Best Wrestling Headgear Reviewed and Rated
Wrestling headgear plays a pivotal role in your enjoyment and prolonged participation in this hard hitting sport. Staying safe and comfortable will keep you on the mat longer. Headgear helps protect you from trauma. In addition, it helps maintain skin integrity and appearance.
When your ears withstand trauma from hitting the mat, blood vessels can explode. After, you may notice sensitivity and swelling. The blood from the broken vessels will pool. As your ears heal, the pocket that formed under the skin will fold in on itself. This causes it to look similar to a head of cauliflower. Hence its common name, cauliflower ear. It is important to note, frequently this condition is called boxer’s ear or wrestler’s ear because that is where it is most commonly seen. Cauliflower ear does not heal, as it is scar tissue and you will carry it with you the rest of your life. Superior wrestling headgear can keep you and your ears looking great and free from injury.
- Cliff Keen Fusion
- Superior Impact Protection
- Cliff Keen F5 Tornado
- Advanced Breathability
- ASICS Quantum Headgear
The term headgear may lead you to think that it is going to protect your entire head. This is not the truth. Wrestling headgear is often referred to as ear guards because that is the area of the head that they protect. Simple straps keep it in place but offer little other significance. If you are becoming a boxing, Muay Thai, Karate, or another type of martial artist you may want to consider head protection that cushions not only the ears from blows but also the head and face.
In order to keep your ears looking great and feeling great, it is important to buy high quality, well fitting headgear. In addition to staying away from cauliflower ear, there are other reasons headgear helps keep you safe and at optimum health. If you find yourself face down on the mat trying to get out of a difficult hold, you may notice your ear guard rubbing against the mat. Wrestling headgear stops the mat burns and abrasions that may occur from this type of situation. These are only some of the reasons, you must keep in mind, to make sure you always strap on your wrestling headgear.
10 Best Wrestling Headgear
1. Cliff Keen Fusion
The Cliff Keen Fusion wrestling headgear takes their trusted foam and launches it to new levels of comfort and security. The inner shell is extremely lightweight and durable, keeping your ears safe from detrimental impact. In addition to a slim profile, the ear cups offer enough room to fit comfortably without bulkiness. If you want true comfort and superior performance, you will love the design used in this wrestling headgear.
On The Fly Strapping System
If you have ever found yourself on the mat, match ready to start, noticing your headgear is pinching, you know how important adjustability is. Difficulty when adjusting your straps is not only frustrating but time-consuming. The result of your wrestling headgear being too tight will be pain, discomfort, and possible injury. Simply pull the straps on your Fusion wrestling headgear and customize your fit. The On The Fly Strapping System lets you adjust easily and quickly ensuring you stay comfortable and protected through your entire match.
Cost and Value
When you take the features of the best Cliff Keen wrestling headgear and combine it you get the Cliff Keen Fusion. The advanced technology, innovation, comfort, and protection provided rank in the number one position and number one cost in our guide. Most wrestling headgear is affordable and this one will fit into most budgets. If you want the very best it will simply cost you a bit more than the rest.
- Comfortable Chin Pad
- Easy to Clean
- Low Profile
- Soft Outer = No Pain for Partner
- Feels Like Not Wearing Headgear
- Excellent for Youth and Adults
- May Inhibit Hearing
2. Cliff Keen F5 Tornado
Finding yourself ear down on the mat, with your opponent on top, may require guidance from your coach. A lot of wrestling headgear options don’t take this into consideration. When wearing the Cliff Keen F5 Tornado headgear, you will be able to hear your coach easier. As a result, you may be able to reverse the move, and move in for the pin. It is important to note, hearing your coach can save a match but it can also allow you to hear the crowd. Keeping your adrenaline up, hearing the roar of your fans, can make the difference between a win and a loss.
Power Tab Strapping System
Cliff Keen takes fit to the next level in the F5 Tornado wrestling headgear. Easy to adjust for a customized fit, this wrestling headgear will feel as if it was made just for you. Two straps around the back of the head, two at the top and a chin strap keep your wrestling headgear in the perfect position. Providing excellent comfort and staying put during tough matches is crucial. Avoid injury to your ears without sacrificing comfort, breathability, or weight when you wear Cliff Keen wrestling headgear.
Cost and Value
Cliff Keen F5 Tornado headgear is the most popular wrestling headgear by far. With this status also comes a higher price tag. Most wrestling headgear is affordable and this one will fit into most budgets. However, within this guide it is one of the most costly. Superior breathability, stellar fit, and trusted technology makes the investment worth it. Overall, this wrestling headgear will not let you down and will keep your ears safe while still being able to hear your coach.
