Head protection is a very important element in sports like boxing, muay thai, kickboxing, and many others where you have to get hit. Yes, of course, it won’t help against concussion, but it can save your face from bruises, abrasions, scratches, and help your nose and jaw stay unbroken, and although there is still a chance of injury, with a headgear the chance of staying nice and in one piece becomes higher.
When you watch a fight on TV, you may notice that professional fighters don’t have a head guard, but it’s all about the rules of professional boxing or MMA.
Besides, all professional boxers train with headgear, because any unfortunate, even a minor injury in training can prevent them from showing their best side during the fight, and to enter the ring already beaten during hard sparring, probably, is not the most unpleasant case.
Therefore, if you care about your appearance and health, and especially if martial arts are not your main occupation in life, it is highly recommended to use a helmet during training (if you are a professional fighter) or in training and amateur competitions (if you are an amateur fighter).
Just like boxing gloves or wraps, you have to choose a headgear because there are so many brands and varieties. In this article, we will present our top of the best headgear and help you decide what you need.
Tips for choosing the best headgear for boxing (varieties).
Regular Boxing headgear
The main target in boxing is your head. The best boxing headgears have a sleeker design which allows for better visibility of your opponent’s punches and movements. This allows you to respond quickly.
You should be aware that boxing headgears can vary depending on their intended use.
The boxing competition headgear has fewer blind spots and is sleeker. The padding is also less than that of sparring counterparts to allow for quick head movements. You should ensure that the target model you are seeking is compliant with US Boxing or AIBA requirements if you want to use a head guard for competition. You might be banned from wearing it in the ring if you don’t meet their requirements.
Sparring headgear has significantly higher padding than real-fight helmets. They may have different protective features, so they might look slightly different. Some models offer complete-face protection and are therefore known as Face Savers. These types offer the best protection against cuts and bruises on the face. They can be very difficult to see, which is their main drawback.
Next is the sparring headgear that focuses on cheek protection. These guards are also known as Mexican-style guards. They can be difficult to find, and will likely cost more than full-face options. They are a mix of full-face and open-face sparring gear. This protects a large part of your face but doesn’t reduce visibility.
Open-face sparring headgear
Open-face sparring headgear is just that… it leaves a large portion of your face exposed. These models are easy to find online as well as in most local shops. They appeal mainly to those who dislike feeling enclosed (claustrophobia). They are very visible, which is their main advantage. Their greatest disadvantage is their poor visibility. This means that a large portion of your face, namely the cheeks and eyes as well as the chin, are open to potential strikes that could cause bleeding and bruises.
Different types of headgear
Open face. Amateur athletes use it in competitions. Protects the forehead, ears, and eyes with good visibility.
With closed cheeks. Used in sparring drills. Side protection is higher than the combat helmet. Mexican style headgear also belongs to this kind, though differs from the usual headgear in that it has a larger coverage area on the cheeks than usual.
With full protection. This is used for sparring. This provides maximum safety for the head of the athlete.
Boxing headgear for nose protection. During training sparring, is worn on the head of boxers. This helmet provides maximum protection for the front. This helmet is perfect for amateur boxers who only occasionally use it and for those who value the lack of marks on their faces.
Tips for choosing the best headgear for boxing (what to look for).
Fit and Comfort
When choosing headgear, it is important to consider the following: For maximum protection, make sure you choose the right size for your head.
It is possible to get the wrong size for your head. There are two main rules or ideas that you should keep in mind. You should only buy the best boxing gear.
You can first check the loop closures and loose straps. This will allow you to adjust them manually. It should not be loose enough to allow the entire headgear to move around when you’re fighting in the ring.
Another important part of your headgear is the inner side. It can be irritating and it is very annoying for many people. This is a topic of debate. Some object to softening insides. Others feel furry linings conceal dirt, especially in stock and used helmets.
COVERAGE VS. VISIBILITY
We mentioned earlier that boxing headgear can be purchased in different styles depending on how much coverage they provide. Full-face protectors protect the entire head, while open-face models only cover a small portion of the face. Visibility is sacrificed for more coverage. It is also true that vice versa.
