Best Rugby Boots Reviewed & Rated

Rugby is a challenging sport to find shoes for. The two most important things to consider when shopping for your next pair of rugby boots, regardless whether you are a professional or an enthusiast, are your playing position and type of ground you will be playing on. Certain boots were designed with certain positions in mind. As such, it can be a real pain to find a shoe that works for you, especially if you’re new to the game and don’t know what position might suit you best. Fortunately, our list of the best 15 rugby boots available on the market gives you plenty of options for high quality, durable and comfortable shoes that are sure to enhance your game level.

Last Updated: April 19, 2018
By Ana Rockov:

The latest update to this article revisits the list, extending it by five new models that are among the highest rated rugby boots available to purchase online. In addition, a new Criteria for Evaluation, and a Frequently Asked Questions section was added to enable more insight into buying a pair of high quality rugby boots.

Featured Recommendation

ASICS Lethal Warno
  • ASICS Lethal Warno
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • HG10MM Technology
  • Solyte Midsole
  • Price: See Here
Adidas Predator Malice SG
  • Adidas Predator Malice SG
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Asymmetric Lacing
  • Speed Traxion
  • Price: See Here
Adidas Kakari
  • Adidas Kakari
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Padded ankle collar
  • Excellent cushioning
  • Price: See Here

Before making your selection for the perfect pair of rugby boots, it is important to consider all features that they offer compared to similar footwear. Depending on your position, you might be able to get away with soccer cleats, however, this is only advisable if you are a back player who needs a lighter boot. This type of boot will offer less durability and protection that are crucial in a sport such as rugby. Shoes made for fronts will offer better durability and more protection, as well as a better grip so that you are able to keep your footing. Loose forwards need boots that provide good lateral stability as they are expected to quickly change the direction of their movement while still maintaining a firm grip on the ground. Backs require lightweight boots, while kickers need a good kicking surface that will help them direct the ball with accuracy and to great distances.

Considering all these factors, rugby boots tend to run a little more expensive than most athletic footwear, so it’s important to make the best-educated choice before purchasing. The price tag can be a hassle for some people, however, you might find that you can just as easily get away with older models that provide good quality and performance without too much of a spend. Whichever of the boots from our top 15 list you choose, you can rest assured that you will be getting a high-quality pair of rugby boots that will keep you safe while allowing you to make the best of your playing abilities.

 

15 Best Rugby Boots

 

1. ASICS Lethal Warno

ASICS has finally heard your pleas and created a rugby boot with a six-stud forefoot pattern, ideal for forwards players. This boot has a total of eight screws in studs, two of which are located on the heel, and an additional two molded hybrid studs which increase stability. The upper of these boots are made out of soft Kangaroo leather in the vamp area, while the rest is a soft synthetic leather that provides comfort and flexibility. With a removable molded sock liner, these boots provide excellent comfort you will surely appreciate.
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HG10MM Technology
Ten Millimeters doesn't sound like much, but you would be amazed at the difference it can make in terms of comfort. The higher heel of these boots will increase your performance, shifting your bodyweight towards the forefoot, and allowing you to gain speed much faster than other rugby boots. In addition, it this is a great feature which will help to minimize the stress on your lower body.

Solyte Midsole
Even lighter than EVA foam, Solyte is a patented midsole technology designed for extra flexibility and durability. It has stronger shock absorption properties than EVA foam, which makes it perfect for use in a sport like rugby. Furthermore, the ASICS Lethal Warno features rearfoot GEL cushioning which lowers the level of shock your heel suffers when playing.

Cost and Value
These shoes are a little pricey, but not outlandishly so, seeing that they rank just about average compared to the other items on this list. The quality you get with these boots is excellent, and you can rest assured they will serve you well and for plenty of play time. If you're looking for a pair of boots for soft ground use, that will do fairly well for any position (although it will perform better for forwards), this is an excellent choice.
Pros
  • HG10MM
  • Solyte Midsole
  • Kangaroo Leather Vamp
  • 6 Stud Forefoot
  • GEL cushioning
Cons
  • Run small
  • Not suitable for all surfaces

2. Adidas Predator Malice SG

Adidas has optimized their Predator line for kickers who need a soft-ground-specific shoe in order to keep a stable footing even in wet conditions. Everything about this shoe has been constructed for the sole purpose of kicking the rugby ball better, further, and with more accuracy. With the abrasive rubber kicking area, asymmetrical lacing system, SPEED TRAXION outsole, lightweight synthetic upper, and a10 millimeter heel raise, this shoe is just as aggressive as the name implies.
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Asymmetrical Lacing System
In order to give you the widest kicking area possible, these shoes have been designed so as to make maximum use of the toe area. The laces lean off to the side, giving you a larger kicking sweet spot area you will surely appreciate. Additionally, the upper of these shoes is coated with a Non-Stop Grip layer which is comprised of thin dots that provide a better grip on the ball.

