Best Wrestling Headgear Review – Top Rated Models in 2019 with Buying Guide
Wrestling is a wonderful sport. However, it does not come without perils. To keep safe, you have to wear the proper equipment. As time is precious and you probably don’t afford to waste it, we have already compiled a list of some of the best-selling wrestling products and went over many wrestling headgear reviews to bring the relevant information directly to you. If you are looking to buy wrestling headgear we recommend the Cliff Keen E58. It features smooth surfaces that reduce friction and favor cleaning. The straps are highly adjustable and the chin strap is padded for added comfort. Moreover, the E58 comes in many single and double colors which will allow you to match your team’s color or your gear. In the unlikely case that the popular Cliff Keen E58 is not available for buying, you may consider the Cliff Keen F5 Tornado as well.
Highly Recommended Choices – Reviews & Comparison
In the world of wrestling, there are many options when it comes to headgear. Our team has looked at several types of wrestling headgear, in order to help you decide faster on which one you should purchase. Read the following lines to find out more about these pieces of equipment.
Cliff Keen E58
This model features a 4 strap system. All straps are fully adjustable and the item can be tightened so much as to fit youth. The chin strap is covered with an SP94 pad for added comfort. The headgear is lightweight and the ear cups’ exterior surface offers highly reduced friction when it comes in contact with the mat.This design is based on the original foam E41 that was patented by Cliff Keen almost 50 years ago and has good reviews by many wrestlers who use it.
Some claim that they have been wearing it for years and almost no sign of wear is visible. Since it has no fabric texture, the product doesn’t get dirty as fast and it’s easy to clean due to its smooth surfaces.
The product comes in an extreme variety of colors so that you can easily match it with the rest of your equipment.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($27.5)
Cliff Keen F5 Tornado
This piece of equipment features a patented air vent system technology. This translates into a design that favors airflow over your ears, keeping them protected and comfortable at the same time. Moreover, wrestlers hear up to 80% better due to deep ear cups.
The F5 is extremely light, users claiming that regarding this aspect, it resembles the cheap ones they used back when they were in high school. However, unlike those, the F5 model is providing great protection and comfort.
According to customers, it’s fairly easy to clean as well. It is strongly advised that you clean this piece of equipment every week or better yet, after each match. You can do this by using a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol or with plain soap and water. Then leave it to dry overnight.
The price is a bit steep, but the product is extremely durable and you get your money’s worth.Buy from Amazon.com for ($34.37)
Cliff Keen Fusion
The three strap system combined with a button snap allows for an easy setup. The ear cups feature protective cell foam and have an overall low profile that will not be too intrusive for your opponent during a match. However, the low profile has enough room for your ears. You will experience protection and comfort with this padded wrestling headgear.
The chin strap is wrapped with an extremely comfortable pad that greatly adds to the overall comfort level of this headgear. This item can be adjusted and customers claim that it will fit even a three-year-old child.
According to some wrestlers, the top strap sometimes tends to slip forward over the forehead which is why they would rather use a model with a 4 strap design. Another small inconvenience is that at times the chin cushion gets caught in the strap’s Velcro.
This item is lightweight, weighing only 0.5 lbs and it doesn’t affect hearing much.Buy from Amazon.com for ($39.94)
ASICS Unisex Snap Down
This imported piece of equipment features a 4 strap design, a hard plastic chin piece mounted on the chin strap and is made 100% out of foam, which makes it extremely comfortable. The product is lightweight and can be adjusted to fit a wide range of sizes. Its exterior surface is smooth and reduces friction when it comes in contact with the opponent or with the mat.
Some wrestlers claim that the chin piece does not stay in one place on the chin strap and they prefer to remove it completely before a match. Also, another complaint is that the straps are pretty difficult to adjust. However, you perform this adjustment only at first.
Buying this Asics wrestling headgear online you will find that the colors from the picture are matching the real product’s color, so you will have no problem in matching your headgear with the rest of your equipment.Click to see the price on Amazon!
The 4 straps that go across the top of the head and the back of the head ensure a firm placement and greatly reduce the chances of it slipping or changing its position during a match. The two straps that go over the top of your head are connected, therefore there is no chance for the front strap to slide over your forehead in the middle of the match.
The ear cups are made from injected molded EVA, which stands for ethylene vinyl acetate, a material that resembles rubber. However, EVA is tougher and more elastic than rubber. This material will provide good protection and it’s easy to wash. Wash the straps with soap and water often as their textured surfaces retain sweat and other impurities easily.
