What Is Wrestling Headgear and Why Is It Important?

You may have seen your favorite wrestlers or MMA fighters wearing headgear while training, but you might not know what it is. If you’re new to the sport of wrestling, it’s crucial for you to understand what headgear is and why it’s so vital. 

What Is Wrestling Headgear And Why Is It Important?

Wrestling headgear, also called a “ear guards,” protects your ears from injury during fighting or training. It prevents cauliflower ear, an ugly condition where fluid collects in the ear due to repeated trauma. It can also help prevent injuries that can occur when wrestlers fall on their heads. 

This article will discuss everything you need to know about wrestling headgear.

What Is Wrestling Headgear Made Of?

A standard wrestling headgear consists of an inner protective lining made of ballistic nylon, an outer vinyl covering, and straps to secure it in place. 

Some models may also feature air holes in the ear protectors, which allows wrestlers to hear instructions from their coach during practices and in matches.

Why Is Headgear Important In Wrestling?

Wrestling headgear is important because it acts as a shock absorber to protect your ears against damage caused to the skin and tissue when you get hit or fall.

The most common injury in wrestling is the cauliflower ear, which isn’t only an unsightly condition but also painful.

A cauliflower ear is formed when the skin on the ear gets damaged and becomes inflamed, causing it to harden in response to the trauma.

While this is most commonly caused by headlocks or other wrestling holds, it can also occur from repeated mat burns or blood blisters that break and open up.

Excessive cauliflower ear can be a real problem, not because it’s aesthetically unappealing but because it can affect the wrestler’s hearing ability, sometimes resulting in hearing loss.

Wrestling headgear helps prevent cauliflower ear since it acts as padding between your ear and the mat to reduce friction.

Many wrestlers like that headgear allows the skin on their ears to move freely while protecting it from mat burns and abrasions.

It also protects your hearing ability by absorbing the impact of any blows to your head, neck, or shoulders.

This can reduce the risk of concussions and help you fight harder and longer than you can without wearing one.

Wrestling headgear isn’t only worn during training but also when competing. Most tournaments will have a uniform policy, so check with your coach or tournament organizer beforehand.

How To Wear Wrestling Headgear

Wearing wrestling headgear is as easy as putting it on! Always start by attaching both straps to the back of your head.

After you have placed both ear guards over your ears, tighten the straps at the top and bottom of each side, so they fit comfortably but snugly.

A common mistake when wearing wrestling headgear is to fasten the straps too tightly.

If you leave the guard on for an extended period, the circulation in your head can be compromised, causing dizziness or even fainting.

Therefore, your headgear should fit properly. Never wear one that’s too large or loose. It should fit snugly without restricting blood flow.

Best Wrestling Headgear

The key to finding the best wrestling headgear for you is finding one that provides the most comfort and protection without restricting your movements.

For example, this Adidas Earguard (which you can view here on Amazon) has specially molded ear cups with adjustable straps and comes with a spacer strap and chin cup.

Finding a headgear that fits well can reduce injuries while improving your performance in matches and training sessions.

Wrestling headgears typically range from $25 to $70, with the cheaper ones usually made out of materials like vinyl or lycra.

The more expensive models might be made of neoprene and offer increased protection, but you should always check the quality of the outer lining before buying one that’s too expensive.

Wrestling headgear for kids is typically sized by age, while the ones made for adults are sized by head circumference.

The key here is to buy headgear that fits your individual needs regardless of what other people recommend.

Choosing The Right Size Wrestling Headgear

When buying your first headgear, you want to pick one that fits well without restricting your movements.

The general rule of thumb is to choose a size that’s slightly smaller than your actual measurement, so it doesn’t stretch out or move as much as you wrestle.

After wearing the headgear, make sure you adjust the straps before putting it back on. Once it’s on your head, try twisting side to side or up and down to see if the ear guards slip out of place before testing them in action.

The most important thing is finding one that works for you! It should provide enough protection without distracting you too much or causing you to feel claustrophobic.

The best way to find one that’s comfortable is to try it on before buying it! You can also ask friends or teammates about their preferred brands so you can get an opinion before making a purchase.

Wrestling Headgear Brands 

As with any product, the brand making your headgear matters a lot. In case you’re overwhelmed with the numerous options on the market, it’s always advisable to go with an established brand.

This is because they have had time to fine tune their methods to create the best product possible.

The most established brands in the sport are Asics, Adidas, Cliff Keen, Brute, and Matman. You can find most of those brands here on Amazon or at your local sports store.

Most of these brands offer wrestling headgear for children and adults. 

If you’re having trouble finding the right size or style, you can also check out these brands’ websites. They often have sizing charts to help you find the perfect fit for your other wrestling equipment, too!

Final Thoughts

Wearing a good-fitting, comfortable wrestling headgear can protect you from cauliflower ear and other injuries.

It’s crucial that you choose a product that works for you in terms of comfort and protection. Plus, wearing it during tournaments will help avoid getting disqualified due to a uniform violation!

Interested in Wrestling? Check Out My Recommendations

Looking For Gear To Use When You Train?
If you are interested in training Wrestling, here is some of the gear I recommend:
Best Ear Guards(Headgear)
Best Mouth Guard
Best Wrestling Shoes
Best Groin Protection
Want To Learn To Fight, But Don’t Want To Go In Person?
CoachTube has online training videos for Wrestling, Boxing, MMA and more. And best part is you can do it all from your home allowing you to go at your own pace. Check them out here.
Interested In Training Other MMA Fighters?
Click here to check out the MMA Conditioning Association and see what you need to become an MMA conditioning coach and begin training fighters.


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