SPEED TRAXION
With a geometrically researched design, the four stud forefoot is optimally spaced to allow maximum grip on the ground, finding the perfect balance between lightweight and sturdy. The Speed Traxion system will allow you to get into position faster, and change directions smoothly with this specially designed outsole.

Cost and Value
These boots by Adidas rank high on this list when it comes to price. They will be the perfect choice for kickers who want a lightweight shoe with excellent traction and a wider than average kicking area. The Non Stop Grip layer, 10mm heel, and replaceable studs offer added value that you are sure to appreciate.
Pros
  • Asymmetric Lacing
  • Lightweight Synthetic Upper
  • 10mm heel raise
  • Speed TRAXION
  • Non stop grip
Cons
  • Sole is stiff
  • Soft ground only

3. Canterbury Phoenix Club

Canterbury rugby boots are some of the best shoes for this sport, as the brand is entirely focused on providing players with high-quality rugby equipment at prices which are more than reasonable. These boots are excellent both for fronts and backs, which is quite difficult to find in any other rugby boot. With the extra grip that the eight stud outsole provides and the flexibility of the TPU midsole, you'll be well suited for any position that is required of you. The upper body is made from a lightweight synthetic material that is still tough enough to stand up to the stress of the pitch every time.
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TPU Midsole
The Thermoplastic Urethane (or TPU) midsole allows for increased flexibility and durability in the Canterbury Phoenix Club. This pair of boots will flex with your foot’s natural movements while you run, giving you a more comfortable stride and allowing you to more easily achieve higher speeds without sacrificing stability and traction. The back of the heel has an external heel counter which comes in especially handy when holding our position in a scrum.

Eight Stud Outsole
These boots feature six studs in the forefoot and two in the back, attached to a reinforced soleplate, with a screw in design. The replaceable aluminum studs will give you as much traction and stability as you need for any type of play (including both tackles and runs) and are perfect for soft, grassy pitches.

Cost and Value
This pair of rugby boots is an excellent choice if you are looking for some relatively inexpensive footwear. This is a great option for the beginning rugby player who isn't sure what position they want to play in, or for the more experienced enthusiast who needs a good pair of rugby boots at a low price. If you like the Phoenix but want a real Kangaroo leather upper, consider the Elite, which is a shoe from the same line, but made for the more advanced player.
Pros
  • Eight stud outsole
  • TPU midsole
  • High quality upper
  • Reinforced zones
  • Affordable price
Cons
  • Run large
  • K-Leather upper is more pricey

4. Mizuno Waitangi AW16

4. Mizuno Waitangi AW16
This is a great shoe for forwards. It is made from soft prime skin, which along with the stitched lines in the upper body offer a comfortable more secure fit. The shoe also has a molded sockliner for extra cushioning. It is removable in case you want to swap it out for orthopedic inserts. The eight stud design allows for firm traction as you run down the pitch, while the diagonal flex grooves allow the shoe to flex more naturally.
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Graded Pebax Sole
The sole plate is made from Pebax, a lightweight plastic that doesn't sacrifice structural integrity for its lightweight. This sturdy outsole will protect your feet without adding any necessary ounces to your shoes.

Diagonal Flex Grooves
These special diagonally cut flex grooves are designed to allow the shoe to twist and flex the same way your foot does as you run, allowing for more comfortable footfalls.

Cost and Value
These particular shoes can be a little expensive. While a someone who is serious about playing forward might want to dish out the extra money for a high-quality shoe, people who are just starting out or play for other positions might consider looking into another option.
Pros
  • Pebax Sole
  • Diagonal Flex Grooves
  • Removable Sockliner
  • Primeskin Leather
Cons
  • Expensive

5. Under Armour Highlight MC

5. Under Armour Highlight MC
These high boots by Under Armour are a great choice for players in tight five forward positions who intend to play on soft ground. Their biggest advantage is the upper which provides stability without sacrificing how lightweight it is, while the studs are unorthodox seeing that these boots have an additional toe stud that will help you gain traction when playing. An added bonus is that these boots come in a wide variety of colors, meaning that you can go with performance-driven white or a more colorful design to help you stand out on the field.
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ClutchFit Ankle Sleeve
The very best thing about this pair of boots is the upper which is made with Under Armour’s ClutchFit ankle sleeve which is a compression sleeve that provides stability in the ankle and a customized fit through the padded tongue. They are extremely lightweight, being only 10.3 ounces, the equivalent of a low-top rugby boot, and very flexible, so you can rest assured that the added support will in no way limit your range of motion.

