Introduction to Restringing a Baseball Glove

A baseball glove, to many players, is not a mere accessory; it is a tool, a companion, an extension of oneself on the field. Often, a player’s glove goes beyond just being a piece of protective equipment; it transfigures into a token of many memorable catches, wild throws, and triumphant games. Over time, and with regular wear and tear, baseball gloves require routine maintenance and occasional repair. One such common repair task involves the restringing or relacing of the glove. This article will guide you on how to restring a baseball glove, thus impelling the love between you and your glove to continue growing.

The Importance of a Baseball Glove in the Game

Every sport requires its unique set of equipment, and baseball is no exception. From bats to balls and batting helmets to catcher’s gear, the items used in baseball are crucial to the sport. However, one piece of equipment–the glove–holds a special place. A baseball glove is a large leather glove worn by baseball players of the defending team. They use it in catching and fielding balls hit by a batter or thrown by a teammate.

A properly maintained and reliable baseball glove can significantly impact a player’s performance. From making long-range catches to stopping ground balls, the glove’s condition can impact a player’s timing, accuracy, and overall performance. A well-timed catch can potentially change the result of the entire game, highlighting the importance of a well-maintained glove.

The Critical Need for Regular Glove Maintenance and Repair

A worn-out glove, with its weakened and loosened laces, might not offer the necessary support to catch a fast-moving ball, potentially putting the players at risk of injury. Furthermore, a glove in poor condition can act as a deterrent to the player’s performance. Players often develop a sense of comfort with their gloves; a well-broken-in glove molds to the player’s hand, increasing the glove’s flexibility and making it a seamless extension of the arm. Keeping this comfort intact necessitates regular glove maintenance.

Relacing or restringing a baseball glove is a crucial aspect of maintenance. The laces on a glove undergo extreme stress during a game and are susceptible to snapping or loosening over time due to constant stretching. Regular restringing ensures that the laces are taut and the glove remains the right shape and tension, providing optimal performance.

Reasons for Learning How to Restring a Glove

Learning how to re-lace a baseball glove is not merely an essential skill but also a cost-effective one. Professional restringing services can be expensive, and the costs can add up over time. On the other hand, understanding how to do it yourself reduces costs and saves time.

Besides these practical advantages, restringing offers an avenue for players to feel more connected to the game. The intricate practice of weaving new laces through the worn channels of a well-used glove feels like a ritual—a communion of player, glove, and game. It adds to the entire baseball experience, providing a deeper connection to the equipment, fostering a sense of ownership, and enhancing the game’s appreciation.

Tools that are Essential for Restringing a Baseball Glove

Let’s begin by understanding and gathering the right tools and materials that you would require to embark on your glove restringing journey.

how to restring a baseball glove

Discovering the Right Laces for Your Baseball Glove

Start with the laces, the central farcical element for this process. Baseball gloves typically require around three to four laces of approximately 72 inches each, depending on the glove’s size and style. However, certain glove types, including trapeze gloves, catcher’s gloves, or first baseman’s mitts, might require more—generally, about six laces.

Quality laces are usually crafted from genuine top-grain rawhide leather, ensuring durable and reliable performance. These laces come in a variety of tints and hues to match or contrast your glove’s color.

Other Tools Required: U-Wire, Conditioner, and Knife

Beyond the laces, you will also require a U-wire or a straight-lace grooved needle. This tool aids in threading the lace through the leather glove, especially through tight areas.

A conditioner (preferably leather conditioner) is another tool required for this process. Conditioning not only helps in rejuvenating worn-out leather but also makes the new laces more flexible and easier to thread through the glove.

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Lastly, a knife or any sharp tool helps remove the existing worn-out laces and trim the new ones after tying them up.

Where to Buy these Tools

All these tools and materials required for restringing a baseball glove are readily available in local sports equipment stores. They are also available online on ecommerce platforms like Amazon, sporting stores like Dick’s Sporting Goods, or specialty baseball equipment stores.