- Simple + Wide Range Adjustment
- Total Ear Protection
- Excellent Hearing
- Ultra Lightweight
- Super Durable = Years of Use
- Well Padded Yet Extra Breathable
- Velcro Straps May Require Taping
- More Movement with Heavy Sweating
3. Ring to Cage Deluxe 2.0
Often the strapping systems in wrestling headgear are uncomfortable. They may even dig into your skin and cause abrasions. The Ring to Cage Deluxe 2.0 uses spandex that wraps around the forehead and the back of your head. This not only helps keep it securely in place it also helps wick away and absorb sweat. Getting sweat in your eyes during a championship match can be devastating and painful. Spandex is also quite breathable with help in the overall cool factor. Providing excellent fit and slim fit, the Ring to Cage Deluxe 2.0 wrestling headgear is loved by many.
EVA padding is trusted for protection and superior shock absorption. Used in all types of protective gear including shoes, shin guards, and gloves it has proven itself superior. Soft and durable the EVA padding used in this wrestling headgear is sure to keep you comfortable and last through extra rounds. When you try wrestling headgear that takes advantage of EVA padding you will see why it has become such a common material in the best brands.
Cost and Value
Innovation and technology have been paired beautifully in the Ring to Cage Deluxe 2.0 wrestling headgear. Like the headgear we have discussed so far, it comes at a slightly higher cost. While not the most expensive in our guide, it is still towards the top. Truly comfortable and sleek you won’t have to worry about your opponent grabbing it and it will help keep sweat out of your eyes. Many trust this wrestling headgear and know that the durability makes the cost less as time of use goes on.
- No Sliding During Grappling
- Excellent Impact Absorption
- Slim Fitting
- Good Hearing Allowance
- Versatile Use
- May Not Fit Larger Heads
4. ASICS Quantum
Wrestlers, boxers, and martial artists all have a common complaint. Headgear is uncomfortable. ASICS uses gel to help cushion the blows. Gel absorbs and distributes shock evenly making your head and ears feel better. Add to this, KinetoFoam Padding and you get superior protection and comfort you have dreamed about. The KinetoFoam is also superior at impact absorption raising that bar another level. When paired together your ears will thank you the next time you hit the mat.
When you buy wrestling headgear just to find the chin strap won’t snap shut and you can’t adjust it, it is very disappointing. Other times you may find only one or two of a combination of straps are adjustable. This may require you to buy a different option. In addition, you will add time and possibly money in returning the first one. The ASICS Quantum Headgear is fully adjustable and that includes every strap. Make sure your wrestling headgear stays put and comfortable in the most difficult mat situations with this fully adjustable wrestling headgear.
Cost and Value
If you are a beginner or just trying wrestling out investing a lot of money in quality headgear is not necessary. ASICS gives you a great option for an exceptionally affordable price. Breathe easy that your ears will be protected and comfortable and know you are getting a stellar price too.
- Exceptional Material
- Great Hearing Capability
- Once Sized Stays Put
- Very Lightweight
- Excellent Price
- A Bit Bulky
5. RDX T1 ABEX
How well your wrestling headgear is ventilated impacts comfort, fit, and overall ear health. Moisture in your ears can lead to painful ear infections and bacterial or fungal growth. In addition, wet, sweaty headgear has a tendency of sliding around. The SPP Ventilation System used in the RDX T1 ABEX wrestling headgear promotes excellent airflow. Increased airflow makes for dryer, more comfortable ears.
Supremo Shock Foam
Supremo Shock Foam is high in density shock absorption at its best. Taking over in a variety of uses in the MMA world, Supremo Shock Foam can seriously take a hit. Maintaining its shape and performance ability for years of pulse-pounding mat action. If you want protection that is better than almost all other try wrestling headgear with this feature. You won’t be disappointed.
Cost and Value
When you need the most advanced technologies and comfort systems, for a mid ranged price, look towards the RDX T1 ABEX wrestling headgear. In addition to being trusted by athletes all over the world, this wrestling headgear is also trusted not to break the bank. Ensuring you get superior protection for your ears does not have to cost a lot and this wrestling headgear is proof.
