Does boxing headgear protect your nose?

As controversial as it is, boxing headgear will offer protection to your head when engaging in action inside the ring. The quality of protection offered will generally depend on the design and build, but headgear works a treat for fighters. If you are a relatively new fighter, you need to have headgear as part of your training kit. Despite recent trends by some competitions to do away with headgear for male fighters, this part of your gear still has value for protection and support. What does headgear offer? Will it work to prevent concussions and injury? Does boxing headgear protect your nose, cheeks and eyes? We break down boxing headgear in great detail to help you understand just what to expect.

What does headgear really do?

Like boxing gloves, headgear is a crucial part of boxing training. The helmets usually feature some padding inside a leather or synthetic exterior. Headgear is designed to go over and around your head, ensuring protection against any impact from direct hits in this direction. Did you know that blows to the face can cause fractures, brain damage and head trauma? Well, headgear is designed to minimize contact and absorb impact when punches land on your face.

The quality of protection offered will depend on the build of a specific headgear, as well as its design. Options with heavy duty padding will absorb impact better than lighter picks, but may often be bulky as a result. Face saver headgear will often be bulkier than regular headgear with an open design, since it offers more coverage and protection. This type of boxing helmet is designed to protect you from any cuts, lacerations and bruises from hits landing on your face.

How to fit boxing headgear

Headgear sizing chart

Helmet size
Measurement (Cm)

Your headgear provider will likely feature a sizing chart for their products, similar to the one listed above. This sizing chart will help reduce the workload when it comes to choosing an appropriate headgear for your needs. We recommend measuring the circumference of your head to know whether or not it will be a great fit for your desired choice.

You should always prefer a tighter fit for headgear, since you will need to break it in a bit. If your headgear is not compactly fitting, it could become loose over time and may offer no value for impact protection. If you are going to have headgear that keeps shifting when in use, you might be better of steering clear of it.

But why is headgear being phased out of competition?

It is still possible to get a concussion even with headgear from certain types of hits. Headgear does not completely reduce the risk for fighters in the ring, but it still offers great value for face and head protection. So why did are these handy helmets getting phased out of the Olympics?

The International Olympics Committee’s mandate to do away with boxing headgear for men’s boxing was based more on the prevalence of hits towards the head with headgear than on the risk factor of headgear. With headgear on, fighters had a bigger target to aim for and directed most of their shots towards their opponent’s head, which increased the risk of concussions significantly. To avoid having fighters snapping at each other’s’ heads and risking injury, doing away with headgear was the best choice.

But what does this mean for you? Should you go into the ring at your gym without headgear? If you are not in top condition and well versed with the technique, your opponent may land a large number of hits. Headgear will offer some protection against them, allowing for a reduced risk of injury. We recommend always having your headgear during training and sparring until you can comfortably defend your head without it.

What to look for in the best headgear for nose protection

If you are looking for boxing headgear for training, you are headed in the right direction in regards to safety. Face saver boxing helmets will protect your face against potentially sensitive cuts and bruises, and as such it is important to look into the details to find a great pick. What should an ideal option offer?


Face saver headgear will be bulky, and may feature heavy padding around certain delicate areas such as your cheeks. While the protection offered is the ultimate goal of the headgear. It often comes at the cost of visibility. Find headgear that offers great protection without limiting your ability to track your opponents.

Closure system

What type of closure are you looking for on your headgear? Lace closure systems will offer a very secure fit, but will tent to take more time to put on. Velcro closure will be much easier, but is likely to wear out and lose grip faster than lace.

Level of coverage

Face saver headgear is notorious for excessive level of coverage, and rightly so. Some options will feature a face bar and entire grill that ensures zero contact during sparring or fighting. These options will tend to have more limited visibility, which means you need to strike a balance over the two factors to enjoy a high value pick.

Final word

Does boxing headgear protect your nose? As we’ve explored in the article, some headgear options are designed for face protection and could be beneficial in this aspect. If you are boxing with face saver headgear, you will be able to protect a large part of your face from cuts, lacerations and bruises. Depending on the design and accessories, such as a grill and face bar, face saver headgear will even offer protection against lettuce ears, cheek injury and shots to the back of your head. The right boxing headgear for face protection will offer comprehensive coverage to your face, which will ensure great overall protection. There are many options in every price range, which means you can find a value pick for your needs within your budget. We feel that headgear offers unbeatable protection, which can come in handy for people who are likely to face more hits. Even with some concerns raised about certain types of injury, headgear can a great way to protect your face and maintain great health when taking up boxing training.