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Choosing the Right Rugby Boots

Choosing the best boots is something that a lot of rugby players are not as good at as they may think. Boots that have been designed for rugby play are more complicated than most people realise. Choosing the best ones comes down to several factors, such as stud type and sizing.

Size

A simple pitfall that many people fall into is wearing the wrong socks when trying the boots on for size. A lot of players go out to try on boots in their regular socks, despite the fact that they will be wearing thick rugby socks when they actually play. Wearing the wrong socks may mean the boots are suddenly too tight when you come to use them, while wearing the same socks you will wear on the field may lead you to a different size option or a different boot that will be a better fit when it counts.


Studs

Studs are probably the single most undervalued factor when choosing rugby boots. You should choose a stud type according to factors such as your play style, the type of ground you normally play on, and the position that you play. Your choice of stud can really make a noticeable difference for better or worse. If you normally play on softer ground, you may need longer studs for better grip. On harder ground, shorter studs will suffice and longer ones may even hold you back. If your position or personal playing style focusses on moving at speed and making quick direction changes, rubber studs will facilitate this better than metal ones. If you require a firm grip on the ground, however, metal studs will be the superior option.

Blades

It is also worth noting that recent years have seen blades or moulded studs becoming increasingly popular over traditional screw-in studs. These can provide good speed and mobility, although they lack grip on softer ground. The main advantage, however, is simply the convenience of not having to regularly check whether studs may have worked loose, which is necessary with boots that use screw-in studs.

Type of Boot

Some rugby players buy football boots instead of specialised rugby footwear. While football boots are legal for rugby use as long as the studs conform to regulations, this is normally not as good as buying a specialised rugby boot as football boots are made with different priorities. In particular, they prioritise feel at the expense of protection. However, football boots are understandably designed to be optimal for kicking accurately and effectively, so if you utilise kicking a lot in your game, you may be one of the relatively few rugby players for whom football boots are actually the right choice. For all but the most regular kickers, however, a better option may be one of the many rugby boots that are designed to maintain protection while still allowing a good feel of the ball.

Properly weighing up all of these factors can make it much easier to choose a boot that will enhance your game.