Rugby

Rugby is a free-flowing game that requires different skill sets. Each skill set requires a different type of cleat for its various players. Different positions offer different requirements for footwear, so the correct type of cleat should be chosen for best performance.

First, to understand the terminology, let’s look at the ANATOMY of a rugby boot:
 
The UPPER
This is the area of the rugby boot that covers the top of the foot. It is traditionally made from kangaroo leather, but new synthetic materials offer a better weight/performance ratio, and also exciting designs and colours.
 
The OUTSOLE
This is the area of the boot that holds the studs. This can be made from leather or new generations plastics that seamlessly integrate the upper and midsole.
 
The MIDSOLE
This is the section of the boot between the insole and the outsole on the ground, made from new plastics with hollow cavity sections to reduce weight, but with added strength.
 
The HEEL
This is the area of the boot that covers the rear bottom of the foot. Some brands offer a raised heel of 5mm or 10mm instead of a flat sole. The raised heel is applied for reduced strain on the lower leg, and it also helps to promote speed by forcing you to run on your toes like an Olympic sprinter.

It is recommended that you choose a pair of rugby boots suited to the position, playing surface and playing level of the player.
 

POSITIONS

The position of a player influences which set of boots to buy.

Forwards need more strength and power for attacking and protecting, so hard grueling work with stable footing is at play. They rely on lower body strength for power in scrums and need extra support around the ankle to help prevent foot injuries. Forwards should look for cleats with

  • a reliable grip (great traction). On soft turf cleats with longer studs help provide a good footing; on firmer ground conical studs provide better grip with the ground; and on hard fields shoes with smaller, shorter studs that cover the entire sole work better.
  • a secure fitting heel – which provides a more stable foot, and aids in pushing forward.
  • durability – a forward’s position is tough on cleats, so they need to be able to handle the heat.
  • flexibility and light weight – higher flexibility and a lighter weight aids the forward in his game.

 
The Tight 5’s boots are typically heavier, and usually have a fitted heel and more studs on the front part of the sole.
 
Loose Forwards will need boots with lighter weight and added stability. Some even offer torsion control or lateral foot control.
 
Backs need to utilize speed and agility. Backs and Centers should look for cleats with

  • flexibility and light weight – the less weight the player is carrying, the faster he’ll be able to move
  • good traction and turning ability – Backs need to quickly move and change direction in (often) tight spaces. Shorter and fewer studs, and even bladed studs, aid the Back in his position.
  • a snug fit – there is no reason why a pair of cleats can’t be comfortable. A better fit allows cuts to be made quicker and sharper, and lets the Back become one with the ball when kicking it. The better the feel for the ball, the more accurate the kicking.
  • a kicking zone – every aspect of the cleat, from the design of the laces to the texture of the surface can aid a kicker’s accuracy.

 
In a position such as hooker, prop or lock, shoes with screw-in studs are ideal. The players are able to adjust their studs as they wish. Kickers prefer a tight-fitting boot for a better feel for the ball, while a high ankle cut for extra support in scrums work better for props.

 

PLAYING SURFACE

Soft ground

A soft ground or wet playing surface requires boots with excellent grip. Traditionally metal screw-in studs are preferred for soft grounds.

Forwards’ boots will typically have eight studs (six at the front and two on the heel) for better grip during scrummaging. Backs’ boots will often have a six studs (four at the front and two on the heel) to keep boots lightweight. A new generation of rugby boots with hybrid stud configurations offer a combination of traditional screw-in studs and moulded studs. This gives good grip with less weight. Rugby boots with blades are permitted by the regulations of World Rugby and can offer good traction. They also offer the convenience of studs not getting loose or being lost. Soft ground boots are comprised of stronger materials, including stitching, to cope with the amount of force (measured in pounds per square inch) that they are exposed to in matches.

 

Firm ground

Traditionally rugby boots for firm ground have a greater number of plastic or rubber studs moulded into the sole. This helps spread the body weight over a greater surface of the foot which can, on firm ground, help improve speed and changes in direction. On firm ground the additional studs are more forgiving to the sole.

 

MATERIAL

Rugby boots are made using both synthetic and original leather. The best quality boots are usually made out of kangaroo leather. Leather shapes itself around the player’s feet, but synthetic materials are lighter and less expensive. Some boots are made from both leather as well as synthetics, which make the boots breathable and lightweight at the same time.

 

SIZE & FIT

Rugby boots follow conventional sizes. The best-fit rugby boots should fit tightly and snugly without being uncomfortable. Some brands also offer a ‘wide fit’ for wider feet. When testing on your new pair of Rugby boots, remember that you will most likely be wearing a thicker pair of socks (or two pairs of socks) in the game, so try to wear the same types of socks when trying on a boot for size. If your feet are still growing, it is advisable to allow a little bit of room.

