Your child's just joined the wrestling team. Before they can get on the mat, they need the right gear and safety equipment. If you're new to the wrestling world and trying to help your child get all of the gear they need to succeed, it's important to get to know the various equipment options available. Use this wrestling gear checklist as you shop for the clothes, shoes and other equipment your wrestler needs.
The Basics: Wrestling Equipment Your Child Needs
There are some must-have pieces of wrestling equipment for youth that your child absolutely needs before they hit the mat. Wrestling shoes, headgear and singlets are all vital for safety and performance.
Mouthguards, a wrestling bag, knee pads and a chin strap are also must-haves for wrestlers. A variety of cleaning products help to keep wrestling gear clean and smelling fresh.
Picking the Right Wrestling Shoes
When you're looking for wrestling gear, one of the first pieces of gear you should look for is a pair of youth wrestling shoes. Any wrestler, no matter their level, will need specially designed footwear that's designed to support a wrestler as they make their way around the mat, trying to get an advantage on their opponent.
Wrestling shoes offer superior flexibility, as they're designed to mimic the foot, making the wrestler feel like they are barefoot while wearing them. Additionally, these types of shoes will feature special protection for toes and toenails. As wrestlers compete, their feet will be constantly put in harm's way due to the up-close and personal nature of the sport.
How Should Wrestling Shoes Fit?
Unlike shoes that you wear to walk or run, wrestling shoes should fit as snugly as possible. To give you a better idea of what you should be going for, you'll want the shoe to fit like a glove would on your hand. As the sizing will be different than what you'd expect from standard footwear, you can have your child try on a shoe that's about one size or half of one size lower than their typical size.
Wrestling shoes need to be tight to help wrestlers make precise, fast movements while on the mat, without losing stability or balance. Shoes that are too loose can make it difficult for a wrestler to stay balanced. A tight, high-top shoe will also provide greater ankle support, preventing injury from a twisted ankle.
Top Wrestling Shoe Options
Of all the major brands, Asics and adidas have the best shoes on the market. They both offer superior flexibility and toughness to ensure that a young wrestler can move as fast and with as much precision they need. A good shoe can be the difference-maker in an evenly matched competition, as it gives wrestlers the stability to contort around their opponent.
SVSports carries several high-quality pairs of youth wrestling shoes. Some customer favorites include:
- Matflex 5 GS Youth Wrestling Shoe: The Matflex 5 GS Youth Wrestling Shoes are designed for young wrestlers. The wrestling shoes, made by Asics, are affordable, which can come in handy when your child outgrows the shoes and needs a new pair. The rubber outsole gives wearers exceptional traction, so they can to get an edge on the competition. Along with the rubber sole, the shoe provides ankle support and comfort to any wrestler who wears them.
- Boys Bade of Sports HVC Wrestling Shoes: These stylish shoes bring high-quality performance to the mat. Boys Badge of Sports HVC Wrestling Shoes incorporate synthetic leather and suede overlays that support a wrestler's feet while they push off and adjust around the mat. The elasticized lace cover system ensures that the shoes stay tight around the ankles. In addition to these features, they also have an anti-slip outsole, which helps a wrestler maintain their grip on the mat during a match.
- Men's Adizero Varner: One of the most high-quality pairs of adidas wrestling shoes available today, the Men's Adizero Varner, lets anyone, from children to adults, compete with professional-level shoes. These wrestling shoes are lightweight to give the wearer greater speed while also featuring a high tech outsole design that guarantees extraordinary grip.
As wrestling is a high-contact sport, safety is crucial, making youth wrestling headgear a must to keep your child's head safe throughout a match. Typically, headgear will have a cushioned barrier that goes over the wearer's ears, along with fasteners and straps, to ensure that the headgear stays in place. Wrestling headgear will not be usually designed to cover the entire head, and rather, will be focused on protecting the ears.
Headgear is required from the elementary to the high school level, with collegiate wrestling leagues having other restrictions on them to prevent injuries to the ears and head.
Soft or Hard Shell Headgear?
When you look through headgear, you'll often have the choice to select soft or hardshell ear guards. The shells go over the ears to protect them from friction burns and contact. A hardshell version will be crafted with hard plastic that also incorporates foam padding resting against the side of the head. In contrast, a softshell will use softer materials through the entire design, giving the headgear greater flexibility.
Many beginning wrestlers choose hardshell headgear. The hard shell provides greater protection against impact and offers superior durability. Hardshells also don't obstruct hearing as much as softshells, which can be incredibly helpful for young wrestlers who need to hear their coach during a match or practice.
How Should Headgear Fit?
Any headgear that your child wears should fit snugly on the head. While a match is underway, wrestlers will jostle for position, putting pressure against their headgear. If the headgear slips over the eye or comes off, the wrestler will not only put themselves at a disadvantage but will also put their health in danger.
Along with purchasing headgear that fits snugly on the head, you can also look for headgear options that feature a wrestling chin strap and cup. Having a chin cup will help stabilize the headgear, making it less likely to slide.
