What To Look For In Good MMA Headgear


Headgear is a piece of equipment that many gyms require to train their MMA classes. Especially if you are doing classes that include partner drilling and sparring.

Many new to MMA and kickboxing training make a big mistake when choosing headgear. Grabbing just any type of headgear they can find without taking the time to get a good one.

This post is for those new to training to guide them through what to look for in good headgear. We’ll go through what separates good headgear from the bad ones, describe different types, and how to clean them. We’ll also give you a couple recommendations for you to consider buying.


What are the different types of headgear

Not all sparring headgears are the same. They are various different designs and headgears made for different types of martial arts. Here are some of the different types of headgear that you may see when you’re shopping.


Traditional Boxing Headgear

The most common type of headgear you’ll see is the traditional boxing headgear. This headgear is designed with cheek protectors and a slit around the eyes for you to see. Also depending on the brand, there are 1-2 straps located under the chin and the back of the head. It is the most used type of headgear by those that train combat sports. Pretty much every equipment manufacturer makes this type of headgear.


Headgear With A Bar Protector

Some headgears are designed with a padded bar that goes right across the face. The reason for this design is to protect your nose from punches and is primarily used in boxing training.

Those that wear the type of headgear prefer this type, because they feel the traditional type hinders their vision. Although with this headgear your face is more exposed and the bar sticks out in front of your face. Making it easier to hit and harder to defend.


Open Face Headgear

This type of headgear has padding that just goes around your head. Protecting your chin, temples, and forehead.

You will have better vision wearing this headgear and breath better, but it comes with a flaw. Your face will be exposed to potential strikes when you are participating in sparring sessions.


Headgear With A Plastic Cover

Headgear with a plastic cover is primarily used in sport karate and Taekwondo. It is not the ideal headgear for MMA and kickboxing training, because the plastic may break into your face. Severely damaging your face.

When looking for headgear for MMA, boxing, or kickboxing choose one without a plastic protective cover.


What To Look For In Good MMA Headgear

Looking for good headgear is a bit more in depth than looking for a pair of gloves. There are a lot more things you need to look for. Here is what to look for in good headgear.



You need to be able to see when you are wearing headgear to see the strikes coming at you. A big problem with a lot of headgear is that they impede your vision. 

Always look for one that you can see out of. You’ll never have perfect vision wearing headgear, but you need to have enough to do sparring.



Many hate using headgear, because along with inhibiting your vision, they can also make it harder to breath. A lot of bad headgears will cover your nose or press against your face giving you a claustrophobic feeling.

When looking for good headgear, always try it on and see if you can breath in it.


Doesn’t Move

Lots of headgears have a problem with staying in place on your face. Moving around every time that you absorb a strike. Making it really annoying to train in.

Look for headgear that gives you a custom fit. One that once you put it on and stays on until you take it off.


Good Material

Be sure to check if the headgear is made with good, quality material. The best material for headgear is either leather or synthetic leather.

These materials are the best, because they are water resistant and the most durable option. Leather and synthetic leather are built to last and are the ideal materials you should look for.


Smooth Surface

You will want to get an mma headgear that has a smooth surface with no edge. Headgears with edges have the potential to injure your training partners, so always get one with a smooth surface.


Moisture Protection

Moisture protection in headgear is an extremely important trait to have. Bacteria and germs develop in warm and moist areas and will damage the material and cause it to smell.

Even worse it could lead to a possible infection and a staph infection on your face is extremely dangerous.


Signs Of Bad Headgear

There is a lot of really bad headgear out there that you should avoid buying. Look for these signs of bad headgear when making your next purchase.


Cloth Material 

Never buy headgear that is made of a cloth material. Cloth wears out quickly and is more prone to developing germs and bacteria. Don’t waste your money on this type of headgear.


Improper Fit

A clear sign of bad headgear is an improper fit. They never seem to fit right and you’re always adjusting them. They are lots of headgear that don’t fit right and try avoiding them.


