A blow to an unprotected head can kill, and that is not an exaggeration. Participants in any contact sport are forced to acknowledge this risk, and the serious student will come prepared. Remember, it doesn’t take a killing blow to end a career, and it’s unlikely you would ever choose to interrupt your exercise routine with a few months in physical therapy. This is why the best kickboxing headgear is so critical to an athlete in this sport.
Good headgear obviously offers excellent protection, however even the best kickboxing headgear demands a sacrifice of vision for additional safety. Thicker pads over the cheeks and jaw can compromise peripheral vision. On the other hand, that same padding can help ensure you live to fight another day. Products must be designed to take a very literal beating on a regular basis, and the thickness of the padding and the sturdiness of construction will usually determine the real value of a product rather than outer materials. For instance, whether or not a product features genuine leather is less important than the coverage it provides, the amount and type of padding it includes, and how much the gear obstructs your vision.
Accidents will happen, especially in such a vigorous contact sport, but carefully chosen gear and a solid investment in good padding can make all the difference in how those accidents end.
We’ve gone over several great examples of headgear for the new or intermediate kickboxer below. Each product features unique pros and cons, and your skills and weaknesses as a competitor will influence which style and brand are right for you.
Best Kickboxing Headgear Reviews
Ring to Cage Safety Training Headgear Review
Whether you are very new or very experienced, it is usually best to practice with extra protection. This gear features additional head and face coverage – including the face cage, of course. There is extra cheek and chin padding, as well. Although this product looks like overkill, remember that all it takes is one good punch to that sweet spot in the middle of the face that regular headgear does not cover, and you could be in for a world of pain and excruciating hospital bills. The external surfaces are covered in leather, and the interior is lined with a faux-suede for comfort. Extra thick foam blunts the impact of incoming fists.
If you still think the face cage looks like an excessive bit of showmanship, the reviews of this product will prove you wrong. At least one reviewer explained that this helmet is the perfect fit for a regular athlete who still wants to train with a broken nose. The only major drawback seems to be a strange double-vision phenomenon created by the crossbar. One individual questioned how long the headgear would last, but confirmed that the construction was still far from flimsy.
- Protects every part of the head – including the nose
- Features real leather
- Not designed to last forever according to a highly ranked review
Venum Elite Headgear Review
With full head (including cheek and chin) protection, this headgear features triple-density contour foam to maximize shock-absorption and protect the most delicate parts of your skull and jaw. This product features artificial “skintex” to help make this piece affordable to new and intermediate athletes, but the makers cut no corners when it comes to protection. Venum products are handmade, and although the outer covering is not made of genuine leather, this is still a quality product.
Possibly the best part of this headgear’s design is the extra wide space around the eyes. It allows a 180 degree field of view, which can make the difference between victory or defeat in the ring. It is hard to block a strike you cannot see coming.
Many reviewers upgraded to this product after training for a while with off brand or cheaply made headgear. Several praised the additional shock absorption of this gear, and nearly all reviewers raved about the additional eye space. Reviews also mention how light the headgear felt, and one reviewer claims to have forgotten he was wearing it. Not only this product, but the Venum line as a whole won plenty of praise, and many reviewers have bought other Venum products in the past.
- Superior coverage
- Recognized and trusted brand
- Open field of view
- Chin and cheek protection
Hayabusa Sport Headgear Review
This product is designed for beginner and intermediate athletes and provides additional protection to the cheeks and jaw. Although a biteguard can help prevent breaking your teeth, it is a good idea to protect your chin and jaw as well (especially early in your training).With artificial leather and two colors available, this particular piece is more expensive than some other intermediate and beginner options, however it offers less luxury in exchange for a reasonable price without compromising the level of protection.
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As a relatively new brand created by a significantly smaller company than fightwear empires like Everlast, Hayabusa does not have a tremendous number of reviews on popular websites. However, what reviewers there are point out that Hayabusa Headgear features a sturdy design with thick padding, and although it is more expensive than some more popular brands, those who invested found it well worth the cost.
- Thick padding
- Good coverage of head, jaw, and cheeks
- More expensive than some other brands
- Made by a newer brand with little clout and few reviews
The best kickboxing headgear is one of the most important parts of any kickboxer’s gear. It is often one of the first pieces of gear an athlete chooses to upgrade, and it is little wonder. If you are new or looking to upgrade, be sure to check out the products listed above. They are all priced above brands like Everlast and Ringside, but they score consistently higher ratings and their reviewers praise their quality and protection.
Remember that, although all your gear is important, headgear can literally save your life. Accidents happen, especially when you are caught up in a good sparring match or facing a competitor in the ring.