Boxing headgear is a serious equipment. Many people think that having a set of boxing gloves is a declaration that you are a boxer or fighter. However, to me, those who carries a good headgear around are those who have gone through certain amount of training and gain a good amount of experience, aka, the pros. In the limelight, we often focus on the shining weapons taped to the two fighters’ hands and often fail to realize the amount of effort, injury, and pain that it took to get there. Behind every successful boxer and fighter, is a good headgear! (in addition to a good coach, of course) And today, we are going to give you the rundown on how to choose your own headgear…
Type of headgear is the first thing you should consider before you even begin shopping. There are many different types of headgear out there made for different purposes. Of course, they all protect your head, or at least 3/4 of your head. The difference lies in the amount of face, back of the head protection, and the amount of padding used. In general, Training headgear have more padding, more protection to the face and back of the head. This sounds good until you consider how much it weights compare to lighter options. Competition headgear for amateur level boxing or sparring are more uniform since they are made under the same competition headgear guidelines. These are mostly open face headgear that do not have much protection to the face. In return, they are much lighter than the training headgear and will feel less cumbersome. One thing to stress is that the best protection is total evasion! So make sure the headgear doesn’t get in the way.
Fit is the next thing you should consider when shopping for a headgear. There is no way to go around it, you have to try it. Even when we sell online, we encourage our buyers to tryout the different headgear and know how they feel. Things to note is that the headgear should cradle your head and not make you feel trapped. We are born with different head shapes and the headgear shouldn’t be compressing the sides or front and back of your head uncomfortably. Winning headgear is still a rare piece of equipment, so if you can find a friend who owns one, or know a professional gym that has one. Try on theirs and get a feel for it. Again, the gear shouldn’t feel cumbersome and you should be able to move your head as you usually do up to this point of your training. Again, the best protection is total evasion!
Fasteners are a part of fit that many people neglect to mention. These are the parts that comes open when you put the headgear on and fasten the headgear in place while sparring. Usually, there are two places where the headgear opens up: 1) the back of the head, and 2) below the chin. Both places needs to be strong and adjustable, giving the wearer significant amount of freedom to get the headgear to fit snugly. For the first, you’ll usually find Velcro® or lace-up fasteners on the back of the head. Both will work wonderfully. But for the most secure fit and adjustability, we recommend going for a lace-up headgear. The reason is the same as we mentioned in our Boxing Glove Lace-up vs. Velcro® post that lace-up allows for “zoning”, meaning having different tightness at different parts of the laces. The draw back are the same too, being that it takes longer to put on than Velcro® fasteners. You can put the headgear on by yourself, unlike the boxing gloves, but who are you going to spar? =) The second part, the chin-strap is usually clip-on. The key thing to pay attention to is the stitching that attaches the strap to the clip and to the headpiece itself. It has to be strong or it will be the first thing to go. And a wobbly headgear equals no headgear.
Visibility is the fourth thing you should consider when shopping. Surely, the headgear being an added protection to your head will to some degree appear in your field of vision. Generally, the less padding, the better the visibility and vice versa. However, given that almost all fighting arts will tell you to keep your chin down, the main visibility problems, at least for me, appears in the upper parts of your field of vision. Thus, make sure that your peripheral vision at the left and right extreme as well as the top is not too obstructed. For MMA figthers, Taewondo fighters, and others when visibility of the lower body is necessary to detect the kick, having cheek protection will definitely get in the way. So the open-face headgear is recommended. Since everyone’s face is different, individuals will have to find the best compromise between protection and visibility. But if you can see the strike coming and evade it, it is the best protection.
Weight vs. Protection is the final thing you should consider. The difference between a good headgear and an excellent headgear lies ultimately in the amount of weight and protection it provides. Generally, the more protection, the heavier the weight. And the most expensive headgear will always be lighter while maintaining a good amount of protection. Winning is often regarded as one to provide the best protection at the lightest weight. That said, it comes down to how you feel with them on. Don’t take the strike if you could evade it with the headgear on (hint, hint, I think you see the pattern here). Having a piece of protective gear on our heads sometimes make us feel invincible. But that sense of comfort should allow you to feel more relaxed and evade more. The headgear should be there to take the brunt when there is no way you could have evaded the strike. In essence, it is a fail safe, but an indispensable one.
So that is it. If you are still wondering why you should get your own headgear instead of using the one at the gym. It mainly comes down to two reasons: 1) fit and 2) hygiene. Fit we have already discussed above. And since almost all headgear is made out of leather, it will mold to your head the more you use it. Hygiene is the main point here. I don’t need to mention the amount of sweat that the headgear gets, but there are others things too, blood, saliva, etc. So getting you own headgear will be good in the long run if you use it on a daily basis.
As for us, we are proud to provide Winning® headgear, consistently rated as the best headgear a boxer or fighter can get that offers great protection at a very light weight. Since every single one of them is handcrafted. They are build tough. The toughness is visible from the stitching around the headgear as well as where the chin strap connects to the headpiece, one of the first places to go on. The FG-2900 is often regarded as having the best weight-to-protection ratio in the industry and is one of the best selling Winning® headgear for boxers. Other ones including the heavily protected FG-5000, most often used as a training headgear, and the FG-2300, a lightweight competition-grade headgear for amateur boxers, fighters, and those who view visibility as their chief criteria. Nonetheless, we are confident that you will enjoy your Winning® headgear, and you will find yourself needing no other gears through most of your athletic pursuit. So check out our Winning® headgear here.
That’s all for today fighters! Train hard!