Preparation Before Starting the Restringing Process

Once you have gathered all the essential tools, you can start preparing for the process of re-lacing your glove.

Importance of Drawing a Diagram or Taking Photographs

Before even thinking of removing the old laces, it is crucial to remember how they were originally strung through the glove, to re-lace it accurately and maintain the glove’s shape and structure. To do this, either draw a diagram of the existing lacing pattern or take some clear photographs to refer back to them during the process. This step is particularly critical for those re-lacing their glove for the first time.

The First Step: Removing Worn-out Laces

Once you have your diagram or photographs, you can start removing the old, worn-out laces. Use the knife or a similar sharp tool to cut and remove these laces. It is advisable, particularly for beginners, to remove and replace one lace at a time to avoid any confusion later.

Applying Conditioner and Its Benefits

After removing the old laces, the next step is to apply the conditioner. It is especially important to apply the conditioner to areas that were previously hard to reach with the laces intact, for example, areas between the gloves’ fingers. This step helps moisturize and rejuvenate the worn-out and dried out leather, making it softer and more flexible for the new laces.

The conditioner should also be applied to the new laces before re-lacing. Conditioning the laces softens and moisturizes them, making them easy to handle and thread through the glove without breaking or fraying.

The Process of Relacing: A Step-by-Step Guide

how to restring a baseball glove

Now, with the baseball glove conditioned and prepped, let us delve headfirst into the process of re-lacing.

Pre-conditioning Your New Laces

Before commencing the re-lacing process, pre-conditioning the new laces can be beneficial. As discussed earlier in preparation, this step ensures that the laces are soft, pliable, and easy to handle, making them easier to thread through the leather glove.

Starting Point: Working on the Toughest Area First

When it comes to restringing a baseball glove, it is generally best to start from the hardest or the most complicated areas. In most cases, this area would be the palm or, in certain gloves, the webbing’s bottom part. Starting from the toughest area ensures that you deal with the hardest part when you are the most focused and energized.

While threading the laces, make sure that the smooth side of the lace is facing outwards. Not only does this provide a polished look to the glove, but it also helps reduce friction and stress on the lace, prolonging its life.

Importance of Smooth Side Exposure of the Lace during the Process

Choosing which side of the lace to expose might seem to be a trivial detail, but it is one that bears significance both for aesthetic and practical reasons. The eyelet side (rough side) has a pronounced texture which can potentially increase the lace’s wear and tear since it creates more friction when the lace is run through through the holes. Consequently, the smooth side of the lace is conventionally turned outwards when lacing a baseball glove. This also provides a polished look to the glove.

Understanding Glove Lacing Patterns

Successfully re-lacing a glove requires understanding common lacing patterns. Without considerably explicit instructions or a glove lacing diagram, this could be a little tricky to comprehend initially.

Common Lacing Patterns in Most Gloves

Although specific glove types may have individual lacing idiosyncrasies, most conventional gloves follow a ‘lace, lace, lace, space, lace, lace, lace’ pattern. This pattern signifies the way the laces are passed through the holes, with a ‘space’ indicating skipping a hole before proceeding with the lacing.

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How to Follow a Lacing Pattern When Restringing

Following the pattern mentioned above, start by threading the lace through the first hole, skipping the fourth hole and continue the process. Ensuring the laces are evenly spaced and there are no twists will help achieve a neater look and make the glove more comfortable to wear.

This need for understanding the lacing pattern further stresses the importance of having a diagram or photographs of the original lacing pattern. Especially for baseball glove restringing beginners, having a reference to the original lacing pattern provides a concrete plan of action to avoid any confusion.

Finishing Up: Creating a Knot and Securing the Lace

The final step for the glove re-lacing involves creating a knot and securing the laces appropriately to ensure the glove’s form, tension, and structurality.

