Best Rugby Boots Reviewed & Rated

Rugby is a challenging sport to find shoes for. Aside from all of the usual concerns one would have when buying shoes, fit, blisters, etc., people who are looking to buy rugby boots have to consider what position they’re playing. 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 you’re best at yet. Fortunately, after some painstaking research, we have come up with a list of the best shoes on the market.

Last Updated: January 1, 2018
By Sarah Campbell:

This update includes the additon of the top ten list as well as links to relevant content for further reading.

Featured Recommendation

ASICS Lethal Warno
  • ASICS Lethal Warno
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • HG10MM Technology
  • Solyte Midsole
  • Price: See Here
adidas Predator Malice SG
  • adidas Predator Malice SG
  • 4.6 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Asymmetric Lacing
  • Speed Traxion
  • Price: See Here
X-Blades Legend Flash
  • X-Blades Legend Flash
  • 4.6 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Kangaroo Leather Upper
  • Bionic Sole
  • Price: See Here

Some players, particularly runners who need more mobility, have been known to wear soccer cleats while playing. Although there is no law against it, doing so is inadvisable. Soccer cleats are cut lower than rugby boots, and so they do not have as much support around the ankles. Wearing improper equipment of any sort can lead to discomfort or even injury while playing. Some of the companies that make these boots have been refining their techniques and designs for more than one hundred years. In a rough sport like rugby, it’s important to take every safety precaution you can, even if that precaution is a half an inch of leather.

That being said, rugby boots tend to run a little more expensive than soccer cleats do. The price tag can be prohibitive for some people. There are less expensive boots you can find, in fact some of them are on this list.

 

10 Best Rugby Boots

 

1. ASICS Lethal Warno

ASICS has finally heard your pleas and created a rugby boot with a six stud forefoot pattern. This boot has a total of eight studs with two on the heel. The trademark HG10MM gives this shoe a ten millimeter drop to relieve some of the stress on your lower body as you sprint and scrum your way through the game. The vamp is made from kangaroo leather, making it soft and lightweight as well as durable.
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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. This drop will increase your performance while minimizing 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.

Cost and Value
These shoes are a little pricey, but not outlandishly so. They are reasonably priced relative to their quality. If you're looking for a high quality shoe for any position, this is an excellent choice.
Pros
  • HG10MM
  • Solyte Midsole
  • Kangaroo Leather Vamp
  • 6 Stud Forefoot
Cons
  • Run small

2. adidas Predator Malice SG

ADIDAS has optimized their Predator line for kickers. Everything about this shoe has been constructed for the sole purpose of kicking the rugby ball better, farther, and with more accuracy. With the abrasive rubber kicking area, asymmetric laces, SPEED TRAXION outsole, lightweight synthetic upper, and the 10 millimeter heel raise, this shoe is exactly as aggressive as the name implies.
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Asymmetric Lacing
In order to give you the widest kicking area possible, these shoes have been designed with an asymmetric style. The laces lean off to the side, giving you more room to kick without worrying about your laces interfering.

SPEED TRAXION
This four stud forefoot design is optimally spaced to allow maximum grip on the ground. Get into position faster, and change directions smoothly with this specially designed outsole.

Cost and Value
This is another shoe that's a little pricey. If you're a kicker who needs a lightweight shoe with a wider than average kicking area, this shoe is more than a bargain.
Pros
  • Asymmetric Lacing
  • Lightweight Synthetic Upper
  • 10mm heel raise
  • Speed TRAXION
Cons
  • Sole is stiff

3. Canterbury Phoenix Club

This is an excellent all-rounder shoe. With the extra grip that the eight stud outsole and 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. Your shoe will flex with your foots natural movements while you run, giving you a more comfortable stride.

Eight Stud Outsole
Six studs in the forefoot and two in the back, this outsole was designed for as much traction and stability as possible on even the most difficult of terrain.

Cost and Value
This shoe is relatively inexpensive. This is a great option for a beginning rugby player who isn't sure what position they want to play in, and doesn't want to drop more than one hundred dollars on a shoe that might not be suitable to them.
Pros
  • Eight Stud Outsole
  • TPU Midsole
  • Synthetic Upper
  • Reinforced Zones
Cons
  • Run Large

4. Mizuno Waitangi AW16

4. Mizuno Waitangi AW16
This is a great shoe for forwards. It is made from soft primeskin, which along with the stitched lines in the upper body offer a comfortable more secure fit. The shoe also has a moulded 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 light weight. 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. Canterbury Stampede

5. Canterbury Stampede
A ruby shoe designed specifically for tight-5 forward players. 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. The lightweight synthetic upper body is tough enough to stand up to its leather counterparts.
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Wide Fitting
Do you have wide feet and find it hard to find shoes that fit you? These are the shoes for you. They have been designed to be extra wide. Even if you don't play Tight-5, it may be worth looking into these shoes if you have trouble finding comfortable shoes.