Although it is not as stylish as other brands, this model is affordable and can be used by any wrestler regardless of his/her age.Buy from Amazon.com for ($30.38)
Cliff Keen E58
This model is inspired by the original model E41 patented by Cliff Keen half a decade ago. Its 4 straps keep the headgear firmly fitted on the head and the chin strap is wrapped in a layer of foam padding for extra comfort. The high-quality button snap is durable and doesn’t come off during matches.
Both ear cups have the iconic Cliff Keen 4 holes that facilitate hearing. They make it possible for you to hear your coach’s directions during the match and facilitate air ventilation.
Customers are pleased and bought this item to be worn both by adults and by children. The ear cups are highly adjustable and provide good comfort. Some users recommend buying a chin cup to add to this model’s chin strap as it could improve the overall stability. However, this is more of a personal preference, as some wrestlers prefer to wear this particular strap under the chin.Buy from Amazon.com for ($39.91)
Venum Kontact EVO
This item is designed to wrap around your head and therefore better protect it from concussions and other types of injuries. This wrestling headgear is made from neoprene and high-density foam which keeps the product light while absorbing any impact your head is subjected to.
On the exterior, the Kontact EVO features a fabric with a smooth texture which reduces the friction with the mat surface and offers some comfort to your opponent as well. To remain firmly fitted on your head, this item uses a three-way enclosure system. This feature, together with some elastic rubber bands found on the inside, make it adjustable for a customized secure fit.
The ears have enough space to fit inside the shells. These ear cups have been specially molded in order to better protect you from developing cauliflower condition. Your sweat will be rapidly absorbed by the neoprene, allowing you to focus only on wrestling.Buy from Amazon.com for ($44.99)
KO Sports Gear
The KO Sports Gear features a Velcro chin strap with a removable chin pad. This strap allows for quick and easy adjustment. The ear cup profile is not as low as you may find in other models. However, this only enhances protection. There are three holes in each ear cup, large enough to allow good hearing.
Due to the thicker ear cup padding, some wrestlers may feel their ears heating. However, this is a small compromise if you want superior protection and want to avoid cauliflower ears.
Customers claim that it stays in place extremely well when grappling moves are made by the opponent. The users are happy with the ergonomic design of this model, especially with the fact that the abrasive part of the Velcro is positioned away from the skin. This allows for quick and comfortable adjustments without any fear of scratching the skin.Buy from Amazon.com for ($19.99)
Cliff Keen Tornado
This Cliff Keen wrestling headgear is one of the most popular on the market. The design features a deep ear cup so that your ear is protected and does not come in contact with the inner plastic surface. Moreover, the ear cups have plenty of that allow you to hear good while wearing the headgear.
As opposed to other models, these straps use Velcro, which makes for easy fitting while wearing. You don’t have to take it off to adjust the size. You simply slide it on and tighten each one individually.
This item is made of three parts: the ear cups, the ear padding and the straps. For each of these three elements, you can choose a color in order to get a personal combination. There are 25 stock single colors and combinations that can be purchased. If you order something outside of the existing palette, you would get a custom design.Buy from Amazon.com for ($38.95)
Cliff Keen Custom Signature
This model comes with 4 vinyl adjustable straps. Although they are somewhat difficult to adjust, you only have to do this at first and after that, they are guaranteed to stay in place. They are extremely durable and easy to clean due to their smooth surface. This product fits both adults and children.
The exterior of the ear cups is covered in high-quality foam shells and on the inside you will find a polycarbonate composite cup that will offer structural resistance to the headgear and protection to your ears. The chin strap features foam padding so that you will feel comfortable during matches and a solid button snap to secure everything to your head.
This item is time tested as it has been worn by wrestlers ever since this design was patented 50 years ago by Cliff Keen. It’s a light design that successfully combines good protection with comfort.Buy from Amazon.com for ($39.95)
The Halo is an item for people on a low budget. Although it isn’t the best wrestling headgear in every situation, this product does not move, even though it only has 2 straps that go around the head.
The ear cups have a low profile design which makes this item a good choice against opponents who grab when wrestling. However, the sleek ear cups remain in contact with your ear and some buyers claim that you will feel the impact if you get hit.
At times, the head can slip out of the headgear through the back if the straps are not adjusted correctly. This product requires some breaking in. The plastic will become more pliable and you will be able to adjust it more easily.