- High Quality Per Dollar Value
- Real Leather Construction
- Superior Protection
- Advanced Technologies
- Accurate Sizing
- May Be Tight Around Jaw
6. KO Sports Wrestling
The neoprene construction of the KO Sports Wrestling Headgear helps give it that perfect fit. This stretchy material will fit comfortably and will adjust to a variety of head sizes and shapes. Wrestling headgear can be bulky and impede your peripheral vision. The sleek design and use of snug fitting neoprene will make that a problem of the past. In addition, neoprene will help absorb and wick away sweat, keeping it out of your eyes. Get true comfort and an amazing fit with the KO Sports Wrestling Headgear.
We all know the ability to hear your coach’s instruction can mean the difference between a win and a loss. Less commonly known, is the fact that if your headgear doesn’t breathe well you can be asking for big trouble. Wetness in the ears can lead to infections and bacterial or fungal growth. The holes in the ears of this wrestling headgear will improve dryness and your ability to hear. Hear instruction crystal clear and stay safe when you invest in KO Sports Wrestling Headgear.
Cost and Value
One of the best values in our guide, the KO Sports Wrestling Headgear is sure to please. With its simple design and great price, you are sure to see why people love it. It is important to note, this wrestling headgear offers an adjustable chin strap and Velcro closures. These add to the overall comfort and ease of use.
- Elastic Top Strap
- Simple Adjustments
- Easy On Easy Off
- Durable for Years of Use
- Excellent Price
- May Be a Bit Hot
7. Cliff Keen E58 Signature
Known for their protective foam, Cliff Keen continues to impress with the use of VNF Foam. The type of foam resists friction and allows increased movement when you find yourself ear down to the mat. Supremely light and soft you are sure to love the feel when wearing this wrestling headgear. Give your ears the protection and padding while keeping it super lightweight when you try the E58 Signature wrestling headgear.
Classic 4 Strap System
While there are many different strapping systems within wrestling headgear, we still love a classic four-strap system. Traditional and trusted to keep your wrestling headgear in place, this classic system shines. Easy to adjust and completely adjustable, the Cliff Keen E58 Signature is sure to fit all sizes and shapes. Making quick adjustments, before the match starts can make a huge difference in your comfort and performance during your bout. Keep it easy, keep it classic, and try this four strap closure system.
Cost and Value
Excellent in quality and performance while being mid-range in price is part of why we love Cliff Keen. Affordable wrestling headgear leads to more children and adults wearing this important piece of gear. Keeping ears looking and feeling great with a cost that will keep most budgets happy, this may be exactly what we have been searching for. Trust Cliff Keen as millions of athletes do at a price to keep everyone happy.
- Simple to Clean
- Traditional Design and Fit
- Once Adjusted Stays Put
- Strap Won’t Burn Chin
- Exceptional Longevity in Use
- Low Profile
- Snap May Be Stiff
- Strap Durability
8. Adidas Response
To give you the ultimate in comfort, this headgear features a chin cup and pad that will feel both secure and padded. No one wants to have their chin chaffed or irritated while they are focusing on a match, and this headgear from Adidas helps to ensure that your safety and comfort are well taken care of.
Top Spacer Strap
Wrestling headgear companies use a variety of styles to strap your ear guard to your head. Often we see a chin or neck strap. Neck straps can cause irritation and ingrown hairs for those that have facial hair. A chin cup can be the perfect solution to avoid inflamed pores and irritated skin. Adidas chin cups fit comfortably for most but if you want a little extra cushion they also include a pad that can be added. Securing your wrestling headgear around the chin tends to be more comfortable and preferred among many athletes.
Cost and Value
Adidas is one of the most well known and popular brands on the market. With this status comes a price tag that ranks towards the top of our guide. While still affordable for most budgets, some may find it a bit expensive. You will get high performing, protective, wrestling headgear when you trust Adidas with your purchase. We have counted on Adidas for many years and will continue to, as long as they continue to provide excellent gear like this.
- Streamlined Design
- Great for All Ages
- No Velcro = No Scratches
- Chin Strap Helps Secure in Place Comfortably
- Snaps Easily
- Some Find it Difficult to Adjust
9. ASICS Aggressor
Obviously, two of the most important pieces of your wrestling headgear is the ability to keep your ears protected and comfortable. EVA foam is excellent at absorbing and redistributing shock. In addition, it is tough and holds its shape. Injection EVA molded guards are light and breath well. See why so many athletes trust EVA foam when you give the ASICS Aggressor wrestling headgear a try. It is sure to last through your most difficult matches and tournaments.
The structure and integrity of the guard are important but so is the cushioning system. When you put long hours in on the mat improper cushioning can lead to pain and decreased skin integrity. Gel cushioning adds to the shock absorption power of the EVA molded guards. In addition, it helps keep you supremely comfortable. Gel transfers heat quickly so this wrestling headgear will also help keep you cooler.
