“No player may wear projecting nails or iron plates on the heels or soles of his shoes or boots.”
Just us, or does the rugby played before this rule change in 1845 sound utterly fascinating/terrifying? We’re thinking cult movie Rollerball without the wheels, but with the nails.
This glimpse into our dystopian thoughts reveal just how much we’ve missed the Six Nations (and possibly a little more besides!). But salvation lies around the Covid-shaped corner, with resumption of the suspended competition from Saturday 24th October.
New start means new boots, here’s five of the best to whet your appetite ahead of the big battles to come, soft ground, hard ground, crossover boot, we’ve got you covered. Nails and iron plates aside...
Under Armour Highlight MC
In rugby terms, these bad boys are a statement shoe, make no mistake. Suited best for flankers or hookers, they’ve got more tech than you can shake a thorny stick at (why would you have a thorny stick?). Best for soft ground, they only weigh 11oz, the upper part is made with a compression sleeve that gives stability in the ankle and a more thorough fit through its padded tongue. It’s packed with PlasmaX Plate technology that mimics foot action for comfort and flexibility throughout and V56 that aims to limit the level of hyperextension to the toe, and prevent injury. Pinky protection just got serious.
Nike Mercurial Vapor Pro FG Boots
Loved by professionals, amateurs and those on a budget, not because of their price but for the simple reason that these boots will see you through the whole year. Primarily a firm ground boot, they will work in any weather, whatever the conditions. They are the deep sea fishermen of rugby boots. Their versatile performance is all down to their All Conditions Control tech (which does exactly what it says on the tin). The high-quality synthetic upper seamlessly wraps around the foot for ultimate comfort and security. Finished off with moulded chevron studs that offer great traction and speed.
Asics Lethal Warno ST2
The most traditional boot we have on offer, Asics and rugby got history. From boots to jerseys these guys have been there for the great egg-shaped game. But don’t be fooled by the more traditional look, Asics have one size ten firmly set in the future. Constantly evolving their latest soft ground boot has an extremely lightweight upper, designed for comfort and easy movement. The total opposite to any modern scrum. They feature the HG10mm heel set-up with a higher upper height to help reduce strain on the lower limbs. Plus there’s the Propulsion Trusstic System for stability. We all need more stability in our lives, right?
Nike Tiempo Legend VII FG
Behold the cross over king. Round ball, egg-shaped ball, these guys couldn’t give a toss. Think Michael Jordan bossing baseball after bailing out of basketball for a little while. Throw anything at this legend of footwear and - just like MJ - it can handle it. Made for soft ground it possesses ultra-soft leather construction and Nike’s signature Flynit on the heel and midfoot, giving the shoe comfort and just the right fit. It also contains the Nikegrip technology that helps prevent the foot from sliding further inside during play. Giving you the security that you need, whatever your game.
Adidas Predator Malice Control Soft Ground Boots
We couldn’t finish without including adidas. Predator made its name on the football field, thanks to the likes of Zidane, Beckham and Stevie G. But it’s forged its way into the world of rugby and is now a favourite among the world’s leading players. Yes, even in bright colours. They are made for soft ground, with removable studs, which are, quite frankly, remarkable. Best for backs and kickers, they are the perfect combination of lightweight and breathable, yet durable. The sock-like fit provides a comfortable feel, while the asymmetrical lacing leaves the all important strike area free. And they look awesome.