The official ExpertBoxing Headgear Review of all the boxing headgear I’ve used over the years. I share my experience of 18 different headgear and explain why or why not you should buy them. I list their level of protection, comfort, and pricing among other important factors. Learn important aspects about headgear to protect your head and enjoyment in boxing!
Headgear Review Criteria
Here are the factors I consider when using boxing headgear. Some of these may or may not matter to you. Over the years, I’ve come to be more sensitive and more aware of how different headgear feels on my head after having sparred for so long. The real benefit of this guide is that I’ve used all these headgear and can compare them in relation to each other.
Comfort & Fit
This has got to be the most important factor in headgear. It doesn’t have to feel like it’s custom-made for your head but you should feel confident in your protective equipment. Fighting is stressful enough as it is, you shouldn’t be wearing something that distracts you, annoys you, or feels uncomfortable. At the highest levels of boxing, many fighters will sacrifice cushion for comfort because speed and relaxation offers more protection than cushion.
I describe comfort as how well the headgear conforms to my head. Some headgear squeezes at the side or at the forehead and back of my head. Others are too slippery or move around too much. Some headgear has a very uneven fit creating small gaps between the headgear and your head making it very wobbly when you take punches.
The inside lining will also be a factor. I especially hate smooth lining that allows the headgear to slide around my head when I spar. On the other hand, some people don’t like the furry lining because it feels annoying or dirty.
The chin strap is also especially important. Sometimes the chin strap is too loose so you feel like the headgear isn’t tight enough. Other times the chin strap is too close that it feels like you’re being choked.
The ultimate punch protection is complete evasion, but it’s hard to defend against punches you can’t see. Even if you still get hit, it’s crucial that you see the punch. Being able to see the punch allows you to brace for the impact or roll off the shot and also evade the follow-up punches. The more advanced boxers rely on good defense over heavy padding for protection.
The ultimate punch protection is complete evasion.
Visibility is determined by the cheek protectors and forehead area as well as the thickness of the padding around the front of the face. Different brands and different models all vary in the amount of padding and shape of the cheek protectors. Too much padding and you’ll feel like you’re buried deep inside your headgear. Cheek protectors can be bent a little bit outwards so they don’t cover your vision too much.
I must also advise you to try on different sizes. Headgear that’s too big for your head will protrude further out from your face and takes away some of your vision. The cheek protectors will also be bigger and farther from your face, further decreasing your vision.
This is protective equipment so padding is especially important. I assigned a “Cushion Rating” to all the headgear. The rating goes from 0 to 10. 0 equals nothing. 10 equals invincibility.
I rate the headgear’s cushion by my PERCEIVED THICKNESS of the headgear while taking punches. Actual thickness and what it feels like in my hand doesn’t matter.
I wish headgear cushioning was simple but it isn’t. Some headgear perform well against light punches but terribly against hard punches, and vice versa. Why is this? I’m not certain but I’m guessing the softer the cushion the better it does against light punches. Harder cushion will also take longer to break in but I don’t mind this. I’m usually very excited to get in the ring so breaking in new headgear becomes another excuse to get in there.
I determine quality as how well the headgear is made. Will the padding stay strong for years or will it get soft after just months of use. How well is the chin strap built? This area is crucial because it’s the thinnest part of the headgear, takes a lot of stress, and gets used the most. Many of the cheaper headguards have poorly-made chin straps that fall apart after only a year. The buckle breaks easily or the strap itself tears easily. The headgear is useless if you can’t even strap it to your head. Quality headgear will last forever, don’t buy anything less.
The main areas of coverage on the headgear are the forehead, cheek, sides, chin, and the back of the head. Different headgear will vary in their coverage.
The cheek and forehead are the most important areas because that’s where you’ll be hit the most, AND they affect your vision. The sides of the headgear are also crucial because you’ll be hit there often. The side doesn’t affect your vision but you don’t want it too thick because you’ll feel like your head is a giant target.
The back of the head will vary in amount of padding for different headgear. Wide punches often land there so be aware of that if you have a boxing style that takes many punches to the back of the head. (ie: lots of rolling).
I’ve found headgear with chin padding to be incredibly annoying. The chin padding makes it difficult for me to lower my chin and doesn’t seem to cushion my chin at all. Some headgear also have a facebar which is a bar going across the nose). I’ve seen many pros sparring with this headgear and enjoy its level of protection. I think it’s great if you have a nose that could break but otherwise the facebar makes it difficult for me to see punches during sparring.
These facebar (aka “facesaver”) models are commonly used by competitive fighters to prevent breaking their noses or getting a bruise/cut before a fight. Keep in mind that some of them protect the nose more whereas others may have the bar lower to try and protect the chin (as well as increasing vision).
Size & Weight
The headgear’s size and weight will definitely affect your mobility, especially your head movement. The lighter and tighter the headgear feels, the easier it is to slip punches. Big clunky headgear might have more padding but you’ll feel like your head is a giant target and hard to cover when blocking at close range. Lightweight fighters will appreciate a slim headgear more whereas heavyweights perceive all headgear to be “light”.
Boxing VS MMA Brands
Time and time again, I’ve found boxing gear made by reputable boxing brands to be far superior to the ones made by MMA brands. I feel this way about boxing gloves as well. The gear built by MMA brands might look and feel the same but they don’t last as long. Boxing gear made by MMA brands lose their ability to cushion after a year; they either get too soft or too hard. Gear made by boxing brands can last easily beyond 5 to 10 years with normal use. It’s not uncommon to see 10-year-old boxing gloves in a gym.
Training Headgear vs Competition Headgear
I have to clear this up. Training headgear is generally more heavily padded than competition headgear. It offers better protection for all the punches you will take in regular sparring. Competition headgear is generally slimmer and lighter, trading off padding for mobility so you can move your head faster and avoid getting hit entirely (which equates to points scored against you).
I recommend everyone to train with training headgear and then use official approved competition headgear only during competitions. I don’t recommend using competition headgear during training because it offers lower protection. Training is your time to develop new skills and new tactics, so it’s expected for you to take some punches while learning.
Padding VS Visibility
Increased coverage and padding almost always comes at the cost of visibility. So find your tradeoff. Being a high speed lightweight, I find visibility to be especially crucial to fighting. I generally like headgear with smaller cheek protectors and then find the most padded one that isn’t too heavy or too bulky. If you’re new to boxing, you’ll have to experiment until you know how much padding & visibility you like.
Buy Your Own
You can save money by using the community headgear at your boxing gym but there are good reasons to have your own. It’s gross to put on headgear with someone else’s sweat on it. Sometimes it’s more than just sweat; there’s blood or even blood stains.
Your own headgear will always be adjusted for your head so it fits perfectly everytime. Using the gym headgear can be a hassle because it might not fit right and/or the one you want is currently used by someone else.
…. now onto the headgear review!
1. EVERLAST Headgear – $35
Cushion Rating – 2
This thing felt like a toy in my hands. It’s simply a novelty for kids to “play boxing”. I wouldn’t recommend this for any boxing sparring. Even if you insist on being cheap, I would tell you to save the money and borrow someone else’s headgear, or put a bicycle helmet on your head.
Don’t buy it. Even if you get one for free, don’t use it.
2. EVERLAST Classic “Old School” Headgear – $39
Cushion Rating – 3
The padding is too stiff that it doesn’t feel like padding. The coverage feels awkward. I don’t get why Everlast sells this. You’d think all the “old school” boxers were retired by now.
Don’t buy it. I think it’s safe to say new school headgear is far better than old school headgear.
3. “PRO” Mexican Style Headgear – $45
Cushion Rating – 4
I bought this at a local store when I was new to boxing and didn’t know any better. You’ll find this generic brand randomly throughout California. I bought it because I was cheap and did regret my decision shortly after. The padding was ok at first but quickly got soft even with minimal use. The buckle was cheaply made making it a hassle to put on and take off the headgear even with a second person helping me. Most “PRO”-brand headgear I see have a messed-up buckle where the stick in the middle swings both ways past the box.
Don’t buy it. I once showed up at a boxing team tryout with my “PRO” headgear and the head coach laughed. Need I say more?
4. WARRIOR Pro Training headgear – $59
Cushion Rating – 4
One of my main sparring partners had this headgear. The cushioning is far too soft. My friend did explain it wasn’t this soft when he first bought it.
Don’t buy it. The padding is way too soft.
5. TITLE Classic Power Air Training Headgear – $39
Cushion Rating – 4
The holes definitely make your head feel cool and free. It’s also very light so if you combine that with the breathable holes, you’ll feel like you’re not wearing any headgear. Unfortunately, the poor cushioning also adds to that effect. The cushioning is so poor you feel like you’re not wearing any headgear. I couldn’t understand it. The headgear felt great and very protective in my hands but not when I was taking punches.
Don’t buy it. It feels great but the cushioning is far behind other headgear in the same price range.
6. FIGHTGEAR Air Max Training Headgear – $49
Cushion Rating – 4
Same experience as the TITLE Classic Power Air headgear. Very light and breatheable but not much protection.
Don’t buy it. There are many better options for the price.
7. EVERLAST Competition Headgear $69
Cushion Rating – 6
I spent the most time with my Everlast competition headgear and must say it’s great. I had the one with cheeks, not the open face version. It was very comfortable, very light, good protection all around the head. Even though I had the cheeks version, the visibility was very high. I didn’t feel like anything was blocking my vision.
The suede grip on the inside kept the headgear stable and secure to my head. I never had to readjust this headgear during intense exchanges. I must also say that I’m a HUGE FAN of the velcro chin strap. I especially dislike headgear with buckles. The velcro is so much easier to use and allows you strap exactly where you need it instead of fumbling around all day to look for the hole. You can easily put it on and take it off all by yourself without having to look in a mirror.
Buy it. Highly recommended for competition use and light sparring. The velcro strap alone is highly appreciated. It’s a great buy at $69 and will last years of abuse. I would however look into more expensive headgear if you’re doing intense sparring.
8. TITLE Traditional Training Headgear – $49
Cushion Rating – 7
Good headgear. Good coverage and good protection. Great deal at $49.
Buy it. Good for training and cheap price.
9. TITLE Platinum Training Headgear $59
Cushion Rating – 8
Great headgear. Thick and feels great. Some people might be annoyed by the cheek protectors.
Buy it. For only $10 more than the TITLE Traditional Training Headgear, why not?
10. TITLE Boxing Competition Headgear – $59
Cushion Rating – 5
Good padding, comfort, and lightweight for competition. Feels great, everything good. The one pictured above is the open face version, but there is also a version with cheeks.
Buy it. Great for use in amateur competition.
11. TITLE Boxing Face Protector Training Headgear – $89
Cushion Rating – 10
Good padding, comfort. Built for heavy-duty sparring! The face bar is great for fighters that are more prone to broken noses. Many of the middleweights and heavyweights at this Mexican gym I use to train at used these all the time for sparring.
I personally found the face bar to be incredibly annoying. I weigh around 140-145lbs so guys in my weight class typically prefer an open face design to help us see faster punches coming from all angles.
Buy it if you don’t like getting hit in the face. Beware of the face bar potentially blinding you from certain punches. Padding doesn’t help if it blocks your view of the punch.
12. RIVAL Traditional Training Headgear – $69
Cushion Rating – 8
GREAT headgear. Looks sexy, feels great, and takes punches very well. I felt very protected when I first put on this headgear. It feels slim and yet secure. You will feel very comfortable, fast, and protected in this headgear. It’s one of my all-time favorites.
Buy it. You won’t find a better combination of padding, slim size, and comfort under $100.