Bad Velcro

Lots of bad headgears weren’t designed with the best velcro straps. They either don’t stick very well or wear out easily after a short time. Make sure to check the velcro straps on each headgear you look at before buying.


Karate Headgear

A mistake many beginners make is using cheap karate headgear in their MMA and kickboxing class. These types of headgear are made of really thin foam and are extremely cheap.

They offer little to no protection and are basically useless to use in a full contact MMA class. Go get a headgear made strictly for MMA or kickboxing.


Retail Store Headgear

There has probably never been a quality headgear ever sold at a chain retail store. Headgear at these stores are not made with the best materials and break down rather easily. Try to be your headgear either from a trusted seller online or your local fight shop.



How To Clean Your Headgear

Knowing how to clean your headgear is extremely important in maintaining your piece of gear. Even the best headgear will be ruined if you don’t take care of it. Here are some methods you should use when cleaning your headgear.


Antiseptic Wipes

After every training session, you should immediately wipe down your headgear. Not letting the bacteria set in and leave a permanent stink on your gloves. 

Wipe down both the inside and outside of your headgear with alcohol free wipes. Wipes with alcohol with dry out and ruin leather/synthetic leather.


Antiseptic Spray

If you don’t have antiseptic wipes, then the next best thing is antiseptic spray. Thoroughly spray down your headgear after every use to keep them clean.


Dry Your Headgear

Once you get home, you need to take your headgear out of your bag and leave it out to dry. Leaving your headgear in your hot gym bag will cause bacteria to form ruining your gloves. Giving them an awful smell, slowly rotting the material.


Cleaning Methods To Avoid

Never put your headgear in a washing machine or dryer afterwards. Your headgear will absorb all of the water in the washer waterlogging your gloves. Then if you try to fix it by using the dryer, the machine will destroy the material.

You’ll be forced to spend money on new headgear if you use this method.


Headgear Recommendations

If you are in the market for a new headgear, then we at Engage have you covered. We make two high grade headgears that will benefit your training.


Engage E-Series Head Protective Guard

The first headgear we’ll highlight is our Engage E-Series Head Protective Guard. This headgear has everything you need to look for in a good piece of gear. It will allow you to train at an optimum performance level whether you’re a beginner or pro level athlete.

We made the E-Series headgear with high grade synthetic leather that is durable and will hold up for hard training sessions. You won’t have to worry about this headgear falling about.

The foam we included is super shock absorbent that will help absorb the strikes you will take. No headgear gives you 100% protection, but you will be safer in this one.

It also includes a near custom fit. Once you put this headgear on it stays on and won’t move when you take a shot.

Your training partners will also be protected, because we made the E-Series with a smooth surface and no edges. Ensuring your partner won’t get cut with an edge if you clash heads.

Also with your purchase, you get a complimentary carry bag to hold your bag that is breathable. This headgear is definitely worth your money if you are in the market for one.

Check our Engage E-Series Headgear in white.


W.I.P. Series Head Protective Guard

The W.I.P. Series is our latest line of headgears and is what we call “the new classic.” It has a throwback style, while providing new high tech protection.

Just like with the E-Series headgear, the W.I.P. Headgear was made with highly functional synthetic leather. It is highly durable, functional, and will hold up even during the hardest sparring sessions.

Where the W.I.P. differs from the E-Series in that it offers more protection. It is made with a triple layer foam that offers maximum protection from potential strikes you might absorb.

It also includes a moisture protect lining that pulls sweat away from your face. Helping to kill germ and bacteria protecting your face from possible infection. Also prolonging the longevity of your gloves, while keeping them stink free.

You also get a free carry bag that comes with your purchase of your headgear. So if you want to spend a little more and be better protected, then consider the W.I.P. Series Headgear.



Everything we covered in this post should make you better prepared to choose the right headgear. You now know the positive and bad aspects to look for, while also how to maintain them.

Headgear is an important piece of gear you must have for class if you wish to participate in hard sparring. Also, if you need headgear, then please check out the links above for our high grade products. Our two lines of headgear are extremely durable, reasonably priced, and come in multiple sizes.




Provided by engageind.com Embed

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