Best Rugby Shoes Reviewed & Rated
Considering all these factors, rugby boots tend to run a little more expensive than most athletic footwear, so it’s important to make the best-educated choice before purchasing. The price tag can be a hassle for some people, however, you might find that you can just as easily get away with older models that provide good quality and performance without too much of a spend. Whichever of the boots from our top 10 list you choose, you can rest assured that you will be getting a high-quality pair of rugby boots that will keep you safe while allowing you to make the best of your playing abilities.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 7 hrs of research
Reinforced Toe Box
8mm Heel Raise
Built for Power
Additional TPU Traction in Studs
Wide Forefoot Fit
Top Rugby Boots and Cleats
1. Canterbury Stampede 2.0 SG
Reinforced Toe Box
8mm Heel Raise
Built for Power
Additional TPU Traction in Studs
Wide Forefoot Fit
There is nothing that can stand in the way of the Canterbury Stampede 2.0 rugby cleats. This design is built for power and explosiveness, and you will love its performance features. It is constructed on a PowerLast that has a wide fit in the forefoot for comfort and has that well-known Canterbury heel raise which reduces strain on your legs. Built for soft ground, the Stampede 2.0 comes with 8 studs with bonus TPU traction.
The upper of the Stampede 2.0 cleats is made from synthetic PU for durability, and the toe box of this option is reinforced for strength. The collar is padded with 10mm foam for added comfort, and the wide fit will be a welcome change to standard footwear of this kind. The heel raise is at 8mm, putting you in a power position on the field, and the additional TPU we mentioned in the studs is there for even more power than you can possibly imagine.
The Canterbury Stampede 2.0 rugby cleats are the one design that you shouldn’t mess with. If you’re the type of player who needs more from their boots, who likes to be strong and uncompromising on the field, then you need footwear to match, and the Stampede 2.0 is definitely it.
2. Adidas Kakari Force SG
Premium Leather Upper
Innovative Studs for SG
World Rugby Standards
Top Layer Can Peel Off
Right alongside Nike, there is Adidas, another powerhouse in the world of sports footwear. The Kakari Force SG rugby cleats is a design specifically created for tight five players on soft ground. It has a very precise configuration of studs, as well as a raised heel which helps you push forward. The lockdown on these rugby boots is amazing, and you can trust that its comfort levels will be up to par, as well. As the brand says, conquer the scrum in the Kakari Force!
The upper of this option is made from premium leather, and there is a synthetic lining as well as a sock-like design for security. The studs are positioned to provide you with customized traction on a soft ground outsole, and you would do well to tighten them correctly before the game. The heel raise is 10mm, to ensure the dynamic of your movements. Of course, to round up the design there is a lace-up system with which you can easily adjust the fit to your liking.
The Adidas Kakari Force SG is made according to all the standards set by World Rugby, and you can be sure that they are the best of the best currently on the market. Once you invest in these bad boys, you will not look back ever again. So what are you waiting for? Go get your new groundbreaking shoes!
3. Nike Tiempo Legend VII FG
Leather and Flyknit Upper
Breathable Fitmesh Lining
Nylon and Pebax Cleats
Strong Midfoot Cables for Lockdown
For Wet Short Grass
Needs Breaking In
Can Cause Blisters
As its very name says, the Nike Tiempo Legend VII rugby cleats a literal legend in the world of sports footwear and one of the best rugby boots on the market. This is a firm ground option with a combination of leather and Flyknit for the upper, and a Fitmesh liner. There are super strong cables that wrap around the foot and provide incredible lockdown that you need when you change direction and sprint across the field. The Tiempo Legend VII stops at nothing to make sure you perform at your best game after game.
This rugby boot has a Flyknit tongue and heel which provide a second-skin-like feeling, supporting you just where you need it. Supple leather wraps over the Flyknit for security, and the Fitmesh lining is there to keep the form of the design intact and stop it from stretching out. The cleats on this design are made from a mesh of nylon and Pebax for stability and light weight.
