Today's hockey gloves are much lighter than the old leather gloves. This makes them much easier to break in. Most hockey gloves are made of a breathable mesh material covering a heavy, shock-absorbing foam on the back of the hand, and a suede or leather palm.
The toughest part of breaking in a new pair of hockey gloves is making sure you can easily feel the stick in your hands, and have the flexibility to move your fingers and form a grip. Stiff gloves can hamper your game on the ice and cause problems when trying to stick handle.
Put the gloves on your hands and open and close your fists. This will help you figure out how much the gloves need to be broken in. If they are easy to move, you won't need to break them in as much as if the gloves are extremely stiff.
Grip a hockey stick while wearing the gloves. Place a puck or hockey ball on the ground and stick handle. If it is easy to stick handle with the new gloves, you don't need to break the gloves in any further. If they feel stiff, or you can't feel the stick properly, you will need to continue to break them in.
Fill a large bowl or sink with cold water. Soak the palms of the gloves in the water overnight, or until fully saturated with water.
Remove the gloves from the water and allow them to dry completely. The gloves must have ample time to fully dry prior to playing with them for optimal softness.
Bake the gloves in a skate oven if they are still too stiff to use. The gloves only need a couple of minutes in a skate oven at a lower temperature to heat the suede and allow it to soften.