Preserving Your Game: How to Store A Softball Glove Properly

Last updated on February 25, 2024

In the heart of every softball enthusiast, their glove holds a story, a piece of their passion for the game. It’s not just leather and stitching; it’s a companion through every catch, every play, and every moment that makes softball more than just a sport. The value of this essential gear goes beyond the field—it extends into how we care for it when the game is done.

Taking the time to store your glove correctly can be the difference between a good season and a great one. It’s about keeping your glove ready for action, ensuring it retains its shape, flexibility, and the comfort of a well-worn fit. This guide aims to bridge the gap between use and preservation. Let’s dive into the art of glove care, exploring steps to safeguard your glove’s youth, ensuring it’s always game-day ready.

Pre-Storage Preparation

Cleaning your glove properly is essential for maintaining its condition and performance. Start by gently wiping the glove with a soft, damp cloth to remove any dirt or dust accumulated from play. For more stubborn stains, a mild solution of soap and water should do the trick without saturating the leather, which could potentially warp or damage it. After cleaning, let the glove air dry in a cool, shaded spot away from direct sunlight to prevent the leather from becoming brittle.

Once the glove is dry, it’s time to condition the leather. Choose a conditioner specifically designed for baseball or softball gloves to ensure it meets the unique demands of the sport. Apply the conditioner evenly with a soft cloth, focusing on areas like the pocket and lacing that often require more moisture. However, it’s important to avoid over-conditioning, as too much can make the glove heavy and less responsive. A balanced application will leave the glove nourished and ready for action, ensuring it remains a vital part of your gear throughout the season.

Choosing the Right Storage Location

Choosing the ideal storage location for your softball glove is more than a matter of convenience; it’s about protecting your investment and ensuring the glove remains in top condition. The key factors to consider are the environmental conditions, specifically temperature and humidity, which can significantly impact the glove’s leather over time.

Temperature plays a critical role in leather care. Extreme heat can dry out the leather, causing it to crack and lose its flexibility, while extreme cold can make the leather stiff and brittle, affecting its performance on the field. Humidity is another critical factor. High humidity levels can lead to the growth of mold and mildew on your glove, which not only damages the leather but can also produce an unpleasant odor. On the other hand, an environment that’s too dry can cause the leather to dehydrate and become brittle. Using a dehumidifier in damp areas or a humidifier in dry climates can help maintain the optimal humidity level for leather preservation.

Ultimately, the best storage location for your glove is a cool, dry place within your home, such as a closet or a drawer in a climate-controlled room. This environment offers protection from the elements and helps maintain the glove’s condition between uses. By taking the time to choose the right storage location, you’re taking an important step in extending the lifespan of your glove, ensuring it remains a reliable part of your gear season after season.

The Proper Way to Store a Softball Glove

After ensuring your glove is clean and finding the perfect spot for it to stay for a while, the focus shifts to how the glove is stored to maintain its shape and readiness. This stage is crucial for keeping your glove in game-ready condition.

Positioning and Support

The first step is to help your glove retain its natural form. Inserting a softball in the pocket is a straightforward yet effective method to keep the pocket’s shape. The common myth is to then wrap your glove with a band or a belt. This isn’t your gloves natural form and after a period without using it, your glove will stay this way. You actually want to ensure your glove has some breathing room and let it sit in it’s natural position. After breaking in your glove to your liking, you want it to maintain that exact shape all through the offseason.

Using a Glove Bag

Beyond just storing your glove, protecting it from external elements like dust, dirt, and potential accidents is a great habit to be in. A glove bag or breathable container will do the trick just fine. The importance here is on the bag being breathable, allowing for air circulation to prevent any moisture buildup that could lead to mold or mildew. Before placing the glove in its bag, ensure it’s completely dry to avoid trapping any moisture inside. This bag then acts as a protective barrier, ensuring the glove remains in top condition, ready for the next use.

Group of softball bags on the field

In-Season Storage

Navigating through a bustling season, your glove becomes a trusted companion, sharing in every triumph and challenge on the field. To maintain its prime condition with the daily use and travel it gets through a season, a dedicated approach to care is pivotal.

When packing your glove away, whether heading to practice or hitting the road for games, a little forethought can make a big difference. Start by making sure your glove isn’t tossed in haphazardly with the rest of your gear. Instead, find a spot in your bag that allows it to sit naturally, without being crushed or bent. This helps maintain its shape and prevents any unnecessary stress on the leather and stitching.

For added protection, consider using a soft towel or a custom glove wrap. This can provide a buffer between your glove and the rest of your equipment, safeguarding it against scuffs and compression. It’s also wise to ensure the glove is dry before it goes into your bag; especially after those rainy games. Storing a damp glove can lead to mildew or other moisture-related damage over time.

Lastly, think about air circulation. If your bag will be stored in a trunk or a locker for an extended period, leaving a small opening for air can help prevent any buildup of musty odors and keep the glove’s leather in better condition.


Adopting a thoughtful approach to glove care, from regular maintenance to strategic storage, enriches your experience on and off the field. By treating your glove with the respect it deserves, you’re not just looking after a piece of equipment; you’re investing in your performance, ensuring that every catch, throw, and play is supported by gear that’s as ready and reliable as you are. This commitment to excellence, mirrored in the care you give your glove, sets the foundation for a season of success, fostering a deep connection with the game that lasts well beyond the final out.

Older glove on a bench.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I leave my glove in my car or equipment bag for extended periods?

Storing your glove in a car or equipment bag for long periods isn’t ideal. High temperatures in a car can dry out and crack the leather, while a lack of ventilation in a bag can lead to moisture build-up, causing mold. Instead, opt for a more glove-friendly environment that’s cool and dry.

What are the benefits of using a glove bag for storage?

Investing in a glove bag offers several advantages. It not only keeps your glove free from dust and dirt but also ensures it retains its shape, thanks to the structured space that prevents other equipment from squashing it. Plus, the added air circulation helps keep mold at bay.

How can I reshape a glove that has flattened or warped over time?

If your glove has lost its shape or become warped, a bit of TLC can often bring it back to life. Start with a thorough cleaning and conditioning to make the leather more malleable. Then, going through the process of breaking it in again will start to bring it back into its original form. Allow it to rest in a neutral environment for a few days. If your glove still doesn’t feel right, professional services might be needed to fully restore its shape and function.

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