The Nike Tiempo Legend VII is perfect for slightly wet fields with short grass, and it will keep you stable and secure all throughout your activities. A combination of premium Nike materials ensures the best experience ever, and you definitely won’t regret investing in these durable, reliable boots!
4. Under Armour Highlight MC
- Excellent Ankle Stability
- Padded Tongue for Better Fit
- 4D Printed Foam Footbed
- Just 10.3 Ounces
- Wide Variety of Colors
- Not for Wide Feet
- Non-Removable Cleats
These high rugby boots by Under Armour are a great choice for players in tight five forward positions who intend to play on soft ground. Their biggest advantage is the upper which provides stability without sacrificing how lightweight it is, while the studs are a bit unorthodox. There is an additional toe stud that will help you gain traction when playing. An added bonus is that these come in a wide variety of colors, meaning that you can go with performance-driven white or a more colorful rugby shoe to help you stand out on the field.
The very best thing about these rugby cleats is the upper which is made with Under Armour’s ClutchFit ankle sleeve which is a compression sleeve that provides stability in the ankle and a customized fit through the padded tongue. They are extremely lightweight, being only 10.3 ounces, the equivalent of a low-top option, and very flexible, so you can rest assured that the added support will in no way limit your range of motion. The footbed of these rugby shoes is made so that it reduces cleat pressure and molds to your foot, giving you a customized fit for maximum comfort. In addition, the Highlight MC features V56 technology which was developed to limit the level of hyperextension in your toe, helping keep you injury-free while you play. The PlasmaX plates maximize flexibility by following the foot’s natural motion, while still allowing for great traction and stability.
The Under Armour Highlight MC is an excellent choice for forwarding players who are looking for added ankle stability without the addition of unnecessary weight. If you have wide feet, it is advisable to order a ½ size up as these are more suited for narrow feet.
5. Canterbury Speed 2.0 SG
Soft PU Upper
Cushioned Collar for Comfort
8mm Heel Raise
Reduces Lower Limb Strain
Provides Optimal Running Stance
According to the brand itself, the Canterbury Speed 2.0 is created for the agile player who likes to give it their most on the field. It has a synthetic soft upper that molds to the foot and is built on the signature Canterbury Speed last, meaning that everything is geared towards a dynamic game. There is a heel raise to reduce strain in your lower legs, as well as an outsole made for soft ground.
The fit of the Speed 2.0 rugby cleats is slim for better lockdown, and this particular design comes in several color options, the white and the yellow, both of which grab the attention. The collar is cushioned for maximum comfort, and everything inside the shoe is as secure as it should be. The heel raise we mentioned before is of 8mm, meaning that you get the optimal running stance, and there are 6 studs to deliver amazing traction on soft terrain.
The Canterbury Speed 2.0 comes from a brand that dedicates itself to this sport and the gear for this sport. This particular design will keep you fast and able to change direction quickly while not slipping or skidding or otherwise injuring yourself. It is also quite an affordable choice, compared to most other options on our list. A well-rounded design!
6. Adidas Malice Control SG
Breathable Mesh Upper Parts
Asymmetrical Lacing System
Molded Outsole Placements for Control
Large Kicking Surface
Laces Too Long
The Adidas Malice Control rugby boots are designed to be the support a backline player needs. It is lightweight and breathable thanks to its synthetic mesh upper, and it has a hybrid combination of studs with molded placements in between. What sets apart the Malice from other designs of its kind is the fact that it has an asymmetrical lacing system which both looks cool and has a purpose in the game.
The Malice rugby cleats will keep your feet cool and sweat-free thanks to its porous mesh upper. The lacing closure we touched on is conceived in such a way that there is a large spot left on top of the boot so you can strike the ball without any problems. The hybrid studs mean that there are four low profile aluminum ones in the front, as well as two aluminum ones in the back. They’re divided by these placements that increase control as you run.
