When you are training or competing in wrestling, you should take all necessary precautions to protect your head and your ears. Wrestling headgear is designed to protect against cauliflower ear–which will undoubtedly happen if you’re training often and competing for a long time, but it’s better to reduce it as much as possible, because not only do some athletes not like how it looks, but it is painful and also other injuries to both your ears and your head.
Headgear is not only suggested, but is required in competition, so it is important to wear it
during training so you can be comfortable when you’re competing as well. You don’t want to train without headgear and then be distracted when you’re in competition by having something on your head that you aren’t very used to.
You want to make sure that you are doing everything you can to protect yourself when you are wrestling, because it is a combat sport. However there are different types of combat headgear out there, so it’s important to make sure that you’re buying for the right sport.
Wrestling headgear covers the ears with round discs and is attached with elastic and adjustable bands. These are different from headgear for Muay Thai or Taekwondo which look more like padded helmets that cover the top of the head, forehead, cheeks, and back of the head. You cannot wear Muay Thai or Taekwondo headgear when you are wrestling for several reasons. It will impair your vision, get in the way of your grappling and is not legal during competition.
You want to make sure that you have the right headgear for you and for what you need, so you should take a few different things into consideration before you go ahead and purchase your own product.
Things to look for when buying wrestling headgear:
- Material – The headgear will all typically be the same: two shells that cover the ears held together by elastic bands. However, the shells can be made from either a hard or soft material. Each is different and depends on your own personal preference and also what you need if you intend on competing. Hard shells are typically lighter and allow for you to have better hearing when you are performing. However, they are not allowed in all competition. Soft shells are a bit more comfortable to wear, especially if you are first starting out. They also will cause less pain to your opponent if you lead with your head.
- Fit – You don’t want to have headgear that doesn’t fit properly, because it won’t do the job that it is supposed to do. You should know the size of your own head and if you would fit better in a child or adult-sized product. For some women, a child-sized headgear might fit over their ears more securely, so it is important to try it on first. Other than that, the straps are adjustable and allow you to customize your headgear to fit you perfectly.
- Number of Straps – Wrestling headgear can have anywhere from three to five straps to keep it in place. You should recognize that if you have more straps, your gear is more likely to stay on your head and protect you during training and competition. However, if you are uncomfortable with that many, then you need to be smart and choose the number that allows you to perform at your best without being distracted. Some headgear also offers a chin strap or chin cup while others do not. Generally speaking, a chin strap will keep your headgear more secure and allow it to protect you better.
- Price – You can find good headgear for a good price, but the more straps, the material and the brand will all play into how much you are going to pay. You should make sure that you are not spending too much on this equipment, but also make sure you don’t bargain shop and buy headgear that is made cheaply and doesn’t do its job.
There are a lot of products out there, and you want to make sure that you have good equipment that helps keep you safe but also is allowed during competition. We reviewed some of our favorite headgear to help you make your decision on which one will be the best choice for you. Here is our list of the best wrestling headgear you can buy.
As head injuries are pretty common and it is the head that required a lot of protection, the Cliff Keen F5 Tornado Headgear is our absolute favorite. Though we had wrestlers voting for others in the list, this particular headgear is our top pick due to the revolutionized design and the advanced technology used to make it more audible for the wearer.
Gone are the days when wrestling was reserved just for the men. Today with more women participating in this sport, style and designing are receiving more attention in the gears used.
- 1 Comparison Table
- 2 Our Top Picks for Headgear
- 3 1. Editor’s Choice – F5 Tornado Headgear from Cliff Keen
- 4 2. Asics Unisex Gel Wrestling Ear Guard
- 5 3. Asics Conquest Ear Guard
- 6 4. Cliff Keen F3 Twister Wrestling Head Gear
- 7 Our Final Thoughts
When it comes to protecting your head, it can never be enough. A small gap to let your head take a hit is good enough to have some serious side effects. Here is a list of head gears we found to be a crowd pleaser, after talking to our numerous wrestling players.
|Cliff Keen F5 Tornado Headgear||Hard Shell||PowerTab™ straps for a better and faster strapping||Very durable but ear piece can crack due to frequent direct hits|
|Asics Unisex Gel Wrestling Ear Guard||Hard Shell||Forehead straps with hooks and loops||Very durable|
|Asics Conquest Ear Guard||Hard Shell||Regular double strap||Very durable|
|Cliff Keen F3 Twister Wrestling Headgear||Hard Shell||Broad straps||Chin piece is not very durable|
Products Reviewed By Us
Knowing how important it is to protect your head in a wrestling match and even during practice, we decided to get first hand information and feedback about the headgears available in the market today.
After discussing with our wrestlers and trying out the headgears, we have come up with a list of 4 best wrestling headgears
Our Top Picks for Headgear
- Cliff Keen F5 Tornado Headgear
- Asics Unisex Gel Wrestling Ear Guard
- Asics Conquest Ear Guard
- Cliff Keen F3 Twister Wrestling Headgear
1. Editor’s Choice – F5 Tornado Headgear from Cliff Keen
Made by one of the most reputed names in the wrestling industry, this F5 Tornado boasts of better sound clarity and snugger fit. A headgear’s main job is to protect the head and the ears of the wearer. This is because a blow to the ears can be devastating.
The revolutionary design used in this product, based on the research by NASA provides for better sound quality. Covering up the ears well should not cover up the sound as hearing your opponent and the referee is extremely important in this sport.
