Best Forearm Guards Reviewed For Safer Sparring

Century Martial Armor Forearm Elbow GuardsChampro TRI-FLEX Forearm PadAs an athlete, one of the most important things you can do is protect your body. Using the right protective gear can make a huge impact on the way you partake in your sport. This rings especially true for people that play contact sports such as combat fighting, muay thai, and kickboxing.

 

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Not having the right equipment can lead to a host of problems, one of them being distracted fighting. If you do not have the proper equipment, you’ll spend your entire fight worrying about whether your product will protect you. It is even worse if you choose to forgo your protection completely. Our bodies subconsciously shy away from pain so when you put it into scenarios where the pain is required, it will naturally build a resentment. This resentment can lead to you losing your passion for the sport and perhaps stopping your training.

One of the most forgotten types of protection in combat fighting is for your forearms. While people usually consider headgear, chest protectors, and footwear, most do not think about their arms. A forearm can easily be damaged in a fight as it does not have a lot of muscle. There is one large muscle and skin that surrounds the bone. Without proper protection, your bones and joints are forced to absorb a lot of the impact.

This can lead to painful repercussions down the road if the injuries are not immediate. For instance, many combat fighters experience arthritis pain later on in their life because of inadequate protection. Having the right product can help absorb a lot of the energy and impact of a hit, with some padding being able to redirect or lessen the shock. This will keep your arms safe from harm and not subjected to pain.

 

 

10 Best Forearm Guards

 

 

1. McDavid Hex Padded

This is a well-known brand in manufacturing protection products. Their line ranges from chest protectors to arm and shin guards. A lot of science and engineering when into this product before they manufactured the item as they were looking for a way to offer all-around protection. During their research, they found the hexagon to be most useful when it comes to comprehensive coverage.
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Hexagonal Technology
This particular item uses locking hexagons to weave a pattern which protects your forearm from damage. The hexagon happens to also be the least wasteful shape as it can maximize coverage and interlock with itself perfectly. This is an ideal shape for protection as it reduces any weak spots in the guard and prevents it from shattering when it gets hit.

Keeps Cool
The product uses a material that is able to help keep your arm dry. When people exercise, a lot of sweat can be produced. During these times, it is important that the sweat is removed from the skin as soon as possible. Sweat left against the skin for a long period of time will react and cause crashing and itching, giving you an uncomfortable experience every time.

Cost and Value
The product is on the slightly more expensive side, but it is worth the investment as it is protection for yourself. Investing in a product that is smartly designed and costs a little more may prove to be beneficial as they are made from higher quality. The value in this particular product comes from the way it is designed to give you complete protection of your forearm.
Pros

Strong and durable

Long lasting

Reduces moisture

Hexagonal protection

Secure and comfortable

Cons

Expensive

2. Century Martial Arts

This is a great product that is ideal for practice fights and punching bags. It is sturdy and reliable enough that it will not break for some time to come. The guard is made using an elastic material that will fit all sizes and easily wrap around your arm. The material is also flexible enough that it allows all your joints and fingers to move freely. This is a great piece of protection to invest in as training gear but is not recommended for competitions.
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Knuckle Protection
There are all sorts of protection for your body, but the knuckles are somewhere that people often forget or neglect. Unfortunately, it is also some of our most brittle joints that cause arthritis later on in our golden years. To prevent the onset of later discomfort, this forearm guard extends to protect your knuckles as well. A hard plastic shell allows your knuckles to fit comfortably while keeping them out of harm.

Mobility
Many products on the market offer protection from your forearms all the way to your fingers, but not many consider what kind of mobility issues that arise. Depending on how it is built, most of them will greatly restrict the movement of your wrist. This particular product has a separation between the knuckle piece and the forearm foam, allowing three hundred sixty movements for your wrist.