Overall, the Adidas Malice Control is one tough design meant for soft ground play. It offers you greater control of your movements, of the ball and consequently of the game itself, and if you are the type of player who is all about that precision and power dynamic, you will love every second you play in these sneakers!
7. Nike Vapor 12 Pro FG
Second Skin Fit
Contoured Podular Plates
Chevron Studs for Speed
Excellent Heel Lockdown
Strange Grip on Studs
Size Runs Small
When it comes to practically any sports discipline, there is hardly a better rugby cleat than that from Nike. Therefore, we have a couple of their designs on our list, and this particular one, the Vapor 12 Pro FG is everything you need for that firm ground grip. It is made from a synthetic upper that provides a second-skin-like fit, as well as an internal structure for responsive traction.
The Vapor 12 Pro FG spares nothing for its micro-textured upper that gently wraps around your foot and keeps you secure. There are podular plates in the sole which contour to the shape of your foot for comfort and energy rebound, and we can’t leave out the chevron studs which provide explosive speed and quick stops. The heel lining of the Vapor 12 Pro firmly holds your foot and keeps everything in place as it should be.
Given the brand name of this design, we are not surprised at the number of innovations and systems that go into its construction. The Nike Vapor 12 Pro is not to be messed with, and your performance will definitely benefit from its comfy upper and stabilizing features as you push through the game.
8. Under Armour CoreSpeed
Large Kicking Surface
Charged Cushioning Footbed
For Control and Speed
Needs Breaking In
There is an abundance of Under Armour designs on our list, and with good reason; these cleats are top of the line when it comes to the trusty, performance-driven rugby boots, and the CoreSpeed is no exception. This option has an offset lacing closure, an external layer meant to enhance touch, and a footbed that absorbs impact upon your every heel strike. It keeps you comfy and it helps you demonstrate all of your skills to the fullest.
The CoreSpeed is made from synthetic leather that forms to the foot, and the lacing system which provides a large kicking surface. What is especially neat about this cleat is the 3D printed layer on top of the upper that enhances touch and helps you have better control of the ball. The footbed of the Corespeed is a so-called Charged Cushioning footbed which absorbs shock and transforms it into responsive speed. For the outsole, there is a combination of fixed studs and removable ones so that you can customize them however you like.
The Under Armour CoreSpeed is the only option on our list that has customizable studs, and you might want to take advantage of that. This is an option for control and quickly changing directions and taking care of your joints at the same time. It is sleek, it is effective, and it will most definitely up your game!
9. Mizuno Morelia II
Graded Pebax Sole
13 PU studs
Lace up Closure
The Mizuno Morelia II is a limited model of the cleat, great for soccer and rugby alike. It boasts of a barefoot feel, keeping it soft and lightweight with kangaroo leather uppers. This particular model is made in Japan, so make sure to check sizes before you order. Its technical plate allows for flexibility, enhanced stability, and durability, and is particularly suited for firm ground fields. Weighing in at only 8.1oz, it’s sure to catch your eye for an assessment.
A graded Pebax sole plate rests at the base of the Morelia II cleats, which not only provides enhanced support and stability but allows for the flexibility needed by wingers for quick maneuvering and dodging tackles. The plate helps with quick sprints by providing a firm base to press against for explosive power and provides durability overall to the integrity of the cleat. Designed for firm ground, 13 PU studs line the sole in specific positions to better help alleviate pressure points. Soft kangaroo leather creates the soft supple uppers of the Morelia II, giving it a great in-shoe feel, but also making it quick and functional in terms of ball handling. For soccer, this is ideal, but for rugby, kickers will appreciate the sense of touch more so than other positioned players. A tongue overlays lace-up closure so you won’t be catching your cleats in knots!
The Mizuno Morelia II is designed for advanced players who enjoy a barefoot feel for grip and the soft touch feel of kangaroo leather uppers. Perfectly positioned cleats alleviate pressure points during play, and the Pebax sole plate gives the performance an upgrade in flexibility, durability, and stability. Well worth the investment if you’re a long time rugby specialist!
