headgear buying advice?

What's the pros/cons of the different types of headgear? Are cheapo ones a really bad idea, or not really that different from an expensive model? I'm getting myself one for Christmas, as I've been really
looking forward to doing more handstrike training & sparring (I'm mainly a grappler). But I don't want to give my nephew a broken nose, or get one myself either.

One option is a clear face-shield design, which would have great visibility but I'm guessing might be rather hot, and perhaps not actually bend-resistant enough to stop nose-impact. Something like: http://www.superfoots.com/profligclear.html

Or I could go with a heavier foam + cage design, that would have much poorer visibility, but might be cooler & more protective against boxing gloves, like: http://tinyurl.com/sqy85

Any advice for me? At the moment I'm tending towards the face-cage model, as I'm guessing that 'visibility' might be an overrated concern, because: 1. I'm very shortsighted anyway, so I'm used to not seeing
much. 2. 'precision targetting' maybe doesn't matter so much when you're sitting on foe's chest and 3. IIRC, in a 'real fight' its common to suffer tunnel-vision anyway as part of the bodies' stress response.

I'm very interested to read any of your experiences with headgear, and opinions. I'm not planning on full-strength hammering on each other, but I would like to be able to explore more realistic punch training, during groundfighting and with CM structure.


I really dont like the cages, and like the plastic shield models even less. If your worried about a broken nose try the facesaver headgear that you can usually find in a ringside catalog. Otherwise, regular amatuer boxing headgear is great.

Why don't you like face-cage models? I've ordered a cheapie off ebay, so I guess its too late now ... though I suppose I could resell them.

So how often do you find people get broken or badly injured noses? Am I overinflating the risk here, its not such a big deal between friendly mellow training partners?

I would say that with the right vibe and good training partners that yes, headgear really isnt needed much. But at the sametime it is good to go very hard every once in awhile, so I understand the need for headgear.

You may like the cage. . .I just personally never liked them, they fog up, break, and with someone that can truly hit they are pretty worthless. If you are not working with someone that can really hit, and your not going hard, then why wear it in the first place? So thats why I prefer regular boxing headgear.

I use the face cage ones when preparing for comps where knees and elbows are allowed (on the ground). You do not have to worry about cuts then.

Also the vision problem is not so bad when going on ground.

That being said we also wear them when doing takedowns against fully striking opponent. We did not use to do that but then I accidentally got 4 stitches into my face.

Anyway I don't really see a point unless you are preparing for a competition OR really want an occasional harder contact. If it is the latter then it does not really matter which kind exactly are you going to get.

The ones with the cages obscure your vision. I don't like them.

The cages stick out several inches and affects your defense/offense because of this. It also makes clinch difficult because of the cage. Try regular boxing headgear and some quality training partners. I recommend the fight gear headgear from ringside or CSI. The air max is excellent.