Among the first things you will notice with your new Vinci glove is the sturdiness of its construction. Each glove is handcrafted using only the highest-grade leathers and materials. All baseball gloves and softball gloves need to be “broken in” before use in order to provide a proper fit and to play a better game. Many companies use industrial machines to simulate the natural breaking in process. At Vinci, we find that this method often results in “floppy”, ill-fitting gloves with significantly shorter product lives. The individual nature of a player’s hand size and shape, catching style and glove preference lends itself better to a more customized break in process. The steps below will provide you with some basic tips on how to quickly and effectively incorporate your new Vinci glove into your game.
– Pete Vinci
The two basic goals of breaking in a glove are softening the leather and forming the pocket.
1) To properly soften the leather, Vinci includes a complimentary jar of exclusive Glove Conditioner with every new glove.** Using latex gloves, apply conditioner to all leather areas of glove including the pocket, laces, and rear. Too much conditioner can actually shorten the life of your glove by speeding up deterioration, so a good rule of thumb is to never apply more than a pea sized amount at a time. Usually 3 – 5 pea sized applications will sufficiently treat each side of a new glove. On Fortus and CP Junior Youth gloves only condition the palm.
2) Let your glove sit for 24 hours allowing conditioner to fully absorb into leather. Wipe off any excess using a clean, dry cloth. Do not apply more conditioner for at least 2 weeks.
3) Move the heel of the glove firmly back and forth in a “shoe shining” motion. Do the same with the fingers and where the bottom of the web meets the glove. This movement will help to loosen the fibers of the leather and interior linings.
Besides playing catch there are many ways to form a pocket into your baseball glove.
4) Get a baseball or softball depending on your needs for the glove (some players prefer using a hollow plastic ball like the one pictured in the Vinci Shaping Kit). Place the ball firmly into the pocket area of the glove.
5) Using 2 Vinci Glove Bands (string, elastic bands, belts, or bungees will work as well), wrap the outside of the glove in an “X” pattern, closing the ball firmly into the pocket. Allow the glove to sit overnight.
6) Remove the bands and toss a ball firmly into the pocket area 50 – 100 times.* Taking time to press and twist the ball into the leather.
7) Repeat steps 3 through 6 until your glove is sufficiently broken in.
You may also use a glove mallet to hammer into the pocket. The tapered handle of the mallet can be used to size the finger holes of the glove if they feel too tight on your hands. Place the tapered end of the mallet into the fingers of glove and rotate slowly to expand the size of the openings.
Check out the video below to see how to break in your Vinci Glove!