It all boils down to the most important thing you value: protection or visibility. The old saying in boxing is that the invisible punch knocks you out. We would advise that you value visibility more than your defense.
Materials and stitching quality
Quality materials are used in construction. A well-constructed headgear will last more than a decade. These headgears will provide safety and comfort. Both stitching quality and material are important. It is not necessary to have headgear that breaks apart from the stitching after only a few uses.
The best material for contact sports is leather. It is also durable and breathable. Although it is expensive initially, the gear lasts a long time. If you have a tight budget, synthetics may be a better option than leather. However, they are less durable than leather.
Before you buy headgear, there are some important things to consider. You need to have balanced cushioning because too much padding could reduce your visibility. Excessive padding can also make your headless agile.
Extra padding is recommended for those who aren’t very skilled in their moves. If you’re an elite fighter, you should opt for less padding as you can still protect your skills.
Top 8 best boxing headgear.
1. VENUM ELITE BOXING HEADGEAR
The Venum Elite headgear is mid-range and seems to be popular with many thanks to the comments. Its lightweight design makes it possible to punch evade and gives you a great feel with the bat. This headgear is lightweight and best suited for elite fighters who have quick reflexes and head movements. If you’re new to sparring or boxing, we don’t recommend this headgear. It is an excellent choice for experienced athletes, as they will feel extremely lightweight. This headgear is also very breathable.
It is used in the core layer of the foam to absorb and control powerful shots, as well as increase reliability and durability. This foam is great for the head and face. It feels very soft and smooth.
Ultra-lightweight increases head movement speed. Your head can be moved quickly and easily, making it responsive to your opponent.
The right amount of protection is also provided by this headgear around your ears. If a shot hits your face, you can use the Unlike option. As a rearguard, 1.5 inches of padding is used.
2. Hayabusa T3 MMA HEADGEAR
Hayabusa’s tough gear is why it is one of the most trusted brands in the sector. Their gear is not only durable but also meets all aesthetic requirements. The T3 MMA has a low profile construction and a wide viewing angle.
This piece features a full-face design with double straps at the back. It will stay where you put it for as long you have your match. The lightweight and visibility make it easy to forget that you are wearing it. The Hayabusa T3 Series is well worth the extra cost if you are willing to spend.
The CrushZone core of this headgear provides maximum shock absorption and force dispersion.
Hayabusa pays great attention to details and ensures that no detail is overlooked in their work. This headgear is durable and extremely resilient, just as the athletes who wear it.
The outer layer is made from pure leather. The stitching is high-quality for durability. Leather is more durable than synthetic because it resists cutting and breaking. Its feel is a great asset for pro boxers.
3. Winning FG2900 Headgear For Sparring
When it comes to comfort and cushioning, Winning is the preferred choice of professional boxers. Winning is the best choice for protection.
This boxing headgear is perfect for sparring. It fits perfectly and provides excellent comfort. It is also available in different sizes.
Winning FG2900 Headgear For Sparring weighs in at 9 ounces. We don’t like that this Winning boxing headgear doesn’t have much protection at the back.
The FG2900 cheek protectors are soft and comfortable. They offer excellent protection and are lightweight. The padding is great and absorbs shock well, so sparring will be less stressful.
The cheek guards are very visible and provide great protection. You can respond quickly to your opponent’s punches.
Furthermore, the headgear is made of artificial leather which makes it lighter and easier to clean. The price is quite high. However, if you want to get the best, you will have to pay.
4. TITLE Gel World Full-Face Training Headgear
The headgear’s title is designed to cover your entire face. This allows you to confidently present yourself to your competitors. The product is multi-layered with a gel lining and sleek design foam. The product is reliable and comfortable. Additionally, the cheeks are fully covered by Cheeks to ensure that they resist rubbing.
This headgear is fully padded on the cheeks, ears, and forehead, as well as the back. It provides total wraparound coverage as well as a great fit. This headgear is easy to put on and take off because of its simple design. For those customized adjustments, the rear section features a hook-loop with elastic and leather top. They are all made of leather and have standard adjustable straps.