How to Tie Off a Knot in the Relacing Process

As you reach the end of the lacing process, check that the laces are at their desired tension and make final adjustments. Proceed to tie off a knot using the closest lace hole to the end of the lace. This knot tightens and secures the newly replaced lace and helps it stay in place despite the intense action during a game.

Leaving Some Lace Remaining: Why and How Much?

When securing the knot, it is recommended to leave some length of the lace uncut. A leftover length of around a couple of inches would suffice. This residual lace is a precaution to allow for potential future adjustments. It would also be beneficial in case of breakages. This remnant lace could buy you some time and wouldn’t require an immediate re-lacing from scratch.

Final Thoughts: The Impact of Restringing on a Baseball Glove’s Lifespan

Learning how to restring a baseball glove and performing regular maintenance on it can significantly extend the glove’s lifespan. It could rejuvenate a seemingly ‘past its best’ glove and potentially give it a new lease of life.

How Restringing Extends the Lifespan of Your Glove

With regular use, the laces on a baseball glove tend to wear out, eventually leading to breakages. While the glove’s leather body can often withstand this usage, the laces may not be as resilient. Regular re-lacing repairs any minor damages before they become significant issues, thus prolonging the glove’s lifespan.

Regular restringing also helps maintain the glove’s form and structure. Over time, you could practically restore the glove to how it felt when it was brand-new, affording the same level of comfort, feel, and game-enhancing fit as before.

Becoming Competitive: The Skill of Restringing over Time

Beyond the practical necessity and benefits, learning to restring your baseball glove also allows players to customize their gloves. Experienced re-lacers even adapt different lacing styles, colors, and patterns to give their glove a unique, personalized touch.

Moreover, the mere process of restringing a baseball glove could be a serene and meditative endeavor. It keeps you deeply connected with the sport and gives you a valuable skill that could make you more self-reliant as a player.

In conclusion, the ability to restring a baseball glove not only helps you bond with your glove better but also prepares you for unforeseen emergencies on the field. It ensures you give your baseball glove the care it deserves so that it, in turn, can continue to protect and assist you during the games, in the many victorious catches and triumphant throws that lie ahead.

Step-by-Step Guide to Restring a Baseball Glove

1. Diagram & PicturesBefore you remove the broken or ripped laces, draw a diagram or take pictures of the glove from multiple angles.
2. Remove LacesIf it’s your first time re-lacing a glove, replace each lace one hole at a time to avoid confusion.
3. Apply ConditionerOnce the laces are removed, apply conditioner to the glove. Ensure it reaches all areas including between the fingers and other less accessible areas. Use sparingly.
4. Condition LacesBefore you begin re-lacing, rub conditioner on the laces to make them easier to thread through the holes.
5. Form Hole & Tie KnotOn one end of the lace, make a small hole and thread your u-wire needle through it. Tie a knot at the other end of the lace.
6. Begin Re-lacingStart with the toughest area to re-lace, which typically is the palm area. Keep the smooth side of the lace exposed.
7. Follow PatternThe typical pattern to follow for the series of holes is lace, lace, lace, space, lace, lace, lace.
8. Reach Web AreaWhen you arrive at the area where the web should be, use the nearest hole and tie off a knot, leaving enough to tie it up later.
9. Complete Re-lacingComplete the lacing following the previous steps until the glove is fully relaced.

Tools Needed for Re-lacing a Baseball Glove

LacesUsually come in lengths of 72 inches. A typical glove needs 3 – 4 laces. More might be needed for gloves with variations.
U-Wire or Grooved NeedleEssential to pierce holes and guide laces.
ConditionerHelps to keep the glove supple and easy to work with. It also makes laces easier to thread.
KnifeUseful to cut or adjust laces as needed.

Insights on Restringing a Baseball Glove

As a baseball expert, I have a lot of knowledge and information to share on the topic of “how to re-lace a baseball glove.” I believe that taking care of your sports equipment, especially a baseball glove, is a vital part of the game. Let’s delve into some insights on maintaining our gloves.

