Your rugby boots are perhaps your most important piece of kit and they play a crucial role in helping you play your best game. Choosing the right shoes can really up your game, while the wrong pair could cause a lot of discomfort or even injuries.

This ASICS rugby shoes guide covers everything you need to know.

Buyer's Guide to Rugby Boots - Why Every Positions Has Its Own

Buying rugby shoes online – which rugby boots should I buy?

Rugby boots used to be one-style-fits-all. However, boots have improved over time to meet the needs of different players and surface types.

Surface type

You will really benefit from different kinds of boots depending on the season and surface type:

  • Muddy, damp surfaces: You’ll want longer studs for maximum grip – if you play on a pitch which is often wet, look for a boot that allows you to attach longer studs
  • Hard surfaces: during warmer months or when the ground is cold and hard, choose shorter studs for greater comfort. Moulded studs are also perfect for this scenario
  • Artificial surfaces: When training on artificial surfaces, opt for moulded boots for maximum comfort


Broadly speaking, different positions on the pitch benefit from different kinds of boot:

  • 8 studs: forward players tend to choose 8-stud boots because they provide extra stability during scrums and give more support when sprinting aggressively in one direction
  • 6 studs: backs tend to choose 6-stud boots as they offer excellent stability, but also allow more fluid side to side movement
Buyer's Guide to Rugby Boots - Why Every Positions Has Its Own

Features of rugby boots

When buying rugby shoes online, make sure you look at the following four structural components:

  1.     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
  1.     The outsole

You’re spending 80 minutes on your feet, so the outsole hitting the ground is hugely 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
  1.     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 rugby shoes have changed that and put in a 10mm heel in all our models. This 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.
  1.     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 ASICS GEL units that further soften your landings on the pitch – which is especially good when it gets cold and the grass can be rock hard.

To browse rugby shoes online, explore the ASICS rugby shoes range here.