Moulded 4D Foam Footbed
The footbed of these boots is made so that it reduces cleats pressure and molds to your foot, giving you a customized fit for maximum comfort. In addition, these boots feature V56 technology which was developed to limit the level of hyperextension in your toe, helping keep you injury-free while you play. The PlasmaX plates help maximize flexibility by following the foot’s natural motion, while still allowing for great traction and stability.

Cost and Value
Costing about average when compared to other items on this list, the Under Armour Highlight MC is an excellent choice for forwarding players who are looking for added ankle stability without the addition of unnecessary weight. If you have wide feet, it is advisable to order a ½ size up as these are more suited for narrow feet.
Pros
  • Excellent ankle stability
  • Padded tongue for better fit
  • 4D printed foam footbed
  • Lightweight at just 10.3 ounces
  • Wide variety of colors available
Cons
  • Not suited for wide feet
  • Non-removable cleats

6. Adidas Predator Incurza

6. Adidas Predator Incurza
This pair of Adidas rugby boots is one of the most popular choices of footwear for the game. Like other shoes in the Predator line, this shoe was designed with kickers in mind. It has an asymmetrical lacing system to help maximize your kicking area. The abrasive rubber covering the enlarged sweet spot is designed to allow for more precision and control. And the Hybrid Touch upper part of the shoe is as lightweight as it is durable, making this shoe perfect for both kickers and backers.
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Hybrid Touch Upper
The Hybrid Touch is a soft synthetic material developed by Adidas that is both lightweight and durable. It will feel as good as kangaroo leather while being lighter and cruelty-free. In addition, these boots are low cut, with a plastic heel guard which will protect your Achilles just the way it needs to be.

Predator Element
These boots are made for kickers, and since the very first version have been a favorite of all rugby players playing in this position. The kicking area has been covered in an especially abrasive rubber material that will add extra traction on contact with the ball, allowing for even greater precision and control over your kicks. The fact that the boot has an asymmetrical lacing system means that the area itself is larger than with most other boots.

Cost and Value
These boots rank high on this list when it comes to price. While for serious kickers who are looking for a pair of professional grade boots these are worth every penny, the price tag might be prohibitive for the less experienced, enthusiast players who are just getting into the world of rugby.
Pros
  • Predator element
  • Hybrid Touch Upper
  • Asymmetrical lacing system
  • Xtraxion outsole
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Expensive

7. ASICS Gel-Lethal Tight 5

7. ASICS Gel-Lethal Tight 5
This rugby boot by ASICS is made for serious players who appreciate a good fit and high performance. It’s made with a synthetic upper that provides both flexibility and durability and featuring GEL padding in the forefoot and rearfoot that is used in all ASICS shoes made for athletes, providing you with better shock absorption than most other shoes of this type. These boots are a great choice if you have a wider foot or are looking for more comfort, without sacrificing performance, traction, and stability. They are perfect for players in front positions and are best suited for play on soft grass ground.
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Interchangeable Studs
These boots feature a classic 8 stud design, but the great part is that the 6 studs in the front are removable and interchangeable for aluminum or polyurethane studs, allowing you to create your perfect combination for maximized traction. An additional benefit of this feature is that you can easily replace these studs if they are damaged during play, even though this is highly unlikely thanks to their great durability.

Kangaroo Leather Vamp
These boots are reinforced with a kangaroo leather vamp which allows for better forefoot and midfoot integrity while providing you with a secure and stable fit. This means that these boots are built to give you traction and stability and are excellent for scrum, maul and breakdown play.

Cost and Value
Depending on size and color (you can choose either a sensible black and white design or a more colorful green and orange one), these boots can either be a great affordable option or can set you back quite a bit. Nonetheless, they offer excellent performance and are a durable choice of rugby boots, which explains why players such as Tendai “The Beast” Mtawarira, Stephen Moore and James Horwill have chosen to wear these boots.
Pros
  • Interchangeable cleats
  • Reinforced vamp
  • GEL cushioning in forefoot and heel
  • Great shock absorption
  • Excellent for highly mobile forward players
Cons
  • Run ½ size small
  • Custom fit might need getting used to

8. Canterbury Stampede

8. Canterbury Stampede
This is another rugby boot by Canterbury, designed specifically for tight-5 forward players. They come in both Club and elite versions, the former having a synthetic upper, while the latter features real Kangaroo leather that is more durable. The eight stud tread design will allow you to generate the most power in the shortest amount of time, which means you can accelerate and change directions faster than ever. The extra-wide design makes it ideal for any player with wide feet. One of the best features of this shoes is the generous cushioning around the ankle, which gives you the comfort you need while still providing you with excellent support for your playing position.
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Wide Fitting
These boots were engineered on Canterbury’s Powerlast sole which provides a wide fit - something that is difficult to find in rugby and soccer boots. In addition, the reinforced toe box will give you not just the additional room you require, but also increased forefoot strength you need to be on the top of your game. Even if you don't play Tight-5, it may be worth looking into these shoes if you have trouble finding rugby boots that fit your foot shape.