Cost and Value
While these are on the slightly pricier side, they are worth every penny invested. There are not many products that put as much thought into the design as this company. Manufacturing a product that is both user-friendly while keeping you safe is very rare as usually there are sacrifices that need to be made. Investing in one of these will last you for a long time to come.
Pros

Allows movement

Elastic cuff

Protects knuckles

Secure grip

Good for training

Cons

Shrinks in wash

3. ProForce Combination

If you are looking for something that is a workhorse, then this is the item for you. While it does not include any bells and whistles, it will do the job and give you good protection. The inside of this guard is made of a thick piece of foam, which greatly dulls the impact of any hit you may receive. Because it extends all the way to your palm, you do not have to worry about the protective piece slipping or moving out of place.
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Finger Protection
While protection of the forearm is important, it’s no secret that the fingers are as well. Because fingers are long and slender, it makes it easy for them to become injured without any protection. This particular product can give you the best of both worlds, a guard that encompasses your entire forearm and extends to your palms. Having a guard like this will inadvertently give you wrist support as well, making truly an all-around guard.

Good Grip
It can be incredibly frustrating when items to protect certain parts of your body are purchased, but they don’t stay where they’re supposed to. There is no point in purchasing a forearm guard that does not stay on the forearm. With this item, you do not have to worry about potential slipping of your guard because of the way it is designed. You’ll be able to keep a firm grip on it the entire time.

Cost and Value
This is an ideal protector for first-time users. Like all new products, forearm protection takes time to get used to. This particular item will not break the bank and is a great way to spend a little money on keeping yourself from injury. These guards are meant for beginners who are just starting out in their sport. When people become serious or start competing in more serious fights, there is an expectation they will upgrade their gear.
Pros

Thick foam

Protects your fingers

Secure hold

Easy to use

Very affordable

Cons

The foam could be thicker

4. ProForce

4. ProForce
This company is known for making both reliable and durable products that protect your body from harm. While you will not get any fancy designed product, they do deliver on their guarantee. The product is made of cotton material that absorbs the moisture to prevent discomfort. It is also machine washable and should be cleaned on a regular basis.
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Wrist protection
When you are practicing or competing in combat sports, there is a possibility of getting scratched. During the actual fight, your adrenaline is running so you do not feel it. After the training and everything has calmed down, you’ll find all these scratches and bruises on your body. This particular product has an extended piece that acts as a rash guard to protect your wrists and veins from cuts.

Elastic Cuff
Forearm guards are difficult to purchase as everyone has a differently sized arm. Purchasing the wrong size can mean a lot of frustration when it is used. Some of the more common problems are the guard sliding up and down the arm or the protective piece rotating around. To prevent the guard from moving, there is an elastic cuff that is sewn onto the end near your wrist. It acts as a barrier so that your guard does not go too far down.

Cost and Value
This is a great product for people who are looking for some protection during training sessions. In a pinch, they can also be used for fights but not recommended all the time. These are very affordable and won’t require you to shed tears when you need to replace them. The fabric is thick and durable and absorbs sweat very well.
Pros

Wrist rash guard

Elastic cuff

Stable and secure

Workhorse product

Machine washable

Cons

Lack of design

5. Dye Precision Performance

5. Dye Precision Performance
This is a product that can save you both time and money. It is a long protector that extends from the forearm to cover your elbow and all the way to your hand so you can grip the end. This is a must buy product that will enhance your combat fights and allow you to spar with confidence. All the protective layers have separations the joint areas such as the elbow and wrist, allowing you to flex and move around.
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Lightweight
Regardless of whether you need it for your sport or you need it to protect you from harm, it can be so frustrating to deal with a piece of heavy equipment. When you are active and moving around, it is impertinent that the garments you are wearing are light enough to not cause extra fatigue. This product was specifically designed and made using the lightest foam available on the market, thus reducing the amount of weight on your body.

Long Extension
If there was only a product that could protect you from head to toe, it would save us all some time and money. This particular product meets a lot of the requirements, extending from elbow all the way to our hand. There is a sturdy foam piece that protects the elbow area and a separate piece to enhance the forearm. To prevent it from moving, it extends into the palm so you can keep a secure grip on it when you punch.

