What Are The Different Types Of Boxing Headgear?

What Are The Different Types Of Boxing Headgear?

Headguards were created in 1917 when a boxer named Jack Dempsey got a local sporting goods company to make a protective headguard to protect himself during training. Since then, these padded headpieces have become a staple piece of boxing equipment in all boxing gym bags across the globe. 

These protective head guards are used by fighters of all abilities from seasoned professionals and world champions to amateurs and beginners. There are several different types of headguards with pros and cons that make them perfect for one boxer but an annoyance for another. 

In this article, we will talk through the different types of head guards, their pros & cons, and also what kind of fighters typically wear each type. Everybody has different preferences when it comes to headguards, this blog has been created to help you choose the perfect headguard for you. 


Why Are Headguards So Important In Boxing? 

There are many different reasons why headguards are such an important part of boxing. Many people think it is to protect the head and the brain from the impact of punches, and this is true to an extent. However, the actual purpose of headguards in boxing training is to stop punches, accidental headbutts and other damage that can occur during sparring from cutting or bruising. 

While the head guards take away some of the force of the punches to the head, they are not designed to solely do this. They are designed to stop cuts and injuries that can impact your day-to-day lives. Headguards allow the regular recreational boxers to go to their jobs with no bruises, cuts or scrapes. They also help professional fighters get to fight night without any big cuts, scrapes or swelling that could ultimately compromise them on the night. 


What Are The Different Types Of Boxing Headguards

Open Face Headguards 

An open-face headguard is pretty much exactly what you would think it is. It is a head guard that provides padding to the top, side and back of your head but has a full open face. This is the least amount of face protection that you can get from a headguard. However, they still have the benefits that make them an amazing piece of boxing protective equipment. 

While these types of headguards may seem like they have very little protection, these headguards are still very effective at preventing any unnecessary damage during training. They also have several other benefits that make them a go-to for many boxers. 

The main selling point of this style of headguard is that it does not impair your vision in any way. This allows a fighter to see all shots coming at him and to be able to counter with damaging punches during training. While there is less face protection, the open face allows fights to be far more aware of any shots of head clashes that could cause damage in a sparring session. 


Who Should Use Open-Face Headguards 

  • Fighters who do not want their vision obscured
  • Amateur Boxers as this is the headwear they will wear during bouts
  • Fighters who like to feel less like they have huge padding on their head
  • Kids to adults 


Cheek Protector Headguards 

Cheek protector headguards are one of the most popular styles of headgear, and it is clear to see why. These headguards have a large amount of padding that also covers both cheeks and therefore provides a fighter with an ample amount of padding. While these cheek protector head guards have a much larger amount of padding than the open-face head guards, a lot of their benefits are very similar. 

The popularity of these head guards comes from the fact that they offer the best of both worlds. They offer a great amount of protection while still not overly obscuring the vision of a fighter who is wearing them. 

Having a good line of vision during sparring is incredibly important to fighters as it gives them a greater feel for what they will see on fight night. It allows them to see shots and movement that they may struggle to see with more vision-obscuring headgear. 

These head guards also offer the greatest amount of protection to your eyes, ears, back of the head, cheeks and side of the head. This helps to once again prevent any unnecessary injuries such as cuts, grazes, swelling and head clashes. 


Who Should Use Cheek Protector Headguards 

  • Fighters who are looking for a large amount of protection with minimal loss of vision
  • Fighters who are looking to minimise the risk of injury
  • Fighters of all ages 
  • Fighters who are partaking in any Kickboxing, Muay Thai or MMA training
  • Fighters who like to counterpunch 


Full Face Headguards 

Full-face headguards are very similar to cheek protector head guards. Visually they look pretty much identical, the only difference between the two is that full-face headguards also protect the chin. This therefore means that they offer a full face of protection to ensure that no unwanted cuts, bruises, or swelling occurs during training. 

Similarly to cheek protector head guards, these are very popular among fighters thanks to their immense level of protection without overly obscuring their line of sight. This allows fighters to train their hardest during sparring rounds without worrying about injuries that could compromise them on fight night. 

Having a headguard that offers ample protection whilst still being able to see is very important during training. If a headguard obscures a fighter's vision too much then they may start getting hit with shots that they do not see and also struggle to counter effectively. This therefore does not replicate a real fight night scenario very well. That is why these head guards are so perfect. 


Who Should Use Full Face Headgear 

  • Fighters who want to minimise the risk of injury while not obscuring their vision 
  • Boxers who train regularly but do not want cuts, bruises and swelling as they have normal jobs 
  • Fighters of all ages
  • Fighters who also train in Kickboxing, Muay Thai or MMA
  • Professionals in a training camp for an upcoming fight


Bar Face Headguards 

A bar face headguard is a head guard which features a bar that runs horizontally across the nose. This style of head guard undoubtedly offers a fighter the greatest amount of protection to the nose, eyes, cheeks and forehead. While these head guards do offer the highest level of protection, many fighters struggle wearing these during training as the nose bar can obscure their vision.

While this style of headgear makes it harder to see uppercuts and 45-degree hooks, to many fighters this is a very minor inconvenience when compared with the amount of protection they offer. Ensuring that you get to fight night injury-free is a must, the nose bar helps to ensure that you do not end up with a broken nose, cut eyes, or cut cheeks during harder and more competitive sparring rounds on the lead-up to a fight. 

You will often see videos of your favourite professional boxers such as Canelo Alvarez, Floyd Mayweather, Oleksandr Usyk, and more using these head guards in sparring in the lead-up to a fight. That is because these fighters know how important it can be to avoid any unnecessary damage and cuts during training camps. 


Who Should Wear Bar Face Headgear

  • Fighters looking for the highest level of protection 
  • Fighters in training camp with an upcoming fight 
  • Fighters of all ages
  • Fighters who train regularly but have very corporate jobs 
  • Fighters with nose or nasal problems