Our wrestler were made to use this headgear for a few days and asked to give their opinion. After discussing what is truly important in a headgear and coming to a consensus as to which headgear ranks where based on those criteria, the F5 Tornado won the vote hands down.
- Revolutionary design based on NASA’s research
- Better Audible Sound™ technology
- 43% lighter
- Power tab strapping system
- Fights bacteria
- The new design allows for better audio clarity. Hearing what is happening around you is very crucial in this sport
- The design not only facilitates better sound but looks much cooler than other headgears in the market too
- The sheer color choices makes it interesting.
- Made of some of the strongest components of the manufacturer, this headgear is meant to last long
- Lighter the headgear, better the comfort as the wearer will not feel heavy while using it for a prolonged period of time
- Better ventilation ensures the ears and the head does not get too hot. When these parts heat up, it makes the wearer lose focus
- Easier to strap on and saves precious seconds
- Too much pressure on the earpiece directly like a shoulder butt could damage the piece
- It is the highest priced head gear on the list
How To Choose A Headgear
When you buying a headgear to be used in wrestling, here are the points to remember:
- The fit has to be perfect as one cannot afford to keep adjusting the gear
- Choose between a hard shell and a soft shell based on your needs.
- It should be easy to strap on and there must be sufficient straps to hold it in place
Soft Shell Vs. Hard Shell
When we checked out the various head gears , there were many soft shell and hard shell models and many wrestlers admitted that they didn’t know which one to buy in the first place and had to get some help to choose.
A soft shell head gear is basically made out of soft rubber that is lightweight and moulds well to the ears. They are also recommended for a first headgear as using a hard shell right away could cause discomfort and pain. A soft shell helps to ease the user into what a head gear feels like.
A hard shell head gear is made out of tough mold plastic which offers better protection when compared to a soft shell. However, not every competition allows a hard shell. Hence it is important to find out what is required, before purchasing. Also, it is advisable to get used to both types of head gear as it may come in handy later.
2. Asics Unisex Gel Wrestling Ear Guard
With gel cushioning the ears are protected much better without having to bear any excess weight. The designing of this particular product is why it is featured as our number one product. Priced low, with high level of comfort, this head gear is just perfect for those who want good protection without having to break the bank.
- Gel cushioning
- Combined forehead straps
- Neoprene chin cup
- One size fits all
- The gel cushioning offers better protection without having to compromise on the comfort level. It is not some hard and heavy plastic one has to wear during a fight
- The combined straps with hooks and loop closures ensure the gear stays in place even after receiving a few blows
- Neoprene chin cup makes it more comfortable
- The top section of the gear tends to fall on your eyes, basically cutting out your vision and adding pressure to the eyes
- Ear guard does not have enough gel cushioning, hence can be harsh on the ears when worn or long
3. Asics Conquest Ear Guard
With tough injection mould, this headgear is a good protection against direct head slaps and hits. With a simple yet stylish design, this ear guard is light and efficient in its job. With eight different color choices, one can let the world know a little more about their sense of style.
- Tough injection molded shell
- EVA pads used
- Comfortable to wear
- The mold of the gear protects you well against direct hits and ensures you don’t get swayed by any hit to the head
- When it is light and comfortable to wear, the user does not feel the pressure or weight, thus able to focus better
- It is the second most expensive product on this list
- Straps are very hard and sharp. It can chafe or cause irritation when used on sweat
4. Cliff Keen F3 Twister Wrestling Head Gear
Stepping on to those mats with this jet black head gear, one need not worry about the fit or it slipping off your head. It is designed in such a way that the wearer will neither feel the weight nor will have to keep adjusting it. With good audio quality and ventilation, priced below $40, it is definitely on our list of best wrestling headgears.
- Good ventilation
- Allows sound to come in
- Thick straps for securing
- Available in 18 color combination
- The ultra wide straps ensure the head gear stays in place during the fight and the wearer need not constantly keep adjusting it
- There is enough ventilation to let the sweat out and prevent foul odor. Good ventilation will also help in keeping the user cool around the head
- It allows good amount of sound to come in so that the wearer is aware of what is happening around him
- Reasonable priced and is affordable
- This head gear though stays firm in place during a fight, it tends to slip around when you are rolling for a long time
- The chin piece does not last very long
Our Final Thoughts
Buying headgear is very important if you’re going to be wrestling either for fun or for competition. You should make sure that you’re buying something that is permitted during competition if you are planning on competing, and you should also use it while you’re training so you can get used to having it on while you perform.
Headgear comes in only two sizes: adult and child, so you should know your size before you buy, and you should also know what kind of gear you want. Make sure you are able to answer these questions before you buy your headgear:
- Which size do I need?
- Do I prefer soft or hard shells?
- Am I following my organization’s regulations with my equipment?
- How many straps should I get?
- Do I feel comfortable while wearing this headgear?
- Would I feel better with a chin strap or a chin cup?
- Where do I feel more comfortable with the chin strap: across or under my chin?
- If I don’t feel comfortable with a chin strap, can I get away with just head straps?
- Do I know how to wear and fit my headgear properly?
- Am I spending the right amount when buying this product?
If you take the time to answer all of these questions, then you will get yourself a solid piece of equipment that should last you a long time and protect your ears and head from injury when you are performing. Make sure you find headgear that is comfortable, affordable and fits you properly, and you will find that you are safe and prepared for any wrestling match or training session.