Cost and Value
While the initial investment is a little expensive, it is actually a piece of equipment that is highly encouraged to purchase. Buying this one piece alone will save you from needing to buy an elbow guard, a forearm guard, and a wrist guard. This will save you time from needing to shop around and allow you to focus on training and doing things you really love.
Pros

All in one

Cost effective

Well designed

High quality

Lightweight foam

Cons

Runs on the smaller side

6. ArcheryMax Handmade Leather

6. ArcheryMax Handmade Leather
While this may seem a little weird as the primary purpose of this product is for archery, it can also be very useful to combat fighters. This arm guard works well to prevent nicks and accidental scratches when you are training on a strike shield. It is also used by people who are training alone and don’t want the bulk of an actual arm guard but want to wear something so their muscle retain the memory.
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Leather
This is a product that is made of leather and built to last. Historically, humans have always used leather to fashion clothing and other products. This is because it is an incredibly durable material and does well in both dry and wet climates. Despite the way it looks, leather is able to shrink and expand a little, hence why it does not break under strain.

Friction
Whether you are practicing on a bag or competing in an archery contest, this product can help fight against the friction. Doing any sort of movement repetitively can cause your skin to break or protect itself by creating a blister. Wearing this guard will protect your arms from chafing or getting scratched up. This product is thin enough to be worn under boxing gloves.

Cost and Value
This is a great product that comes at a reasonable price point. While it is not recommended during competition and actual sparring, it is a great protector to use when training. It is light enough to wear comfortably without feeling the bulkiness. An added benefit is that boxers can practice their lacing skills with this lace-up glove.
Pros

Thick leather

Lightweight

Good for training

Reduces friction

Reasonable price

Cons

Looks a little over the top

7. Champro TRI-FLEX

7. Champro TRI-FLEX
This product is quite well designed and does well in terms of impact absorption. The guard as raised triangles in a hexagonal pattern to maximize the effectiveness when taking a hit. The energy is absorbed into the shield so that your arm does not get injured. The foam padding inside this product is one of the most absorbent and high-quality foams available on the market.
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Moisture Wicking
When you wear all your protective gear for a long period of time, you will sweat. It is crucial that the sweat evaporates or is removed off the skin to ensure it does not cause any allergic reaction. This product uses a fabric that is able to wick away the moisture. Quite simply put, when you start to sweat the moisture is brought up to the top of the fabric. A simple shake or wipe of the fabric will remove all the moisture that was built up.

Strong Cover
Having durable padding does not do anything if the exterior of the product is compromised. Most people will not keep protective gear that has holes or rips for the fear of the integrity being damaged. To ensure that the exterior lasts longer than the padding that protects your arm, this product is made with a knit cover. The fabric is machine knitted together so that it interlocks to create a mesh layer, making the cover much more durable.

Cost and Value
This is a very affordable product that would compliment the rest of your gear nicely. The product is made with polyurethane foam, which is well known for being able to absorb shock. The guard is suitable for most sports and can be used in combat fighting, baseball, or soccer. The cuff around the top and bottom of this protector will keep the padding in place so that you can fight with confidence.
Pros

Reliable exterior

High quality material

Hexagonal pattern

Well designed

Reasonably affordable

Cons

Must order each pad individually

8. Adidas TaeKwonDo

8. Adidas TaeKwonDo
For people who enjoy practicing Taekwondo, this is an ideal protector for you. It is made with very high-quality materials that will absorb a hit and disperse the energy. This ensures that your arm is not taking the brunt of the shock and doing damage to your bones and muscles. It is made with an ergonomic design that is comfortable to wear and designed to fit the entire forearm.
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Multi-layer
You can usually tell if the forearm guard works or not right away after training because your arms will be sore. This is especially prominent for Taekwondo players as they require to do a lot of blocking with their arms. Most kicks delivered by the opponent will be blocked by your forearms. If the protection is inadequate your forearm will hurt right down to the bone. This product has multiple layers of foam, making it very dense.

