The 10 Best Wrestling Headgear
This wiki has been updated 18 times since it was first published in April of 2018. Wrestling is a physically challenging sports that can take a toll on your body — especially your ears. The guards on this list can help soften any blows you might encounter, while minimizing friction in order to avoid that "cauliflower" look. Our selections for this category include several styles available at various price points, to suit different preferences and budgets. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
March 31, 2021:
It was a fairly fast round of updates for us, as virtually all of our previous picks were still available and presenting as great choices for the category. The only exception was the Asics Snap Down, but being as our rankings already included some representation for the company – in the form of the arguably superior Asics Aggressor, as well as the Asics Unisex – we had no problem with replacing the Snap Down with the Geyi Joker — one of many flashy offerings from the brand, this one featuring a portrait of a menacing villain that bears a strong likeness to the iconic Batman villain (although it wasn’t made immediately obvious whether or not this was a licensed product).
Note that, while the wrestling-specific headgear included on this list may have some viability for other forms of grappling, like jiu jitsu, it isn’t an ideal form of protection for sparring sessions that involve striking. If that’s what you’re interested in, then you may want to hop over to our rankings for MMA headgear.
January 08, 2020:
While not quite as vital as picking the right singlet or shoes, choosing solid headgear is still pretty important, especially if you're practicing hard enough and often enough to risk developing cauliflower ear.
Picking the right headgear can be tricky, as many are adjustable, one-size-fits-all models, and so you may not know if the fit is right until you try one. Thinking critically about the construction and style of various selections is paramount to your comfort and can prevent the hassle of making a return. Things like deep ear cups, thick straps, 2, 3, or 4-strap designs, chin cups, and material all play a big part in how your gear will feel. You may have to try a few before you get the perfect one.
Our latest update saw the removal of the Asics Unrestrained, which became unavailable. We added the unisex Asics Snap Down in its stead, as well as the thoughtfully designed Cliff Keen Fusion, which brought this list up to an even 10 items. The Fusion is a top of the line model that's made with extremely high-quality materials and boasts a trademarked “On-The-Fly” Strapping System and sleek-profiled ear cups that are snug, yet still give enough room for a comfortable fit.
If you like the classic headgear look, then you can't go wrong with the Matman Halo, which also happens to be very well made and economically-priced. The drawback to its strong plastic-like material is that it feels stiff at first and takes a while to break in, but once it molds to your head shape it will seem like it's barely there.
WrestlingMart The Throwback If you're a coach or parent looking to buy in bulk for an entire team, then the Throwback from WrestlingMart is a solid option. This classic style features four adjustable vinyl straps for the top and back of the head, as well as one to go under the chin for added security. Two hard plastic shells outfitted with foam padding comfortably protect the ears. Each cup also sports six larger-than-average holes for sound clarity. You can buy the Throwback as is or customize the colors and add a logo to match your team's singlets. wrestlingmart.com
Cliff Keen Athletic Named after the coach who's recognized as inventing the first wrestling headgear, this company offers just about everything participants in the sport will need, including customizable uniforms and protective equipment. cliffkeen.com