Buyer’s guide to rugby boots – Why every position has its own

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Highlights

• There used to be just one boot and everyone from 1 to 15 wore it

• But now there are several, each tailored to different roles on the pitch

• Backs need boots that help them go fast and be agile down the touchline

• And forwards are looking for stability and protection in the ruck and scrum

• Everyone gets the benefit of a 10mm heel though, which is unique to ASICS rugby shoes


Rugby boots used to be one-style-fits-all. But now almost every player on the field gets their own type. Find out how each part suits different positions.

THE UPPER

As you’d expect, this is everything that goes on top of the boot and keeps your foot covered. It used to be simple foot coverage, but now uppers are suited to backs and forwards.

  • Forwards… get a tougher upper that’s also flexible enough to bend upwards in the scrum
  • Backs… need a hugging fit and lightweight materials so they can burst to the try line
  • Kickers… want their uppers to be like a football boot, with a sweet spot that they can use to strike the ball further

 

THE OUTSOLE

You’re spending 80 minutes on your feet so the outsole hitting the ground is massively important.

  • Forwards… need an outsole that’s dotted with lots of long studs that let them dig deep into the pitch
  • Backs… have a handful of studs at the front that help to propel them forward

 

THE HEEL

Rugby boots used to have no heel on them – it was as if your foot was totally flat on the floor. But ASICS have changed that and put in a 10mm heel in all our rugby shoes

The heel does a couple of things:

  • Cuts down the strain on your lower leg with less pressure placed on your Achilles tendon
  • Helps you run faster as your feet are angled slightly forwards

It’s useful for backs getting through the gain line, and forwards that are running with the ball out of the ruck.

MIDSOLE

The midsole is the heart of any shoe – it’s the material between your insole under your foot and the outsole on the ground.

  • Forwards… don’t need too much cushioning here, but they need enough for those destructive runs
  • Backs… need lots of cushioning as they’re running miles over the course of 80 minutes

 

There’s extra cushioning in the heel for backs with GEL units that further soften your landings on the pitch, especially good when it gets cold and the grass can be rock hard.

 


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Rugby boots for different positions

Forwards are all about power and strength while backs are much quicker and more agile. So how do their boots help them perform on the pitch? Check out our guide to the differences between boots for forwards, backs and centres.

Read article