13. FIGHTGEAR Master’s Competition Headgear – $69
Cushion Rating – 9
Great coverage and great protection. Thick padding all around the face. Excellent choice for brawler boxing training. The padding is thick so make sure you get the right size or you’ll feel buried in the headgear. The inside is also a little smooth so it slides a little bit.
Buy it. It’s great protection at a great price, as long as you don’t mind having a little less vision.
14. FIGHTING SPORTS Tri-Tech Training Headgear – $99
Cushion Rating – 8
Great padding and comfort but sorry, I can’t recommend this headgear. The inside is far too smooth. The headgear slips and slides around your head even when you’re not sweating. I got tired of it constantly spinning around my head and took it off after 1 minute of sparring.
Don’t buy it. Great padding, coverage, lightweight, comfort but ultimately unusable because it slides too easily.
15. RIVAL d3o Pro Training Headgear – $129
Cushion Rating – 10
This is currently my main training headgear. This headgear is built with great quality and protection all around. Everything from the padding to the top of the head to the straps in the back screams quality. Great fit, great padding, and comfort. The cheek protectors and padding around the eyes did feel like they were slightly blocking my vision. I didn’t mind it but other boxers might.
Buy it. Great protection and comfort.
16. ADIDAS Amateur Boxing Competition Headgear – $129
Cushion Rating – 5
I never used this headgear but I did get outboxed and beat up by a guy using this headgear. Hahaha, ok I did get a chance to feel this headgear on several occasions. It’s very minimal padding so you feel like you’re not wearing any headgear at all. You shouldn’t be using this unless you’re super slick and/or competing at the international level. I must admit that the cushioning is surprising good considering you’re hardly wearing anything.
Buy it if you’re slick enough.
17. GRANT Professional Headgear – $179
Cushion Rating – 10
Great cushioning against soft and hard punches. I see many brawlers and heavyweights using this headgear.
Buy it. Great quality and justified price.
18. WINNING FG-2900 – $295
Cushion Rating – 8
I wish I had a better picture of the headgear but then I realized the manufacturer’s image displayed it best. The headgear is a no-BS piece of equipment used by serious boxers around the world. FYI: Winning is known to be one of the best brands for boxing protection. Their gloves are reknown for offering the best hand protection. This is something you should consider if you’re a serious power puncher and need your hands for years of abuse.
BELIEVE THE HYPE! At first, it’s hard to imagine anything this thin and light to offer so much protection but it does! You won’t believe its performance until you spar with it.
This is what the pro’s use in training and for good reason. It’s super light and very comfortable so you feel like you’re not wearing anything at all. The protection level is very high for such a lightweight headgear. I should warn you that the protection in the back of the head is minimal!
Buy it. The price is well justified. It’s great protection and comfort but what really makes the difference is how light it is. It’s the lightest headgear I’ve ever worn and high level fighters appreciate this quality tremendously.
The Winning FG-2900 wins the EXPERTBOXING AWARD FOR BEST HEADGEAR!
19. WINNING FG-5000 – $450
Cushion Rating – 10
This is the most common headgear I see used in the gym by competing amateurs and professionals. Same Winning quality but with the bonus of the face-saver bar. The funny thing is I hear this FG-5000 model actually has better vision than the FG-2900. The reason is because the FG-2900 has the cheek protectors wrapping more around your eyes whereas as this one has the opening a bit bigger since you have a bar right in front. It’s a good choice for competing fighters to risk not getting their nose broken before their fights. So the bar not only gives you more protection but allows the headgear to give you a wider field of vision.
For those wondering, some people DO prefer the FG-2900 model over the FG-5000 because it feels less bulky. I suppose you might prefer it as well for when you’re sparring months out without any fight scheduled and want to feel loose and quick.
Buy it. Worth every penny if you’re boxing seriously. All the best fighters have it, IMO.
The Winning FG-5000 also wins the EXPERTBOXING AWARD FOR BEST HEADGEAR!
Final Headgear Recommendations
Your brain is vital to your longterm health and enjoyment in life so do your best to protect it. There are many people who will argue that headgear only protects the skin or the bone, and that it can’t cushion the brain. That may be so, but I’m still going to wear the best headgear I can find in hopes of minimizing that risk. This is your head and your health, so buy the best boxing headgear there is once you start boxing seriously.
At the very least, headgear that makes you FEEL more comfortable and more secure will protect you the most because you’ll be more comfortable and fight better. So wear what makes YOU comfortable and feels the most secure to you. Everybody’s head is different and will fit different headgear differently. Your fighting style will also be another determining factor in what headgear you can get away with. I sure as hell don’t recommend brawlers to be using the slimmest headgear.
The BEST Boxing Headgear
If I don’t mention any other head gear, it’s because I have no experience with it, or at least not enough to form any opinion. The only headgear I used are the ones I listed here. My favorites are the Rival Traditional, Rival d3o, Everlast Competition, the Winning FG-2900, and the Winning FG-5000.
Is this the same as the regular one thats not classic?
It’s definitely not the same. I’ve never tried that one before.
where can you get the traditional title heard guard from ?
thanks Johnny mate
Do you think Fightgears Masters head gear is as good as wearing training head gear.
39 yrs Masters Division
Yes! That’s a good one…also mentioned in my review up above.
PAUL MARTIN LEWIS
Where does Ringside product’s sit/fit in all this ? Paulo
Is there any head gear to where you will not feel any damage at all? or are you going to absorb at least something? regardless of how hard your hit?
I have yet to find one. It’s hard considering how hard people punch and how light the gear must be to feel comfortable.
if you looking for somthing where you dont feel any damage at all your in the wrong game mate, boxing is not about being able to just hit hard but you must be able to take a punch also, i have box’d for a few years now and if i have learned one thing is that its no matter what head gear you have on or what size gloves your wearing or even the size of the person your boxing you will feel pain!!
I agree! The better your opponent, the more you realize headgear is only there to prevent cuts and bruises…the power will still transfer!
Hey Johnny would love an update on the head guards too when you get a chance! Thanks Bro!
So many new brands and unfortunately, it’s tougher because I can really only rate them by looking at them….I don’t have so much time to spar in every headgear out there. Gloves are easier since I only need a heavy bag for a quick test rather than to use the exact same sparring partner each time to compare impact.
hi my name is michelle perry and i am 10 years old
and how do you do that stuff 🙌🙌👍😮😮😊
would the WINNING FG- 2900 help me if i was to roll with punches or not?
What would be the best headgear for a counterpuncher?
and would the title traditional training headgear and title boxing face protector training headgear be that very good for me?
hope to hear from you soon. A great guide, i enjoyed reading it!
The Winning FG-2900 is the best all around in my opinion. Is it the absolute best for you? I can’t guarantee that. Read the review and choose the one you like. I tried 20-30 different headgear before I was able to narrow down what I liked.
Have you ever used FG-5000? I see Margarito and other pro’s use this. I owned one and then shipped back when I decided to stop sparring. As I remember, the vision seemed good, but the facebar felt a little weird. With FG-2900, was the padding soft enough that it fit right, adjusted as you got hit or does it feel really stiff? Also, how’s the vision in it?
I’ve never used the FG-5000 but a lot of pro’s do and they like it. The padding on the 2900 feels like layered foam. Like the kind that comes with your electronics like a big screen TV. It feels good, the vision is good.
Dude ive read this article a day too late haha i just spent a hundred bucks on a head guard on sugar rays and i aint too sure ive got the right one..thing is im on of these guys with a big nose (the type of nose thar sticks OUT of a head guard) and a strong wind can make it bleed let alone a stiff jab! so ive opted for a guard with a nose protecter on it and im wondering how much protection it will give me!? Answer to my prayers or is the doc gonna have to cauterize it ya think? Ps lookin forward to the book its gonna be my bible 🙂
Danny, if you bought a headguard different from the ones I listed, I won’t be able to offer you any opinion. Hopefully you went with a reputable brand.
PS: The book is 98% done and in the final rounds of editing along with the video. It’s going to be intense. 🙂
I love your reviews, and I greatly appreciate your dedication to answering our mailbag questions, you’ve helped me develop much faster as a boxer than I realized. My issue is I’ve been looking around to purchase some of the winning products and I can’t find them online, I’m not sure why, ironically I live in japan but no sporting goods store here sells the stuff (but I have a US shipping address as I’m in the military). Know if any place I could order it?
I found the Winning website with 2 seconds searching “winning boxing” on Google. http://winning-usa.com/
I’m just chiming in with my 2 cents here and I know it’s too late but you can get Winning gear from the source in Japan from this website. It’s also much less compared to Winning USA even with the shipping fee. Anyway if you still haven’t purchased some Winning Gear you can find some inexpensive options here.
Also any idea about the Leone products in general?
Nope, none whatsoever.
Johnny, this was really helpful and well done. Thank you.
Appreciate this review. Equipment is expensive and this narrows my choices down without taking chances and feeling like i made the wrong choice. Thanks bro!
Thanks for the great review Johnny N.
I think I’ll get the WINNING FG-2900 headgear. Looks to be really great.
Excellent decision, Mach!
Excellent review, Johnny..I’m not at the sparring stage yet, but when that time comes, I will save this for reference.
why dont you write about the cross armed guard used by ken norton or the peak aboo of mike tyson? or why dont you rewrite/ update your articals on how to take a punch and how to hit harder.
I’m going to do ALL of that!
The Sweaty Glove
That’s great. I always wondered about that cross armed guard. Didn’t Joe Frazier and George Foreman use that, or something similar? It seemed as if their elbows became weapons. One punch on that elbow and broken hands LOL
Both of them did at times. I remember Foreman doing that a lot.
The Sweaty Glove
Holyfield, too, now that I think of it. Thanks for answering!
Archie Moore is often credited, rightly or wrongly, for supposedly creating that particular defensive technique. He was in Foreman’s corner for most of his fights so it would make sense that GF might adopt its use from time to time.
This is an awesome post! Wish this was already here before I bought the title classic air. True that, not much protection, got myself hit pretty bad. You might want to do gloves review in the future. Cheers!
I heard a lot about the Everlast Safemax?
I’ve never used it but it looks good though.
Thanks for the review. I started with an MMA brand headgear that had slim padding and my nose suffered for it. I moved to the Rival full face and what a difference! i really love that headgear and the only gripe I have with it is that it gets heavy as you sweat and your side vision can be somewhat hampered by the great padding. I have been hit hard enough with it to have some bruising around my eyes but I still think it offers a great amount of protection.
I have had it for about 7 months now sparring about 1.5-2hrs a week and I have started to notice the forehead is getting a bit soft.
The full face is a great headgear and I have been thinking I will try the D30 or the traditional to see how the peripheral vision is. Do you have pic with it on to show the amount of coverage?
Thanks for the great site!!!
The D3o feels like it has less vision that than the Rival traditional training headgear. I still spar with it, though.
Also, one the best reasons I like the Rival headgear is the suede lining. It is comfortable and keeps the headgear form moving around on your face.
That’s one of the reasons I fell in love with Rival. The inside feels so nice.
is it ok to use cheap head gear for light sparring practice? we had this “no power” type sparring we just touch the heads of our partners if hitting in the head.
If you say it’s “no power” then I guess it’s ok, but even still, I don’t recommend it.
i like coach rick and kenny weldon on youtube for their training video’s on boxing which one’s would you recomend for being the most detailed and the most well exsplained?
Watch them both. Watch everything. Learn everything. Don’t close your mind.
