, I will go through some of the ways you SHOULD NOT do on your new mitt. baseball glove.

  1. Do not use oil on your glove.  You might be thinking I am crazy for saying that and now you do not know what to use.  Trust me, I will tell you later what method to help with your mitt.  Oil can soak in and make the glove a little heavier.  I have never used oil myself but I have had teammates who have and I have seen the oil soak everywhere and just stay there.  It even got into the wool cloth of the back hand wrist band.
  2. Do not microwave it!  There are some people out there that say you should throw your newly, and possibly expensive, glove into the microwave and nuke it.  This is a terrible idea as the laces on the mitt will dry out and will shatter.  You will then have to get them replaced.
  3. Same thing with driving over your mitt with your car.  Why would you use your car to run over your expensive mitt?  Makes no sense to me.  This could damage the leather and lead to problems.

Now that is out of the way, I will discuss the ways on how to break in a catchers mitt.

  1. The BEST way to break in a baseball glove will be playing catch with it.  Better yet, since it is a catchers mitt, catch bullpen with it and catch those hard pitches in the pocket to form it.  It may take some time to get it to form the way you want, but it will be worth it as it will be fit just for your hand.  Nothing will feel better!
  2. Another aspect of the first point would be to catch a pitching machine with your new glove. This will get a nice pitch on the same course to let you catch the ball in the pocket to get it to form.
  3. You can use another older method which is putting a ball in the mitt and tying the mitt shut with string, rubber bands, or whatever you have around the house.  This will help the mitt take its shape.  You can take it a bit further and but it under your mattress and sleep on it.  But make sure it is sitting in a correct position and not on its side or any weird position.
  4. You could try a lanolin-based cream which does not soak into the leather like oils do.  I have heard this works, but I have not tried it.
  5. Force can be used to help create the pocket.  Many people use objects, such as a wooden mallet, a baseball bat, hand weights, or just their fist to pound the spot where they want the ball to be at when caught.  The videos below explains these in great detail.

Breaking your catchers mitt in videos

Granted the video below is an infielder glove, the methods still apply.