Eight Studs
The eight stud design allows for greater traction and control of the field. You'll be able to go from zero to full speed faster without fear of slipping or sliding on the wet ground. What is more, the 8mm heel height will aid you in developing this speed, while also lowering lower limb fatigue and lessening the chance of injury.

Cost and Value
While high quality, these boots rank high on this list when it comes to price. If you're not a tight-5 player or don't specifically need a wider shoe it might be worth holding off until these are on sale, or choosing one of the other models on our list. But if you do play tight-5 and want to treat yourself to an amazing rugby boot, be sure to consider the Canterbury Stampede, either in the Club or Elite version.
Pros
  • Wide
  • Eight studs outsole
  • Screw in replaceable studs
  • Synthetic body
  • Reinforced toe box
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Only Elite version is real leather

9. Optimum Velocity

9. Optimum Velocity
An excellent shoe designed for the kicker on a budget, the Optimum Velocity has the features of its more expensive counterparts without the steep price tag. The upper is made out of a lightweight abrasion-resistant hexagon ripstop upper, with a rubberized strike zone that allows for more precision and control of the ball. The carbon fiber heel and TPU midsole allow for more stability, support, and flexibility where it counts without sacrificing weight.
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Carbon Fiber Heel
Lightweight and durable, the carbon fiber reinforcement in the heel will give your feet the extra protection and support they need while you play without weighing you down. In addition, the outsole is TPU injected which offers plenty of stability and flexibility, while still keeping up with the low weight of the boot.

3D Rubberized Strike Zone
The inside of these shoes features a 3D rubberized strike zone which was developed to give you more traction during impact. You'll get more precise control over your kicks, allowing for even greater accuracy than before. Also on the inside is a soft microfiber lining which maximizes comfort when paired with the perforated tongue which will allow for superior breathability.

Cost and Value
While these boots rank average when it comes to price, rugby boots by Optimum can be found for much less than their bigger, more popular competitors. They are very well made and represent a good investment for someone who wants to try out kicking or is a veteran kicker who is on a budget.
Pros
  • Microfiber lining
  • Carbon fiber heel
  • 3D Rubberize Strike Zone
  • TPU midsole
  • Excellent price
Cons
  • Don’t seem to be available in wide sizes
  • Synthetic upper

10. Adidas Kakari

10. Adidas Kakari
The Adidas Kakari is a professional grade shoe for forwards players and is one of the best on the market when it comes to performance. This pair of boots has extra padding in the ankle collar as well as a cushioned insole and was designed for forwards who need to be swift and aggressive to keep the game going. The eight stud tread design, as well as the TPU band in the forefoot, allowing for greater traction and mobility.
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Padded Ankle Collar
The ankle is padded extra-heavily, allowing for greater comfort and support while you play. What this ensures is that your footing will be kept safe, even with more aggressive lateral movement that might otherwise prove unsafe. Working together with a reinforced TPU weld in the forefoot, these boots can have you ready to take any challenge.

Cushioned Insole
Running is hard on the feet. Especially in a game where you have to sprint and stop and sprint again in such rapid succession. To help combat that, these shoes have extra cushioning in the insoles in the form of a pre-molded EVA sockliner.

Cost and Value
These 8 stud rugby boots are surprisingly affordable, being the cheapest item on our list. Between the comfort and the functionality, these shoes are an excellent choice for any forward who is looking for a comfortable but professional grade shoe to play rugby in. Different versions of the Kakari are available on the market from the Elite meant for professional players, to the Adipower Kakari meant for forwards (featuring an ankle collar), to the Kakari Light which was made for loose forwards.
Pros
  • Cushioned insole
  • Padded ankle collar
  • Eight stud outsole
  • TPU band on the forefoot
  • Different models based on positions available
Cons
  • Some players find them heavy
  • Make sure to choose the right model for you

