How to break in a catcher’s mitt?

Since a catcher’s mitt is their most important item for playing baseball, it is important to not only break it in well, but also to take proper care of it.

Here, we will go into detail about all of the dos and don’ts when it comes to breaking in a new mitt, and also keeping it in working order.

How can a catcher’s mitt get damaged?

There are a few ways that a catcher’s mitt could potentially get damaged and ruined. Some of which include a mitt being battered and beaten up on your catcher’s bag when you are not using it between games or practice.

A catcher’s mitt could get malformed in a catcher’s bag if it is not correctly stored and packed away. There are also a lot of catchers that will throw their mitts down onto the ground when they are no longer playing on the baseball field.

Both of these actions will cause damage to a catcher’s mitt.

But how do I break a catcher’s mitt in?

You came here for the answer to this question. So, we are going to tell you how to break in your new mitt, then how to look after it. Firstly, when you receive your catcher’s mitt you need to accept that the best way to wear in your mitt is to simply go out and use it.

This will ensure that your mitt will mold to your hand’s contours so that it fits comfortably in the mitt when you are playing baseball.

Some people really want to read or hear that there is some sort of magical tip to breaking in a brand-new catcher’s mitt, but the harsh reality is that playing and practicing with your new mitt is the only thing that will really break it in.

How to break in a catcher’s mitt

But I’ve heard about…

There are still some tips and tricks out there that a lot of people swear by, so here we will go through a few of them.

  • Rubbing Vaseline on it: this is one that a lot of people do, claiming that it helps keep the mitt supple enough to break in easier. But putting foreign substances on your catcher’s mitt can be damaging to it. You may not see this damage straight away, but over time you may notice cracking. Instead, try being patient and not speeding up the process.
  • Putting the mitt in the oven: some people have said that they warm up their mitt to make it more malleable. This is not advisable. Cooking a mitt is bad overall for the leather, it may make it softer for a short period of time, but it is not a long-term fix to breaking your mitt in. heating up leather in that way will damage it more than anything. This will cause rips and cracks in the leather since it is going from one extreme temperature to another.

So, there is not a quick fix to breaking in a catcher’s mitt?

You can try out some of the things mentioned above, but they are not the best way to break in a good quality mitt. The reality is that the only way to truly break a catcher’s mitt is to play with it. Just like the only way to break in a pair of new shoes is to… wear them.

Although this is not the answer you were looking for, it should confirm to you that trying out all of the ‘hacks’ for wearing in your catcher’s mitt are not worth trying. Not only will they waste your time, they will ruin your new mitt.

How can I look after my catcher’s mitt?

Now that you know that the only real way to break in your catcher’s mitt is to play, play, play, you will want to know how to correctly look after it. One of the top tips is for the storage of your mitt.

When you are throwing your mitt into your bag after practice or a game, it will lose its shape eventually. To avoid this, you can store it in your bag with a baseball nestled in the palm of the mitt.

This will ensure that the rest of the mitt does not collapse into the palm as easily, so the shape will not be lost.

You can even place more than one ball in the palm or pocket of the mitt, this will serve the same purpose but with even more chance that the mitt will not become malformed.


The harsh reality is that the only proper way to break in a baseball catcher’s mitt is to keep playing with it and wait for your hand to do all the work with the leather.

All of the ‘hacks’ that are thrown around are only going to eventually damage your mitt. Although some people swear by these hacks, they are not advisable. 

They will almost all ruin the leather and cause cracks. So, be patient, wear in your mitt the normal way and enjoy playing baseball while you are doing it!