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The Importance of Re-Lacing

One of the most overlooked aspects of maintaining a glove is the act of re-stringing or re-lacing it. Many players simply discard their gloves when they start to notice wear and tear. However, what they don’t realize is that the glove could be perfectly functional with a little bit of TLC, and that’s where re-lacing comes in. It’s essentially giving your glove a second life, and that’s why understanding how to re-lace is so crucial.

The Intuitiveness of the Process

Despite initial perceptions, the process of re-lacing a baseball glove isn’t as complex as it might seem. It’s essentially dissecting and rebuilding your glove, much like a puzzle. The steps outlined above are straightforward. Don’t forget to take pictures of your glove before you start de-lacing it; this will act as the blueprint when you start reassembling it!

Hidden Areas Need Love Too

While re-lacing your glove, it’s important not to overlook areas that are usually hidden when the laces are intact, such as between the fingers. These areas need conditioning as well to ensure optimum performance and longevity of your glove.

Regular Maintenance of Your Glove

Re-lacing isn’t just for when your glove is on its last leg. As a best practice, one should regularly maintain their glove by conditioning it and checking the laces for any damage. Frequent inspection and care of your glove will lead to better game performance, as your glove will always be in top form.

The Inexpensive Lifesaver

A remarkable point about re-lacing is that it’s a simple and inexpensive way to extend the lifespan of your glove. With the proper tools and the discipline to regularly care for your glove, it becomes an affordable solution to make the most out of your sporting equipment. Based on all these insights, I encourage all players to get familiar with the process of re-lacing their baseball gloves. This simple yet vital skill can make a huge difference to both the game and your wallet.


What is the significance of a baseball or softball glove for a player?

A baseball or softball glove is more than just a piece of equipment for a player. It’s considered an extension of themselves, a tool that they take care of from breaking it in to protecting it during regular usage. Due to regular wear and tear, players have to repair their glove when a lace snaps or when a ball breaks through its webbing.

What tools do I need to re-lace my baseball or softball glove?

To properly re-lace your glove, you will need the following tools:

  1. Laces – Typically, gloves require around 3-4 laces of 72 inches each. Gloves like trapeze gloves, catcher’s gloves, or first basemen’s mitts may require more – typically six.
  2. U-wire or straight-lace grooved needle
  3. Conditioner
  4. Knife

Is re-lacing a baseball glove a complicated process?

The process of re-lacing a baseball glove might seem overwhelming initially, but it is rather straightforward. Following a certain series of steps can make the process swift and hassle-free.

What are the steps for re-lacing a baseball or softball glove?

To have your glove re-laced, follow these steps:

  1. Diagram or Photos – Before removing the worn-out laces, draw a diagram or take pictures of the glove from multiple angles. This will help you remember the original lacing pattern. If it’s your first time re-lacing, remove and replace one lace at a time to avoid confusion.
  2. Apply Conditioner – After removing the old laces, apply conditioner in areas that are usually hard to reach when the laces are intact, such as between the fingers.
  3. Condition the Laces – Before you start re-lacing, use some conditioner on the laces to make threading them through the holes easier.
  4. Start with the Toughest Area – Begin re-lacing from the most complicated area, usually the palm. While threading the laces, ensure that the smooth side of the lace is exposed.
  5. Follow a Pattern – Most gloves follow the ‘lace, lace, lace, space, lace, lace, lace’ pattern.
  6. Tie off a Knot – When you reach the area where the web should be, use the closest lace hole and tie off a knot, leaving some lace remaining and untied for later.

Why should I consider re-lacing my glove?

Re-lacing your glove is a simple and inexpensive way to extend the lifespan of your glove. Furthermore, with a bit of patience and practice, you will find it to be easier than anticipated.

By Joseph Johnson

Joseph Johnson is the main writer on the site. He prepares up-to-date news and reviews on baseball.