10. Under Armour Force 3.0
- Flexible soleplate with TPU studs
- Flexible, secure upper
- Anti-slip heel
- Charged Cushioning and 4D foam footbed
- Moderate padding
- Not for Wide Feet
- Not on Soft Ground
These rugby boots by Under Armour are made for backs and wingers and are an excellent choice if you have to play on firm, dry natural grass surfaces. These are great for gaining acceleration, as well as for deceleration, seeing that they have a soleplate that’s flexible in the front, but more firm as it gets closer to the heel. The design features eight cleats in the forefoot, and four in the heel section, providing you with plenty of traction, even during lateral movement. The definite best feature of the Force is the specially developed upper which provides you with premium comfort, without sacrificing weight.
The upper of the Force is made with Trivela microfibre which stretches two ways, giving you more mobility during your play, while still providing good support. It will mold to your feet, making you appreciate the customized level of comfort. On the inside, you will experience moderate padding that adds to the overall experience. The footbed of the Force is also made to conform to the shape of your foot. It’s got Charged Cushioning which provides excellent shock absorption and energy return, making it easy to keep on running. You will also find that these feature an anti-slip material in the heel, which will lock your foot in the heel, providing you with a more secure wearing experience.
If you need a good pair of shoes for firm ground, the UA Force 3.0 is an excellent choice. Originally designed for soccer players, these will be a good fit for backs and wingers, however, one of the downsides is that you won’t get too much use out of them on softer grounds.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
There are two types of playing surfaces that most rugby players will have to play on. While in an ideal world, one pair of boots would be suitable for both, unfortunately, this is not the case. The type of surface will determine not just the positioning and number of studs located on your boots, but also their length. A properly chosen boot can thus mean the difference between victory and loss, so it’s crucial to choose well.
Soft Ground (SG) surfaces are more common, and these are natural grass surfaces that are either soft or very wet. These types of surfaces require a better gripping shoe in order to prevent you from sliding and slipping, and ultimately from injuring yourself. Traditional, metal screw in studs will generally do better on this type of surface, and the number of studs will differ based on the position you play. Forwards players will need more traction and should look at boots with six studs in the forefoot and two in the back. If you prefer a lightweight fit, you may want to look into hybrid boots which have some molded studs, or even boots with blades which give good traction without the risk of getting loose.
Firm Ground (FG) surfaces require a better distribution of studs in order to relieve the stress your foot goes through by running on these harder surfaces. Traditionally, boots made for firm ground pitches will have more molded studs, made either out of plastic or rubber. These tend to perform better in allowing you to gain speed and to change direction more quickly.
Depending on what position you play in, your needs regarding rugby boots can vary differently. While the name of the game may be the same, the roles of different players require entirely different types of movement, which means that a Tight-5 player cannot successfully play in the same boots a kicker would use, and not see a decrease in performance.
Tight-5 are the players in the very front of the game, usually referred to as fronts. These are the men who will have to push and shunt into the opposing team in order to get the opposition to fall back. These players need a strong, supportive and durable boot that not only provides ample protection from being trampled but also snugly fits around the ankle area preventing injury and overuse. In addition, these players will require a boot with really good grip, meaning that the ideal rugby boot will have either five or six studs, allowing them to gain secure footing on any type of surface.
Loose Fronts – two Flankers and Number Eight are players who will both participate in the scrum but will also need to get into defense mode, changing from two very different types of play without missing a beat. This means that this type of player requires a boot that is both traction and grip oriented, but also lightweight enough to allow for maximum running speed. In addition, lateral support is important for these players in order to allow them to quickly change direction during high speed runs.
Backs will generally look for more lightweight boots that allow them to attack with speed. Unfortunately, this will often sacrifice durability and protection, as well as grip seeing that boots made for these players will have a lower number of studs in order to keep weight down. Luckily, technological advancements are now allowing for better surface grip with a lightweight construction, so players in back positions may want to look into boots that have molded or plastic studs which offer grip but don’t bring the weight up.
