Boxing Headgear is a vital piece of equipment for anyone who wants to train safely, especially when involving contact drills. In fact for many athletes, boxing gloves and headgear go hand in hand when purchasing equipment, but with so many brands and choices on style and design, it can be hard for newer athletes to understand the differences. Luckily, I’ve spent far too long browsing vendors looking for the right equipment for myself, so I’m here to explain what you should look for when shopping for headgear, along with 3 examples of some of the best boxing headgear on the market.
What to Look for in Boxing Headgear
There are four main things to look for when shopping for boxing headgear:
Secure Fit - The last thing you want is this headgear flying off your head every time you get hit. Generally, good headgear will have both a strap on the back of the head and a pouch to keep your chin seated correctly behind the protective padding.
Open vs Closed Face - This refers to headgear that leaves the front of the face exposed vs headgear that keeps part of the face protected, usually with a foam bar spanning across the nose. Both are good, I tend to prefer open headgear because it's easier to breathe but if you know you have a nose that is prone to breaking or if you plan on doing full-force sparring, close-faced is best.
Adequate Padding - This is extremely important. Boxing headgear is supposed to be bulky because it’s there to absorb impact. You want a good, thick layer of padding at least ½ inch thick at the thinnest area.
Not Too Firm, Not Too Soft - You want the headgear to feel firm but with some give. If it's too soft, it won’t be able to absorb and slow impact effectively. If it's too hard, it won’t be able to dissipate the force and will instead allow kinetic force to transfer to your head.
The Best Boxing Headgear
These are three of my picks for the best headgear on the market currently.
Venum Challenger 2.0
Image Credit: Venum
This is a great middle-of-the-road headgear, with robust cheek pads and a thick forehead bar, it offers a good compromise between true open-faced or close-faced headgear. This is actually the headgear I wear when sparring, the only issue I’ve ever had is that the inner lining can catch your hair a bit if you keep it longer.
Winning Full Face Headgear
Image Credit: Winning
Winning is one of the best boxing vendors on the market, and they have delivered here again. Sporting a full padded crossbar on both the nose and the forehead as well as full chin protection, if you’re looking for headgear to wear while full-force sparring, it doesn’t get better than this. Just be aware, Winning is never cheap.
TITLE Classic Face Protector 2.0
Image Credit: TITLE
Title is a household name in the boxing world, producing quality goods at prices up and coming boxers can afford. This model is a classic closed-face headgear that offers adequate protection for sparring or contact drills, the only issue I’ve ever had is that the padding above the ear on these models can sometimes be just a little thin, but seeing as that is usually a no go zone in matches anyway, it shouldn’t be a problem as long as everyone is playing by the rules.
There are tons of small vendors and custom producers I didn’t cover here but these are great easily attainable models, but you should also always be on the lookout for something that matches your style and your body when it comes to something as vital as head protection.
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