Which rugby cleats are best?

Rugby is a sport that has a lot of similarities to soccer and football, but there are key differences. Rugby cleats are also similar to soccer or football shoes, but again there are important differences.

Quality rugby cleats, also called rugby boots or rugby shoes, deliver the perfect traction for the type of ground on which you’re playing. The best are the light, stable and durable Adidas Adult Kakari Rugby Shoes.

What to know before you buy rugby cleats

Ground conditions

When playing rugby, you don’t need a lot of gear. A rugby ball, a uniform, and a few pieces of safety gear (such as a mouthpiece or a scrum cap) are important to have.

Perhaps more important than all of these, though, are the rugby cleats. You need to match the type of shoe you are selecting to the type of ground on which you will practice and play games.

  • Soft ground: Soft, muddy ground is common for rugby fields, which often become chewed up as players use them. Rugby cleats should be longer on a field with soft ground, ensuring they will grip the ground properly. This is the most common type of rugby cleat.
  • Firm ground: A firm-ground rugby boot has shorter cleats, and may have fewer long studs than a soft-ground cleat. Some of these boots may have a mixture of shorter and longer studs.
  • Artificial turf: When playing rugby on artificial surfaces, some players choose rugby shoes that have no studs. Instead, they may have small nubs molded into the shoe’s sole. Other players wear firm-ground rugby cleats on artificial turf.

Playing position

The position you’re playing helps determine the style of cleat you should purchase. A forward has involvement in scrums, requiring a greater level of ankle support for pushing. Backs, meanwhile, carry the ball more frequently and their shoes should allow greater flexibility and agility.

What to look for in quality rugby cleats

Stud pattern

An eight-stud pattern on the rugby cleat works best for soft ground. These cleats have six studs near the forward part of the shoe and two studs near the heel. All the studs are the same length.

A six-stud pattern works for hard-ground rugby shoes. They have four longer studs and a few shorter studs in the forward part of the shoe, along with two longer studs and a couple of shorter studs near the heel.

Cushion

Cushioning is important in rugby shoes, as support for the long cleats requires an uncomfortable hard sole plate in the bottom of the shoe. Having cushioned foam in the stress points on the shoe can make it more comfortable to wear, especially on hard ground.

Colors

Most rugby cleats use dark colors, which hide mud and grass stains from the field. Black is most common, and there are multiple accent colors to create a more desirable look in dark-colored shoes. If you prefer white or light-colored rugby cleats, though, you may find them by shopping around.

How much you can expect to spend on rugby cleats

Rugby cleats have a similar cost to football and soccer shoes, even though the designs are slightly different. Expect to pay $50-$150, but certain models will fall outside this range.

Rugby cleats FAQ

Q. Are any types of rugby boots illegal to use?

A. The boots themselves are fine to use. However, certain styles of cleats may not fit your league’s rules. You should inspect the cleats for sharp edges that could injure other players. Make sure the cleats are tightly seated, too.

Q. Can I use metal studs in my rugby shoes?

A. Yes. In fact, aluminum studs are the most common kinds of cleats found on rugby boots. Some leagues allow rubber studs along with aluminum studs. Typically, nylon studs are not legal.

What are the best rugby cleats to buy?

Top rugby cleats

Best Adidas Adult Kakari Rugby Shoes

Adidas Adult Kakari Rugby Shoes

What you need to know: These are lightweight rugby shoes, yet they have the stability and durability to make them a good value that will last an entire rugby season.

What you’ll love: These dark-colored shoes will hide dirt and soil well, meaning you don’t have to clean them as often. These are soft-ground rugby boots, so the studs deliver excellent traction. 

What you should consider: Some people would prefer having only the three-stripe logo on the shoes, rather than the Adidas name with the logo.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top rugby cleats for the money

Best Canterbury Phoenix Raze Rugby Shoes

Canterbury Phoenix Raze Rugby Shoes

What you need to know: This is a highly comfortable pair of rugby boots, featuring an in-sock for a snug fit and a cushioned layer inside the collar.

What you’ll love: The positioning of the studs around the edges gives players the power and stability they need. With its dark colors, you won’t have to clean this soft-ground rugby shoe as often. The pair carries a below-average price.

What you should consider: It has a wider design in the forefront than some other rugby boots, which may cause a fit a little looser than some players will like.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Best Under Armour Team Nitro Low D Rugby Shoes

Under Armour Team Nitro Low D Rugby Shoes

What you need to know: You receive a cushioned foam footbed over the top of the firm sole plate of this shoe, which enhances its comfort level.

What you’ll love: With its firm-ground shoe design, it has a range of stud lengths. The dark color in these shoes helps to hide soil you may pick up while playing. The outsole design enhances stability for players. 

What you should consider: The cleat pattern on the bottom includes a cleat just under the ball of the foot, which backs may not like.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Kyle Schurman writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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