Nice article Johnny! Especially the part where you said “instead of fumbling around all day to look for the hole.”, first thing that came to mind is “That’s what she said”
Every new kid always come to the gym and want to spar without headgear.. Even when going ‘light’ you have the chance of accidental elbows and head butts that will open a cut in a flash. Hell, even the velcro from hook & loop gloves can tear your facial skin up pretty easily. Whether or not you can take a good punch, you should be wearing headgear whenever you spar.
Aside from that, the first incarnation of the Title Platinum was my most favorite headgear of all time. It was suede lined and never moved during training without being too tight. I always left the chinstrap buckled, since it had a velcro backing, I just adjusted the back to put on and take off in under 2 seconds each way.
After 10 years, thousands of punches and the top lacing being chewed by the dog, I decided to get the new version of the same headgear BUT it is leather lined and as you mention, way too damn slippery.
I’m also in agreement that the Winning headgear the best thing I’ve ever put on. 24/7 has been the greatest commercial for those guys as EVERY pro is now wearing at least the headgear, if not the gloves too.
People… PLEASE STOP BUYING EVERLAST CHEAP-GEAR… The company makes a professional line of gear that is perfectly fine. But if you’re going to buy your boxing equipment at Dick’s Sporting Goods, you will soon be replacing what you’ve purchased.
Yes! I see Winning on every 24/7 episode. I see even martial artists using Winning, too.
What’s up Johnny!
Interesting and golden info on head gear man. They did this interesting study gauging the impacts of hits in football helmets trying to assess impact amounts to try to make better football helmets to protect the players.
Can you imagine if they did this study for boxing headgear! OMG they’d probably find higher impact numbers and more frequent impact hits then football hits. I’ve done both and have received concussions or bad headaches from both!
I agree with you and those that say it doesn’t really help. BUT I know it’s better to have than not have. I’ve found that not being there to take the massive hit as the best protection LOL. Seriously though being aware, skilled, quick, and prepared was the best way I found not to get pummeled.
You’re the best Bro,
I really wish they’d do the study for boxing headgear, but instead they care more about the brain damage and dangers of the sport. I agree with being slick. Learn to roll shots, that’s the best way.
The Sweaty Glove
Great review! Very thorough and informative.
I always thought #6. FIGHTGEAR Air Max Training Headgear – $49 was a great product, but I guess not, now. #7 looks good, but I have to use #13. FIGHTGEAR Master’s Competition Headgear – $69 because I’ll be competing in the Masters Division when it’s time to compete.
There doesn’t seem to be many places that have headgear on display to try on. What do you suggest? Buying your expected size and then returning it? Or something else? I know of one boxing supply store in NYC, but they don’t have a large selection. They carry their store brand and maybe one or two Everlasts…
The manufacturers usually have head sizes on their website or you can email their customer service for them. They’ll give you a general sizing chart that matches up with the circumference measurement of your forehead. But ultimately, the entire headgear sizing also matters. Some people’s jaws or top of the head or back of the head are bigger, etc.
The Sweaty Glove
OK, great. Thanks. I’ll check that out.
I forgot to say…the best place to try on lots of different headgear: a boxing gym. Hahahaha.
Is fight,gears masters division headgear really that good and have that good of padding? Will the thick padding hinder my vision?some people swear buy it but do you think its better to save up and get winning or is the fightgears protectiongood enough? Thank you again for all your advice.
I can’t answer that question for you, James. For me, it’s “good enough”….but for you, I don’t know. Sounds to me like you’ve already read other reviews saying that it’s more than good enough.
Is the Grant proffesional headgear good for nose protection? I can see it has the cheekpads so that must help?
I have a vulnerable nose but dont want a crossbar headgear.
Most headgear has cheek coverage, Sebastian. Some more so than others. The review explains their relative coverage and has pictures to show which ones have more or less face coverage. I’d guess the Grant is better than most, but I don’t know if it’s good enough to keep you from getting your nose broken.
Hello Johnny, first of all thanks for all the good recomendations!!!!
Have you ever tried the fairtex headgear??
greetings from portugal!!
Sorry João, I never tried fairtex. They look nice, though.
The new Fairtex HG13 model is sweet. Full leather. Built like a tank. Soft on the inside, but stiff on the outside. Face coverage is almost as good as a bar type, but without the bar, and yet you have surprisingly good visibility.
The only potential drawback for a boxer might be the top protection they added to protect against elbows, axe kicks, and other strikes not part of the boxing vocabulary.
I don’t like wearing headgear any more than the next person, but this one is relatively light, doesn’t feel bulky, and it’s comfortable enough that I (almost) look forward to putting it on – almost. And for me, that’s quite an accomplishment.
While I haven’t tried as many as Johnny N, I’ve used enough of both boxing and Muay Thai brands to say that this is my new favorite – by far. That said, to each their own.
There are still too many subjective factors involved here so I’d stick with what Johnny N said about going to your gym and trying out as many different kinds as you can before making your decision.
I’m also considering the Fairtex HG13 model. Has your opinion of the product changed since your last review? My somewhat larger nose is usually the part that carries my sparring trophies and I’d prefer to not spend the $250 on the Winning piece. I also do muay thai, so I like that it’s built for that (although I’d go with the laced-top version). I’ve always found Rival gear to be comfortable and good-looking, but not sure the d30 provides adequate, if any, nose protection.
Also, what size did you go with? I’m an M with most other brands but given my 22.5 inch head, I think (although there doesn’t seem to be a current sizing chart on the Fairtex website) I’d have to order L or XL with this. 5’5″ and 132lbs. Thoughts? Leaning towards the L, but unfortunately nowhere I can try it on.
Appreciate the help.
My opinion doesn’t matter so much as it is with your experience. Everyone’s head is different. Sizing is not universal as the shape of your head can greatly affect the way it fits on you. If there are no stores nearby you, then you have no choice but to order online and return if you don’t like.
Thanks Johnny. I was hoping Ugly American could give me his opinion given that he owns the gear. From my experience, Thai sizes often differ from American sizes for certain items. That said, I’ve found a warehouse that sells the item online and given that it’s not too far from me, they’ve agreed to let me drop in to try it on. Your site’s been a great resource for reviews. Thanks again.
Excellent reviews, appreciate the good humor also. Well, I just stumbled in here while looking for headgear for my son. I’ve been online searching for h o u r s… My boy is about to turn 7 and up until recently dipped foam and/or the “play boxing” head gear has been enough. He’s learning Muay Thai and sparing so some of the impacts are pretty hard. Any recommendations for kids headgear? Thanks again.
Hi Shellback, kickers use different types of headgear because of the different kinds of impact and also the field of vision. Boxing headgear usually have less field of vision because they get punched straight in the face. Kicking headgear opens up the front of the face allowing them to see the kicks coming from the lower field of vision… also the sides and back of the head are better reinforced to take kicks.
The only brands I know of are Fairtex, a muay thai brand. I don’t know about child sizes and I don’t recommend any boxing headgear for kicking.
Noted. Thanks again.
What have you heard about Tapout MMA head geaor Adidas head gear?
I’ve heard Adidas good, and Tapout bad. But I’ve never tried Tapout headgear so I don’t know for certain.
Was just gonna buy Rival traditional until they ran out of my size…
Have you by any chance heard anything of Twins headgear?
I have but I’ve never used them.
Hi Johnny , thank you for the reviews. Would you comment on the twins hgl-10 twins head gear (with nose bar) for boxing sparring sessions?
Johnny, is it possible that you increase the number of comments at the right of the page to 10 from 5 columns, i guess it makes following of the new comments and generally the following of the site more easy. Just a suggestion.
Yes, I can increase it. I worry it will take up more space and not make much difference. You know, if you put your email in…the system will notify you when someone replies to your comment. I’ll give it some serious thought. Hopefully others will comment on this, too. You’re the first to request it.
Timely stuff, I bought new headgear for my kid last week. My 8 year old son has sparring competitions (Thai boxing) every month. He’s outgrown his “Revgear”, so we decided to upgrade. Unsure of what to buy, I consulted his trainers. The “gear” guy told me that Fighting Sports is Winning’s “off brand”. So, I purchased 2 sets:
1. Title’s Full Face
2. Fighting Sports Training model.
With Title, It took the kid about 15 seconds to say “I don’t feel like I can see with this bar across my face.”. He could also feel the entire piece vibrate when the bar was struck, so we sent it back. The Fighting Sports model was so comfortable, he fell asleep en route to the gym.
All that said, do you know if Fighting Sports is a subsidiary of Winning?
Chris…. WHOA! You opened up a can of worms. I know Fighting Sports as the premium brand of TitleBoxing. Fighting Sports has nothing to do with Winning. Those 2 are not related. I was so shocked by what you said, I went searching around online and found several forums incorrectly connecting those 2 brands.
Johnny, thanks for the clarification. I had the “gear” guy read the thread and it was apparent he felt bad for giving me incorrect information. He was quick to correct the info to others The thread that brought me here was your article on sparring for beginners (for me, not my kid). It brought me comfort that our gym spars in the same way you recommend.
Your site is truly one of the best on the web and your domain name is appropriate. I’ll follow up with you and let you know how my sparring session goes. Thanks for being such a great resource to complete strangers.
Hi johnny what about the rival full face headgear? What do u think bout that one?
I like that one, sicnarf. I think one of my sparring partners uses that.
Could you please review boxing boots/shoes as well?
Thank you in advance,
I’ll have to do this one day. In order, I like: Nike > Adidas > Everlast > Rival > Title (I actually don’t like Title)
Hi have you ever reviewed any of the Lonsdale London head gear? If so what did you think? If i have researched correctly i think most of the Lonsdale boxing equipment in the USA isn’t made in the UK?
Sorry Dave, I have no experience with Lonsdale.
Hi Johnny,If i shoulder roll the chin protection is very irtitating so wich headgear would you recommend with good visibility?Im in South-Africa, so I have to order it! Thank you for making me a better boxer!
If you want more visibility, get the open face competition style of headgear.
Oky will do so!Thank you!
i try ordering headgear offline, but i also have a fear of getting the wrong size their is small large and extra large, i dont like going through all the trouble with sending an item back so how will i know between small large or extra large headgear? im thinking about walking into big five and checking the headgear out just for sizing
Going to Big 5 is not a good idea, they don’t have good brands there and all brands are different sizes. I recommend you go to the manufacturer website and get the sizing measurements. It will say small/medium/large and the accompanying diameter size for your forehead.
what head is better ?
I never tried the Adidas one but they both look good.
I just wanted to say that i appreciate your reviews. I did choose to order a rival traditional headgear. very pleased with it. It is still breaking in but is very well made. You should do a review on boxing glove reviews. I feel that it would be helpful to alot of people the same way that this review is. I bought a pair of Hayabusa sparring gloves and they are amazing. Great materials and very well made.
Just discovered your site and loving it. If you had to pick between the rival traditional and the title traditional/plat which would you pick?
For me personally, I prefer the Rival traditional. But the Title Platinum is very good and might be more recommended for people with different type of head or like a different type of feel.
Hey Johnny. Thanks for this blog. Question: Have you heard anything about RIVAL MEXICAN STYLE PRO TRAINING HEADGEAR? I am interested in having good nose protection but do not want to wear full face training headgear. Any recommendations?
I really like Rival but I never tried that one so I don’t know.
I actually meant to say “no contact headgear” in my post.
hey johnny was up man good review, i just started training in mma a few months ago. i was sparring with the rival d30 headgear but i was always going home with headaches so i purchased fighting sports tri tech headgear and i am still having that problem, so now im thinking of getting the winning 2900 headgear so my question is with your experience using those headgears wich one absorbs impact the best? or is going home with headaches all the time something you have to get use to?