Kickers are the last type of player in rugby, and their number one job is to kick the ball as far and as accurately as possible. This requires an excellent, lightweight fit of the boot, as well as good traction on the supporting leg in order to gain more momentum. Boots made for this position will often have asymmetrical lacing systems in order to maximize the kicking surface, as well as rubber components on the upper that will allow better contact with the ball.
Like with any other sports equipment, you need your rugby boots to be of the highest possible quality in order to achieve better results. While skill and determination are key, a good pair of boots can really take your game to the next level. The quality of boots will most often depend on the materials used during construction, and more often than not, these will also influence the price of your gear.
The upper of your boots need to be made out of a protective material that will allow for a good fit, but that will also offer protection which is so important in a rough sport like rugby. Traditional boots were made of Kangaroo leather which is a great material, but it is also more expensive to produce. Synthetic alternatives will quite often be more lightweight and will give you just as much protection as the real deal.
The outsole of the shoes will hold the studs and is crucial in providing the best possible weight distribution as well as protection from the ground. Today, most makers will use synthetic materials such as TPU which allow the perfect mix of flexibility and stiffness, and which are great seeing that they are lightweight, slip resistant and long lasting.
The midsole is crucial in providing shock absorption, energy return, flexibility and cushioning, and is the place where shoe technology is most often improved. Most rugby shoes include a midsole that is there to provide strength, but some brands, like ASICS, will use this section in order to give the player a better running or movement experience.
Finally, there is the heel of the boot, which can serve two functions. On one hand, it is there to protect the player, namely their Achilles tendon, as this area is quite easy to damage should an unlucky blow happen. On the other hand, players who are required to gain great speed can benefit from a raised heel, which typically ranges from 5mm to 10mm, and is a great addition as it reduces lower limb fatigue and aids acceleration.
Generally, not many makers will highlight the comfort features on their rugby boots, presuming that these hardcore athletes will be more goal-oriented. However, it is crucial that a pair of rugby boots fits you well and is not causing you any unnecessary pain. If you can find a pair that feels great, then you’ve hit the jackpot.
As a rule, rugby boots need to snugly hug your foot in order to allow you to perform at the highest level. While no loose spots should be present, it’s important to consider the socks you will be wearing during play. Some players prefer to wear two pairs of socks, which means that they may need a little bit of extra room when purchasing boots.
If your feet are wide, you will have a bit more trouble finding a suitable pair of footwear for this sport, as most boots are more suited for narrow and regular feet. Nonetheless, some sportswear manufacturers have picked up on this problem, and have designed shoes that feature a wider forefoot, allowing you to get the best possible performance, without sacrificing your feet.
One of the most important things to consider before purchasing a pair of boots is that it mustn’t rub or pinch your fee so that you feel pain or any discomfort. While sports footwear will break in after a few uses, you will need to do your best to avoid developing blisters or sore sports which may influence your game for the worse.
Another consideration when looking for your next pair of rugby boots or cleats is what kind of cleat you’ll be using, and if they cause you any discomfort or pain. Sometimes the number of cleats on the sole may cause uneven distribution of pressure points, which can be unique to players feet, and foot sensitivity. Most times, the more studs present can help alleviate pressure at one particular position on the foot. If you aren’t sure if you have pressure points to avoid, it’s best to try on a few pairs before you purchase in-store or online, especially if you plan to invest a good bit of money!
Finally, the determining factor when choosing your next pair of shoes to play rugby in might as well come down to price. Being manufactured by just a limited number of sportswear companies, and requiring a high quality of production makes rugby boots often very expensive. This means that before you make your decision, you need to determine your budget. While newer models may come in the trendiest colors and offer awesome technological advancements, you might find that a model from a year or two back might perform just as well for a third of the price.
Another thing you need to consider is how often and for how long you intend to use these boots. Professional players are required to be on the field every day, giving their max in order to achieve the best possible results. However, if you only intend on playing a couple of times a week, you may find that you can have a bit more leeway when it comes to choice.
