Before Buying: How to Choose the Best Boxing Head Guard

Boxing, the sweet science! The sport with all the glitz and glamour, attracting millions of viewers and perhaps equally as many aspiring boxers. Glamourous it may be, but there’s an ugly side to boxing. The concussions, lacerations, cuts and bruises, brain injuries and so on. Injuries in boxing bouts and sparring sessions are quite common which is why you’re here looking for protective gear for your noggin and we’re going to help you chose the perfect boxing headgear for your needs.

Type of headgear

Before you start shopping, you should think about the type of headgear you need. There are numerous varieties of headgear available, each designed for a certain purpose. They all, of course, protect your head, or at least 3/4 of it. The degree of face and back of the head protection, as well as the amount of padding employed, make a difference. Training headgear, overall, has more padding and protection for the face and back of the head. This appears to be great until you realize how much they weigh in comparison to lighter alternatives. Amateur-level boxing or sparring headgear is more uniform because it is made according to the same competition headgear requirements. These are generally open-faced with little to no facial protection. In exchange, they are substantially lighter and less cumbersome than training headgear.

One thing that needs to be emphasized is that the best protection is not being hit in the first place, so, drill your slips and work on that footwork too. You don’t want to be giving your opponent the points for landing blows to your skull regardless of your headgear.

The Fit

When buying headgear, the next factor to consider is the fit. The headgear should cushion your head rather than trapping it. We all have different head shapes, and the headgear should not constrain the sides, front, or back of your head in an uncomfortable manner. The best headgear shouldn’t feel cumbersome and should allow you to move your head freely and naturally. Most combat gear websites provide a size chart you can tally with your head circumference. To measure, wrap a measuring tape around the widest part of your head to determine your head circumference.

The Fastening

There are two places you’ll find fasteners on headgear, 1. On the back of the head and 2. On the chin. Both of which need to be robust and adjustable to allow the wearer enough freedom to ensure a snug and comfortable fit. When it comes to the back of the head, the fasteners are either laces or Velcro. Both work wonderfully in providing a secure fit and each has it’s own advantages. The lace-up fastener allows for “zoning” which means one can have different levels of tightness at every individual part of the laces whereas the Velcro fasteners make it easier and quicker to put the headgear on and vice versa. 

In most cases, the chin-strap is a clip-on. The stitching that connects the strap to the clip and the headgear itself is particularly important. It must be robust, or else it will be the first to fail. And flimsy headgear equals no headgear at all.

Visibility

Obviously, the headgear, as an added layer of protection for your head, will appear in your field of view to some extent. As a rule of thumb, the lesser the padding, the better the visibility, and vice versa. Given that practically every martial art instructs you to keep your chin down, the primary visibility issues appear in the upper reaches of your field of view. As a result, make sure your peripheral vision isn’t too obstructed on the left and right extremes, as well as at the top.

Weight Vs Protection

The amount of weight and the protection that a decent headgear offers is ultimately the difference between it and an exceptional one. In general, the greater the weight, the better the protection. The most expensive headgear, on the other hand, will always be lighter while providing sufficient and effective protection.

Hygiene

If you feel you could just use one of the shared headgears at the gym, think of all the sweat, blood and saliva of your peers that would be caked in one. Getting your own headgear is a great investment especially when you mean to use it on the regular and besides you get to decide how clean it is.

Recommendation

Starpo’s viper green and black M33 Headguard is lightweight and constructed with high-density, soft molded EVA foam and wool cushioning that provides optimum protection for the head and face. The padding absorbs the impact and distributes it evenly throughout the surface area, dispersing the force to keep you on the front foot in every round. The interior fabric is a non-slip, quick-drying material, while the cheek padding and robust chin guard offer additional protection without obstructing your field of vision. The Velcro fastener on the back of the head makes it easier to put on yourself and provides that sweet snug fit.

Refer to the chart below to find the perfect size for yourself or visit here for more headguard and other protective gear for your boxing training.

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