The chin strap has a protective foam to prevent your skin from scratching, but if you prefer a chin cup you can acquire one separately.Buy from Amazon.com for ($30.95)
This Adidas wrestling headgear features low profile ear cups covered with soft and smooth foam. This adds protection, reduces friction and makes your opponent’s grabbing attempts more difficult. On the inside, the ear cups are made of injection molded plastic for higher structural strength.
It has 4 fully adjustable vinyl straps to fit any head size. The straps that go across the top of your head are connected, which is a big advantage. This means that they will not slip forward over your eyes or forehead, delivering you a high degree of comfort and focus.
The chin strap easily clips on using a button snap and it features a soft chin pad. This stabilizes the headgear even more and adds comfort. Although the straps will always be black, you can choose to customize the colors of the ear cups. Solid colors combined with the Adidas trademark white stripes will add style to your equipment.Click to see the price on Amazon!
Cliff Keen Two-Tone Signature
This item has the well known Cliff Keen design that proved itself along the years. The 4 fully adjustable vinyl straps allow for good fitting on a large range of sizes. This item can be worn both by adults, as well as by children.
The fifth strap is for the chin and is wrapped in foam padding to add more comfort to the wrestler and to prevent the vinyl from irritating or scratching the skin. If you don’t find this padding to your liking and prefer something more solid, you can separately acquire a compatible chin cup.
Although it’s light, this model offers good protection. Four holes in each ear cup facilitate decent hearing. The minimalist design aids you in cleaning it as the smooth surfaces do not adhere to dirt, sweat or blood very well. The Two-Tone Signature is easy to clean and dries fast.Buy from Amazon.com for ($36.99)
Adapt Athletics Enhanced
This design will offer great protection but will not hinder you whatsoever. The ear cups are thick and they are designed so there is a space between them and your ears.
This prevents cauliflower ears and reduces the risk of concussions, as this wrestling headgear wraps around your head covering more than other models do.
The antimicrobial cover is soft and proves comfortable both for the wearer as well as for his/her opponent. The chin strap features additional foam padding and triple stitched anchors.
This makes the strap extremely durable and difficult to wear out. The ear cups have holes that let you hear what happens around you and what the coach is telling you during a match.
This piece of protective gear is versatile, and it’s suited not only for wrestlers but also for people who practice Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, MMA, Judo and other contact sports.Click to see the price on Amazon!
Yearly Guide & Report
Anybody who practices wrestling has to wear proper equipment in order to protect themselves at all times and avoid injuring their partner. Out of all the wrestling equipment, the headgear is the most important one. It helps prevent concussions and cauliflower ears.
If you are in the market to buy such an item, read the following paragraphs to learn more about headgear features and know what to look for when acquiring one.
One of the most important roles of wrestling headgear is to protect you from something known as “cauliflower ears”. This ear condition can be extremely painful and later in life can lead to hearing difficulties.
Therefore, these pieces of equipment cover your ears either with ear cups made of foam or injected plastic. Some of them feature a combination of the two to bring you and your opponent extra protection and comfort.
Another commonly encountered type of injury is the concussion. When your head comes in contact with the mat or even with your opponent, you may suffer a mild cranial trauma. Wearing proper protection on your head certainly reduces the chances of you losing your consciousness and thus prevents its side effects that can be felt even 12 to 24 hours later.
Some headgear models wrap all around the head, focusing on more than just your ears and are made of a thicker material, sometimes containing gel, so that they absorb impact better. Unfortunately, they have to compromise somewhere. These models may feel less comfortable and impede your hearing more than others.
You want to look for these types of characteristics when buying headgear and you should experiment to find out what feels more comfortable to you. Some models have a chin cup as well to better secure the chin strap and to add some protection.
Ventilation and hearing
Some models are designed so that the ear cups offer a larger space over your ears. This way the ventilation is better as air passes with ease over your hot ears and cools them. Moreover, as they are not pressed against a piece of plastic or foam, the ears do not sweat as much as they would with other models.
This is an advantage as you feel more comfortable during a match and nothing will distract you. This large space that some models feature will allow you to hear better, which is tremendously helpful especially to beginners as they must hear their coach giving them instructions.
Style should be among the last criteria you take into consideration when buying equipment that is primarily meant to protect you. However, you can find cool wrestling headgear as manufacturers always try to improve their designs and merge functionality with style. You almost always have multiple color choices, textures, and shapes.
