Wrestling Headgear: The Top 5 Products
Wrestling Headgear Introduction
Wrestling headgear was first created when Cliff Keen, a wrestling coach, overheard parents would not let their children wrestling because they did not want them to develop cauliflower ear. This led Keen to create the first ear guard under Cliff Keen Athletics in 1958. Cliff Keen still sells headgear today.
Headgear has evolved from its inception. Now, headgear is made with consideration of the wrestler's ability to hear, to be light weight and to prevent harm to both the wrestler and the opponent. The main function of wrestling headgear is to prevent cauliflower ear, a condition in which the outer ear hardens from damage to the cartilage. Today, good headgear can be bought for $25-$60, depending on the level of quality and customization.
All college level and below wrestlers are required to wear protective headgear. Most international matches do not require headgear because it is not commonly worn outside of the U.S.
There are a few main styles of wrestling headgear. The first, and most common, is the 4-strap headgear. The 4-strap version is common because it stays in place so well. Other headgear can have 2 straps instead of 4. There are also protective masks that can be worn with headgear to prevent injuries and help athletes with injuries wrestler as they recover.
Wrestling headgear comes in different levels of customization. On most styles, the buyer can choose colors of the ear pads and straps. Some types of headgear are fully customizable, allowing for custom logos and designs to be permanently sealed in.
#1. The Most Popular
Cliff Keen F5 Headgear
The top ranking wresting headgear is the Cliff Keen F5 Tornado. This headgear is popular for a reason. With its patented air vent technology, ultra-deep ear cups and easy to adjust straps, this headgear is comfortable, light-weight and stays in place. This headgear minimizes lost sound so the wrestler can hear as much as possible. It is easy to adjust and fits snugly. It is also easy to clean, and will not smell.
While there are many benefits to Cliff Keen's F5 Tornado, their are a few downsides as well. The biggest drawback is that the ear cups stick straight out, instead of gradually. This creates a few problems for wrestlers. First, is that it creates a small handle for the opponent to hold. It leaves enough of a surface for the opponent to grab. The second con of the ear cups is that, because of their size and shape, they make it harder to squeeze your head out of holds.
Some claim that the CK Tornado slips, and some claim that it stays snugly in place. If you are finding that your Tornado is slipping, you may need to wear it tighter.
#2. Custom Wrestling Headgear
Danmar Warrior Custom Headgear
Danmar aims to "change the face of wrestling" with their custom headgear and they have done just that. With their unique process, they can permanently seal any logo or design onto their headgear. This headgear has 4 straps for the most comfort and the best fit. The vent holes have been repositioned to give the most room for the logo or design. Everything about this headgear is customizable, from the color of the straps, to the ear pads to the embedded logos.
Danmar's high quality headgear is made in the USA and is the sharpest looking product on the market. As all top of the line products, it is the most expensive. Individual orders cost $59.95, but they do offer quantity discounts. If you ordering for a team or club, every headgear can be individually customized and still qualify for quantity discounts. For this headgear, the biggest drawback is price. Other headgear can cost half as much as Danmar's, but it may not last as long. Danmar's custom headgear is one of the best built products on the market as well.
This wrestling headgear is relatively new to the market, but is already being picked up by well known college and high school teams. This headgear will be sure to make you, or your team, stand out.
#3. Best Value
The ASICS Conquest Ear Guard ranks third as the best value wresting headgear. It retails for just under $25. You will not find a better headgear in this price range. Like the CK Tornado, the straps and ear guards come in customizable colors. This headgear fights odor, fits comfortably and has a low profile. The Conquest is designed to be light-weight and antimicrobial.
While this headgear is the best for budget minded wrestlers, the low price does come with some negatives. The biggest and most common problem with this headgear is that it does not like to stay in place. The headgear can slip so far that it covers the wrestler's eyes. The padding in this headgear is stiff, making it less comfortable than the previous two.
Overall, this headgear is the best choice for those looking to save money on their headgear. However, with the lower price comes less comfort. If you can afford the CK Tornado or Danmar's custom headgear, you will want to go with either of those options for optimum comfort and durability.
#4. Tornado's Baby Brother
Cliff Keen F3 Twister
Cliff Keen's Twister is a slightly bulkier, 2-strap version of their Tornado headgear. Other than the difference with the straps, the headgear are very similar. Both come in customizable colors, are light-weight, fight odor and are easy to clean.
The 2-strap design slips and shifts a lot more than the 4-strapped Tornado. The 2 wide straps do not hold as steady and cannot be adjusted as nicely. With 4 straps, the wrestler has more control over the fit of the headgear. The 2 wide straps can cause irritation when the rub against the skin.
#5. Classic Design
Adidas Response Wrestling Ear Guard
The Adidas Response Ear Guard features a classic, time-tested design with modified features. It is a 4-strap headgear with a soft foam covering, low profile and a soft chin cup. The chin cup locks onto the chin for additional security. The foam covering absorbs shock.
This headgear is mid-priced and pretty good quality. There are a few drawbacks with it. It can be hard to adjust and the chin cup is not as comfortable as a strap. Overall, there is better headgear for the price level of the Adidas Response.
Where To Buy Wrestling Headgear
Just about all headgear can be found on Amazon for the best price. Danmar's custom headgear is not available on Amazon, but can be bought through their website.
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