Choosing the right pair of rugby boots can be a bit of a minefield and will depend greatly on the position in which you’re playing. There are lots of variables and players will all have individual needs and wants. Here are some handy tips to finding the right boot for your position:
Props, Hookers and Locks
Being in the heart of the scrum action, your boots will need to support set piece play. Your boots must support that low-down body position, support leg strength and be able to dig in in order to provide that force against the opposition. You will need to get around the field comfortably too, breaking away and even kicking but you will be able to sacrifice some level of mobility in favour of boots with long studs that are strong and durable. The stud length must be suitable for scrummaging, a comfortable fit and with no illegal spikes. You’ll get an idea of what works for you when you complete your training drills. For a great selection of Rugby Drill Videos, visit https://www.sportplan.net/drills/Rugby/
Scrum Halves & Midfields
For those players who do the majority of kicking, it’s important that your boots reflect that ability. For a contact sport, you want strength and durability but equally you won’t want too much material between your toes and the ball. Ideally, a boot with round end cleats that can twist well in grass will suit this position better. This is important for avoiding knee injury too. The laces must not get in the way of your instep and you’ll want an upper that’s specially designed for kicking. Before you buy boots, see if you can practice kicking a ball whilst wearing them. You need the stud shape and number to enable you to make sharp turns and consider whether you’re playing on soft, firm or hard ground.
These players will be engaged in tackling and preventing threats so need boots that enable you to be everywhere quickly and react instantly. This position requires a lighter-weight pair of boots with studs suited to softer ground. The boots must be incredibly durable, and an extension of your ability so don’t be tempted to skimp on the cleats. A medium-length stud with a strong grip is recommended, perhaps metal.
This is the position that requires large distances to be covered at a fast pace, with lots of sprinting. For that explosive sprint when breaking away for a try, the last thing you want is for your foot to slip. This is the position that might require two different types of boot, one for dry conditions and one for wet. Dry weather requires the ability to sprint at lightning speed, so you’ll want a lightweight choice with front studs for a power push. Important factors include round studs, a strong upper and a comfortable arch for support.