It is always ideal to first have a foot analysis to know your foot type (e.g. flat-footed or high-arched) and running style before buying Rugby boots. You can also add custom made insoles to provide the ideal support for the unique shape of your feet and foot type. Combining your foot type and running style with the position you will be playing, the kind of playing field, and your weight, will determine the best Rugby boot for you.

 

SOCCER CLEATS VS RUGBY CLEATS

The biggest difference is that most rugby cleats are designed with a slight higher (5-10 mm) heel. This helps players avoid injuries by reducing the pressure on the Achilles tendons, calf muscles, hamstrings, and back. Football boots are permitted within the rules, provided the studs are legal. Football boots highly prioritise feel over protection, meaning that football boots are generally lighter and help you to kick with greater accuracy, so can be worth considering if kicking is a regular part of your game. If you are not a regular kicker however, it will be more useful to have the extra protection afforded by a rugby boot.
 

PLAYING LEVEL

Kids rugby boots are typically available in UK sizes 1-5. The selection is much smaller and have less technical features. Big brands usually don’t offer the professional rugby boots in kids sizes, but they do offer a selection in similar styles and colours of rugby boots.
 
Beginner rugby boots are typically made from cheaper synthetic materials, rendering them to be heavier and less durable. Often they are absent of any technical features. Colours and designs can be a little basic. These are typically the cheaper option.
 
Advanced rugby boots are usually made from traditional leather or synthetic materials lighter than the beginner rugby boots, and they may have a few technical features. Advanced rugby boots often look similar to the professional models, but are cheaper.
 
Professional rugby boots are made from premium leather grades or new advanced synthetic materials that are lighter and stronger. They also may have an increased number of technical features to help players stay at the top of their game. The looks and colours used professional rugby boots are sometimes reserved exclusively for the top models in the range.
 

SAFETY NOTE:

As rugby is a full contact sport, wearing the wrong kind of studs can do you – or a member of the opposition – a lot of harm. Remember to ensure your studs are tight and in good condition with no sharp edges before each game.


 
These are some of the brands at our shop at Arons Sports:

Adidas Rugby Boots – Kakari Force SG



Fine-tuned for the forwards, Adidas introduced their lightest ever boots in Core Black, Silver Metallic and Shock Red.
 
Designed for rugby players at the heart of the action, these adipower Kakari boots feature innovative super light technology within that provides greater control to help players keep driving their team forward up the pitch. They also feature a neoprene sock constructed collar for additional support and protection.
 
Core features of these rugby boots include an adaptive lacing system that provides improved support. Agility is enhanced by the Hybrid Touch to the upper which, combined with the lightweight synthetic material, ensure acceleration into key positions.
 
Built upon an Adidas Ground Control outsole, the adipower Kakari provides dominant traction and has reinforced studs to support grip on soft ground pitches. Removable metal and moulded blades and a 10mm raised heel provide dynamic foot positioning for additional security. With a wider fit and adapted for play on soft ground surfaces, improve your control and dominate the scrum with the new Adidas Kakari Force SG Rugby Boots.
 
With a sock-like construction that locks down the foot, the boots have the traction you need to dig in and drive forward.
 
Features include:

  • HYBRIDTOUCH synthetic leather material for premium softness, light weight and performance
  • Adaptable fit lacing system for support
  • Sock-like construction for foot lockdown and added protection
  • 10mm heel raise for dynamic foot positioning
  • Innovative studs for personalised traction; (For optimal performance, tighten studs correctly before use)
  • Soft-ground outsole

 


Predator Malice SG Boots


These soft-ground rugby boots are for perfected kicking control. Utilising predator technology for kicking accuracy, they are lightweight and made with soft performance material. The stud configuration offers stability in all conditions.
 
Features include:

  • Predator technology in the forefoot for more power, swerve and ball contact
  • HYBRIDTOUCH synthetic leather material for premium softness, light weight and performance
  • Asymmetric lacing for larger kicking sweet spot
  • The SPRINTFRAME construction uses geometrical research and a new stud configuration to offer the perfect balance between light weight and stability
  • SPEEDTRAXION high-speed stud alignment for maximum acceleration and quick turns; Soft ground outsole
  • 10 mm heel raise for dynamic foot positioning

Adidas Malics Rugby boots


The Adidas Malics Rugby boots are made for the outside back. Constructed with a lightweight, synthetic BRAVO upper for durability, these boots feature a heel raise and cleated outsole for dynamic positioning on soft-ground pitches.

Features include:

  • BRAVO synthetic upper for durability and light weight
  • Asymmetric lacing for larger kicking sweet spot
  • 10mm heel raise for dynamic positioning
  • Outsole configured for soft-ground pitches

 
Find all the supplies you need – Rugby Boots, jerseys, shirts, socks, balls, and everything else at Arons Sports! Contact us for any enquiries!