Headaches aren’t good. If you’re new to fighting, you’ll have to slow down and give yourself a chance to develop skills. Headgear isn’t going to make up for poor defense. To me the Rival d3o absorbs impact the best out of those 3.
but isnt the best way to develope skills is by getting in there and sparring?
Yes it is Jonathan but you shouldn’t be sparring so hard that you get headaches.
Johnny u been a lot of help, I have one more question. I train in probably one of the most respected gyms in new england a lot of pro mma fighters train there and these guys don’t believe in sparring light, my problem is that I would feel like a punk telling whoever I’m sparring with to go lighter. What is your advice?
Pro fighters should definitely know the purpose of going light. I like working with pro’s for that reason. Sometimes the best idea is to talk to the coaches. Ask the coach if they have any fighter skilled enough to work with you. And then they’ll usually offer their most calm and restrained fighter. It’s common practice in boxing for one coach to ask another, “Hey do you have anybody that can work with my guy? He’s a little green.”
Thanks for the advice johnny..
I am 40 years old, I am training in a boxing gym. I have an old headgear (everlast old school) and I am not satisfied. I got headache a lot . Would please advice me a good headgear with a good padding and cheek protection
Stephane! What a coincidence. You left a comment on the article that can answer it. Please read above and pick the headgear you like. They all have different levels of padding and cheek coverage.
This is true in fact I wanted to have an advice on the model that I will be the best for me. I hesitate between title tradional and rival traditional
I have no idea which one will be the best for you. For myself, I like the Rival traditional.
Have you ever tried this gear: http://www.everlast.com/everlast/boxing/protective-gear/headgear/everlast-evercool-sparring-boxing-headgear-4.html
No I haven’t.
I’m from Australia and we have VERY limited access to Boxing equipment over here, which is really a shame since we have a very deep boxing history here. So ordering online is my only option and hoping the sizing is right..
I’m fairly new to boxing but my coach thinks I’m ready to step up and spar some of the heavyweights in the gym *I weight 240, I’m 6ft2*. I’m don’t mind getting hit, I used to kickbox, but I’m paranoid about breaking my nose. I have a few boxing friends who have broken their noses badly in sparring and I’ve heard it happens a lot vs heavyweights.
My question is – Should I just save up the cash and go all out on a Winning FG 5000 and count on it fitting and lasting for years to come, protecting all my head it all it’s pillowy soft glory, and hope my nose isn’t to big and the bar bangs against it….. (how much room for the nose is there btw?)
Or – Should I start off with a much more affordable headgear like the Rivals and just stress to my partners to go light, and pray I don’t get matched up with a jerk?
Cheers for the site and all your replies, you do us a fantastic service Johnny!
I can’t answer your question because I don’t know your nose and never used the Winning headgear with the facebar. But I would say it’s built better than other headgear and you should give it a try if you’re looking for the best thing out there. I would recommend it over the Rival.
Cheers for the response J, based on all the research I’ve done I’m going to take a leap of faith and save up for it, I’ve emailed the guy who runs the site and he seems very helpful and hopefully will make sure my sizing is correct.
I’ll try to get some measurements and feedback for you on the headgear once I have it if you are interested.
where can I find a Grant Professional Headgear?????
I use to see it here http://www.ringside.com/ringside/grant-boxing.html but now I guess you have to look elsewhere. Hmmm…
Hey thanks for putting this up. Been lookin for something like it. I’m thinking about getting the title traditional headgear or the gel version of it. Have you tried the gel version? It wasn’t in the review above. Which would you recommend?
I would guess that the gel version is better but I’ve never tried it so I don’t really know for sure.
100% agree with you about the Fighting Gear Tri-Tech Training HeadGear. This was the first headgear piece I’ve ever owned and it never felt right on my head. It just kept shifting around. It made me very uncomfortable when sparring in them because a single punch no matter how light would shift the headgear causing me to lose visibility. Imagine what happens when those combos started coming at me. On your recommendation, I ordered the Rival Traditional Headgear and WHOA what a world of difference. It felt sooo comfortable on my head plus it felt very snug without squeezing my head. Awesome visibility too! I definitely feel more confident and relaxed in the ring now that I’ve got “proper” headgear.
Thanks for these great reviews!!!
which would you prefer?
Im, looking for a pair just to train in for now, so which would you prefer for training and which for competition? let me know from these three so i have an idea please, thank you sir
I would probably pick the second one.
Which would you pick considering taking punches protection ONLY, since the cushion rating 8 is the same: Rival Traditional or the Winning FG-2900?
Thanks for such great reviews.
If cushion rating is the only thing you care about, I guess they are both equal.
I care a lot more, but cushion is something one can justify fairly objectivly, so could be compared.
Just purchased FG-2900. Refreshing pacel tracking site all the time. Cant wait… 🙂
How tightly should my headgear fit? I just ordered two sets (Rival Traditional and Title Platinum) for myself and a friend of mine that are just starting to try boxing. I’m just not sure exactly how tight it should fit, how high it should sit around my eyes and on my forehead, and how much wiggle room I should have, etc. I play football and am used to my helmet needing to be so tight that it fits like vice grips on my brain, so how should headgear fit in comparison?
Tight enough to feel comfortable and not slide around your head, but not so much that it hurts. The visibility is up to you. You have to try it and see for yourself.
Hey guys just a guik question my son boxes now and I just got him a headgear….is it OK to wash these occasionally and if it is….how?
I wash my headgear every now and then and everything still works fine.
hey johnny, im trying to buy the traditional rival headgear ,but im not sure what size to choose. Im wondering what size you use because I think i have the same sized head as you, I hope its medium.
My head has a bigger circumference than you think. I’m 7 & 5/8 inches (size Large for rival, size XL for everlast). The best way is to contact the manufacturer or look up their website for the sizing chart. Then you measure your own head and see where it fits.
Thanks for the your article, its really streamlined my research. I was all set to get the one of the Rival headgear when I came across the Top Ten Avantguard made of Bayfill, Johnny do you know anything about this headgear? From what I’ve researched the The Top Ten Bayfill line is AIBA approved, was the official headgear of the 1996 and 2000 Olympics boxing and many boxing/martial art competitions.
The fact that it was made out of a completely different material, that seemed to be very durable, low profile, not absorb sweet, and distributes the force of a blow through the entire headgear, and has optional face mask attachment seemed rather unique. Strangely it doesn’t seem to be mentioned as one the best headgear on boxing forums so I’m not sure what to think. Do you have any thoughts? Thanks.
Here is a good article for quick reference:
I’ve never used that brand before and never seen it in the gym. I guess I’ll have to check one out in the future if its got such great reviews. For whatever reason, it’s not a popular brand here in America.
i was wondering if you know any legit/safe site to where i can purchase winning gear
Out here in Southern California, we visit the local Winning distributor and buy directly from him.
I dont have any way to get to southern cali i live in northern cali, is there a way i can contact them so they can ship the items?
would you trust this site?
Yes, that’s the official site. I know it looks fake and cheesy but it’s the real one.
is this the same as Everlast Competition Headgear but without cheeks? Also would you recommend THIS version?
You are correct, Frost. I would recommend that version assuming that’s the one you want.
is head gear suppose to be snug? or partially loose?
Tight enough to be secure, but not so tight that it hurts. Go with what you feel comfortable with.
it says usa boxing approved does that mean i can still compete in golden gloves with these?
Yes you can.
hi i need help! Im going for the winning headgear FG-2900 but i dont know what size to get. My head is 22 3/4 inches 58 cm. and im 5″6 126lbs.One friend said i should get large cause large has more padding? another friend suggested me to get medium cause of my small size but i dont know. The thing is i can wear both medium and large. MEDIUM is 21.0 – 23.0 inch / 54 – 59 cm. LARGE 22.5 – 24.5 inch / 57 – 62 cm. My hat size is a large i dont know if that would help out much. Please help me!! thanks!!
Large does not have more padding, it’s simply meant for a bigger head. I say get the size that fits you.
Wow, you have a HUGE head for your size. Go with the Large, can always tighten via the laces.
Speaking of Winning, has anyone considered the current situation in Japan regarding the Fukushima accident? Many of us at the gym have been considering Winning headgear but recently someone mentioned the Fukushima accident and how it may (or may not) affect products coming out of Japan. At first thought it seemed ridiculous to me to even consider fallout tainted gear but the more I thought about it the more plausible it became.
Just got my Rival D30 Headgear and have to say it is by far the greatest headgear I have laid my hands on! Your review was bang on top quality construction and with enough adjustment to make it fit like a glove. Very pleased cant wait to get in the ring with it! Top website mate keep it up!
How is the nose protection on the D30? I heard it is wide open.
Gus, I’m sparring on Monday so I will let you know how it goes. I don’t think it will be a problem D30 fits so well, the cheek guards are nice and high up, nicely padded and my nose doesn’t stick out that much! I have it nice and snug so it would have to be a pin point shot to get through. Does you good to get a bop on the nose every now and again reminds me to keep my hands up!
The nose protection is better than most but usually that’s the least protected part of headgear because anything that protects the nose will restrict your vision. I would get a headgear with a facebar if you have a nose that’s easily broken.
I’m happy for you! Post your sparring videos on the EB facebook for us all, Dan!
Hey Johnny, will you be doing any other product reviews in the future?
I would be cool to see a review on Boxing shoes next.
I would probably does boxing gloves. I wouldn’t do shoes because I’ve only used Nike and loved them since day one. I never bothered to try anything else except for some Title ones that I really didn’t like.
Do you know what headgear would protect against punches to the eyes? I know the face bar protects the nose but not sure about the eyes…
To protect your eyes more, get a headgear with more coverage (less visibility) around the eyes.
what’s your opinion about TITLE Platinum Training Headgear full face version compared with traditional version? which one offer better protection for nose and which one doesnt shift too much?
I think the Platinum is supposed to be the better one.
Hi Johnny, great article.
Can you briefly compare the Fightgear Masters Headgear and the Winning FG2900. I am a heavyweight and sometimes do get hit with big punches. Which of the two have better absorption and coverage (nose). I wouldn’t mind spending the money for the Winning, but based on your assessment above it seems that the Fightgear has better shock absorption, but lacks on vision. For me, I am willing to sacrifice a bit of visibility for protection (absorption and coverage).
All the best,
Looks like you answered your own question. Get the Winning.
what’s your views on the hayabusa headgears and the brand?
I don’t like Hayabusa gear. Too stiff and not the same quality.
what’s a good aiba approved headgear for competition use?
The Adidas one. Here in the states amateurs are regulated are USA Boxing, so I wouldn’t know too much about AIBA.
I’m looking for the best nose protection/visibility combination. I assume that this is the Winning FG2900. Thoughts?
If you like it, it’s the best for you. If you don’t, then you have to try something else. Not everyone is the same.
Update for those interested. I’m a tall welterweight with a pointy nose that I want to keep unbroken. I tried the Rival Headgears. The padding is very protective. The fit and comfort is perfect. But the bulk of Rival headgears made my head a rediculously easy target, and its heft slowed me down. So although the superior padding clearly minimized damage from landed punches, more of my opponent’s punches wound up landing, or at least glancing. I switched to the Winnings FG2900. The padding is not as protective as the Rival, but it is good, and its light weight and slim design enabled me to slip punches as if I were wearing nothing at all. The cheek protection is excellent, and it seems to provide a reasonable amount of protection even for my pointy nose. Highly recommended.
