One of the most important pieces of equipment for boxing, MMA, and muay Thai is headgear. Headgear allows you to spar harder and more frequently with a reduced risk of injury. If improving your skill and not getting hurt is your aim, do yourself a favor and buy a decent product.
The purpose of headgear is to protect the individual from concussive force. While most headgear succeeds at this to some extent, there are many other factors to consider when purchasing headgear, such as weight, visibility, durability, padding, and size. When shopping for headgear, make sure to try on the equipment before you make a purchase to ensure a comfortable fit. Do not purchase the same headgear your best friend wears just because he or she said it’s great. Everyone’s head is shaped differently and that needs to be taken into consideration.
Below is a list of six popular brands and their pros and cons. Hopefully this will help those of you shopping for new headgear. Happy face punching, everyone!
In my opinion, the Everlast brand has fallen from grace over the years. Most of the products they sell are cheap and lack durability. When buying equipment, remember you get what you pay for.
- Pros: Inexpensive
- Cons: Poorly made, not durable
- Price: $25.00-$70.00
I have used Ringside in the past and overall they produce good gear. It’s a decent brand and great for beginner/intermediate students.
- Pros: Wide variety of styles, decent quality, durable, thick padding
- Cons: Heavy, limited visibility due to thickness of padding
- Price: $60.00-$70.00
Top King is a good brand that is popular with muay Thai enthusiasts. All of their products have dense foam and offer good protection. Their headgear tends to be on the wider side, so if you have a narrow face like myself it may not be your first choice.
- Pros: Thick padding, durable, high quality
- Cons: Limited visibility, heavy, wide
- Price: $70.00
Twins is a spectacular brand that produces excellent equipment. Their headgear has less padding than most, but still offers good protection and visibility. The equipment is built to last and won’t break the bank.
- Pros: High quality, wide variety of styles, good visibility, lightweight
- Cons: Less padding
- Price: $55.00-$160.00
Fairtex offers high-quality gear for the advanced practitioner of muay Thai. Their headgear has slightly less padding than Twins but is still efficient at absorbing concussive force. With less padding comes the advantage of improved visibility, but you will feel the punches. That being said, in the past I used Fairtex gear for years and have always been impressed with their durability and quality.
- Pros: Wide variety of styles, good visibility, high quality, lightweight
- Cons: Less padding, expensive
- Price: $75.00-$129.00
Winning is the best gear on the market, period. It is absolutely superb in every way, and even Manny Pacquiao uses their gear when training. Unfortunately, Winning gear is very expensive. A full set of their gear can run you $1,000.00, but if you want to pursue fighting, it’s the way to go. Spending money isn’t fun, but concussions and brain damage are much worse.
- Pros: Lightweight, Excellent visibility, wide variety of styles, thick but lightweight padding, fits any head shape
- Cons: Expensive
- Price: $250.00-$460.00