Cost and Value
ASICS offers great wrestling headgear at affordable prices. Falling to the middle of the price ranges within our guide, most can afford the ASICS Aggressor wrestling headgear. If you need to keep yourself or a loved one protected, why not offer them traditional styling and exceptional comfort at a favorable price. Make everyone happy including all the ears involved and try the ASICS Aggressor wrestling headgear.
- 4 Straps = Guaranteed to Stay in Place
- Excellent Hearing Ability
- Traditional Styling
- Grips Head Comfortably
- Longer Break In Period
- Some Find Adjusting Difficult
10. ASICS Unrestrained
Bulky wrestling headgear can make it difficult to get out of tight holds. However, wrestling headgear without enough room for your ears can cause damage that leads to cauliflower ear. The design of the ear shell on the ASICS Unrestrained wrestling headgear takes both problems and solves them. Low profile and sleek with enough room for your ears to fit comfortably is what you get. You don’t have to give up a slim fit for room. Find the perfect combination in this wrestling headgear.
We mentioned this technology in a previous review but its ability to increase comfort and give you a customized fit needs extra attention. KinetoFoam Technology helps this wrestling headgear mold to your head for an amazing fit you won’t find anywhere else. In addition to fit, this technology absorbs shock easily. This will keep you feeling great and continue to keep your ears healthy. It is important to note, KinetoFoam Technology also provides superior ear protection and is exceptionally durable.
Cost and Value
ASICS understands the need to make quality products that are stellar in price. The advanced technology and sleek design in this wrestling headgear can be yours for a nominal price. Comfort, adjustability, durability, and style are all things you get when you make this sound investment. Keep your ears safe and healthy without impeding your skills and try the ASICS Unrestrained wrestling headgear.
- Fits a Variety of Head Shapes and Sizes
- Top Straps Stay in Place
- Customized Feel
- Excellent Price
- Durable Through Tough Use
- Adjustment Takes Time to Perfect
- Velcro Closure May Lose Its Sticking Power Over Time
No matter what your choose, protecting yourself is key to enjoyment and success in wrestling. It has been proven that quality, well fitting, wrestling headgear can improve performance. Doing the research takes time and hopefully you have found our information useful, we hope you purchase wrestling headgear that will last for years of enjoyment and comfortable wear.
Finding the perfect wrestling headgear to keep you comfortable and protected does not have to be difficult. While we know there are a variety of options in style, size, cost, and material we hope you have found something within our guide to exceed your expectations. Wrestling headgear is needed during practice, events, and tournaments. Keep your ears looking great and free from harmful impact when you invest in quality wrestling headgear.
Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Wrestling Headgear
The material of your wrestling headgear does not only encompass the ear guard but also the strapping. When considering material, you need to look at several different factors. Things such as weight, breathability, protection level, and chances of crushing, which can cause damage to your ears, are a few of them.
First, let’s look at the ear guard. You may see ear guard pieces made of foam, synthetic materials, leather, or blends. In addition, you may see materials like gel used for cushioning. Your ear guard is there for one reason and one reason alone, protection. The material it is made of needs to be great at absorbing impact. It is important to note, you want material that will maintain its shape and won’t crush easily upon impact. This is crucial in protecting your skin integrity and the look of your ears.
Traditionally, there are two forms of ear guards in wrestling headgear. A soft shell and a hard shell variety. Both offer pros and cons. Let’s take a minute and look at the differences. This will ensure you choose the best option for your ultimate protection and comfort.
Next, we will discuss strapping systems. The material of your straps can make a huge difference in fit. In addition, it is also important in your wrestling headgear’s staying capability. Some materials like neoprene and spandex do a great job at gripping your head and hair while other textile blends may slide when they get wet from sweat. Others use a middle connection, typically made of elastic. This ensures your top strap doesn’t move down and into your vision.
Smaller strapping and traditional strapping systems offer their own advantages. The less material, obviously, the lighter your wrestling headgear will be. In addition, less material means less heat. Keeping cool during tough matches can be difficult without hot headgear impeding you further. Overall, your straps should keep your wrestling headgear securely in place and the material you choose should keep you comfortable.
Ensuring appropriate fit in your wrestling headgear may be the most important piece. If your choice of headgear does not fit well you may be leaving yourself open to abrasions, bruising, and cauliflower ear. The overall fit of your wrestling headgear depends on several things. This includes the strapping system and material as well as how much hair you have on your head. It is important to note, if you have a lot of hair you may want to invest in a hair slicker for overtop of your wrestling headgear.
