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What’s the secret of successful baseball defenders? That’s correct: a best-in-class pair of gloves! They normally use leather for the production of such products, as it’s a more durable material to resist intense hits and ensure outstanding performance.
Yet not unlike any other leather-bound sportswear, such gloves require plenty of care and moisturising to remain pristine. Leather conditioner comes to the rescue for this! Not only does good-quality conditioner give an easy break in a new leather glove but also helps to revive old ones, preventing them from damage.
Real leather gloves can grow stiff from inactivity and exposure to sunlight or other sources of heat, which can be a blow to your catching ability. To keep your leather glove in a tip top shape or break in your newly-bought ones, manufacturer-approved conditioners should be your go-to.
For this reason, it’s advisable that you keep chapstick, vaseline petroleum jelly and olive oil at bay, for they could ruin the leather leaving it oily in texture, heavy in touch or completely dried out. The market is brimming with oils and softeners for your leather gloves, but it’s vital to identify their differences and target those that serve your new and/or old gloves best. You might pick a different product for your brand-new leather glove than a player who has dug out and wants to refresh his grandfather’s old baseball glove. Like, 65-years-of-age old. While some products are made for breaking in, others are all about reconditioning and preserving.
In this article, we cut through the noise of great brands on the market and share with you the five (5) best-selling baseball glove conditioners.
The Wilson Pro Stock Glove Conditioner is a you-ask-it-delivers type of baseball glove conditioner that works miracles. The waxy texture of this product is perfect for keeping the hardened or weathered surface of old gloves smooth and lubricated. This 2-ounce canister is organically produced in the USA. It’s safe and easy to use on your older gloves that need a loosening up, as well as on your freshly-bought baseball gloves that need a good break-in.
This conditioner may not fully bring your yearly old and worn gloves to life, but it will improve them considerably. A minor niggle which may bother you is that the glove conditioner can give a colour effect on your baseball glove. If you deem the colour aspect as secondary and simply want an everlasting effect, then this is a must-have.
This is another game-changer in the baseball glove conditioner arena. However, if you search for an all-around product that will facilitate your break-in, then you might give this one a pass. Although it’s not suitable for breaking in new gloves, it’s one of the top-ranked conditioners in the market designed to protect and maintain your gloves.
The Hot Glove Cream Conditioner is made with nature-based ingredients, including Vitamin E and lanolin that smooth and preserve leather gloves. This USA made glove conditioner is safe because it’s free of toxins. It adds a tacky feel in the glove, which helps in catching the ball. Rest assured that its water-resistant and lightweight formula will neither saturate nor overweigh your baseball gloves.
In short, the conditioner helps to protect and prolong the lifespan of baseball gloves.
Known for its leather dressing, RAWLINGS GLVBALM Glovolium Glove Balm gets high marks for its ability to make old rigid baseball gloves more supple.
The Rawlings Glovolium Glove Rub is a first-rate rub with organic emollients to ease break in, maintain, and protect your glove. The rub consists of mink oil and is best used with fingers and “massaged” thoroughly into the leather fibers.
Nokona NLT Classic Leather Glove Conditioner is a trending brand. For years, this gloves conditioner has been providing top-notch experience to expert players who use their baseball gloves on a professional level. This little tube of Nokona conditioner made of paraffin and mineral oils helps with glove softening and maintenance. For a long-lasting result, use a small amount, dab your glove gently and you’re good to go!
It has a proven oiling formula. That means it’s not only best for breaking in new gloves or for an old stiff pair, but it’s also the first choice for cleaning and maintaining glove shape.
Glove Oils VS Glove Conditioners
Albeit similar and applicable for pretty much the same purposes, leather oils and conditioners should not be thought as interchangeable.
This is because they have different functions. A baseball glove conditioner is used for maintenance of already broken in leather. It’s for old gloves that need a softening retouch before season kicks off. Baseball glove oil, on the other hand, helps break-in new leather gloves and reduces firmness from factory packaging. Many of our reviewed options are versatile enough to do both, but it’s the nuances that matter.
We outline some prerequisites and commercial factors that you should take into account when choosing the best products—some of which are up to your preference. This will give you a well-informed insight on what and how to choose the best glove conditioner before proceeding to checkout.
Thick balm or spray applicator, that is the question!
An initial conundrum to resolve is whether you need a thick balm that takes a good rubbing into the leather or an easy, on-the-go spray applicator for your gloves. Whereas some consumers opt the old-school “balmy” oils due to their long-term benefits, pro-spraying users favour convenience without worrying as much about any lasting results. In either case, we suggest that you wipe the dust or debris off your baseball gloves prior to full application.
When shopping for a conditioner, it’s equally important to be mindful of the risks of leather discoloration. Some of the products listed below are likely to change your glove colour, so being extra careful when choosing a product that won’t affect it (if colour is a priority for you) is key.
Package Cost and Size
You might also want to consider price and bottle size when buying your ideal baseball glove conditioner. A product that works well is worth investing in, so while cheap conditioners are effective, it may be wise to wait until the ones with a hefty price tag go on discount. Besides, some of the more expensive options arrive with a microfiber cloth and other supplies, which is a bonus.
Leather conditioners which are synonymous with quality are the ones that only contain natural ingredients. The addition of synthetics and other artificial elements, such as petroleum distillates, to products manufactured for baseball gloves may keep cost lower but are detrimental to their value and efficiency.
Before you finalise your purchase, pop your product analyst hat on and carry out your research. Read the label of the item you’re interested in and make sure it features Neatsfoot, mink oil, beeswax, or a blend of all these best oils and natural leather conditioners. Pine tar is another highly demanded organic item, because it makes a great baseball glove softener. These 100% natural attributes in leather conditioners do not simply qualify as glove-saviours, but they’re also non-toxic. Therefore, you can indulge in good use of them without stressing about rashes and other skin allergies.
How to apply
Make sure you’re armed with the best baseball glove conditioner—one that makes the application an easy-peasy process. Bottles with spill-free edges or the ones coming with applicators are the best picks. You can also grab spray bottles, for which you won’t even need a piece of cloth to work in the product. Use the conditioner after you let your glove rest for a couple of days. Apply just a small blob and rub it across the spot locations. Let it sit for another two days afterward. If the stiffness persists, reapply.
What makes a good purchase? Of course, product analysis! Whenever choosing your baseball gloves conditioners, avoid those that only enable the breaking in of leather. A premium conditioning treatment does not just break in a baseball glove, but it also withstands moisture. The water-resistance done by the conditioner prevents the snaps that a leather baseball glove usually develops through the years.
The conditioner you’ll end up getting won’t display results on your leather baseball glove immediately. The cheap conditioning products with synthetics often do that. They help the breaking-in phase but fall short of keeping up with the regular conditioning of its leather.
Bottomline: the best baseball glove conditioner is made with all-natural ingredients.
My final thoughts on the best baseball glove conditioner
The Wilson Pro Stock Glove Conditioner! Why do we believe it’s the top player in its field? Well, compared to other brands in our list, it’s an all-in-one product that ticks all the boxes of its category. Not only is it affordable and easy to use, it accommodates the needs of both old and new baseball gloves as well.
A leather baseball glove that has been moisturised and broken-in smoothly promises a secure grip of the ball. Whether it’s a powerful shot of the batter or a throw by a teammate, a finely-conditioned glove eliminates the chances of missing the ball. Our recommended products offer you a game-ready glove for multiple seasons of use. Remember that for a top-performing experience when hitting the field, it’s best to strike a balance between conditioning and keeping your gear in constant playing mode.