A buyers' guide for the best boots for big-tackling and hard-carrying back-rows
Best Rugby Boots for Flankers 2020
The modern flanker is expected to tackle like a prop and carry like a centre and their rugby boots should reflect that. It no longer needs to be a choice between the heavy boots of a front-row or the light boots of a back, the modern boot does it all.
When you are looking for boots as a flanker you need to know where you will be playing. If you are hitting the sun-baked pitches of South Africa or Australia, then you will probably want a firm ground (FG) boot.
In Britain the choice is a little harder. An FG boot will be perfect for pre-season, the early season and those late-season deciders but you will have to move to a soft ground (SG) boot for those mid-season encounters. Some boots can do it all, although even they will struggle in extremely poor and muddy conditions.
The perfect balance is an FG boot for summer and an SG boot for when things get slippy. Take a look at our guide below to the best rugby boots for flankers.
Best Rugby Boots for Flankers
Adidas Kakari Z.0 SG Boots
The Kakari Z.0 is classy and understated enough for even the most traditional of forwards. The bootie-style fit is exceptionally comfortable but an inner support strap ensures that comfort doesn’t come at the expense of performance.
The split sole is ideal for the grunt work of the tight five. You can stay low and planted in the turf and still generate power thanks to the sole flexibility.
+ A boot for forwards that doesn’t come at the expense of speed
+ Slipper like comfort means it doesn’t feel like you’re wearing a high-performance boot
– At £170 this really is at the top end of boot prices
- Buy Now from Sports Direct for £169.99
- Buy Now from Lovell Rugby for £170
- Buy Now from ProDirectRugby for £153
Gilbert Kuro Pro L1 6 Stud SG Boots
A boot from Gilbert which mixes sleek and fast looks with power. The Gilbert is designed for powerful flankers who need lightweight boots that still offer protection and traction.
The Kuro Pros offer excellent traction thanks to their Pro-Tip studs. These provide increased grip compared to your traditional rounded stud but with decreased weight – win win!
+ A stunning looking boot
+ The perfect combination of light without being flimsy
– If you are a socks-down, run-first flanker you may want something a little less solid
Mizuno Morelia Neo II Mix SG Boots
Something a little different from the Japanese manufacturer. Eight-stud boots are great when the pitch is bad but on dry pitches you might find that they offer less grip than a moulded stud. The Morelia Neo II Mix bridges the gap with the combination of metal studs and plastic moulds. These will offer more than enough traction in all but the most horrendous of conditions.
The rest of the boot has plenty to recommend it as well. The external heel and full-lace system hold the foot securely in place and prevent movement when jumping in a lineout or flashing your footwork in the open field. As you would expect at this price point, the boots are lightweight with enough protection for forwards operating in the murky places where backs fear to tread.
+ A good combination of studs that should serve you well all season
+ Very lightweight, they won’t hide your rapid turn of pace
– One of the higher priced boots
Canterbury Speed 2.0 SG Boots
A blend of pure speed and lightweight agility with enough grip to keep you planted even when the weather turns bad. A locked in toebox and collar ensures the wearer can be confident when charging towards an opposition fly-half, but cushioning on the ankle means these boots feel more like slippers than jail cells.
Six metal studs on the outer, with seven additional molded studs, allows these boots to be worn throughout the whole year. They are comfortable on cricket pitch-esque touch grounds and quagmire like December surfaces.
+ A reasonably-priced boot that can do it all
+ Eye-popping colour scheme that is noticeable without being over the top
– These don’t come with much in the way of protection
- Buy Now from Canterbury for £18
- Buy Now from ProDirectRugby for £15
- Buy Now from Sports Direct for £27.50
Adidas Kakari X Kevlar 2 SG
What a fantastic looking boot! The Kakari X Kevlars come with a bootie design which gives them a premium fit and look. That immense comfort doesn’t come at the expense of either feel or protection though. The Kevlars might look like modern football boots but they come with the toe protection you expect from a rugby boot.
Those traditional studs are stuck to the new-age upper via a responsive sole that directs all power straight into the pitch. It’s an old-school boot with futuristic lightweight technology and comfort.
+ Extremely comfortable without a corresponding loss in power
+ A load of new technology has been packed in
– Price. Anything over £100 is really stretching the budget
- Buy Now from Lovell Rugby for £115
- Buy Now from ProDirectRugby for £102
- Buy Now from Amazon from £99.99
Canterbury Stampede Pro SG Boots
The Stampede Pro looks more like the kind of speedy backs boots we’ve covered. The bootie-style fit offers comfort and sweat-wicking properties as well as trimming some weight off the boot.
The reduced weight is incidental, though. The leather forefront and PU upper provide durability and abrasion resistance to last for season after season. The boots also have shock absorbing properties, which mean that whether you’re jumping in lineouts or packing down in the scrum, it will take that bit longer for your legs to fatigue.
+ Looks classy without drawing attention to itself
+ Packed with innovation and technology but without a massive price tag
– The bootie fit may take some time to get used too if you haven’t experienced it before
- Buy Now from Lovell Rugby for £70
- Buy Now from Sports Direct for £69.99
- Buy Now from ProDirectRugby for £64
Gilbert Kaizen 3.0 Power SG Boots
The perfect boot for a mid-winter game. The eight metal studs provided a firm grip in even the most marshy of pitches while the synthetic uppers limit water absorption. The padded ankle cuff provides some protection to your delicate ankle bones and ensures comfort and optimal fit.
These aren’t just for slow-moving forwards though; a heel raise puts the player into their most powerful position, vital for ball-carrying back-rowers who want to escape a chasing defender.
+ A rigid sole and secure inner allow you to exert all your power without fear of losing your grip
+ Provides durability and foot protection without compromising on agility
– For all but the most traditional the design may be a little safe
- Buy Now from Amazon from £39.07
- Buy Now from Lovell Rugby for £60
- Buy Now from Sports Direct for £60
Asics Lethal Speed ST SG Boots
Not all boots for flankers need to be eight-stud beasts with heaps of protection. If you see yourself as a Justin Tipuric type, the link between the forwards and backs, then these are the boots for you.
The low-profile boot is built for speed, as the name suggests. It’s quick, it’s light and it’s agile. It is also made with a sturdy synthetic upper that is durable enough to last for season after season. The ankle cuff also provides some low-key protection for when you find yourself at the bottom of a ruck.
+ Quick, very, very quick. If speed is your goal then these are the boots for you
+ It is rare that a black and silver boot ends up looking this good
– There’s really not much protection at all with these
That is a wrap on our guide to the best rugby boots for flankers in 2020.
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