How to Break In a Glove

For decades, Wilson Master Glove Craftsman Shigeaki Aso has perfected his glove break-in method. Now, he’s sharing it with you in this seven-step, easy-to-use guide. You can also see the full process in this video.




Photo of bottled water being poured on baseball glove

Step I: Get warm water (warm - not boiling) – pour it into the pocket/palm of the glove with the finger side up to ensure water doesn’t get inside the finger stalls. The water will make it easier to stretch the leather, allowing you to shape the glove more effectively.



Photo of Aso San holding up glove

Step II: Position the glove with the back fingers facing your chest and pointing up. Grasp it by the thumb and pinky and squeeze, jockeying each side back-and-forth. This makes the heel pad softer, getting it one step closer to game-ready.



Aso San stretching a glove

Step III: Take the glove by the top of the pinky and thumb and stretch it out. The finger tops and web lace will stretch, but will slightly return to its original state once dry. If you do not like loose finger top lace, don’t pull too much during this step.



Glove being pounded with glove mallet

Step IV: Open the glove and, using your mallet, begin to form your pocket. Take into account what position you play and whether you prefer a deep or shallow pocket before beginning this process. Form the pocket where you want to be catching the ball.



Aso San hitting a folded glove with a mallet

Step V: Close your glove and begin pounding it with your mallet on the thumb side around the W logo, shifting the glove back and forth. Then, flip your glove and fold the pinkie side and pound from the back, establishing your break points so it’s easier to open and close the glove.



Glove's top web being folded into an S shape

(Optional) Step VI: Form an ‘S’ shape with the web top and squeeze down for five to six seconds. It will be easier to close the glove if you fold the web top. This helps loosen the web top laces, making it even easier for your glove to close just the way you want it to.


Step VII: Play catch to finish the break-in process.



Want to see Aso’s glove break-in process in action? Check out the full video above.