Customizable
A lot of forearm protectors do not have the ability to customize or make adjustments so it is very important you purchase the right size. However, this product is secured onto your arm by the use of two extremely thick velcros. This allows you to adjust the product to the perfect fit for you and will also continue to work if you gain or lose weight. This will also ensure that the product is not too loose and move around or so tight that it cuts circulation.

Cost and Value
This is a product that is worth every penny you invest because of its design. Most products do not offer you the ability to tighten or loosen the protector. By designing the item with Velcros, it allows for you to grow into it. This saves you money and eliminates the need for you to spend money upgrading your equipment as your muscles get bigger. Coupled with the thick layer of foam to prevent harm to your arm, everyone should be investing in one of these!
Pros

Comfortable design

Well known brand

Customizable velcros

Shock absorbent

Layers of foam

Cons

Runs small, purchase one size up

9. RDX MMA

9. RDX MMA
If you are looking for a strong and affordable product, look no further. This brand has put more technology into their guard than any other company. The padding can easily absorb any damage dealt and disperse it in a way where it does not hurt your arm. The exterior material was also selected to prevent it from mildewing and causing odors. It is a surprising treat to realize that all of this was done while keeping the price low.
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Ventilation
It can be a product when your gear does not ventilate well. This happens when the sweat is absorbed into the product and it does not dry properly. The sweat will react with the bacteria and germs and cause a foul odor. The fabric that makes up the exterior of this pad is fully breathable, allowing moist air to filter out as dry air pushes its way in. This will prevent your skin from getting an infection or becoming allergic to your gear.

Shock absorbent
This product uses an advanced type of foam that has great shock absorbing technology. There are tiny microscopic air bubbles within the foam layers so that when a hit is delivered to the product, the energy goes into these pockets. The bubbles then collapse after absorbing the energy and spread it evenly throughout the guard. This allows your entire arm to feel a light impact rather than have one spot where it was hit particularly hard.

Cost and Value
This is a product that is both affordable and technologically advanced. The padding is made of a material that is far more superior than most brands, guaranteeing better and stronger protection. The exterior material was selected purposely to allow for breathability during the use of it and the ventilation of all the remaining moisture when you are done. Altogether, this creates a product that cannot be beaten.
Pros

Superior technology

High tech foam

Absorbs shock

Very reasonably priced

Well ventilated

Cons

Heats up easily

10. Century Armor Elbow

10. Century Armor Elbow
This product has spent some time in the research and development phase before being placed on the rack. Unlike most guards, this protector has designed a product that can fully encompass your arm. This prevents the reduction of the integrity of the shield. As the forearms are highly utilized during sparring, this foam is double layered for extra protection.
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Contour Design
This product can protect both your elbow and forearm. While they have taken an unconventional way of creating a guard for both, it is effective and works well. The product features a contoured design where the padding actually follows the bend of your arm and extends down to your forearm. This allows for complete coverage and also protects your joint from harm.

Comfortable
Protective equipment usually makes you significantly bulkier and heavier. The last thing you need is for the product that is meant to protect you to be uncomfortable. When it is chafing and itchy, it can really take the fun out of your sport. This product is made with an ultra-soft cotton exterior so that there is no friction caused when you are training. It will also allow you to wear it for a long period of time without feeling any discomfort.

Cost and Value
This product has a slightly different price depending on the size of the product. This happens because the larger sizes require more material to make. This product is ideal for anyone who partakes in combat sports as many athletes acquire as it offers full arm protection. It also saves you a lot of money as purchasing this product will eliminate the need for buying a shield for your elbow.
Pros

Unique design

All in one

Durable and strong

Cost effective

Soft and comfortable

Cons

Can slightly restrict mobility

 

Using forearm protectors are absolutely recommended if you are going to partake in combat sports. However, there are protectors on the market that may be not of quality and will affect your performance. It is important to do your research prior to purchasing a guard to ensure that the manufacturer is reliable and trustworthy. When it comes to equipment that is required to keep you safe and alive, it should be made from a reputable source. By purchasing a high quality or reputable product, it will allow you to focus on your sport rather than spend the entire time worrying about whether your shield is in the right place.

