The Best Baseball Glove Oil
One of the methods I recommend involves the use of baseball oil (or conditioner – they’ll be used interchangeably through out this article).
A Snapshot of the Three High Quality Products
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Should You Even Use Conditioner or Oil?
There are only three reasons I’ll break out the glove conditioner or oil. First, if I’m trying to restore an old glove that is brittle and stiff I’ll use some Rawlings Primo Glove Butter on it. This stuff is magical in terms of being able to bring a glove back from the dead.
The second reason I’ll use oil is if I don’t have a lot of time to break in a new glove. If I have a few weeks I’ll avoid the oil all together and do it the right way and play catch with it.
The final reason I’ll use glove conditioner is if the leather starts to become stiff. During the season I’ll apply a few coats on as needed. I’m undoubtedly reducing the life span of my gloves but that’s something I’m willing to accept to ensure the leather always feels exceptional.
Glove oil isn’t as harsh as some of the other techniques commonly used to break in a baseball glove, but it still breaks down the leather. I’ve never seen a manufacturer claim it helps prolong the life of a glove.
Glove Oil and Conditioner Reviews
Nokona’s glove conditioner is my personal favorite. It doesn’t stain and it helps to break in a glove quickly. I don’t always use oils and conditioners but when I do this is my preference.
The primary difference between the Nokona conditioner and other oils/conditioners on the market is it’s base is petroleum jelly. After doing extensive research, I found petroleum jelly is generally gentler on a glove than an oil based product.
For restoring an old stiff glove, Rawlings Primo Glove Butter is the best choice. This oil base glove conditioner has Shea Butter (which is why it’s pretty expensive) that can help rejuvenate older gloves.
I don’t recommend using it on new gloves, but if you’ve got an old mitt in the attic collecting dust you’ll be amazed at how quickly this glove butter can restore it.
I have two concerns when it comes to applying the Primo Glove Butter. First off, being oil based it is harder on the leather. Secondly, their is a high probability that your glove will change color. Particularly if the glove is light brown, expect it to be a little darker after the treatment.
This is also one of the more expensive glove conditioners on the market.
The Wilson Glove Oil is a spray application, whereas both the Nokona and the Rawlings are pastes. This is product is cheaper than the other two options. I wouldn’t use it on a more expensive glove, but if you need to quickly break in an inexpensive glove this stuff will do the trick.
That About Sums It Up
If you must use glove conditioner or oil purchase it from a glove manufacturer. Always keep in mind that the primary purpose for using oil isn’t to extend the life of a glove, it’s to speed up the breaking in process.