Rugby Boots – when speed and grip are key.
There are now almost as many designs and colours for rugby boots (or rugby cleats as they are sometimes called) as there are players. The original leather and laces working boots have gone to be replaced by rugby boots which are moulded precision pieces of equipment produced in all the colours of the rainbow to match a players kit or their mood. Rugby boots are a key piece of rugby gear for any player.
Rugby positions should dictate the style and fit of boot a player should go for. Forwards looking for power in the scrum and lower body when driving forward need the extra ankle support to help prevent injury so will go for a more traditional style with a boot that comes higher up the foot to protect the ankle area. The new shape of rugby cleats coming to the market is similar to that of football or soccer boots, sleek and fitted and are preferred by the Backs who are looking for speed and agility on the pitch. Kickers like to feel the ball when they make contact so will go for a tight fit.
Rugby Boots: materials
Rugby boots can be made from leather, synthetic or a mix of both. Leather boots mould to the shape of your feet but aren’t good in wet conditions as they absorb moisture and become heavy. Synthetic uppers are lighter and water resistant. Both become equally muddy after a long hard match.
Rugby Boots: Studs
The length and type of studs on rugby boots can be adjusted to suit the playing conditions, with longer studs preferred in wet weather to aid grip on the pitch. Safety is always a concern in rugby as in any sport. It is a physical, full contact game and studs can do harm to a player on the ground in a ruck or maul. The IRB Rugby Rules stipulate that studs on rugby boots should conform to their specifications and moulded rubber soles should not have any sharp edges or ridges.
Rugby boots: history
This is in sharp contrast (pardon the pun) to the first rugby boots worn by the earliest rugby union players which were modified working men’s boots or walking boots. The make shift studs of the time included nails and metal plates! No health and safety concerns in those days. These were obviously banned but permissable materials include leather, rubber, aluminium and plastic.
Leading manufacturers of rugby boots such as Addidas, Nike and Puma are always looking for an edge to improve performance. Comfort and function are key to all sports wear but especially rugby cleats.
Rugby socks also play their part in performance. Socks have padded soles and are made from breathable materials to help keep the feet cool during play. They usually go to just below the knee, offering a little protection to players legs. The bright colours and traditionally striped designs usually reflect the teams colours and hark back to the origins of the sport.
Recently teams have taken to wearing charity socks to raise awareness of good causes such as Hope for Heroes and Sport Relief.
The LineoutCoach Rugby Store can helps with all your rugby kit requirements. Check it out and give rugby a try.