You can match your headgear style with the ones of your friends or teammates, you can match colors with the rest of your personal equipment or you can just choose something that you like without thinking too much about style at all. However, keep in mind that wrestling headgear is not a fashion statement or a clothing accessory.
These items have the purpose of protecting you from injuries and you must treat them and buy them as protective gear.
Wrestling headgear doesn’t cost much and most people wouldn’t consider even the priciest items to be expensive. Even the professional ones sell for just around fifty dollars. It is safe for you to follow the general concept that the higher the price, the higher the quality. However, this does not mean that you can’t find great protection when using cheap wrestling headgear.
Taking into consideration that not even the higher priced items are very expensive, you shouldn’t make any compromises and buy whatever models offer you or your children the most protection. You can’t really put a price on safety and when it comes to protecting your head and ears, you always want the best products to prevent concussions and other injuries.
We recommend that you shouldn’t set a budget when shopping for headgear. Don’t let the price discourage you from acquiring a high-quality item that will surely aid you during matches maybe without you even realizing it.
When buying new wrestling headgear, always search for those features that help you the most on the mat. The first thing a good headgear must provide is ear protection, then comfort and lastly good looks. If you have to give up on something, give up on styling and remember why you are buying protective equipment.
Frequently asked questions about wrestling headgear
How to put on headgear for wrestling?
To put on your wrestling headgear, take the two cups, one in each hand and separate them so that the straps are stretched and the insides of the ear cups are facing each other.
Make sure that the straps are not tangled and that you have the left ear cup in your left hand and the right ear cup in your right hand. The chin strap should hang at this point as we do not want it connected just yet.
You then place just one ear cup over the corresponding ear, lowering it from above and drape the other ear cup into place. Finally, you connect the chin strap.
How to wear wrestling headgear?
Headgear is mandatory in official matches, therefore it’s important to wear it correctly. Headgear is composed of 2 ear cups connected together with 5 elastic straps.
With the earcups completely covering your ears, the straps should be located as follows: 2 across the top of your head, two across the back of your head and the chin strap over or under the chin, depending on the type. It’s important not to wear the chin strap incorrectly.
If it has a small plastic cup, then it must be placed on top of the chin. If it only has protective foam around it, it goes under the chin.
Where to buy wrestling headgear?
Most customers search wrestling headgear for sale online. The advantage is that you have access to many products and you can read other people’s reviews and feedback about their experience with this product. Online you generally find a larger selection and therefore you may acquire an item that suits not only your needs but also your budget.
If you are afraid of purchasing something that may not be to your liking or do not trust online information, you may visit a local store with sporting goods for sale. There, you can personally see, handle, and try on different gear models.
How to adjust wrestling headgear?
When you first get your headgear out of the box, chances are that it will not fit you properly. The first thing that you must do is to reach for the strap end. You do that by pushing your finger inside the strap hole on the ear cup. You then take out the strap end and pull it with one hand while you push in the strap’s other end with your other hand. Do this for all straps.
Pulling like this on the short end, and pressing in the long one will tighten the headgear until it fits you.
How to clean wrestling headgear?
Wrestling headgear gets covered with sweat and sometimes even blood. The best way to clean it is by using alcohol wipes immediately after a match, because after a while the blood coagulates and it will be harder to remove. Remember to clean both the interior and the exterior surfaces of the headgear.
Because it is a personal item, you should never borrow your equipment or use someone else’s, even if it’s your teammate we are talking about. This will prevent bacteria from spreading and will reduce the chance of getting infected. Store the gear in a well-ventilated area.
How to fit wrestling headgear?
It is extremely important to have a good fit on your headgear. Otherwise, it may fall off, shift its position or cover your eyes during a match. To make sure that the headgear fits you, you have to adjust it by pulling the elastic straps that latch onto the ear cups. You have to pull the short ends to tighten it or pull the long ends to loosen it.
To know if it is tight enough, put it on and press your ear cups hard to your head. If at any point, any strap becomes loose or falls off your head, they have to be tightened more.
How tight should wrestling headgear be?
Headgear must be tightly secured to your head so that it does not move when you use it in a match. However, you do not want it to be so tight so as to impede blood flow and thus cause great discomfort. A good way of knowing when you have tightened your headgear enough is to wear it and press your ear cups together using the palms of your hands.
If, while pressing, you can easily move any straps with your fingers or you can effortlessly slide your fingers under them, then you must tighten your straps even more.