Top Headgear Options
Finding headgear that your child feels great wearing and that protects them can help them feel confident on the mat. If you're wondering how to buy wrestling headgear, SVSports has a large inventory of headgear that's easy to purchase online or in-store. Some of the most popular options are:
- Youth Signature Headgear: If you're looking for headgear that's designed for beginning wrestlers, Youth Signature Headgear is a great option. The headgear has foam padding, as well as an inner and outer shell to reduce impact experienced during a match.
- Wizard Youth Headgear: adidas' Wizard Youth Headgear is a top-of-the-line, but still affordable, piece of headgear. The headgear features an injection-molded internal ear cup that rests in the middle of compression molded foam to keep the wearer's ears safe and comfortable. The soft chin pad also helps to stabilize the headgear, keeping the chin safe.
- Aggressor Earguard: The Aggressor Earguard from Asics provides the wearer with exceptional protection. To improve the safety of the headgear, Asics built it with an injected molded polypropylene shell that covers high impact-resistant padding. It also features a low-profile classic appearance that can come in a variety of colors that matches a wrestler's team colors or personal style.
Choosing a Singlet
If your child is a part of a school wrestling team, the team may provide the singlets for the wrestlers to wear. However, you can never go wrong having a couple of extra singlets for practice. A singlet is a one-piece, tight-fitting garment, often available in custom colors and with custom designs. Singlets are built with durability and comfort in mind to prevent tears in the uniform. Typically, manufacturers make youth wrestling singlets with either nylon or Lycra.
A singlet should fit your child tightly. A loose-fitting singlet can get in the way of a wrestling match, as it can tear more easily and gives the opponent something to grab onto.
Additionally, the colors and designs that can be used on a singlet will vary based on the requirements of the school system or league, so this will be something that you'll need to look into before purchasing.
Styles of Singlets
Generally, singlets come in two styles: high cut or low cut. The highcut singlet is for collegiate and folkstyle wrestling while a lowcut singlet is worn in Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling.
SVSports carriers a variety of singlets that can be worn at an official competition or practice. Some popular options include:
- adidas Three Stripe Wrestling Singlet: The adidas Three Stripe Wrestling Singlet is designed for comfort and performance. It's made out of a nylon-Lycra blend that's hemmed in particular areas to retain comfort no matter where a match takes the wrestler's body on the mat.
- HI Cut Jam Lycra Youth SI: If you're looking for an affordable, highcut singlet for your young wrestler, the HI Cut Jam Lycra Youth SI is the singlet for you. The singlet is made out of Lycra, and it features hemmed legs that incorporate comfortable gripper elastic.
- Women's Solid Modified Singlet: For a long time, singlets were considered unisex. Recently, however, there has been a rise in singlets that are designed specifically for men and women. The Women's Solid Modified Single is an excellent choice for female wrestlers. It's constructed out of a mix of nylon-spandex and utilizes a flat seam stitching throughout.
Additional Wrestling Training Equipment
Along with the gear listed above, there are a few other wrestling accessories that can take any wrestler's game to the next level. For example, knee pads give wearers greater protection, while gear bags make sure that all of the equipment stays in one place without getting lost. Some accessories worth checking out are:
- Wrestling knee pads: A wrestler's knees are going to bear a great deal of force during a match. To avoid painful mat burns, any wrestler should have a pair of wrestling knee pads they wear during the match. The Youth Single Leg Sleeve is an excellent option for any wrestler, as it's comfortable to wear and made out of a knit polyester that ends mat burn. Additionally, the Wraptor Lycra Youth Knee Pad is another premier option for younger wrestlers, combining breathability and protection.
- Gear bag: Even the youngest wrestlers are going to need to carry around a good deal of equipment. To carry all the equipment to practice and games, either adidas' Wrestling Gear Bag or Asics's Gear Bag 2.0 are excellent options. Both wrestling bags feature a significant amount of storage space while remaining comfortable on the shoulders.
- Chin straps: When it comes to keeping your headgear stabilized during a match, chin straps are unmatched. Though most headgear will come with a chin strap and cup already included, it's a good idea to have a replacement one just in case it gets damaged or needs a wash before using it again. Cliff Keen offers adjustable, replacement Chip Cup Assembly for their headgear, and adidas offers their own Wrestling Chin Straps for their headgear as well.
- Cleaning equipment: Like any sport, wrestling is going to generate some sweat. To keep wrestlers clean and free from stink, parents have several options available to them. The 32-oz Shock Wash Performance Detergent, for example, is great for cleaning men and women's wrestling singlets, headgear, kneepads and whatever other pieces of equipment you can think of. You can also use a Sports Odor Eliminator Spray for gym bags and shoes, and a No Funk Mat Disinfectant to keep the mat germ and sweat-free.
Shop At SVSports for All Your Youth Wrestling Gear Needs
As a premier wrestling equipment store, SVSports has everything that you need to succeed on and off the mat. From kneepads to shoes and headgear, you'll come away with superior equipment that gives an advantage over opponents. Browse our selection of wrestling gear online to help you child prepare the upcoming wrestling season.