Hey Johnny after sparring today with cheap headgear I’ve decided to invest in buying the everlast competition headgear with cheeks. I know there’s 3 different sizes S,M,L I have a fairly small head 7 1/8 so I was thinking about buying the small size I was just wondering if you had any idea in size relation. Thanks!!!!!
Go to their manufacturer website and/or email them to see the sizing chart.
Anyone used Pro Box headgear (it’s a UK brand)? I’m thinking of getting their aluminium bar face face saver guard to prevent my nose getting broken
Excellent info thanks mate.
Ive starting a ladies only boxing class and the girls are up to a sparring stage so i think ill go with the Rival traditional. Looks great, which they will be happy with for there facebook Photos.. Hmmm!! But more importantly give them good protection. Im sure whats good for men is good for the ladies.. Looking forward to your glove review..
Adam From Australia..
Have you ever tried Twins Open Face Headgear? It is more of a kickboxing/mma headgear, but since Twins has a reputation for high quality products I think it will be just as good as regular boxing headgear. I’m also considering a Century Open Face, because it is a lot cheaper. I think the Twins is probably a smarter choice in the long run. Thank you Johnny! Your website here and videos are a great boxing resource!
No I haven’t. I generally stick to boxing equipment made specifically for boxing.
what do you think about the following models (rating)??
1. TITLE Classic Full Coverage Headgear
2. TITLE Boxing Hi-Performance Leather Headgear
If they’re not covered above, then I don’t know.
Hello! Thanks for the reviews, i was wondering about no. 11 the title face protector, how does it fair with it protecting your eyes? I recently had an eye injury and almost had a retinal tear (thank god that it was just swelling)
I was looking at some Headgears with the face mask on it like a football head gear but since u never tried em i wanted to ask u how much the title headgear protect your eyes? (i trained with competition headgear so it didnt offer much protection)
Try it and see for yourself. It worked fine for me but then again I don’t have your problem and your worries.
Fighting in headgear has a slight influence on your fighting style, head movement, and especially on defense, headgear more or less blocks your peripheral vision, and as a result of this you eat slightly more punches than you would without the headgear. Most tradition headgear cannot really protect your brain moving inside your skull after you get hit.
After years of sparing in headgear i still didn’t like the idea of it as a protection. It helps from skin bruises and cuts but those never been a big problem for me. So, what is better to wear a headgear and eat slightly more punches, or not to wear and avoid more punches while seeing more and improving your defense?? I chose to get rid of headgear. I used it only when I was competing as a amateur and just to be used to fight in headgear.
Thanks God common sense won, and from 2013 amateur boxing is getting rid of wearing headgear during the official competitions. There must also be a reason for this. On the other hand, during those old days when my father was a boxer, Soviet Union boxers never wore headgear in any for of boxing training, or later it was a very rear thing to see. But you cannot say they got more brain damage than boxers get nowadays, and more so, I know quite many famous champions from those times who later become professors, doctors, or other intelligent people of the society.
Boxing gloves are way more important factor for safety than headgear, and boxing gloves like Adidas, Top Ten nowadays are fucking good for safe sparrings. Of course, it’s impossible to eliminate the fact of boxing that you get hit in the head, and when this gets eliminated there will not be such a sport as boxing.
The most recent study shows headgear DOES help with brain injuries. Does it eliminate them- no, but it does help. Please do your research before posting things that could get people hurt.
Which headgear absorbs more punches,Rival d30 or winnings fg900? Thanks johnny
The Winning FG-2900 is the best mexican style head gear by far. If you have the money, buy it. I love the FG-2900 but unlike Johnny I do not have a small asian nose I have a pointier European nose and therefore the only headgear I wear nowadays is the Winning FG-5000. It is incredibly protective yet very light after the update in April 2012.
I’ve never used the FG 900 but should be comparable.
How do you feel about the TOP TEN headgear?
I’ve never used them.
Yo jonny do you train people in orange county?
No, I don’t.
i’m actually thinking of getting Cleto Reyes head gear. Do you have any experience or knowledge about those? i hope this is not an annoying question if others has ask the same thing.
BTW your website is awesome dude!
Absolutely agree, i bought the winning FG-2900 a couple of years ago on my trainers advice (ex-pro japanese circuit muay thai figther) and the protecion it offers is unparalled. Ive used the everlast headgear (both 1st one mentioned and the classic) and a couple of other brands not mentioned here; and none compare to the quality of materials used (of course these headgears were a third of the price of the winning FG-2900). The durability is really high, my trainer has had his headgear for over five years and it is still very usable. When absobing kicks to the front of the head and the side it does its job quite good. The only drawback on is that I do have to adjust it after a very intense exchange as the visibility can be impaired (although not as frequently as with other models).
I´m getting my winning gloves in a couple of weeks, ill let you know what i think of them.
I’m looking for a new headgear and have narrowed it down to either the Fightgear Masters or the Winning FG-2900. Which one would you say does a better job at absorbing shock?
There’s a cushion rating in the review that tells you.
Johnny – I live in O.C. I really want to get my hands on the FG-2900. Where is the Winning rep in So. Cal? (Can you give me an Address or email) The website is pretty cheesy…. not sure about shipping time etc.
I don’t remember but you can search him down online. He’s a nice guy. You go there in person and buy it directly in person. I think it’s in Redondo Beach or something like that.
This is a very helpful review – many thanks. But may I ask You a question. I live in Poland so its very difficult to buy Title or Rival brand. I wont to buy best quality headgear as I can get, for a reasonable price.
Unfortunately the “best boxing” brands I can get here are the thai brands like Fairtex, Top King, Twins. So my question is this: maybe You or maybe Your colleagues have some experience with the Muay Thai brands headgear that You could share with us.
Among those 3, Fairtex and Twins are pretty good. I prefer Twins out of those 3 although I’ve never used Twins headgear.
Thanks for the great review! Greetings from Ukraine!
What do you think about the title traditional headgear, is the padding stiff on it and does it give good protection?
And also have you tried on or heard anything about the the twins full face headgear. (twins hgl-3) btw ive heard that this headgear is good but the padding on it is to hard, but ive seen manny pacquiao use it.
wich one should i pick the title full face or the twins full face?
The only headgear I know well enough are the ones I covered in this article.
Really good reviews Johnny, just wondering what you thought about the Clet Reyes guards. Particularly this one:
“Cleto Reyes Head Guard with cheek protection”
We really rate this item, but you seem to have a greater understanding and experiance than most, be interested to see what you think.
I’ve never used that headgear before but I am a big fan of Clete Reyes stuff. Once I try it, I’ll be able to write about it.
Hi Johnny, wich headgear gives you more vision between the winning FG 2900 and everlast competition headgear? Thanks
It’s comparable but I would say the Everlast gives you a little more.
Hi Johnny found this website when I was looking for reviews on boxing headgear.
I am 41 yrs. old and is currently taking up boxing for fitness. As far as sparring, is once a week okay if we’re just doing light head contacts? Can I increase to 2 times a week?
Yes, that’s fine. You can do it as much or as little as you want if you’re going light.
I´m in Mexico and here we have Cleto Reyes.
Are you used them. How good his headgear is?
It’s a quality brand but I’ve only tried their headgear once or twice so I can’t remember how I felt about it.
what do you think of these?
If it’s not listed above, I don’t have any opinion for it.
from your experience, is there some sort of ‘sissy’ stigma attached to the facebar/saver headgear??
I keep reading other forums that discuss boxing equipment and most of the people post ‘macho’ comments that it is better to use the traditional or Mexican headgear as this is ‘boxing’ and part of the sport is getting hit.
The facebar in essence is too much protection and will give you a false sense of security.
The argument then goes that only pros should use the facebar as they are doing so for preventive measures to avoid injury leading up to a big fight. Doesnt this apply to hobbyists and amateurs as well?? We also have a life and career outside of boxing.
What are your thoughts?
Whoever said wearing protective gear is “sissy” doesn’t know what they’re talking about. There are many competing boxers that train with facesaver headgear to prevent facial injuries before their fight on the weekend. Nobody wants to enter a competition with a cut on their face or broken nose that could hamper their performance.
I know guys that got their noses BROKEN EVERY DAY in training, until they started using facesaver headgear. Does that make them a sissy? If you have a life and career outside of boxing, then all the silly macho comments do not apply to you.
Thanks Coach J. I will purchase one soon.
Nick, if i may, the bar with the face across doesnt make sense to me in amateur boxing because it blocks your vision, and you can not see certain punches, you see pros with it because they dont want to risks injury before a fight but some still do, the headgear with the bar depends on the fighters style, its great for those who like to brawl or swarm, so they know what to use and not to use, and be somewhat protected while doing it
doesn’t this apply to me or other beginners as well?
I am not a swarmer or a brawler but I do get hit a lot more often during sparring. I also have the high guard up most times and still the seasoned amateur and pros manage to get their punches through when I commit to an attack. They find it really easy to see holes in your defense.
Im just saying I dont want to risk facial injury or brain damage due to my lack of inexperience.
Can you tell me the benefits of not using a facebar btw? The winning fg-5000 has very good vision.
My PERCEIVED benefits of not having a facebar is visibility and perhaps a headgear that feels lighter. It really comes down to personal preference.
Hi Johnny, Great review and all these excellent comments is appreciated! I am 48, train religiously and spar once/twice a week at Kingsway Boxing Gym in NYC. I don’t feel I need to compete in tournaments, I get so much just working (or trying to keep up) with guys half my age in the gym. I am just looking to be a better boxer, and at my age stay safe.You mentioned in your reviews that the Rival d3o is your main head gear for training presently. I am on the fence between that model (because that’s what you now use) and your endorsement of the Winning FG-2900. I’m not concerned about costs, just looking for the best combination of protection and field of vision. Any additional thoughts would be helpful. Thanks so much, Andy
Get Winning, Andy. You can get the FG-2900 or even the one with the facesaver bar across the front.
Thanks for the quick response Johnny! I was actually looking at the Winning with the facesaver FG-5000 also, I saw a guy sparring in the gym with that. I liked the idea of the nose protection. My trainer prefers the mexican style FG-2900 type more, says it fits better (like a glove) around the head. He says the facesaver type FG-5000 (at least for the guy who was using it) moved around a lot while sparring and he needed to continually adjust it.
I am more comfortable as an outside/move around style of boxer. From some of the comments above seems the facesaver is good for guys who like the style of swarm/brawl. I typically only like to go inside if I have to. So I’m thinking as long as I don’t paint the canvass with my nose by walking into a left/right (like I have) the 2900 may be the better choice, what do you think?
Everything is logical in theory until you try it. You won’t know unless you’ve tested out both. I would suggest borrowing that guy’s headgear for a round or two just to see what you can learn about it before putting down that amount of money.
Great suggestion Johnny, I will do that appreciate the advise! Andy
Hey Johnny, Placed my order for the FG-2900 Winning Headgear (and sparring gloves/protective cup). Out of curiosity do you happen how they work, whether Winning ships from Southern Calif or Japan? I got notification of the order when placed last Mon 28th, but no notification of charge to credit card or shipment tracking. I’ve tried emailing and calling the # on their website several times but just rings. Any thoughts or insight Johnny I’d appreciate it. Thanks again! Andy
I don’t know what happened to your order. I’m also not a customer service representative for Winning.