How to choose wrestling headgear?
There are two general sizes available for this product: youth and adult. After choosing your needed category, every model you acquire is pretty much bound to fit, as they all have adjustable straps. Regarding safety, the crucial decisions have already been made at this point so other variables concerning the model are strictly related to comfort and personal preferences.
Another thing you may want to consider is the item’s component materials as well because soft shell headgear (polymer) is more comfortable than the hard shell (hard plastic). However, the latter allows for better hearing and it’s lighter.
How to reduce concussion risks for wrestlers
Wrestling is a great sport, but its nature can easily lead to injuries. Concussions are some of the worst injuries that a wrestler may suffer on the mat. Therefore it is important to learn how to avoid or prevent such unwanted events.
There are not many pieces of equipment a wrestler wears. However, that does not mean that they are not crucial in keeping the fighter safe. The most important item is the headgear. Although it may be uncomfortable at times, every wrestler must learn to wear one, regardless of their wrestling skill level.
It is important to know that this item will not fully protect your head from concussions. That being said, a properly fitted one will greatly reduce the risk of you suffering such an injury. Whether you wear Nike wrestling headgear or an entry-level product, you will still save your ears and head from a world of suffering.
The second most important piece of equipment that will add protection to your skull is the mouth guard. The jaw and mouth region can come in contact with the other wrestler’s head or with the mat. The shock absorbing nature of mouth guards stabilizes the head and neck, thus reducing the chances of you suffering a concussion.
You must learn and understand all the match rules in order to keep yourself and your opponent as safe as possible. Wrestlers should not be too aggressive and must not perform illegal moves, knowingly or unknowingly. Some moves have been declared illegal precisely because they tend to cause concussions.
Coaches should bring a physician who can talk to young wrestlers and parents. He could explain more about the risks and raise awareness regarding concussions. Wrestlers should learn what the symptoms of a concussion are. In some cases, side effects show up 12 to 24 hours later.
Improve your form
Every wrestler must learn the basic wrestling fundamentals in order to move properly, control every attack, and land/fall correctly. Most of the concussions occur when the head impacts the opponent head, the mat or a knee. Mastering the way you move your entire body in a match will drastically reduce the chances of you or your opponent suffering any injuries.
To minimize the concussion risks, wear complete wrestling gear that fits you well, be aware of what you are doing and respect your opponent.
Best wrestling headgear brands
Cliff Keen Athletic was founded in 1958. The company produces clothes and protective equipment for wrestlers and officials alike. Although they focus on wrestling gear, they sell products related to other sports, such as baseball, softball, basketball, football and lacrosse.
The founder of this company was University of Michigan’s wrestling coach between 1925 and 1970. During this time he led teams to a record of 268 wins and 13 Big Ten Championships. Using his knowledge, the company has been improving wrestling equipment for over 50 years.
The company has a rich tradition and offers high-quality and innovative products that keep up with the rigors of the competition.
ASICS stands for the well known Latin phrase “Anima Sana In Corpore Sano” which means a sound mind in a sound body. The company was founded in 1949 by Mr. Kihachiro Onitsuka under the name of Onitsuka Co. and produced athletic footwear for basketball players in Kobe, Japan. In 1977 the company was rebranded and it took the current name.
Since then, the company has evolved a great deal and now it incorporates research facilities that cover over 45,000 square feet. The company is now focused on producing and selling high-performance footwear and clothing for racing, volleyball, basketball, wrestling and others.
Founded in 1999 near Manchester the company aimed from the start at producing and selling affordable gear for MMA, Boxing, Fitness, Muay-Thai and others. Due to the fact that they are their own manufacturers, they manage to set low prices and thus, attract many customers.
Through the fast developing E-Commerce service, they are able to deliver to all corners of the world, having free delivery in most countries. At present, the RDX customer base reaches numbers of over 200 million people all around the world and is one of the leading combat and fitness brands.
At this point, Adidas can be considered a global brand, but its roots are in Germany. At their headquarters in Herzogenaurach, employees from over 100 countries produce over 900 million sports gear and sports lifestyle articles per year.
The company was founded by Adolf Dassler in his mother’s home. He was later joined by his big brother Rudolf and in 1924 they took the name “Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory”.
Their core brands are now Adidas and Reebok. Their sports products are designed for all genders and cover a wide variety of categories. Adidas sells shoes, clothing, socks, different sports balls, even accessories like sunglasses, hats, phone cases and watches.