11. Under Armour Force 3.0

11. Under Armour Force 3.0
These boots by Under Armour are made for backs and wingers and are an excellent choice if you have to play on firm, dry natural grass surfaces. These boots are great for gaining acceleration, as well as for deceleration, seeing that they have a soleplate that’s flexible in the front, but more firm as it gets closer to the heel. The boot features eight cleats in the forefoot, and four in the heel section, providing you with plenty of traction, even during lateral movement. The definite best feature of this boot is the specially developed upper which provides you with premium comfort, without sacrificing weight.
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ClutchFit Technology Upper
The upper of these boots is made with Trivela microfibre which stretches two ways, giving you more mobility during your play, while still providing good support. It will mold to your feet, making you appreciate the customized level of comfort these boots provide. On the inside, you will experience moderate padding that adds to the overall experience of playing in these boots.

4D Foam Footbed
The footbed of these boots is also made to conform to the shape of your foot. It’s got Charged Cushioning which provides excellent shock absorption and energy return, making it easy to keep on running. You will also find that these boots feature an anti-slip material in the heel, which will lock your foot in the heel, providing you with a more secure wearing experience.

Cost and Value
These boots rank above average when it comes to price. Nonetheless, if you need a good pair of rugby boots for firm ground, they are an excellent choice. Originally designed for soccer players, these will be a good fit for backs and wingers, however, one of the downsides is that you won’t get too much use out of them on softer grounds.
Pros
  • Flexible soleplate with TPU studs
  • Flexible, secure upper
  • Anti-slip heel
  • Charged Cushioning and 4D foam footbed
  • Moderate padding
Cons
  • Better suited for narrow and regular feet
  • Won’t do well on soft ground

12. Adidas FF80 Pro 2.0 SG

12. Adidas FF80 Pro 2.0 SG
These boots are the predecessor of Adidas rugby boots such as the Kakari and Malice. They were designed for back row fronts who need added stability to stay on their feet. Adidas developed the FF80 Pro after spending two years researching the requirements that loose-forwards have in order to get the perfect boot. That’s why the Adidas FF80 Pro 2.0 is excellent at gaining traction when pushing at the back of the scrum, as well as for driving mauls. They are made out of synthetic and textile, giving you a durable boot that will provide enough flexibility so that speed is not sacrificed.
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5x2 Stud Configuration & 5mm Raised Heel
The stud configuration on these rugby boots is slightly different than other shoes, seeing that they feature an added stud at the toe which provides better stability and traction. In addition, the heel has a 5mm raise which puts the foot in a more dynamic position, favorable for scrummaging.

EVA Foam Liner
The inside of these boots features a pre-molded EVA foam liner, which is there to provide you with excellent cushioning and support, while the back of the boot has added anti-slip EVA inserts that will provide a more secure fit without these boots coming off your foot. The lining is made out of synthetic and textile, giving a good balance between comfort and breathability.

Cost and Value
One of the great things about these rugby boots is the price which is among the lowest on this list. This means that if you are just getting into the sport, or play as an amateur, you can get a professional grade boot (used at the 2015 Rugby World Cup) but at a price that won’t set you back too much.
Pros
  • HybridTouch upper works great in all weather conditions
  • 5x2 stud configuration
  • Compatible with mi-Coach
  • Forefoot weld for better lateral stability
  • Pre-moulded EVA sockliner
Cons
  • Only suitable for soft ground
  • Newer models available

13. Nike Mercurial Victory V

13. Nike Mercurial Victory V
The Nike Mercurial Victory V is another soccer boot for playing on firm ground that made it onto our list thanks to its excellent performance and applicability for use among backs. If you opt for these boots, they will provide you with excellent control and acceleration, while the TPU outsole is lightweight, with twin heel studs that do an excellent job at providing stability. The front studs will give you the needed traction you need during lateral movement and rotation, and the central front stud gives additional stability when gaining speed.
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Trophy Touch Upper
These boots feature a Trophy Touch synthetic leather upper that is great seeing that it will give you a firm but flexible fit that will help you avoid blisters and discomfort. It also does well at enhancing friction and is very responsive. The inside features good arch support which is difficult to find in rugby boots, and the cushioning is a contoured sockliner that will mold to the shape of your foot.

Easy to Clean
After a muddy match, you will want a pair of boots that won’t take forever to clean. These are easy when it comes to maintenance thanks to the smooth synthetic upper that you can just wipe off with a wet cloth. It is important, however, to make sure your boots are completely dry after wearing them again.

