Like other lacrosse equipment, lacrosse gloves have seen great development over recent years. They are a very important piece of equipment as they protect players’ hands from slashes and heavy checks. So lacrosse brands spent years perfecting the materials and functionalities for players to shoot and pass with comfort and confidence.
Brand new gloves are awesome. They offer the best protection and comfort. That said, brand new gloves are stiff and tend to pinch. In order to speed up the process, you want to break in your lacrosse gloves. In this post, you will learn how to break in lacrosse gloves in the best and most efficient way.
Read also: Best Lacrosse Gloves in 2022
What are lacrosse gloves made of
Gloves are mostly made of synthetic leather and mesh materials. Essentially each pair of gloves consists of three parts, thick foam padding on the back of the hand, leather material covering the forearms and a mix of synthetic and mesh materials inside the palm.
The design centers around one main focus which is to protect your hands from heavy hits. The padding and covering ensure your hands are free from pain and bruises.
Two noticeable improvements that allow most recent gloves to require less break in time are softer mesh materials and built in venting design. Compare to the old leather materials, the mix of synthetic leather and mesh is naturally softer and flexible. Plus with advanced ventilating capability, air flowing in and out of the gloves allows the materials to soften further.
If you feel the need to break in your brand new gloves. Here are some tried and true ways to break in your new gloves.
Soften up the leather
One common way that athletes do to soften the leather is to pour hot water over the gloves and set them aside to soak up the water. And after the water drys up, wipe down your gloves completely with a towel.
Additionally, you could also apply some glove oil in areas particularly the palm to soften up the leather. Only apply a moderate amount. Too much oil will make the gloves greasy and lose grip.
I recommend this glove oil on Amazon as it’s specifically made for breaking in without damaging the leather.
Fold and unfold your gloves
Typically a pair of brand new gloves are stiff around the fingers and the thumbs. If that’s the case, beat up your gloves consistently by folding and unfolding them. This method simply uses brute force so expect to spend some time doing it.
For example, after training, take an extra few minutes breaking them in. Depending on the types of gloves you have, it could take 3-5 days of constant effort to fully break in your gloves.
Practice with them
No methods beat hard and productive practice in your new gloves. It takes time to get comfortable with new gear, so be sure to wear them frequently, in the beginning, to get comfortable. Cradle in the new gloves. Play wall ball in the new gloves. The sweats will also help soften the materials.
This is not only a great exercise to break in your gloves quickly but also improve your stick skills. Therefore, this is definitely the best and most popular way players opt in to break in their gloves.
As we mentioned before, lacrosse gloves are now highly advanced. Even without any breaking in, they are already soft and flexible enough for immediate use. Therefore, you don’t need to take any unorthodox method to break in your gloves other than normal use.
Watch this clip below to see how laxers break in their gloves
Should you cut the palms out of your gloves
As you grow your lacrosse skills, you start to develop gear preferences that give you the best ability to compete. Among many things pro athletes do, one gear alteration is cutting the palms out of their gloves. This could make your broke in gloves even more comfortable to wear.
Currently, only professional leagues like PLL allow athletes to cut off their palms. Which means if you play NFHS or NCAA lacrosse, you will not be allowed to cut the glove palms out. This special customization is reserved for the highest-level lacrosse players.
That said, personally, I don’t think standard palm gloves limit your performance in a significant way. Here are some of my thoughts you can use as a reference to decide if palmless gloves are for you.
Two great advantages of palmless gloves are superior hand control and ventilation. Cutting out the palm offers you an added touch of natural stick feel. This is the best you can do to minimize the extra padding and materials getting in the way of your hand control.
Another big benefit is having additional breathability. Sweats trapped inside the gloves can result in an uncomfortable experience. A cutout ensures the best flow of air in and out of the gloves.
Read also: How to air out your equipment
When it comes to disadvantages, one is most levels of lacrosse don’t allow players to cut out their palms. The regulations around palmless gloves are quite restricted. Another is it requires some practice and some gloves aren’t made to have the palms cut out. Thus, you need to make sure the gloves you have won’t break when attempting to cut out the palms.
Watch this clip where Greg from ECD demonstrates how to cut out the palms from his gloves:
Gloves are vital to your lacrosse success, so be patient and make sure to properly break them in. And if you are looking to buy a pair of new gloves, I would recommend you purchase them a few weeks before the season starts to give yourself enough time to get comfortable with them.