No worries Johnny I know you’re not their rep it was more if you knew how they worked. I just got confirmation the order went through. I guess since it’s coming all the way from Japan it takes a bit, but well worth it. Thanks again for all your advice! Andy
Hey Johnny! I’m thankful for your helpful advices! Although I was wondering which headgear gives better protection for blows to the head, “TITLE Boxing Face Protector Training Headgear” or “Winning FG-5000”? Winning FG-5000’s price is 4 times more expensive compare to the other one. Does this mean FG-5000 gives greater protection more than Title Face Protector Headgear? Or both products gives the same protection and durability, And the one of the reasons why FG-5000 is more expensive is because this what famous elite boxers uses as if it is shown in the media? And lastly, if a headgear has thicker cushion, does it give the Boxer’s head more protection to the brain?
The FG-5000 is certainly better quality and offers better protection. Whether it’s worth it to you is up to you. For many competing fighters, it’s definitely worth it. I would say it’s reasonable to think that better cushion offers more protection to the brain.
i am thinking of buying a head guard from Cananda but i cant get the information i need i.e. if there are any other costs then postage to the UK, like VAT, or custom taxes i dont know how to pay the additioal charges if any. Has anybody bought from Canada or the USA and had shipped to the UK
thanks for your help johnc
I live in the USA and buy from Rival (CAN) and I do pay a bit more than someone who lives in Canada. As for your situation, I would call the company or get on their site, scroll to the bottom, and click on “contact us” which should provide you the option to e-mail them. Companies that do international business generally have a department that caters to customer inquiries and you should be able to get all your answers that way. Each vendor is different.
Thanks for the reply a big shock the headguard was $100 shipping was amassive $150 then the uk
tax VAT 20% payable on the $250 head guard before they would deliver just not worth it
Just some chit-chat the guys and coach have been putting out there, but wanted to see if you’ve heard anything about; amature comp doing away with headgear in the 19 and up age brackets in the next year or two. Have you heard anything about this or is it more likely a regional thing? The theory behind it is that, I guess some sports docs or people that deal with safety in sports, say that headgear actually increases the damage (slightly) from impact and really only gaurds against the more “cosmetic” injuries (i.e. cuts)?? Any ideas or info on this?
That’s robbery mate, sorry to hear. I would search local for a bit, ask around. I know hear in the USA, sometimes stuff that I need that is from Rival I can get on Titleboxing.com which is local. Perhaps there is a similar situation on your side of the pond :-).
I’ve heard a lot about the headgear going away for amateur boxing and I’ll have to see how it goes. I for one know I prefer sparring with headgear than without. And if my opponent wants to take off his headgear, I’m all for it. 😉
THanks for writing this you saved me from buying the “toy” you listed at number 1
What about the Cleto Reyes Headgear? Wich punch would be more dangerous to the brain even with the headgear, the straight or the hook?
I never tried Cleto Reyes headgear.
It all depends on whether the punch spins the head or hits it straight on. I imagine spinning the head is more damaging. A straight or hook can both spin the head depending on the angle and placement of the punch.
If you had a choice, which would you choose, in terms of cushioning, comfort and protection. the rival d3o, the grant professional or the title platinum
All of these are good. Comfort depends on the shape of your head. Protection has to do with shock absorption and coverage. Rival and Title probably has more coverage and thickness, but the Grant is also very good and comfortable. Decide for yourself.
This is the best boxing headgear review I’ve read! I’m thinking of buying winning headgear, but I’m not sure which model will suit me best. I’m a defensive fighter and on bantamweight class. I rely on my footwork, shoulder roll and move my head a lot to avoid punches and protect myself. Which Winning headgear will suit me best, FG-2900 or FG-5000? And also which of the two headgear model can absorb punches better?
Both are the same but one has the facebar.
Could you please help me to nail down a facebar headgear , with two options to choose from. One of them is the Title headgear you have introduced in this article, which is the NO 11. TITLE Boxing Face Protector Training Headgear. The other one is from Ringside, here is a link to the gear at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Ringside-Deluxe-Boxing-Headgear-Large-X-Large/dp/B006CUDK4K/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1365038179&sr=8-2&keywords=ringside+headgear
They have similar price and seem all good built. Which one do you think provide better protection for nose and chin. The concern is that the Ringside one is not ” One size fits all”, and I can’t find any store in China, at least in my area, to try them on – changing goods is not so economic given the expensive delivery fee. What is your recommendation. Thank you very much for your time!
I haven’t used that headgear so I don’t have any answer for you.
By the way, I am 5’9 with slightly big head. Will the Title headgear fit well for me?
You won’t know until you try it.
Hey Johnny, you have a great informative sight and I find myself on here a lot. I was wondering , I’ve been looking into some new headgear for some time and I have decided to make the investment in some Winning headgear. While I was deciding between Grant, Winning, etc. I was on a Winning gear fan site on facebook and they really pushed global.rakuten.com as a site to purchase winning gear. It seems safe and there are only good reviews of the site. Also, Winning gear on this site is slightly cheaper. Should I worry about fake Winning gear on this website and just stick with WinningUSA.com?
I’ve never heard of that site and I personally wouldn’t use it myself.
Rakuten is legit, it’s like a Japanese Amazon where various stores sell under the banner of Rakuten. What is being talked about is the same gear as Winning USA but 30% cheaper (and that includes shipping from Japan). Just make sure to use America Ya Co, as they are official distributor of Winning and Cleto Reyes for Japan (though Reyes is very expensive compared to here in America).
thanks for writing:)
what about the cleto reys headgear mexican style?
here is one
I’ve never used that one.
Just wanted to make a comment re headgear for anyone interested. I was using the Sting standard headgear and although a good fit it didn’t offer great protection and is definitely a firmer foam inside the helmet. It didn’t seem to offer a lot of impact protection. I just ordered and received the Rival D30 headgear as recommended by Johnny in the article and it feels great. I have adjusted up a Large so that it’s really snug on my head and it feels very well made and secure. It is very comfortable to wear and from taking a few light blows it seems a lot more impact resistant. I can only really describe it like a new car with crumple zones, that allow it to absorb the shock and the Sting is like the old solid steel car which doesn’t have any give and just throws you around inside on impact. Anyway, for info, I have a 58cm head measured above the ears and the Large was perfect, I wouldn’t recommend going any smaller if you are the same size.
I’m waiting on some Fighting Sports Tri-Tech Gloves too as the Sting Gloves don’t feel as though they fit well around the hand. It leaves your hand almost like a claw and I find I’m hitting more with my fingers than my knuckles. I have bigger hands and the fighting sports look like they have a deeper curl at the front that will hopefully allow me to form a better fist. Will update when I have them.
i have a question about the smooth liner insides. i have a really nice loookig “fighting traditional training headgear” and the inside is a smoother liner. is there any way i can use it without it slipping and turning around my face? i feel like wearing a bandana or a headband might help? or a smaller size? (i use a large)
Since you already have it, you can try all those suggestions and see for yourself. Personally, I can’t stand the slipperyness and having good headgear is so important to my health that I’d prefer to just get something that works right in the first place.
I now have the fighting sports tri tech gloves. Unfortunately i made the mistake of having a quick hit of the heavy bag ‘unwrapped’ and ‘ungloved’ (stupid) and now im out of action for 6 weeks with a very sore middle knuckle… anyway, without having used them, what i can say is that the quality, the feel, the fit and the cushion of these gloves is a lot better than the gloves i wsd using. They are the best ive owned. It does allow me to form a better fist and hss enough overlap for my fingers to grab hold inside the glove a form a decent fist. Even though all my gloves are 16oz these feel heavy for some reason. It might be the way the weight is distributed which is totally diffrrent to the gloves ive used in the past. They are very large gloves! They spread across along way. They do feel a little big on the outside (good on the inside) but if you have small hands they might not feel like a good fit. They will no doubt offer good protection when defending because punching arounf them would be hard. I thought they may block my vision a bit but they seem ok. Will update when i finally get to use them!
I was just wondering if there is any big difference between cheap/expensive mouthguards. I’m sure there must be some, but what are they? How comes some costs 5-9$ and other 40$ and above? What to choose?
The costlier ones are usually bigger and better quality. My mouthguard costs around $30. It’s a Brain-Pad one.
I am looking in to new headgear and I like the Rival gloves that I have and after reading your reviews I think I want their headgear too. I don’t know whether I should go with the traditional or d30 though. The cost is not really an issue so much. I just wondered if you could share your thoughts on which may be a better product for a beginner who plans to spar a couple times a week. Also, I may have missed it but I didnt see a review on boxing shoes. Any thoughts or preferences when it comes to shoes? As always, thanks in advance.
I’ve used both Rival headgear and like them both. I would say the d3o has more padding but the traditional may have a better feel. You have to try both to see what works best for you. As for shoes, I only use Nike and haven’t tried anything else. I’ve seen that Adidas is also quite popular.
I really like Rival products as well. I started training with the RHG2 Headgear. Its lightweight and minimalistic with smaller cheekpads and thinner design. It fights well and doesnt slip around with the fiber lining. The only abuse i take is to the nose. With that said my next headgear will be the RHG20, 30, RHG10, or the new Ringside Mexi-Flex as the cheek pads are fuller and larger.
Can we get a Heavy bag review? Or did i miss one around here? Looking to replace my old Everlast “rock” bag in my garage. I’ve worked on a Ringside water filled and didnt care for it much. Century is crap. The PRO bags i dont like. I believe the better bags ive worked on were some UFC bags.
Thank you for your response on the rival headgear. I am new to the game and any help is greatly appreciated. If you change headgear anytime soon, let me know what you go with. I am going to try the rival headgear tonight. A couple guys at my gym have it and said I could try it before I buy anything. Thanks again
I haven’t reviewed heavy bags before but there is definitely a difference between them in terms of quality and functionality! And you’re right, many of the heavy bags out there are total crap.
Hello. I’ve skimmed through the comments and I didn’t see this question but if someone already asked it then sorry for asking it again. Have you ever tried or heard of TOP TEN headgear? It says it’s originally made for karate but it also seems like its better for boxing or other sports. It’s claims are pretty amazing but do you have anything to say on this headgear? And thanks for all the information you share I for one appreciate it.
I’ve never tried it, Frank. I know for sure I wouldn’t like it because the chin strap would get in the way of my slipping and ducking movements.
And the last question, do you know of any headgear/brands that have high level protection but with chin protection also? Again thanks.
I only know of the ones I’ve tried and I usually hate the ones with chin straps, as mentioned in the article. If anything the best protection for your chin is your shoulder and it’s hard to use your shoulder if the chin area is so padded.
hey johnny do you think is good coaching for a coach to have his fighters sparring at 100% all the time?
Absolutely not. Fighters need to have relaxed sparring every now and then so they can work on new things without being punished. If you make them spar at 100%, they’ll always revert to same old habits and tactics again, and not try anything new. If you make them go 100%, they’ll always be more focused on winning than learning. The worse thing you can do is “punish” a fighter for learning.
Hi Johnny, absolutely fab this review!
I’ve just come back to kickboxing but my nem gym is not a “light punch” one. So, I’m considering getting a head guard (nobody uses them, btw). It’s not that hard that I’m going to get my nose broken (hopefully) but I do take some hits and have some headaches. Also, it’s paramount that I don’t get my eyes punched. Should I go for the ones with the bar, like Title n. 11?
I know visibility is a greater issue when you have to face kicks but… my head is my biggest concern!
Thank you so much
Choosing your headgear ultimately needs to be YOUR personal choice. I don’t know what you’ll like. I can only tell you what I like. The top 4 that I use myself are listed at the end of the article. But it’s up to you to try out different ones and see what works for you.
Hey Johnny, I was thinking to get the Title Platinum headgear (the ones with cheeks) that you reviewed
(9. TITLE Platinum Training Headgear $59)
It was on sale for about 46 bucks on ebay, but I wanna ask you first since you’ve worn them: was it made of cowhide leather or synthetic? Thanks a bunch 🙂
I never bothered to remember that information, but I think you can look it up on the TitleBoxing website.