Cost and Value
Depending on size and color, you can get these boots for quite a low price, but they can also cost you a great deal. They are ideal for firm ground play, but won’t do well on softer grounds, which means that before purchase, you need to decide whether this will meet your requirements. Available in numerous colors and kids sizes as well, these boots are great if you are keen on showing your unique style while out on the field.
Pros
  • Contoured sockliner
  • Lightweight TPU outsole
  • Longer twin heel studs
  • Come in over 15 styles
  • Available in kids sizes
Cons
  • Not suitable for soft ground play
  • Better suited for narrow feet, run small

14. Adidas World Cup

14. Adidas World Cup
Produced in Germany, this pair of football boots is a popular choice among rugby players as it delivers a classic, timeless look with the black upper, and the recognizable Adidas stripes on the side. These rugby boots are made for use on soft natural grounds, making them a great choice for backs as well as for back row forwards. They have a six-stud design, made to give you the best possible traction and grip, and the fact that the studs are replaceable is a great feature, seeing that you can choose from a variety of studs, opting for the ones that give you the best level of ground grip.
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Kangaroo Leather Upper
The upper of these boots are made out of soft kangaroo leather, making them both flexible, but also durable and stable for good support across the entire foot. The low cut ensures that these don’t irritate your ankles, while the soft toe ensures a better fit overall. Another great feature of these boots is that they are pretty lightweight, weighing just 253g per boot.

Comfort Oriented
These boots are oriented towards providing you with the best possible wear experience, which means that they boast excellent features on the outside, as well as the inside of the shoe. The insole is made out of EVA foam which is well known for its cushioning, support and shock absorbing features, while the boot is lined with a quick-drying synthetic lining that makes it harder for odor formation to occur, as well as slowing down bacteria overgrowth.

Cost and Value
These rugby boots rank a little bit above average compared to other items on this list when it comes to price. They are a great choice for enthusiasts and professionals alike, seeing that they not only provide you with great performance, versatile use and the added advantage of customizability, but they also look great on the field. You will definitely be happy with your choice should you opt for the Adidas Performance World Cup.
Pros
  • K-Leather upper for light, durable and comfortable wear
  • EVA foam insole
  • Replaceable screw-in studs
  • Customizable grip
  • Low cut
Cons
  • Wrench for studs not included
  • Runs wider than most football & rugby boots

15. ASICS Gel-Lethal Speed

15. ASICS Gel-Lethal Speed
This soft ground rugby boot was designed for wingers who need a shoe that will allow them to achieve maximum speed without losing power. This is mainly due to the HG10mm heel which makes forefoot transition faster when attacking, while the superior ankle support is a great feature as it makes all lateral steps more secure. Even more, this distribution of weight that focuses more on the forefoot will lower the amount of stress and fatigue you feel in your limbs, so you can finish any game just as strong as you started.
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Six-Stud Design
These boots feature four studs in the front, and two in the back, providing you with plenty of traction without sacrificing versatility. One of the great things about these rugby boots is the fact that the studs are replaceable, meaning that you get to customize the type of grip you get on the soft, grassy ground underfoot.

GEL CUshioning
One of the best features of any ASICS athletic shoe is the GEL cushioning. These boots feature it in the heel which gives you a superior wearing experience. Additionally, they feature the ASICS Propulsion Trusstic System which was developed for running shoes and is a shank that mirrors the movement of the ligaments in your foot, providing you both with better energy return as well as shock absorption.

Cost and Value
These boots rank average on this list when it comes to price. They are stable and comfortable and will help you develop greater speed without sacrificing safety and stability with lateral movements. While they are the perfect boot for wingers, they won’t do as well for forwards players.
Pros
  • Propulsion Trusstic System
  • GEL cushioning in heel
  • HG10mm heel
  • Padded protection over the big toe
  • LIghtweight synthetic leather upper
Cons
  • Not ideal for kicking
  • Run small

 

Finding the perfect rugby boot can seem to be an insurmountable challenge. Whether it’s the grip, the flexibility, or the price, there are just too many variables to take into account. Are you a kicker, a forward, tight five, or are you an all-rounder? Do you need a wider kicking area, or do you need a lighter shoe? Are your feet wide or narrow? Six, four, or eight studs? Aluminum or plastic? Synthetic upper body or kangaroo leather?

That’s even before you take into account whether or not the shoes are comfortable. Whether you can play an entire game in them without getting blisters. With all the factors and features you need to take into consideration before making your purchase, it can be easy to become paralyzed by indecision. Hopefully, our list of the top 15 available rugby boots on the market has helped you to come to a decision, or at the very least give you some information that can help you on your path to becoming a rugby champion.

If you are still unsure about which boots to get, or need just a little bit more help before making your decision, make sure to read out Criteria for Evaluation section where we break down the variables that come into play when making the best choice of rugby boots, as well as our Frequently Asked Questions section where we answer the most common questions users have.