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.

Cost and Value
While high quality, these shoes can get a little pricey. 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. But if you do play tight-5 and want to treat yourself to an amazing rugby boot, be sure to look at this one.
Pros
  • Wide
  • Eight Studs Outsole
  • Screw in Replaceable Studs
  • Synthetic Body
Cons
  • Expensive

6. adidas Predator Incurza

6. adidas Predator Incurza
Like the 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 over the kicking area is designed to allow for more precision and control. 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
They Hybrid Touch is a soft synthetic material that is both lightweight and durable. It will feel as good as kangaroo leather, without all the guilt of wearing kangaroo leather.

Predator Element
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.

Cost and Value
These shoes are probably the most expensive pair on this list. While this shoe is worth every penny, the price tag might be prohibitive for a lot of people.
Pros
  • Predator Element
  • Hybrid Touch Upper
  • Asymmetrical Lacing System
  • Xtraxion Outsole
Cons
  • Expensive

7. Optimum Velocity

7. Optimum Velocity
An excellent shoe designed for the kicker on a budget, the Optimum Velocity has the features of its more expensive cousins without the price tag. A rubberized strike zone allows for more precision and control. The carbon fiber heel and TPU midsole allow for more stability, support, and flexibility where it counts. Your feet will be kept comfortable by the soft microfiber lining.
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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.

3D Rubberized Strike Zone
The strike zone of this shoe has been rubberized, allowing for more traction during impact. You'll get more precise control over your kicks, allowing for even greater accuracy than before.

Cost and Value
These shoes are inexpensive, but also very well made. This is an excellent choice for someone who wants to try out kicking, or a veteran kicker who is on a budget.
Pros
  • Microfiber Lining
  • Carbon Fiber Heel
  • 3D Rubberize Strike Zone
  • TPU Midsole
Cons

Don’t seem to be available in wide sizes

8. X-Blades Legend Flash

8. X-Blades Legend Flash
A good beginner shoe made from kangaroo leather. Like all X-Blades branded shoes, this shoe boasts a bionic sole. The criss-crossed stitching pattern on the upper body is both fashionable and functional, allowing for a more reliable fit. The six stud outsole design allows for incredible traction while also remaining flexible enough to be comfortable throughout even the most difficult game.
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Kangaroo Leather Upper
Kangaroo leather is a popular choice for many rugby boots because it is simply the better choice. It is lightweight and soft enough to remain comfortable, while remaining durable enough to last for years.

Bionic Sole
The proprietary bionic sole will allow for greater flexibility while remaining sturdy and durable enough to offer sufficient stability and support during a tough match. This makes these shoes an excellent choice for a rugby player who doesn't know what the next game will throw at them.

Cost and Value
These are definitely the budget option of the list. Excellent shoes for a beginner or an all-rounder, these shoes are an excellent value. If you need a solid shoe, but also need money in your pocket, these shoes are your best bet.
Pros
  • Inexpensive
  • Bionic Sole
  • Kangaroo Leather
  • Six Stud Outsole
Cons
  • Don’t seem to be available in wide sizes

9. adidas Kakari

9. adidas Kakari
This shoe has extra padding in the ankle collar as well as a cushioned insole. But this isn't just some luxury shoe. This shoe 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 allow 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. There's no need to worry about the stiff collar giving you blisters in these shoes.

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.

Cost and Value
These shoes are surprisingly affordable. Between the comfort and the functionality, these shoes are an excellent choice for any forward who is looking for a comfortable shoe to play rugby in.
Pros
  • Cushioned Insole
  • Padded Ankle Collar
  • Eight Stud Outsole
  • TPU Band on the Forefoot
Cons
  • Some players find them heavy

10. Optimum Tribal

10. Optimum Tribal
This lightweight shoe is an excellent choice for just about any position. It is an especially good shoe to own during the rainy season. The polyurethane upper is water resistant, so your feet will be dry and you can keep going even through the rain and mud. The eight stud configuration allows for greater traction and stability on even the muddiest ground.
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Water Resistant PU Upper
Worried about your shoes getting ruined during the rainy season? Have no fear. The Polyurethane body of this shoe has been treated so as to be water-resistant as well as lightweight and durable.

Eight Stud Configuration
The eight stud design allows for greater traction and agility even on slippery terrain. This is an excellent choice for the player who needs to change directions quickly and frequently.

Cost and Value
These shoes are a good bargain. A lightweight water resistant shoe that doesn't sacrifice traction and doesn't cost an arm and a leg? This shoe is the best deal on this list.
Pros
  • Inexpensive
  • Eight Stud Outsole
  • Water Resistant
  • PU Upper
Cons
  • Don’t appear to be available in wide sizes

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 these reviews have helped you to come to a decision, or at the very least given you some information that can help you on your path to becoming a rugby champion.