Are you a baseball fan seeking to improve your on-field performance? The baseball glove is an essential piece of gear that is often ignored. A properly broken-in glove can significantly improve your game, although it may only look like an accessory. This comprehensive article will cover the art of breaking in a baseball glove and provide an answer to the frequently asked question, what oil to use to break in a baseball glove?
Breaking in a baseball glove involves molding it to your hand, enhancing flexibility, and ensuring maximum comfort. You can get a tailored fit through this method that fits your playing style and gives you the assurance you need to make those game-changing catches. But where does oil fit into this scenario? The right oil can speed up the breaking-in process, soften the leather, and enhance the leather’s overall performance.
In this blog post, we’ll delve into the world of baseball glove oils, discuss various factors to consider when choosing the perfect oil, and provide a list of recommended oils to help you make an informed decision.
Why Break in a Baseball Glove?
You might be asking why breaking in a baseball glove is vital for a baseball player. Let’s explore the advantages that are in waiting for you:
1. Increased Comfort and Flexibility:
Think about being in the outfield and seeing a high-fly ball coming your way. With a stiff, brand-new glove, you might need help to close it quickly, resulting in missed opportunities. However, a glove that has been broken correctly in fits your hand and provides greater flexibility. This enables you to respond quickly and efficiently to secure crucial game-saving catches. Additionally, a glove with proper break-in minimizes discomfort and blister risk throughout extended practices or games.
2. Better Performance and Durability:
A brand-new baseball glove frequently feels rigid and cannot give the player a firm grip on the ball. You condition the leather by breaking it in to fit the curvature of the ball and your hand. As a result, your glove performs as an extension of your hand, giving you more control and enhancing your ability to throw objects accurately. A baseball glove’s durability is also increased by breaking it in, which helps it survive the demands of the game season after season by reducing premature wear and tear.
3. Customized Fit for Your Playing Style:
Every player has a unique playing style and preferences regarding glove fit. Breaking in a baseball glove allows you to create a customized fit tailored to your hand size, position, and preference. The break-in process gives you a chance to fine-tune the fit of your glove, maximizing your comfort and performance on the field regardless of whether you like a snug fit for infield agility or a slightly looser fit for outfield catches.
It should be evident by now that breaking in a baseball glove is essential to improving your performance.
what oil to use to break in a baseball glove
Oils are essential in softening and conditioning the leather when breaking in a baseball glove. Let’s take a deeper look at the various kinds of oils that are frequently used and their properties:
1. Natural Oils vs. Synthetic Oils:
There are two types of oils to choose from while breaking in your baseball glove: natural and synthetic oils. Natural oils from plants, such as olive and coconut, are recognized for their conditioning effects. They enter the leather, softening it and making it flexible. Synthetic oils, on the other hand, are specially created compounds intended to replicate the qualities of natural oils. They frequently contain chemicals and substances that help to condition and preserve the leather.
2. Popular Oil Options:
Let’s look at some of the most popular oils used by baseball players to break in their gloves:
Olive oil, known for its flexibility, is a natural oil that may effectively soften the leather. It’s simple to use and has good conditioning qualities. However, it’s necessary to remember that applying olive oil will darken the leather. Therefore, it’s best for gloves with deeper or natural tones.
Coconut oil, another natural oil with moisturizing characteristics, is a favorite option among players. It softens the leather and helps keep it supple. It’s worth noting that coconut oil may harden at lower temperatures, so keep that in mind.
A traditional conditioning oil derived from cattle shinbones and feet, neatsfoot oil, is extensively used for breaking in baseball gloves. It is well-known for its ability to penetrate deep into the leather and provide exceptional softening and conditioning benefits. However, there is a difference between pure neatsfoot oil and compound neatsfoot oil, as compound oils may contain other substances that might damage the leather.
While these are popular options, it’s essential to consider the specific leather type of your baseball glove and its compatibility with the chosen oil. Furthermore, it is important to emphasize safety by avoiding oils that might harm the leather or cause excessive softness.
Factors to Consider When Choosing an Oil
Several variables should be considered when selecting the best oil for breaking in your baseball glove. Let’s look at these variables to assist you in making an educated decision:
1. Leather Compatibility:
Various varieties of leather, including cowhide, steer hide, and kangaroo leather, are used to make baseball gloves. When choosing an oil, keep the type of leather on your glove in mind. Some oils may perform better with specific leathers, while others may cause harm or discoloration. Conduct research or contact specialists to identify the appropriate oil for your unique leather type.
2. Safety Considerations:
While oils are intended to condition and soften the leather, it is essential to prioritize the safety of your glove. Avoid using oils that include harsh chemicals or additions that might hurt the leather or impair its structure. Choose oils developed for baseball glove conditioning or natural oils recognized for their conditioning capabilities.
3. Desired Level of Softness:
Every player prefers softness in a baseball glove. Some players like a glove that is already soft and supple, while others appreciate the process of progressively breaking it in. Consider your particular preferences and select an oil that corresponds to your desired level of softness. Remember that various oils will have different effects, so that some testing may be required.
4. Environmental Factors:
Climate and playing circumstances also influence your choice of oil. If you play in a hot and dry region, use an oil that helps preserve moisture in the leather, preventing it from drying out. If you play in a humid climate, however, you should pick an oil that does not too soften the glove since the humidity may already add to the softness of the leather.
Read: Japanese Baseball Gloves
Breaking in a baseball glove is vital in improving your effectiveness on the field. You may enhance flexibility, comfort, and overall glove performance by using the correct oil and treating the leather.
When picking an oil, consider leather compatibility, safety, desired softness, and environmental circumstances. There are solutions for every player, whether they prefer natural oils like olive or coconut oil or specialist glove conditioners.
So, whether you use neatsfoot oil or coconut oil, break in your glove and make it a specific fit for your playing style. Enjoy sculpting your glove to perfection and allowing it to become an extension of your hand, ready for game-changing catches.
Accept the art of breaking in a baseball glove and release the full potential of your valued partner on the field. Prepare to dominate the game with a glove that is built for success.