I have a question concerning that google did not answer. Does hard/tough/solid headgear offer better protection than soft-cushioned headgear? I own a Venum Abolute leather headgear which is very solid to the point that it won’t fit easily in my boxing bag. The other day I came across a Venum Challenger headgear, which looks exactly identical to mine but costs half the money. This helmet is synthetic leather but the main difference is that it’s much-much softer. It is much more comfortable when you put it on and has some kind of soft foam against your skin while my expensive helmet is solid, less comfortable, and full leather on your skin. It’s perplexing why my helmet costs so much more when, due to its solidness, you can literally feel every singe light hit you might take. I was wondering whether a more solid helmet absorbs more shock, eventhough it feels less comfortable when worn.
I’ve addressed some of my perceptions regarding “soft cushion” vs “hard cushion” in the initial part of my article. Please read it over again as I had similar thoughts to what you’re experiencing now. Ultimately, you will have to try both and compare the differences over time for yourself.
Yep I was aware of your thoughts (I’ve read your articles a lot) and you were actually the only source I could find on the internet that was addressing this topic. I’m gonna buy a winning-fg, this way I’ll have the best of both kinds (hard and soft). Cheers.
Firstly, excellent post. I am considering purchasing my first boxing head gear. I am after the maximum head protection, particularly in minimizing “shock” to the head without shelling big bucks for winning/grants products
Using information from your post I have narrowed it down to two choices;
i am curious to know what the difference between a regular face saver and fighting sports “no contact” head gear.
Does a regular face saver (as in Title’s) prevent a glove from coming in contact with the face?
If you could give your opinion on the two gears it would be greatly apprecieated.
I don’t use headgear with a facebar so I wouldn’t be able to speak from experience. With something like that, you really have to try both to see which one has better protection and visibility. Try it and see.
I recently got Fighting NoContact headgear. I have to say that the level of protection is superb. The helmet feels a bit heavy but it’s pretty snug and offers the superb protection against heavy punches. As far as visibility loss goes I think the latter is not too bad and overall I am very happy with this head gear
The only unexpected drawback from this headgear that I like to mention is that I constantly get crap from my coach and sparring partners on how this helmet has too much padding and it should be illegal. But if this kind of stuff doesn’t bother you, I definitely recommend this head gear to you
Thanks for sharing. I may have to add it to the reviews if I ever get to try it one day.
At 52 I just took up boxing – great web site, thank you !
Quick question … any insights on either of these headgear ?
1) adidas Super Pro Training Headgear
2) Ringside Full Face Training Boxing Headgear
Of the ’10’ rated headgear in your article the Grant write up (I’m a heavy weight brawler type) seems most compelling, but I’ve had great experiences with both Ringside and adidas before. Any feedback welcome.
All the best,
I haven’t used either but I would pick the adidas one as the better one in this case. The Ringside one looks like really cheap mass-produced generic stuff.
Thank you sir.
I really appreciate your web site and your style.
I was looking at this headgear from rival. I guess its new because I can’t find much about it online or any reviews on it. Have you seen it or had any experience with it?
Let me know thanks!
I’ve never used it but it looks cheap. Might be ok for light use. Try it out and see.
does any one know how to fix a girls hair to make it fit in to the headgear ?
I’ve seen many girls braid it and put it into a tight bun that fits in the back of their head at the top.
What do you think about this one? Will this be good for heavy sparring?
This is just a pink version of the mens one. I have had students buy and like this headgear. All of the Rival headgear are exceptionally good!
It looks good to me for the price.
I would highly recommend the RIVAL d3o Pro Training Headgear! It is by far the best headgear I have ever purchased. It’s on the expensive side, but your brain is worth the money!
Thanks, Johnny and Jess. Ya’ll rock! 🙂
Hey Johnny, I am trying to make my first headgear purchase and I have been going back and forth through reviews and I can’t choose between the Rival d3o pro training headgear, rival traditional, rival full face (http://www.amazon.com/Rival-Full-Face-Training-Headgear/dp/B004WKGJNG/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1387084551&sr=8-4&keywords=rival+headgear). and the title platinum. I’ve read your reviews of the headgear that you’ve tried, but i just can’t decide whether to get the one with the chin padding or not. I don’t spar often, only about 2 times a week (3 at most and thats RARE). I also have a rather large head (pointy chin) and I don’t know if the chin padding would be uncomfortable?
I hate the chin padding, but hey, that’s just me. Ultimately, you’re not going to know what you’ll like until you try it on yourself.
I hear Mexican style headgear has raised cheek protectors that help with nose protection? Is this true? I’m thinking face bar might be blinding & also don’t want to look like a bobble head. So does the Mexican style head gear work to help protect nose? I’m new to sparring and cant be too beat up for work.
I’m afraid the only thing to give real protection to the nose is a face bar. Cheek protectors might help but then again, maybe not. Everyone’s head is shaped differently and different models of headgear will fit differently.
I was wondering if you have any recommendation for headgear for 8 years old for boxing/MMA sparring… he is just a beginner, so the main concern at this point good protection and comfort. Thank you!
For MMA sparring, you’ll probably have to use MMA-specific headgear? I wouldn’t be able to comment too much on that. As for children’s headgear, I don’t have any experience with any. Good luck to your son, Irina.
You know what headgear you should really check out is this silverback training headgear from gorilla fight gear, i have to say it’s insanly perfect for beginners and or anyone whos boxing style has them eating punches like a fat guy stuffing his face at a buffet.
Hey Mike, if you’re willing to send me some, I’d be interested in adding them to the review!
My 16 yr old son is boxing in Golden Gloves for the first time – what do you think is the best Competition headgear?
It really depends on your son, Gary. It depends on the shape of his face, what thickness/lightness he wants. What headgear fits best on his head.
Hey Johnny, How does the Rival d30 headgear protect your face? It looks pretty open for your nose and mouth…
Im debating between the Rival d30 and the Winning fg-2900, the winning has better facial protection but bad protection on the sides and back. Which headgear would you reccomend?
You’ll have to try each headgear individually to know which one you like better. The way it looks and the way it actually fits on your face will be different. As for side and back protection, I’m assuming you’re comparing only visually and looking at the thickness of the headgear as opposed to actually trying it….so again, you have to try it and see for yourself. I will say for sure that the winning one does seem to have less protection in the back.
Love your site. Wondered if you had heard any opinions on Ringside competition headgear. Seems to meet your criteria mentioned. I need to get a headgear for my teenage son & is a stretch financially to get one headgear let alone two. He plans to compete so wondering if there’s a balanced headgear for USA boxing competition & use during moderate sparring? I know you said best to have one for each. Just wondering if he can SAFELY get away with using a balanced one. Thanks
I have only one recommendation…and if you want to do something different, it’s on you. $100 vs SAFETY. It’s your call.
When looking for the Rival Traditional Headgear, a different image to the one you show comes up.
I know its hard to judge since you likely haven’t used this version of the headgear, but do you think the quality would be affected by the different appearance, or would you recommend it anyway?
Thanks for the reviews, really helped.
I haven’t seen that version but I hope it’s the same quality.
I really like your website and you tube posts. I train muay Thai and BJJ, but about a year ago I was boxing a boxer and he kicked my butt. So after that I started using your website and focused on boxing skills. Thanks for all the great tips. My question for you is about headgear. What are your thoughts on some of the newer headgear. I see alot of these posts go back to 2011. What do you think about fairtex products like the hg10 and Hayabusa headgears.
Look forward to hearing from you and reading further posts
The Hayabusa one I tried a year ago was total crap…it’s a toy if you ask me.
Thats a shame, I really like my Hayabushu Tokushu gloves. I guess they didnt put much thought into the headgear.
Thx for all the tips & videos. Very helpful for the beginner.
Johnny, are you ever gonna do a post on boxing trunks? I like the difft ones you wear in the videos, but cant find that style online or at the store. Thx.
Have you ever tried the pro elite headgear. http:// proboxingsupplies.com/ -p-625.html?pcat_id=13 also the ringside headgear ww w. amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B006CV5XOY/ref=mp_s_a_1_1? qid=1409241208&sr=8-1&pi=SY200_QL40 if not what do you think about these vs the rival headgear?
first of all i want to state you did exceptional with the reviews on headgear. 20 thumbs up lol… I havent trained with headgear before i am welter weight i am also a in and out fighter what headgear you think will be best for me considering all the headgears you have tried. I was thinking about the RIVAL Traditional Training Headgear for 69 dollars what do you think?
First I must say I love your website and have been following your advice for a few years now. I’ve sparred a few times and I bought the TITLE Boxing Face Protector Training Headgear which works great protecting the nose. But the last time I sparred I got hit with a hook so hard I could barely close my jaw that night.
I’m about 6’2″ 190 lbs so most of the guys I spar with have some power.
I want to continue sparring but I work in sales so I can’t go to meetings with a black eye or bruised up face.
What would you recommend as the best overall face protector?
Also what are your thoughts on double guard mouth pieces? Will that help against hooks? Thank you!
Buy one with the face bar. In regards to the mouthguard issue, it’s a matter of personal preference to me. I use a double-sided mouth guard but I try to avoid ones that are too thick. Some pros prefer single-sided.
i’m an amateur, fg-2900 is good for my sparring? thank you
Have you tried any TITLE gel headgear?
You should try Rockin’ Green Soap! The Sport Rock formula gets out stains and smells without damaging the fabric. It’s got tea tree oil in it which means it actually breaks down the bacteria that makes workout clothes not smell so fresh. And, there’s also the Stinky Gear spray! You can spray it in your gym bag or shoes or any gear that you can’t toss in the washing machine. It’ll take care of the funk without just masking it. Check it out! http://www.rockingreensoap.com
Johnny, can you tell me what headgear brand you would recommend for competition? I see that most of the headgear listed here are mostly training headgear, I am currently looking at the Winning Competition headgear due to Winning being a high-end brand in protection.
Try different ones in sparring and pick the one you like. Some people want protection, others want vision. It’s up to you!
Based on my research (which includes you site) I was going to get #7 on your list. But head noggin is XL in Everlast size and it’s not to be found. So I settled with # 12. I’m not crazy about the chin strap but we’ll see how it goes. Thanks for your site
Hi mate, an excellent article my 2 nephews have just started boxing aged 10 and 13. There mums not happy. LOL.There about to start sparring but I need some advice on whats going to be the best headgear to stop broken noses and cuts. Can’t afford for them to get hurt. So please can you advise as I never boxed so rather clueless. Thank you. Also based in the UK.
Hi Johnny N,
Quick question here, does the colour of ones headgear matter much like sparring gloves? Is there any advantage or disadvantage to having a light coloured (White) headgear which is more visible to your opponents eyes and will likely make you work on your head movement and defence more? please forgive my naivety If this is a stupid question but I would like to know your opinion because you have a wealth of experience in the ring so please clarify me on whether there is an advantage to it or just a myth.
Thank you for your time Johnny N.
I was reading your reviews on headgear and I noticed u ain’t have one on cleto Reyes head gear is it cause there headgear a are no good I’d figure they were great plz reply soon
Johnny, I came across your headgear review, and was hoping I could run a question by you.
My stepdaughter expressed a desire to learn boxing (from yours truly), and not wanting her to experience the bruises and headaches I’ve felt in my time, I was hoping to find headgear that was reasonably priced yet offered decent protection.
Since she’s a girl, I was thinking both face bar as well as chin protection, but I’m having hard time finding something that fits that description.
