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Adidas Response Headgear Review for Wrestling and BJJ

The Adidas Response headgear is a popular option for grappling martial arts like wrestling and BJJ (Brazilian jiu jitsu). So let’s see how it compares to other popular headgear options like those from Cliff Keen…

In this post we will provide our full review after testing the Adidas Response headgear on the mat as well as how it compares to other headgear for bjj.

Key Takeaway: Adidas Response Headgear is an excellent option for both wrestling and BJJ. In fact, due to it coming with a chin cup, I feel it even rivals other popular headgear like those from Cliff Keen that do not come with a chin cup. However, like other wrestling style head gear, the thicker foam padding may get in the way during Brazilian jiu jitsu training.

Our Review

+ Pros / – Cons
+ Comes with chin cup*
+ Very solid protection
+ Doesn’t move during training
+ / – Can be difficult to adjust (but only needs to be done once*)
– Harder foam padding
– Can be pretty uncomfortable in certain BJJ positions

My Personal Experience: The Adidas headgear does a great job at protecting you from cauliflower ear during bjj and wrestling, but I found the thick padding around the ear to get in the way for jiu jitsu and be a bit uncomfortable for both me and my training partners. If this is the case for your bjj training, I recommend checking out softer headgear like those from Matman, ROAR, or Gold BJJ.

For BJJ, I think if you are used to wearing wrestling style headgear from previous wrestling experience it may be a good option for you, but if you aren’t, a softer headgear may be a better option (like those from Gold BJJ or Matman)

Comparing It Against Other Brands

Vs Matman

What does Matman headgear have the Adidas Response does not?:

  • Matman is softer
  • It may not be as durable as Adidas
  • It is easier to adjust (by using velcro traps)
  • It would likely be less of an annoying for you or your training partner in BJJ
  • However, the chinstrap on Matman can be quite uncomfortable if you’re not used to it (since it does dig into your neck/chin)

Vs Cliff Keen

What does the Cliff Keen Signature have that Adidas Response headgear does not?:

  • Honestly, I don’t think that the Cliff Keen Signature headgear has any benefits over Adidas

If I, personally, had to choose between the two I would have to go with Adidas Response – they are the same price, and similar models – except Adidas comes with a chin cup.

Harder vs Softer Headgear for Brazilian jiu jitsu?

Harder head gear is much more common in wrestling (like those from Cliff Keen). While softer head gear may offer slightly less protection, they are strongly preferred for jiu jitsu, since they will be more comfortable you and your train partners in specific positions or submissions (especially strangle based submissions)….however, this will, of course, come down to preference.

FeatureHard Headgear (like Cliff Keen)Soft Headgear (like Gold BJJ)
MaterialHard plastic outer shellSoft, flexible materials
ProtectionHigh impact resistanceCushions against impacts
AdjustabilityAdjustable straps for fitElastic material for snug fit and velcro straps
ComfortMay feel bulkierGenerally more comfortable
Ear ProtectionRigid protection for earsSoft cushioning for ears
Usage in BJJLess common due to rigidity but still sometimes usedMore common, less restrictive
IBJJF ComplianceTypically not allowedAlso not allowed
DurabilityVery durableMay be less durable than harder headgear
AestheticsMore noticeable, bulkier lookSleeker, less noticeable

Final Thoughts on Adidas Response Headgear

Adidas Response headgear is a great option for wrestling since it is very similar to the Cliff Keen Signature – plus it comes with a chin cup.

For Brazilian jiu jitsu, however, it may be a bit bulky especially if you’re not used to wearing headgear, and some people may find it too distracting to wear or that it gets in the way – specifically, in certain strangle based submissions.

Thanks for reading, and hope this has been insightful – Zack