 

 

Criteria For Evaluating
The Best Forearm Guards

Fitting

One of the things the article has mentioned over and over again is the proper fitting of the product. It is hands down the most important factor when it comes to picking a good forearm guard. When you wear it, the sleeve should not be too tight so that it cuts off blood circulation. When you are trying it out, wear it for a minute to see if your arm feels any different. If your arm starts to tingle, it is much too small and you’ll need something bigger. When you take the sleeve off, take note to see if there are any red marks or indents on your arm. This is another sign that the protector is too small for you.

An ideal fit is where is snug on your arm and does not feel loose. When you move your arm around, the protector should stay in place. If it slides up and down, you’ll need to consider a smaller size. It is natural for a little bit of marking on your arm because the guard still needs a way to grip onto your arm, but the markings should fade within a few minutes.

Compression

When you are looking for a good shield for your forearm, try to select something that includes the ability to compress your arm. While it sounds like a bad thing, having compression can actually enhance your muscles. Every time a combat fighter spars or trains, the muscles are put through rigorous movements that are out of the realm of what they are designed to do. Coupled by the fact the motions are often repetitive during training, it is no wonder that your muscles swell and become inflamed.

Swelling and inflammation are autoimmune responses from your body as a way to protect itself from harm. When your body realizes a certain area comes under stress, it sends extra fluids there to act as an additional layer of cushioning. However, that is not something we always want. Having compression properties in your forearm guard can allow for better blood circulation. The compression of your arm encourages healthy oxygen and red blood cells to go through the injured site more, which in turn brings down the swelling and sends the muscles on a path to recovery.

Type

There are multiple types of forearm guards that you can pick and choose from. The simplest form of a forearm guard is the one that looks like a sleeve. This particular guard is simply padding that is sewn into a tube-like shape. Your arm goes through the hole and you can adjust it to where ever you need. These guards are ideal for sports where you are doing a lot of blocking with your forearm and also when you are training.

Another type of forearm guard includes a glove at the very end. These are more stable as your fingers fit through a large opening with a separate opening for your thumb. This allows you to comfortably grip the material of the guard in your hand, ensuring it will not move out of place. The glove then extends upwards all the way to almost the elbow and has a thick pad that is sewn where the forearm muscle would be. The only padding is on the forearm area as it is ultimately designed to protect your forearm.

The glove section is simply made of fabric and not meant to protect your fingers or hands. Depending on the quality of your product, some manufacturers have opted to put a small additional piece of padding on the back of the glove to protect the back of your hand. If you chose to go with a product like this, ensure you rotate your wrist a few times to make sure the guard does not impede your mobility.

The final type of forearm guard extends up to your elbows. It was identified that there was a need in the market for a guard goes the entire length of the arm due to the number of elbow injuries there were. Elbows are joints, which are made of cartilage and are considered some of the weakest points in your body. They need to be flexible because that is how your body bends and moves. Unfortunately, it is also this fragility that sometimes causes them to shatter upon impact. Choosing a product that comes with some padding on the elbow will give you some extra insulation and potentially save you a trip from the hospital.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can my kids use forearm guards?
A: There are companies that manufacture these guards specifically for children. When children engage in combat sports, it is absolutely a must to have some sort of insulation and protection to shield their bodies. Some brands also make their guards on the smaller side and may be able to fit your child.

Q: How do I maintain my guards?
A: Most forearm guards can be thrown into the machine to wash and air dried. It is never recommended to put them into the dryer as the heat may alter the padding and insulation. When you are drying the guards, hang them in a cool place that has ample ventilation. Do not put them immediately into your gym bag.

Q: Where can I buy forearm guards?
A: There are many combat sports shops that will carry multiple options or a large sporting goods warehouse will also have some available. For a larger selection, visit an online retailer to find the specific brand you are looking for.

Sources

  1. Ali Sadeddin, Arm and Hand Protection, Informational
  2. SupriorGlove, Sleeves to Protect Arms, Listicle