Can You Stiffen A Baseball Glove? (Find Out How)

In baseball, the glove or mitt is a vital piece of equipment. The worst feeling is when your baseball glove loosens and starts to slip off your hand. Before buying a new one, you might wonder if a baseball glove can be stiffened.

As leather baseball gloves start to loosen up, you can stiffen them. You can do this by tightening the glove laces, applying leather conditioner, and setting the glove to dry. Doing this will ensure you can use your leather baseball glove for longer.

You must use the correct method to stiffen a baseball glove. If not done correctly, the stiffening of a baseball glove might wear off faster and cause the glove to crack, which could shorten the glove’s life and lead to replacing it sooner than expected.  

Is It Possible To Stiffen A Baseball Glove?

After a few baseball matches, your leather glove might wear out and not fit as well as it always has. Like a pair of new shoes, the glove’s leather stretches a bit with use, making it fit looser. Loosening is common and isn’t a big problem, as a person can stiffen a baseball glove quickly.

The stiffening of a baseball glove is of utmost importance for players as a stiff glove helps them to catch the ball with little to no effort. Along with other ways to care for your baseball glove, you must stiffen it regularly to keep it in peak condition. This will ultimately extend the life of the glove and improve your catching.

Stiffening a baseball glove includes tightening the glove laces, cleaning, conditioning, and leaving the glove to dry. These aspects are crucial as they help ensure the baseball glove is stiffened correctly and ready for use. Proper care will help keep the baseball glove in excellent condition and help you perform better during catching.

Why Should You Stiffen A Baseball Glove?

A baseball glove’s stiffening is paramount to keeping your baseball equipment in the best shape. While the cleaning and conditioning of a baseball glove are also essential, stiffening is the aspect with the highest priority.

While some believe it isn’t necessary to stiffen a baseball glove, stiffening your baseball glove can make or break a game. It is essential to stiffen your baseball glove regularly, ensuring it has optimal control and grip when handling a ball.

How To Stiffen A Baseball Glove

Stiffening a baseball glove is not a complex process, and there aren’t any tools required. It can be done anywhere if you have saddle soap, pieces of cloth, and a leather conditioner at hand. A person can even do some stiffening by hand. Always keep a few vital aftercare and stiffening methods in mind.

Cleaning A Baseball Glove

Stiffening a baseball glove starts with the cleaning process. Cleaning the baseball glove is relatively easy as you only need saddle soap and two pieces of cloth. Use the soap and a dry cloth to rub the soap on the entire glove, and use the second cloth to wipe off the soap. Put the glove on a flat surface and allow it to stand for two days.

Conditioning Your Baseball Glove

The next step to stiffening a baseball glove is conditioning. Conditioning is necessary as it will keep the glove in perfect shape. It’s important to condition a baseball glove correctly, as a poor application of the conditioner can cause the glove irreversible damage.

To condition a glove, you must use any leather conditioner and evenly work the conditioner into the glove. Work the conditioner into the glove, starting with the glove pocket. Next, work it between the fingers, on each finger, and any other glove piece. It is also essential to work conditioner into the cracks and folds of the glove.

When conditioning a baseball glove, it is essential to do so evenly, as uneven conditioning might lead to pieces of the glove having less grip and breaking or tearing easier. Only use a baseball glove after it was put aside for at least 48 hours after conditioning, allowing the leather to absorb the conditioner properly.

Tightening Baseball Glove Laces

The final key aspect of stiffening a baseball glove is to tighten the glove laces at the web and the fingers. Tightening the glove laces can be done by hand, without tools. 

To tighten the web, you should first untie the knots and loosen the inside laces of the web on both sides. After that, pull on the loosened knot laces to tighten the web. Tie the web knots as tight as possible or to your preferred tightness. Once tightened, your hand should fit snugly into the glove without any unnecessary movement.

After tightening the web, you should tighten the fingers. The fingers are tightened by first untying the knot on the last finger of the glove. Afterward, pull each lace on each finger’s top and bottom. Pull the untied knot laces to ensure that all the extra lace is tight. Tie the knot as tightly as possible and cut off any excess lace.

When Should A Baseball Glove Be Replaced?

Baseball gloves don’t last forever and must be replaced from time to time. Proper aftercare may extend the life of the glove, but eventually, you would need to replace your glove. Baseball gloves need a replacement for various reasons. However, sometimes gloves don’t need to be replaced but only require maintenance.

  • Broken Laces:Broken baseball glove laces aren’t a big deal. Broken laces won’t require a baseball glove replacement, but the glove will need to be re-laced.
  • Beaten-Up Glove:It may be necessary to replace a baseball glove that is beaten up. In some cases, good cleaning and conditioning could help revitalize it if it just looks old.
  • Floppy Glove:A floppy glove is not a necessary reason to replace a glove. Gloves become floppy after time and will need to be stiffened.

With proper aftercare, a baseball glove can last a long time. However, there are several reasons why a glove replacement might be necessary.

  • Replace your baseball glove when you can’t fix the pocket and the ball slips out. It could be that it has become impossible to tighten the laces any further.
  • When the glove becomes weak and unable to catch the ball, replacing the glove may be the only option. 

The replacement of a baseball glove solely relies on the user. The player using the baseball glove can decide whether they would like to replace the glove or continue using it. As everyone is different, some might prefer a stiff glove while others prefer an old, almost worn-out glove.


Baseball gloves can be stiffened. Stiffening a baseball glove includes cleaning the glove thoroughly, using a leather conditioner to condition it, and tightening the laces of the baseball glove. Stiffening a baseball glove can be done without tools and is relatively easy.


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