How do I break in a baseball or softball glove?
If you ask 50 people how to break in a glove you will likely get 50 answers. That tells you something about how many options you have. Truth is, most methods will do just fine and you shouldn't stress too much about it. It is just a game after all! But we do have a few bits of advice based on decades of experience and interactions with thousands of customers.
1. DO NOT HEAT YOUR GLOVE!! Steam ovens became all the rage for a little while but we do not recommend steaming, baking, grilling, microwaving or heating your glove in any way. Some glove companies will void any warranty if the glove has been heated. It may sound like a nice idea and some people swear by it but there are other fool-proof ways to break in a glove.
2. PLAY CATCH!! That is why you got your glove in the first place. Nothing will ever do more to break in your glove than using it. Everyone's hand is different. Playing catch before you do anything else will help the glove to start to form around your hand.
3. OIL YOUR GLOVE!! I personally like to use Nokona glove conditioner. It has a Vasoline type consistency so it is easier to work with than liquid oils. I put a dime size amount on a rag and spread it on the inside of the glove. The quality of the glove you have will determine how much of the glove should get oiled. More expensive gloves should get oiled all over except for inside the hand pocket. Less expensive gloves should only get oiled on the inside of the web. Remember, you can always oil your glove again but you cannot take oil out of your glove. Use a small amount at first and reapply as neccessary.
4. CLOSE IT UP AND LEAVE IT OVER NIGHT!! Put a ball in your glove and close it up. If you played catch already, the pocket has started to form. Put the ball in where you would naturally catch it and close it up. You can use rubber bands, bungee cords, a dictionary, put it under the couch cushion. It doesn't really matter as long as you use something that won't damage the leather (barbed wire is a bad idea!).
5. REPEAT!! You likely won't get your glove perfect right away. Repeat these steps as necessary until you get it just the way you want it.