Could you help?
Hey, I recently bought competition headgear but didn’t realize it was Master’s Division. Can I still use this to compete? (I’m only 25yr old).
Thanks. Love the website
My trainer have a negative attitude towards headgears with cheeks, just like Rival triditional training headgear, thinking that those cheeks would influence one’s sight. What’s your opinion? By the way, I bought one Rival triditional training headgear. My forhead circumference is 58 cm, according to size chart (http://rivalboxing.us/pages/size-charts) I choose L size, which is already one size bigger, and I still feel it tight and hard to put it on, or maybe I got a very strange skull… … I‘m depressed.
If one size doesn’t fit, try another. Everyone’s heads are shaped differently.
is there a pad or a way to protect the back of the head
Thanks for this article. I boxed for a year and have been on and off for most of this year (due to work, lack of motivation, etc.). I’ve just re-registered and intend to train seriously again. I’m considering new headgear. I currently have the EVERLAST headgear (the “toy” headgear) and I want to protect my brain better. This article definitely helps with what I should and shouldn’t get. Looks like I definitely need a new headgear. 😀
*Almost 2 years
Hi Johnny! Can you tell, how well does the RING TO CAGE Mexican style Headgear which the white color absorbs punches? Do you use that in sparring? Can you advise it as a replacement for RIVAL TRADITIONAL headgear?
I want to buy one of themthe
For what’ it’s worth, I am a Caucasian with the kind of nose that goes with it and the title face protector, rated 10/10 on cushioning is bull shit. If you have a small Asian Latino or small Caucasian nose it is flawless, it us true. My gf is Asian and she is 100% safe with that gear. For guys with big and easily broken nose. Forget about it. In fact only a cage will really prevent a broken nose. Ringside Safety cage, revgear or ringtocage are the best for that matter.
Hello Joni . What about the headgear FIGHTING SPORTS TRADITIONAL TRAINING HEADGEAR
hi johny im doing heavy sparring about 12 rounds a week atleast and I wanted to know whats your opinion on the Cleto Reyes protector 2 wth cheek protection (not the nylon face bar one) ? Im in the market to buy one this week but just cant quite decide if this would be the right one .ive been watching a lot of youtube videos of pros sparring …. mayweather and many more wear the cheek protector style such ass the Reyes protector 2 for the most part… I noticed that many pacquiao likes to wear the facebar headgear all the time,looks uncomftorable and hard to breathe in….overall ide like to know if u think it would be good for me to buy the reyes headgear with cheek protection …
thanks a lot for this informative article! Have you tried Adidas and Venum headgear?
Hey man, nice article. i just bought a head gear with a clear visor .. iam worried that the thing can break and hurt me .. can it break from boxing?
I’ve never tried so I can’t answer that. But your fears do make sense.
Hi, can you say something about RIVAL RHG-30 headgear, that is like mexican style. Have you ever wear it, if yes, how does it protect? What his Cushion rating?
I haven’t tried that particular headgear but from the pictures, I feel like it looks very comfortable.
Do you think the rival d3o is better cushioning than the winning fg2900? Trying to decide between the two.
Absolutely not. The Winning should be better.
Thanks! Great site and great reviews man
Any updates on the Cleto Reyes headgear? My trainer recommended them to me and I was looking at these http://www.wbcme.co.uk/gb/29-head-guards the one with the round face bar.
Would be great to get your opinion on this, thanks.
Cleto Reyes and several other Mexican brands are typically very good quality and comfortable. If you’ve used one before and like how it feels/performs, buy it.
Thanks Johnny for the writeup and videos — all are really helpful !! If I am a beginner boxer, weighing 170 – 180 lbs, and am interested in headgear for sparring, would you recommend the TITLE Boxing Face Protector Training Headgear or the RIVAL d3o Pro Training Headgear (if price is not a factor)? I obviously want something w/ the “best” protection to limit head pain / a possible concussion (and think the Rival is better for that), but think it is good to have a facebar to protect my nose / face. Thanks again for your help and time.
If price is not a factor, get Winning.
thanks! if budget is up to $150, which would you suggest (winning is of course more expensive).
I still like Rival personally but you COULD go Reyes facesaver.
thank you ! I am rethinking this and looking to go w/ the Winning FG 5000, however I am not sure on the sizing. My head is 22.75 inches (57.78 cm), which falls between the recommendation for Medium and Large. Do you have any experience w/ this headgear or guidance? There’s unfortunately nowhere in the US to try this headgear on for fitting. thanks again for all of your help.
Medium: 21.0 – 23.0 inch
Large : 22.5 – 24.5 inch
My logic would dictate: if your eyes sit wide apart, go for the large. If not, go for the medium. Also, you could probably try on ANY brand out there and see how they fit you and compare their sizing to Winnings. You could also check out any local boxing gym and see if anybody around has got Winning headgear.
Johnny, I did a ‘control-f’ on the comments to see if anyone asked about the Sabas headgear and I didn’t see any results. Do you have any feedback on the Sabas headgear? Based on your review of gloves, I went ahead and purchased Sabas 16oz Pro Series gloves! Great recommendation. Thank you.
Have you done a mouth guard review?
Not yet, but I’ve got a huge collection of them already. It will be done within the next 3 months!
Hey there Johnny thanks for the info on the headgear
It’s rea l helpful since I’m purchasing my first set
I’ve been looking around
And the Title Aerovent Elite open face competition headgear caught my eye
Any info that you have on this set would really be helpfull
Hey Johnny, thanks for all the info. I went with the Winning FG2900. You weren’t kidding! It was worth every penny. I had my first legit sparring session last night in months and the difference between it and the cheap communal headgears I’d used in the past was night and day. I will add that even the nose protection despite it being an open face is still pretty exceptional.
Hi there, any thoughts on the new facesaver from Cleto Reyes?
Also my fg 5000 (new model) size L is a bit too small for me and I have heard that some people bend the bar so that it is not in contact with their nose (as it happens in my case). Have you heard about other people doing this?
Hey Daniel, I can totally see the FG-5000 facebar hitting your nose as it’s an Asian brand and most Asians have flatter noses. Mexicans on the other can have a more European nose with the higher and further protruding nose-bridge so year, Cleto Reyes might be a better fit for your nose. With that said, most people I know love the Winning headgear (especially pros) and it’s kinda the standard all around the world and even in Mexico.
1. Is there a reason why there doesn’t seem to be any headgear that has both a face saver bar (like the Winning FG500) AND padding in the chin? Most headgear available leaves the chin completely exposed, and the few headgear that do have chin pads have no face saver bar, leaving nose exposed. Why is this?
2. Is padding in the chin effective in reducing impact of uppercuts and other chin strikes? Or is chin padding too ineffective to be of much use?
I want to spar, but I have to go to work the next day.
Just about all experienced boxers that I know prefer headgear without chin padding. The chin padding seems to restrict your head movement and feels cumbersome. I don’t believe padding the chin will help that much, it’s a vulnerable area and mobility will probably do more for than padding. With that said, I do believe some kickboxing brands or martial arts brand make a full face headgear that looks something like a cage helmet for fencing or animal trainers.
Which facesaver offers better front, side and back protection?
I haven’t used any of them but Sabas and TopBoxer would be my pick out of those 4.
– What do you think about RDX Headgears? Especially, about RDX Headgears with Face Protector?
– What can you advise a person who started boxing at 48?
I haven’t tried them but I’m generally not a fan of anything RDX. Do you have a healthy budget?
What problems have RDX? In 2018, they went into a price category close to Mexican brands. The problem is not the price. The problem is in the availability of certain brands in Russia. RIVAL, for example, is poorly available .
Well, you have to try and see for yourself. RDX is not a respected brand in my opinion. After you try quality gear, it’s hard to go down to cheap gear.
How is RDH worse? What would you suggest?
Hahaha, you’re in the right place….read the guide.
Hi! I read your article. But I wanted to ask: could you indicate the three best helmets listed above:
Hey – you’re reviews are great. Will the Headgear reviews be getting updated for 2019 or have there not been many changes of note?
I’m certainly looking to do that but I’m barely keeping up with the glove reviews. There are so many models of headgear and most are not that great despite the hype. The headgear market is getting so crowded now as well.
Derrek Q. Davis
Which brand would be comfortable fix for large face people?
I’m from Ecuador so my english is not very good. I will like to know what is your opinion about Cleto Reyes and Casanova’s headgear, because I hadn’t read anything about them in your review.
Thanks for the help.
To be honest, I haven’t tried either but feel both are totally adequate in terms of quality. It will probably come down to personal preference (fit, feel, etc).
Thanks for all of your excellent equipment reviews! Have you ever tried the Rival face saver RHG-SF3? Lomachenko often use this for sparring and I wonder whether this is highly recommended compared to other face saver.
Nose guard protects your nose but NOT the brain and neck in my opinion.
I’ve never used the headgear with nose guard, but almost every time I spar with a guy with nose guard, I feel more grip on my punch with the head when it lands. In other words, I feel that my punch shakes the guy’s brain more and bends the neck more.
I would not recommend to use the headgear with nose guard to my friends or fellow boxers.
this is an issue but the main problem is the reduced visual range. In fact, you cannot see uppercuts coming with the nose guard.
This is true even with cheek protectors as Johnny already stated.
So I prefer less protection or minor injuries rather than being knocked out.
Do you like Cleto Reyes full face headgear?
hubert w e knapp
Hi Johnny, perhaps you can also add “ability to breath” in your upcoming (:-) update for headguards.
I have an Everlast facesaver head-guard and it always impacts my ability to breath freely in heavy sparing. Just a thought. Best Hubert
I’ve never had any breathing issues with any headgear but I keep hearing that from other people. Are you talking about it blocking your nostrils? Or actually blocking your mouth?
hubert w e knapp
The facebar is more blocking my mouth (not so much the nostrils) and I can not breath properly before and during sparring. After a round I am breathing heavily and are totally out of breath after 3 rounds. If I do not wear a headguard at all, I do not have the same problem.
I mainly wear the headgear to protect my eyes, as I had a cataract operation.
P.S. Do you have any experience / feedback on the Di Nardo cheekbone headgear vs. Winning FG-2900. I am thinking of one of them as an alternative to my current facebar headguard (Everlast) due to the problem outlined above.
How many years does a quality headgear last? I bought a winning one and I used it only a couple of times like 8 years ago, does it loose some padding or does the inside foam deteriorate?
Put some conditioning on the leather so it doesn’t crack. If no sweat penetrates to the inside foam, I think you’ll be alright. Also keep it out of the sun. Always a cool, dry place preferably.
thanks Johnny, I believe I kept it in a nice spot for the time being. I never put any condition on it thoughtcrimes I believe that winning doesn’t use real leather for their headgear.
Winning by default uses: leather for gloves, and synthetic for headgear. You can however custom-spec anything in reverse if you want (such as synthetic for gloves, or leather for headgear)…some fighters do this to get perfectly matching colors. As explained to me by the USA Winning distributor Kazumichi, both their leather and synthetic are very high quality and will perform and last the same. They default the headgear in synthetic because it holds up better against the constant sweat acid from a fighter’s head.
I do think there’s truth to that sentiment. Many fighters don’t wipe down their headgear after use…letting the sweat dry on it and leaving it to crack over time.
Hey Johnny, I’m looking to get facebar headgear but I can’t afford the Winning headgear. Is that Title facebar headgear the next best in your opinion?
Also, how does that Title facebar headgear feel size-wise? I noticed on their website they only sell one size for the facebar, unlike their competition headgear, which comes in S, M, L, and XL.