Overall, it’s always best to opt for the highest quality boots, in order to get strong, supportive footwear that will last longer and that will properly protect you during the game. In addition, you may want to look into purchasing additional studs, as it is likely that you may lose or wear some of the originals out. Boots with replaceable studs are a great option as they ensure that you won’t have to replace the whole pair of boots should one stud come loose, which is not the case with molded models.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
If you're just starting out playing rugby, you're in for a ride! It may take a little time to really get acquainted with the flow and feel of the game, and which position you're best suited for.
Many times, nimble, smaller players tend to play hooker or wing positions, while those that can use their bodyweight or strength to push against players find themselves in the scrum.
If you enjoy sprints and running, likely you'll do well as a winger or full back, but if you enjoy a full contact and action inside the scrum, explore positions within the scrum.
Each position on the team can require a different kind of cleat. Those that will be pushing in the scrum need a solid supportive boot with enough ankle mobility to fully thrust their weight forward. Wingers require something that can help promote agility and movement, ample ankle mobility, and may enjoy a softer upper on their boot.
Other Factors to Consider
Finding the perfect rugby boot can seem to be an insurmountable challenge. Whether it’s the grip, the flexibility, or the price, there are just too many variables to take into account. Are you a kicker, a forward, tight five, or are you an all-rounder? Do you need a wider kicking area, or do you need a lighter shoe? Are your feet wide or narrow? Six, four, or eight studs? Aluminum or plastic? Synthetic upper body or kangaroo leather?
That’s even before you take into account whether or not the shoes are comfortable. Whether you can play an entire game in them without getting blisters. With all the factors and features you need to take into consideration before making your purchase, it can be easy to become paralyzed by indecision. Hopefully, our list of the top 15 available rugby boots on the market has helped you to come to a decision, or at the very least give you some information that can help you on your path to becoming a rugby champion.
If you are still unsure about which boots to get, or need just a little bit more help before making your decision, make sure to read out Criteria for Evaluation section where we break down the variables that come into play when making the best choice of rugby boots, as well as our Frequently Asked Questions section where we answer the most common questions users have.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Can I use soccer cleats to play rugby?
While some rugby players have been known to use soccer cleats, it’s important to know that this type of footwear does not provide the correct protection and traction type for all players. Soccer cleats are made for firm ground play, are lightweight, and have shorter studs. Kickers and backs may benefit from wearing this type of shoes. If you’re just starting out in the sport and would prefer to get a feel for it first before investing in a specific pair of rugby cleats, you can always purchase a base model rugby cleat, or try out a soccer cleat to decide which feels best for your style of play.
q: How do I choose the right rugby boots for me?
Before making your choice, you first need to determine the type of ground you will be playing on, as well as your position in the game. Then you can go on and choose either a model more oriented towards forwards, backs or kickers, making sure you consider all features including traction, weight, support, heel height, and kicking area.
q: Are molded studs better than replaceable ones?
Although molded studs are more lightweight than traditional replaceable ones, there is not one definitive answer to this question. Whether this type of stud will work for you personally depends mostly on your playing position, as well as the type of surface you play on. If you’re playing on the softer ground, you may be more satisfied with the grip of screw-in studs, whilst firm ground play will most likely be less uncomfortable with more molded studs.
q: What does SG and FG next to the boot model stand for?
These marks stand for the type of ground a pair of boots is intended for. SG stands for soft ground, and these types of boots will generally have longer studs and provide better traction on natural grassy surfaces that are often very wet and muddy. FG stands for firm ground, and these types of boots will provide better weight distribution throughout the foot.
q: How do I clean my rugby cleats?
It is advisable to clean your boots right after playing in them, as dirty boots should not be left in a bag for too long, or they may become permanently damaged. Remove any dirt from them with a damp cloth or a brush, then stuff them with a newspaper in order for them to retain their shape. Make sure to always unlace your boots before taking them off in order to prevent damaging the heel. And try not to walk in them on very hard surfaces such as concrete, as this will damage the studs and outsole.