 

Criteria for Evaluating the Best Rugby Boots

The past couple of decades has have seen a huge increase in the availability of various types of rugby boots, with leading sportswear manufacturers jumping at the opportunity to offer their own product for rugby players to use. With this also came a much wider selection, the introduction of newer technology into the boots, as well as ranges of footwear specified for certain types of play, ensuring that every position in the game can have a pair of boots meeting their specific needs.

But what this expansion also managed is to make purchasing a pair of rugby boots a task that is quite difficult. Your choice is no longer based on the type of field and comfort levels but extends to stud number, positioning, profile height, flexibility and heel drop, etc. In this article, we compiled a list of the best 15 rugby boots available for purchase at the moment, and this section will allow you a closer look at the criteria we used to evaluate these boots.

Playing Surface

There are two types of playing surfaces that most rugby players will have to play on. While in an ideal world, one pair of boots would be suitable for both, unfortunately, this is not the case. The type of surface will determine not just the positioning and number of studs located on your boots, but also their length. A properly chosen boot can thus mean the difference between victory and loss, so it’s crucial to choose well.

  • Soft Ground (SG) surfaces are more common, and these are natural grass surfaces that are either soft or very wet. These types of surfaces require a better gripping shoe in order to prevent you from sliding and slipping, and ultimately from injuring yourself. Traditional, metal screw in studs will generally do better on this type of surface, and the number of studs will differ based on the position you play. Forwards players will need more traction and should look at boots with six studs in the forefoot and two in the back. If you prefer a lightweight fit, you may want to look into hybrid boots which have some moulded studs, or even boots with blades which give good traction without the risk of getting loose.

 

  • Firm Ground (FG) surfaces require a better distribution of studs in order to relieve the stress your foot goes through by running on these harder surfaces. Traditionally, boots made for firm ground pitches will have more molded studs, made either out of plastic or rubber. These tend to perform better in allowing you to gain speed and to change direction more quickly.

 

Playing Position

Depending on what position you play in, your needs regarding rugby boots can vary differently. While the name of the game may be the same, the roles of different players require entirely different types of movement, which means that a Tight-5 player cannot successfully play in the same boots a kicker would use, and not see a decrease in performance.

  • Tight-5 are the players in the very front of the game, usually referred to as fronts. These are the men who will have to push and shunt into the opposing team in order to get the opposition to fall back. These players need a strong, supportive and durable boot that not only provides ample protection from being trampled but also snugly fits around the ankle area preventing injury and overuse. In addition, these players will require a boot with really good grip, meaning that the ideal rugby boot will have either five or six studs, allowing them to gain secure footing on any type of surface.

 

  • Loose Fronts – two Flankers and Number Eight are players who will both participate in the scrum but will also need to get into defense mode, changing from two very different types of play without missing a beat. This means that this type of player requires a boot that is both traction and grip oriented, but also lightweight enough to allow for maximum running speed. In addition, lateral support is important for these players in order to allow them to quickly change direction during high speed runs.

 

  • Backs will generally look for more lightweight boots that allow them to attack with speed. Unfortunately, this will often sacrifice durability and protection, as well as grip seeing that boots made for these players will have a lower number of studs in order to keep weight down. Luckily, technological advancements are now allowing for better surface grip with a lightweight construction, so players in back positions may want to look into boots that have molded or plastic studs which offer grip but don’t bring the weight up.

 

  • Kickers are the last type of player in rugby, and their number one job is to kick the ball as far and as accurately as possible. This requires an excellent, lightweight fit of the boot, as well as good traction on the supporting leg in order to gain more momentum. Boots made for this position will often have asymmetrical lacing systems in order to maximize the kicking surface, as well as rubber components on the upper that will allow better contact with the ball.

Materials Used

Like with any other sports equipment, you need your rugby boots to be of the highest possible quality in order to achieve better results. While skill and determination are key, a good pair of boots can really take your game to the next level. The quality of boots will most often depend on the materials used during construction, and more often than not, these will also influence the price of your gear.

The upper of your boots need to be made out of a protective material that will allow for a good fit, but that will also offer protection which is so important in a rough sport like rugby. Traditional boots were made of Kangaroo leather which is a great material, but it is also more expensive to produce. Synthetic alternatives will quite often be more lightweight, and will give you just as much protection as the real deal.

The outsole of the shoes will hold the studs and is crucial in providing the best possible weight distribution as well as protection from the ground. Today, most makers will use synthetic materials such as TPU which allow the perfect mix of flexibility and stiffness, and which are great seeing that they are lightweight, slip resistant and long lasting.

