Ultimate Buying Guide – How to choose Boxing Headgear

By March 28, 2018December 28th, 2020How to choose

Boxing Headgear – Ultimate Guide

Today we’re going to help you choose some boxing headgear in the marketplace. Our headgear is designed by the team at Punch Equipment and has been “Tested on Humans”® since 1989.

You’ve got three distinct types of headgear generally speaking. We’ve got an open-faced headgear which has basically no chin protection. You have a full face headgear which has full chin and cheek protection. Then you have a face-saver or jaw saver headgear which has a solid bar running across the jawline and the same features as the full face headgear.

So there are three main categories and how do you choose between them? Well, that’s relevant to a couple of things. I think the first thing that’s relevant is how hot the temperature is where you’re training. The more you’re encased in headgear, the hotter you’re going to get and that can really disturb you and your sparring. So I’d recommend in temperate climates, the full face headgear and the face bar headgear are great.

Open Face Headgear Buying Guide

If you’re somewhere it’s really cooking and tropical, the open face headgear is the one that you can tolerate the weather with. But generally speaking, it’s down to sport. So if you’re in the sport of amateur boxing this tends to be their headgear of choice, no chin protection and pretty easy on/off.

The whole idea is to give you maximum vision and maximum coolness. Amateur boxing doesn’t have to deal with knees, kicks and elbows so this is the headgear you choose. So if you’re just amateur boxing, this headgear has lace adjustment on top, hook and loop adjustment at the back and it’s low profile. The other thing is the more padding you get, the more likely you are to get hit.

So the lower the profile of the headgear, the better if you’re just trying to slip and weave punches.

Full Face Headgear Buying Guide

Now probably the mainstay of training in the world is the full face headgear. Once again, picking this up it’s almost twice the weight of the open face headgear for a good reason. This headgear is specially made with gel cheek inserts, it has extra thick cowhide leather, it’s got extra thick ears, it’s got eardrum protection and it’s really designed for heavy boxing sparring. It’s got these sweat-wicking linings on the side that prevent the headgear from moving around. We do have that in some amateur headgear as well. The idea of these pads is they actually lock into your face and you don’t get any slip. So the big thing about a headgear, besides a design, is the fit and I’ll go into that in a minute. So just finishing off, a full-face headgear is your most protective headgear. They have to be designed extremely well and always buy from a brand name. Simply because they have to be tailor-made. It’s like runners, you can buy a simple runner that’s hardly shaped or you can buy one with gel inserts and shaped beautifully for long-distance running. Headgears are the same. This has rear head protection, front head protection and side head protection. Not much on top because that’s a foul in fighting but also to let the heat out of the headgear. So once you’ve adjusted the top, you hook and loop the back and it just slips on/off your head.

Jaw Saver Headgear Buying Guide

The last one is the face saver headgear. I highly recommend this headgear, it is my favourite headgear if you’re like an executive or you’re not into actual fighting but you enjoy sparring too, which a lot of people do as a sport. This really saves you a lot of scuffing on the face and a lot of marking is a little bit embarrassing when you go to work and you look like you’ve been in the local street brawl and you’re a stockbroker.

So the whole idea of this is to give maximum protection to your face. I’d highly recommend this headgear if you’re sparring people a lot taller than you because this gives you the protection down low. If you are doing Muay Thai sparring and they lift the knee and you don’t see it coming that will go a long way to protecting your jawline.

Tips for fitting headgear

So these three headgears are your main choices and let’s just go into fit now. When you’re fitting a headgear, it’s really the essential part of headgear compared to the protective qualities. So the fit comes into how well the headgear is shaped to make

Let’s have a look at a full face headgear. So what I’ll be doing is I’ll be picking that for boxing (Open Face), this one (Full Face) for professional boxing, Muay Thai and kickboxing. This one (Jaw Saver) I really recommend if you’re doing a lot of heavy sparring or you’re a person that probably doesn’t do ring fighting but really just wants to save their face as much as possible.

So once you’ve chosen your headgear, let’s get back to fit. These cheek pieces turn in hard against the cheek and the idea of that is this (Full Face) headgear still gives you full peripheral vision. So you can see the person’s feet and their head. That’s essential when you’re kickboxing and Thai boxing. Be very careful about buying headgear that looks okay but it’s got great big fat cheek pieces that bend outward. They will blind you and you will not see wide uppercuts, you will not see hooks and you’ll not see kicks coming. So it’s going to be a very unpleasant experience if you buy a poorly shaped headgear. The other thing is the gel shock pieces do help keep the profile of the headgear low but very absorbent to shock. The big fat ears really help the cartilage here (protect the ear) if you get a hook to the head and you damage this cartilage the ear will shrink away into a small bud. I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of Pro fighters with damaged ears, same with wrestlers and same with professional footballers. You wear headgear to prevent that damage.

Wear Boxing Headgear to prevent injury

You also wear headgear to prevent cuts so when you come together quickly in sparring sometimes you can clash and you can get a split straight away. That’s devastating if it’s right before a booked ring fight and you have suddenly got to front up with a split that’s that’s pretty well a no-go. So you wear headgear to prevent injuries before your fight.

The other thing people forget is that with headgear when you’re wearing it you can have a fall down in the ring. Now it’s relatively safe to have a fall. But a lot of people spar because of room, you might have two or three people in the ring, a ref and two people sparring or a coach. Then the rest of the students are out on the floor doing lighter sparring but they can still have a fall. So if you fall over with headgear on, you’ve got a lot less chance of cutting yourself open on an obstacle around the gym. So in hindsight and looking back, always choose leather in headgear. If you’re serious about your sport and even if you’re just doing it for fun, the leather with the sweat-wicking lines is the way to go. This one’s (Full Face) got a sweat lining on the chin as well because a lot of sweat pours down and pulls in here. What that does is it pulls the sweat away from your chin and stops the headgear rotting out as well.


So to recap, use the open face mainly for boxing only, the full face for general purpose student training and general purpose sparring whether it’s serious boxing/kickboxing or Muay Thai, providing it’s made well. I’d choose this one (Jaw Saver) if you’re a person that’s got like a delicate nose/chin or you just wanna do a lot of sparring without getting too scuffed up, especially as you get older. That can be an issue where your skin blemishes very easy.

So I hope that’s made your boxing headgear choice easier!