A buyers' guide featuring boots for fleet-footed wingers and game-winning kickers

Best Rugby Boots for Backs 2022

A few years ago you had two choices as a back: a heavy boot with good protection or a flimsy boot with no protection. Your boot choice would then come down to how much you valued your feet.

That’s no longer the case. Increasingly rugby boots are both lightweight and offer significant protection to the wearer. In this round-up we pull together five of the best for your perusal.

If you play in the pack, read our guide to the best boots for forwards in 2022.

Best Rugby Boots for Backs

Puma Ultra 1.4 FG Boots

We tried these on straight out of the box. They are lightweight. Extremely lighweight. Lightweight to the point that you feel they must be compromising on something.

That lightweight construction also doesn’t ignore protection. Puma say the upper has Matryxevo carbon yarn technology and a microfibre speedcage. What that feels like is a firm, but flexible, upper which deflects all but the most insistent stud.

The studs were more than grippy enough for a Manchester pitch in July after some recent heavy rain. Unless you had particularly poor underfoot conditions you could probably wear them year round. They feel really fast and changing direction is very simple. The perfect boot for any back.

Reasons to buy:

– They look extremely good

– Our testers noted genuine improvements in their speed. The lightweight construction really does encourage you to accelerate and jink and dart where you please

Reasons not to buy:

– There’s no getting away from it, they are very expensive. Puma has other boots in the range (Ultra 2.4 and Ultra 3.4), which are cheaper while still offering some of the same features

Buy Now from Puma for £180

Gilbert Kaizen Pace Boots

Kaizen Pace Boots


Gilbert are giving the game away with their name here. The Kaizens are quick. They are on the more affordable side of boots but they haven’t scrimped on detail. The offset laces provide a wide kicking area and the mesh effect adds grip to make you more confident in your kicking.

They are comfortable immediately and would be a perfect match for someone who was looking for a durable boot that won’t cost them a fortune. At this price you give up some of the benefits of the elite boots but that shouldn’t matter for the vast majority of us.

Reasons to buy:

– Ideal for kickers who want a wide contact area

– Lots of features for a less expensive boot

Reasons not to buy:

– May not be a vast saving as you will likely need to buy a separate pair for the worst of the winter months

Buy Now from Lovell Rugby for £60

Buy Now from Sports Direct for £60

Canterbury Phoenix Genesis Elite Boots

It’s true that the Phoenix Genesis boots were designed in conjunction with Justin Tipuric. “But he’s not a back” I hear you shout. It’s true, but the Swiss Army knife-like skill-set of Tipuric has been brought into these boots. They aren’t pure boots for backs but they offer so many features that are beneficial to backs that they make the list.

They don’t have the sock-like construction of some boots but they are still light. The benefit of that sturdier construction is that you feel like all your power is going through the boot and into the ground. I don’t have much power but I felt instantly more powerful when stepping or driving into contact in these boots.

Reasons to buy:

– Understated style if you are someone who decries the rise of the sock boot

– Would suit any player regardless of position. If you are a scrummaging prop or a flighty winger, or even Tipuric himself, you will benefit from this boot

Reasons not to buy:

– Would not be a good fit if you play mostly on dry pitches

Buy Now from Lovell Rugby for £130

Puma Future Z 2.3 Boots

The Future Z 2.3 is certainly eye-catching; it will probably catch your opponents eye as you tear past them on the way to scoring!

They are incredibly light and feel fast when you put them on. The knitted upper won’t be for everyone. I found it a little tight for my wide feet whereas a team-mate, with narrower feet, felt they were very comfortable and secure.

The knit upper is reinforced near the sole so it does feel like you are wearing high-performance boots rather than a high-performance sweater. I was certainly concerned that they would be too flimsy and my power, such that it is, would escape. But there is no need to worry. These are as solid underfoot as any non-knit boot.

Reasons to buy:

– Very comfortable boot for those with narrower feet

– Hits the modern balancing act of lightweight but not flimsy

Reasons not to buy:

– Zero toe protection on these from a stray stud

Buy Now from Puma for £120

Mizuno Neo 3 Made in Japan SG Boots

Best rugby boots for backs


Let’s address the elephant in the room: these are very very expensive. They are a dream purchase. They look much like any other boot on first look but they have a host of features packed in them.

Materials are what separate these ultra-elite boots from your run of the mill £100+ boots. The K-Leather uppers are incredibly thin but combine with synthetic materials to provide the strength needed.

Weight has been trimmed everywhere, even the logo has been trimmed down. That might seem excessive, but the goal is to improve your agility and speed. The thinner upper also helps kickers with their feel, something that can be a struggle with bulkier boots.

Reasons to buy:

– Probably the most technologically advanced boots on the market

– Perfect for kickers who like to empty the bag of tricks on the pitch

Reasons not to buy:

– Mizuno offer cheaper alternatives that might not be packed with as many features but are easier on the wallet

Buy Now from Lovell Rugby for £215

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