Morrant Rugby Boots Guide
Rugby boots are a very important piece of equipment for any player as they offer protection, grip and comfort. There are many different types of rugby boots available for players, from a wide range of different brands, who in turn go for their own style.
Rugby players need boots with good durability and protection because its not uncommon to have someone step on your toes whilst playing rugby, so players need to make sure they find boots which offer durability and protection as well as comfort, grip and style, all of which make a good rugby boot.
There are many different types of rugby boots designed for different ground types as well as many stud configurations, each of which give the player a different style of play.
Soft Ground (SG) Boots
These are designed for wet and soft fields. They will normally have detachable studs in various configurations. The studs will usually be between 12mm – 19mm – this allows the player to adjust the length depending on the field conditions.
There are many different stud designs and configurations for SG boots, but the two most common for this type of boot are the six-stud design and the eight stud design.
The six-stud design has four studs up front on the ball of the foot and two studs on the back heel. Some players consider this configuration to aid their running more than the eight-stud design as the fewer number of pressure points allow the studs to leave and penetrate the ground quickly. However, the reduced number of studs means the boot is more likely to cut the turf when pushing.
The eight-stud design has six studs up front on the ball of the foot and two studs on the heel. Even though this is considered to cause slower running than the six-stud design, the eight stud design will offer the player more grip, especially when pushing in a scrum.
Firm Ground (FG) Boots
The other type of popular boots is Firm Ground (FG) boots. These boots are worn the most as they can be used on a wide range of field types and conditions. They are best suited for firm surfaces, although can also be used on soft fields if the studs are long enough.
These boots normally have 10-14 studs on the outsole. The increased number of studs make the FG boots more comfortable on firm fields than typical longer studded soft ground boots. These boots also tend to grip better as the longer studs on the SG boots can’t always penetrate firmer fields effectively.
Rugby boots should fit as close to the end of the foot as possible, without touching the toes. However, women’s sizing is different and is smaller by around a size and a half to regular shoe sizing. For example, if a woman wears a women’s size 9 normal shoe, she should wear a men’s 7.5 rugby boot.
The size of the boot chosen will depend on the size of the individual’s feet. However, when buying rugby boots a ½-inch gap is ideal between the foot and the boot.
Rugby boots are available for all sizes, ranging from junior to adult sizes. Please check size guides provided against individual items.
The materials used in rugby boots are very similar to the materials used in football boots. The main material used to produce rugby boots is usually leather, however they can also be made from synthetic materials or a mixture of both. The benefit of leather boots is that that they can mould to the shape of your feet, but they are not very water resistant, meaning they will absorb moisture and become heavy in wet conditions. Synthetic materials are lighter and offer more water resistance.
The material of the studs used can also vary, most commonly they are plastic and metal.
Rugby Boot and Stud Maintenance
It is important to maintain your rugby boots; not only will it keep them looking clean, it will potentially increase their expected playing life. As rugby is played primarily in the Winter, it is likely that after training and matches that your boots will be dirty. As well as cleaning the dirt off, players should untie the laces properly and not leave them tied together. This will allow them to dry properly, which prevents shrinking, fraying and snapping under stress. Untying the laces will also make it much easier to remove the boot after use, putting less stress on the backs of the boots as they are pulled off against the tension of the laces.
To clean mud off, especially if it is in big clumps, the best way is to knock the boots together. This may be easier when the mud has had a chance to dry a little, as wet mud clings. However, don’t leave it too long, as you want the boots to dry as quickly as possible. After knocking the boots together, you should use a soft brush to remove any remaining mud. This allows the boots to dry quicker and look better for the next match.
After playing and training in wet conditions, you should stuff some newspaper inside the boots, as this will help maintain their shape and it will also help absorb some moisture within the fabric. In addition, when leaving boots to dry, you should not apply any artificial heat such as from a hairdryer or leave them on a radiator, as it could cause the leather to become dry and stiff. This can cause cracking and reduce the lifetime of the boot.
Choosing the right boots is an important decision; size, durability, comfort, kicking power, grip and style all come into play here.
We would always recommend choosing from the rugby shoes designed specifically for your playing position and from there, buying the ones that fit your shoe size and budget whilst offering the maximum in grip, durability and comfort. Whilst colour and style will always be an influencing factor, this should take second place to how well the shoes will protect your feet and enhance your performance.