Most wrestling headgear is labeled for a youth or an adult size. The label isn’t the most important factor. You want to make sure to look at the size and fit guides to check your measurement.
In addition, know how the headgear straps. The back of the head, top of the head, and under the chin strapping systems will help hold your headgear in place better than others.
If your wrestling headgear is too loose, sliding will be a real problem. Sliding headgear can lead to your straps sliding over your eyes or it may rub raw areas onto your skin. In addition, it makes you more susceptible to cauliflower ear. If your wrestling headgear slides you may take a hard fall, breaking blood vessels in your ear. You may lose the win and even worse, wear the signs of it for the rest of your life.
On the other side, wrestling headgear that is too tight can lead to problems of a different variety. When your headgear is too tight, you may suffer from cuts to the neck, chin, or throat. In extreme situations, you may even cut off proper oxygen flow. If this occurs, it could result in a loss of consciousness.As you can see, making sure your wrestling headgear fits snug to your head will ensure you stay safe and comfortable.
Lastly, check your ear cups. Your ears should fit comfortably inside and should not be touching the shell. If your ear is touching you may incur rubbed areas. In addition, ear cups that are too tight will not protect you from shock and impact. You will take the force to your ear, which may cause permanent damage.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How should I clean my wrestling headgear?
A: Keeping your wrestling headgear clean is essential to long-term use. You sweat will certainly be covering it, which can lead to foul odor. Most wrestling headgear can simply be cleaned with soap and water. Making sure to clean your headgear after every use will keep it smelling fresh. In addition, proper cleaning also adds to the life of your wrestling headgear. Sweat causes the material to dry out and possibly crack.
If your headgear is made of leather it may not be safe to clean it with soap and water. This may cause watermarks and ruin the integrity of your headgear. Using all leather wrestling headgear has its advantages but taking good care of it will be necessary. You may need to purchase a high-quality leather cleaner. At the very least, look over the care instructions to ensure you don’t harm the protection of your headgear.
Q: Will wrestling headgear protect me from a concussion?
A: No, while wrestling headgear protects you from a lot of things, a concussion is not one of them. A concussion is caused by the brain hitting the skull upon traumatic force to the head. Your wrestling headgear may cushion the blow if that is how you land, however, it is unlikely to have enough padding or coverage to help. Wrestling headgear is specifically designed to protect the ears. It does a fantastic job of keeping your ears safe and healthy but won’t save you from a concussion.
It has been debated for years, whether or not full coverage headgear can help in the case of concussions. The results lead us in both directions. When in doubt it is certainly better to be safe than sorry. Whether you are wrestling, boxing, or participating in martial arts headgear is important.
Q: Do I need a chin strap to wear my wrestling headgear?
A: Not all wrestling headgear comes with a chin strap but you will definitely want some sort of strap to secure it. You do not necessarily need a chin strap. You have the option of a neck strap if you prefer. Wrestling headgear needs to be secured to your head and the use of a strap will ensure this.
Which is better, a chin or neck strap? The answer is completely up to you. Some prefer a neck strap because it doesn’t get in the way. In addition, some simply don’t like how a cup over their chin feels. Neck straps have been known to cause skin irritation and areas with ingrown hairs.
Those that don’t find comfort in a neck strap should try a chin strap. Usually made with a cup for your chin and the option of adding padding some find it superior in comfort. The anchoring may not be quite as secure as a neck strap. Attention to adjustment ability can help solve that part of the problem.
Q: Is there anything I can do to keep wearing my favorite wrestling headgear after the Velcro wears out?
A: Yes, there are a couple of common fixes. When your Velcro closure stops sticking you may lose your headgear during a match. This not only leaves you open to injury but it causes a great distraction. Making sure your wrestling headgear fits great and stays put every time is important.
One way to fix worn Velcro is to attach new pieces over the old worn pieces. You can accomplish this by sewing new pieces on directly over top of the old pieces. Sewing them on will give you the longest lasting fix. If you are not handy with a needle and thread, that’s OK. You can also purchase self-adhesive Velcro. This will give you a short-term fix but will need further addressing.
Another way is to apply electrical tape over the Velcro closure. This will only work if you wear wrestling headgear that has a snap closure for the neck or chin strap. If all of the closure systems are made of Velcro and none of it is in good shape, you may need to buy new headgear. Electrical tape is fine but keep in mind, if every closure is bad and you tape them up, you won’t be able to put your wrestling headgear on.