You can also adjust the headgear to make it custom or non-slip. The headgear can be adjusted on the top of the head.
An elastic band allows for adjustment. The strap can be used at the back of your head to adjust the headgear so you feel comfortable.
The fully padded fixed band under the chin is used to adjust your head and allow you to move your head quickly. Keep your eyes on your opponents.
This headgear’s only problem is its interior lining, which isn’t porous. It will slip if it gets wet. This headgear is also very durable and doesn’t need to be re-used. You might need to adjust for your headgear shifting or moving around.
5. Cleto Reyes Traditional Headgear For Nose Protection
Cleto Reyes only uses genuine leather for both the interior and exterior sides of its products. To save money, Cleto Reyes uses synthetic leather on its inner side, which is not the case with most other brands. They can generate heat which may not be pleasant. You sweat a lot.
Cleto Reyes Traditional Headgear For Nose Protection has a 3-point anatomical fit and a hook-and-loop closure at the rear. You can adjust the chin strap and top adjustment with lacing for further adjustments.
This headgear has a lightweight front bar for maximum protection. There’s also latex foam padding that won’t distract from your vision. You’ll be able to see the kicks coming, and you will have a better chance of protecting yourself or defending yourself.
The Cleto Reyes is a light, comfortable, breathable, and secure nylon face bar. It also offers excellent protection. Traditional Headgear is non-obstructive and highly recommended for highly competitive games.
6. EVERLAST EVERFRESH BOXING HEADGEAR
Low-level construction is also affordable here. This being said, this guard is not recommended if you have no other options but to protect yourself during sparring.
The outside of the headgear is made from synthetic leather. This headgear’s inner side is made of unique fabric. Comfortability is assured by a single layer of thick foam padding. Secure against opponent strikes or punches.
Unlike Everfresh, An open-face style headgear. The cheek protectors provide protection from the opponent’s strikes. This allows you to remain confident and be able to quickly respond.
Chin Strap is the unique feature of this headgear. A single Velcro is used to tighten the strap. It can be adjusted to fit your head.
The top of the headgear is not padded. The top is not covered with synthetic leather. However, they cover it in a cross-shaped fashion. The back of the headgear has adjustable straps that cover the head. The padding is thicker than the original. To prevent any strikes or shots, however, this is a cover all-around your headgear.
7. Ringside Competition Headgear
Ringside headgear offers a wide range of sizes and quality, at an affordable price.
The headgear is not competition-approved, but it is good for sparring. Your head and face will be protected by the contoured design, cheek protection, and neck protection. The durable leather construction of the headgear guarantees long-lasting dexterity.
Laminated foam disperses punches effectively so you can concentrate on sparring. It can be used for multiple training sessions, which is the best part. This headgear can be used for Muay Thai and kickboxing as well as other contact sports.
The chin protection could have been thicker, according to our opinion. This means you will need to be more agile to protect your face against any punches. The smaller sizes offer better protection for the chin than the larger ones.
8. Venum Challenger 2.0
The Venum Challenger 2.0 offers a more affordable option to the Elite we reviewed earlier. The Venum Challenger 2.0 also has more padding, which makes it one of our top picks for beginner boxing gear. It’s primarily black, with bright and vivid highlights that make up its three color options. The all-black model is a good choice if you like to keep a low profile.
Venum’s headgear is also great because it allows you to see your opponent. You can see your opponent’s moves and respond with your moves because there is no obstruction invisibility.
Heavy cushioning can make your headgear heavy and prevent you from being able to control rapid head movements during sparring. You will be in your discomfort zone. Headgear that is light and provides decent protection and cushioning is rare. Venum is one such brand!
The boxing headgear is made of contoured foam with triple-density and has a 2-way Velcro closure for greater grip and adjustment. This headgear was constructed using Skintex leather. This allows you to clearly see your opponent and also lets you move your head.
Ultimately, it is up to you to decide whether or not to wear headgear during sparring. I personally believe that headgear is a must, especially if you are a beginner sparring. If you decide to do hard sparring, I would still recommend wearing headgear.