A buyers' guide for the best boots for big-tackling and hard-carrying back-rows

Best Rugby Boots for Flankers 2021

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

(Adidas)

The Kakari Z.0 of 2020 featured a low key stylish black, white, and red look. In 2021 we all need some cheering up and Adidas has reacted with something bold. The bright yellow and orange colour scheme draws the eye but doesn’t step over into garishness.

The Kakari is a boot designed for the front five and it is packed with features to help those in the engine room. Eight hollow studs provide a strong platform but don’t add unnecessary weight. A synthetic leather upper and padded around the tongue and ankle protect against misplaced feet.

+ 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 over £130 this really is at the top end of boot prices.

Gilbert Kuro Pro L1 6 Stud SG Boots

(Gilbert)

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 Neo 3 Made in Japan SG Boots

(Mizuno)

Let’s deal with the obvious first of all, yes these are almost £300. That may sound excessive for a pair of boots but the Neo 3s are on a different level. The K-Leather upper provides extreme comfort and ball control for kickers. The fit achieves the rare combination of being sock like but without being sloppy or overly flexible.

The sole comes with a combination of studs and moulds which, aside from in extremely poor weather, should allow year round usage.

+ A very classy colour scheme to fit the premium boot.

+ Year round usage without any excess weight.

These will be much too expensive for many players.

Canterbury Speed 2.0 SG Boots

Canterbury Speed 2.0 SG Boots

(Canterbury)

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

Adidas Kakari X Kevlar 2 SG

Best Rugby Boots for Flankers

(Adidas)

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

Canterbury Stampede 2.0 SG Boots

(Canterbury)

With rugby boots and football boots merging into one, it’s nice to know there is still room for real old-style boots. The Stampedes are a real blast from the past with their eight-stud sole and old-school styling. They provide extreme grip year round and are especially suitable for flankers who really drive in the scrum.

They may look standard but they pack a punch with features. The durable upper and reinforced toe box, in particular, provide lots of protection in scrums and rucks.

+ Extremely high grip levels for poor conditions and scrummaging.

+ Plenty of features in an affordable package.

The design is a little basic.

Gilbert Kaizen 3.0 Power SG Boots

Gilbert Kaizen 3.0 Power SG Boots

(Gilbert)

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

Puma Ultra 2.2 FG Boots

(Puma)

The modern flanker possesses the power of a forward and the speed and skills of a back. The Ultra 2.2s are a perfect match for those flankers who fancy themselves as wingers. The MATRYXEVO upper is made of a blend of kevlar and carbon to offer longevity and lightness.

The moulded sole gives enough grip on good surfaces without adding extra weight which would slow down the Tipurics and Saveas out there.

Quick, very, very quick. If speed is your goal then these are the boots for you.

A stunning looking boot no matter what position you play.

– Strictly a good surface or artificial grass boot

That is a wrap on our guide to the best rugby boots for flankers in 2021.

Can’t get to the shops? You can download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.

Please follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.