You bought a new baseball glove and thought that was all there was to it? Well, unfortunately for you, if you bought a decent glove made of quality leather, it would be a while before you are ready to start playing with it. You would need to break it in properly so that it fits comfortably in your hands.
Breaking in a new baseball glove – how bad is it? Some people, myself included, find it relaxing and enjoy every moment of it. But there are many who absolutely hate having to spend hours and days working on the baseball glove to get it to its peak-performing condition.
However, in the end, it’s all worth it since after a baseball glove has been properly broken in, it feels extremely comfortable in the player’s hands. As part of the break-in process, you need to regularly apply some glove conditioner and glove oils on the leather to make it nice and soft.
The safest product to use on your glove is, of course, a sports-approved leather oil. But those can cost a pretty penny, and not everyone wants to spend their hard-earned cash on them. So, what are the alternatives? Well, as it turns out, there are some other types of products that you can also use to break in your shiny new gloves.
Here, I will talk about the different types of oils and products that can help you break in your baseball glove the right way. But before I go into the details, here is a quick list of oil that can help you break in a baseball glove quickly –
- Lanolin Oil
- Boot Oil
- Baby Oil
What Type of Oil Can You Use to Break in a Baseball Glove?
Before I talk about the alternatives, let’s take a step back. You see, using oil on your baseball glove to break it in is a pretty controversial thing. Many players believe that using any type of oil on the leather of a glove is a bad thing.
There is some logic to it, seeing how leather is an extremely permeable material, and it will eat up almost anything you put on it. So, if you apply oil to your baseball glove, it will soak it up and become slightly heavier.
That being said, a lot of people still use leather oils as they can help speed up the break-in process. Going with a specialized leather oil for baseball gloves would be the best approach, definitely, but if you want to save a few bucks, here are a couple of alternatives.
· Lanolin Oil
The best alternative to manufactured glove oils is to go with lanolin oil. It is extracted from animal fat, and sheep is its main source. This is the same oil that comes as the major ingredient for most of the sports-approved leather conditioners designed for baseball gloves.
Lanolin oil is quite efficient at softening the leather and also helps protect and preserve the quality of the leather. It is readily available in most hardware or sporting goods stores and also doesn’t cost much per bottle.
· Boot Oil
I know boot oil is not exactly a specific oil type, but rather refers to all the different oils suitable for use on a leather boot. Now, since baseball gloves are also made of leather, as are most boots, it stands to reason that you can use the same oil to soften up your baseball glove.
But the thing is, boot oil is designed to darken the texture of the boot, and the same effect might not be something you would want on your gloves. And on top of that, boot oil, if used in generous amounts on your leather gloves, can make them heavier. So, make sure you only use a bit of oil if you plan on using it.
· Baby Oil
Baby oil is a petroleum-based, non-toxic type of oil that is designed primarily for the skin. Because of its non-toxic nature, it can also be used on leather gloves. However, similar to boot oil, it can make your gloves overweight, and prolonged use of baby oil can also damage the leather.
Alternative Products That You Can Use to break-in a Baseball Glove
If you are not comfortable using oil on your baseball gloves and want some other products that can make it easier to break in your new baseball glove, here are some options:
· Shaving Cream
As odd as it may sound, shaving cream is actually a pretty nice alternative to regular oil and conditioners. Similar to how it moisturizes your skin, it can also soften up the leather on your baseball glove. However, make sure the cream does not contain any perfume or alcohol, as it can damage or dry out the glove.
Vaseline is another weird yet effective substance that can help the break-in of your baseball glove. Similar to baby oil, it contains mostly petroleum along with other mineral oils. However, you don’t want to go overboard with using Vaseline on your baseball gloves. As long as you use it sparingly and rub it well into the surface of the glove, it should be fine.
A new glove will often feel stiff in your hands unless you go with those super-expensive, top-shelf baseball gloves made of Kip leather. So, you always need to prepare yourself to break in your new gloves before you can use them in a competitive match.
Using the right kind of oil can make the break-in process easier for you. But you also need to know which oils to avoid. For instance, linseed oil, or any type of cooking oil, for that matter, should never be used in your baseball glove. While they may seem to work at first, the quality of your glove will deteriorate before you know it.
Hopefully, my article on which oil to use for the break-in of your new gloves helped you get a few ideas. You should now have all the information you need to decide which oil to use for this job. Cheers!