The midsole is crucial in providing shock absorption, energy return, flexibility and cushioning, and is the place where shoe technology is most often improved. Most rugby shoes include a midsole that is there to provide strength, but some brands, like ASICS, will use this section in order to give the player a better running or movement experience.

Finally, there is the heel of the boot, which can serve two functions. On one hand, it is there to protect the player, namely their Achilles tendon, as this area is quite easy to damage should an unlucky blow happen. On the other hand, players who are required to gain great speed can benefit from a raised heel, which typically ranges from 5mm to 10mm, and is a great addition as it reduces lower limb fatigue and aids acceleration.

 

Comfort and Fit

Generally, not many makers will highlight the comfort features on their rugby boots, presuming that these hardcore athletes will be more goal-oriented. However, it is crucial that a pair of rugby boots fits you well and is not causing you any unnecessary pain. If you can find a pair that feels great then you’ve hit the jackpot.

As a rule, rugby boots need to snugly hug your foot in order to allow you to perform at the highest level. While no loose spots should be present, it’s important to consider the socks you will be wearing during play.  Some players prefer to wear two pairs of socks, which means that they may need a little bit of extra room when purchasing boots.

If your feet are wide, you will have a bit more trouble finding a suitable pair of footwear for this sport, as most boots are more suited for narrow and regular feet. Nonetheless, some sportswear manufacturers have picked up on this problem, and have designed shoes that feature a wider forefoot, allowing you to get the best possible performance, without sacrificing your feet.

One of the most important things to consider before purchasing a pair of boots is that it mustn’t rub or pinch your fee so that you feel pain or any discomfort. While sports footwear will break in after a few uses, you will need to do your best to avoid developing blisters or sore sports which may influence your game for the worse.

 

Price and Value

Finally, the determining factor when choosing your next pair of shoes to play rugby in might as well come down to price. Being manufactured by just a limited number of sportswear companies, and requiring a high quality of production makes rugby boots often very expensive. This means that before you make your decision, you need to determine your budget. While newer models may come in the trendiest colors and offer awesome technological advancements, you might find that a model from a year or two back might perform just as well for a third of the price.

Another thing you need to consider is how often and for how long you intend to use these boots. Professional players are required to be on the field every day, giving their max in order to achieve the best possible results. However, if you only intend on playing a couple of times a week, you may find that you can have a bit more leeway when it comes to choice.

Overall, it’s always best to opt for the highest quality boots, in order to get strong, supportive footwear that will last longer and that will properly protect you during the game. In addition, you may want to look into purchasing additional studs, as it is likely that you may lose or wear some of the originals out. Boots with replaceable studs are a great option as they ensure that you won’t have to replace the whole pair of boots should one stud come loose, which is not the case with molded models.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q: Can I use soccer cleats to play rugby?
A: While some rugby players have been known to use soccer cleats, it’s important to know that this type of footwear does not provide the correct protection and traction type for all players. Soccer cleats are made for firm ground play, are lightweight, and have shorter studs. Kickers and backs may benefit from wearing this type of shoes.

Q: How do I choose the right rugby boot?
A: Before making your choice, you first need to determine the type of ground you will be playing on, as well as your position in the game. Then you can go on and choose either a model more oriented towards forwards, backs or kickers, making sure you consider all features including traction, weight, support, heel height, and kicking area.

Q: How do I clean my boots?
A: It is advisable to clean your boots right after playing in them, as dirty boots should not be left in a bag for too long, or they may become permanently damaged. Remove any dirt from them with a damp cloth or a brush, then stuff them with newspaper in order for them to retain their shape. Make sure to always unlace your boots before taking them off in order to prevent damaging the heel. And try not to walk in them on very hard surfaces such as concrete, as this will damage the studs and outsole.

Q: Are molded studs better than replaceable ones?
A: Although molded studs are more lightweight than traditional replaceable ones, there is not one definitive answer to this question. Whether this type of stud will work for you personally depends mostly on your playing position, as well as the type of surface you play on. If you’re playing on softer ground, you may be more satisfied with the grip of screw-in studs, whilst firm ground play will most likely be less uncomfortable with more molded studs.

Q: What does SG and FG next to the boot model stand for?
A: These marks stand for the type of ground a pair of boots is intended for. SG stands for soft ground, and these types of boots will generally have longer studs and provide better traction on natural grassy surfaces that are often very wet and muddy. FG stands for firm ground, and these types of boots will provide better weight distribution throughout the foot.

Sources

  1. MuddyRhino.com, Rugby Boots Buying Guide, Apr 19, 2018

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