A buyers' guide featuring boots for ball-carrying back-rowers and powerful props

Best Rugby Boots for Forwards 2020

It used to be the case that a forward’s rugby boots were black, pretty ugly and very heavy. Most clubs will still have a handful of grizzled old timers who haven’t changed their mind on that, but it needn’t be the case for the rest of us. New materials and manufacturing methods have given us modern rugby boots that are both light and protected enough for even the roughest of ruck bottoms.

In addition to featuring the best of both worlds, the best rugby boots for forwards have become much more appealing. If you can’t face the prospect of trading in your black boots for something garish, then you are in luck. There are plenty of all-black options or, if you’re feeling brave, something understated with a splash of colour. Upgrade into 2020 with our guide to the best rugby boots for forwards.

If you play behind the scrum, read our guide to the best boots for backs in 2020.

Best Rugby Boots for Forwards

Puma King Pro H8 Boots

(Puma)

A classy, stylish option for any forward. The King Pro offers an all-black option that will look brand new season after season. The eight-stud sole offers excellent traction, even when the pitch has turned to mush.

The slip-on construction provides a tight fit, reduced weight, all without scrimping on comfort. The raised heel puts your foot in the perfect position to generate power, whether that is in a scrum or charging through defenders in the open field.

Great value boot given the high-tech features you would normally get at a much higher price range

The leather upper provides protection in even the roughest contests

– Some would call the styling classy, otherwise would say it’s a little boring

Adidas Kakari Z.0 SG Boots

Adidas_Kakari_Z.0_Soft_Ground_Boots

(Adidas)

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

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 thanks to its lightweight design

For all but the most traditional the design may be a little safe

Mizuno Morelia Neo II Mix SG Boots

boots for forwards 2020

(Mizuno)

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 stud which should serve you well all season

Very lightweight, they won’t hide your rapid turn of pace

– Nearing the highest priced boot we have mentioned in our guides

MORE RUGBY BOOTS BUYERS’ GUIDES

Canterbury Speed 3.0 Pro SG Boots

(Canterbury)

Just because you play in the forwards doesn’t mean you have to wear a typical ‘forward’s’ boot. If you are playing in the back row it is likely that you want something that compliments your ball-carrying, even if that comes at the expense of some protection.

The Speed 3.0 offers a bootie-like fit which provides extreme comfort and reduced weight. Unlike other bootie-style shoes that offer nothing in the way of protection, the Speed 3.0 comes with a harder outer skin to give foot protection. The mix of moulded and metal studs gives these boots more year-round usage than you get from the eight-stud options.

A speedy option for the fleet-footed forwards

+ The stud arrangement means that, barring any extreme weather, you can wear these all year round

– Ideal for back-rowers, these might be a little sparse on protection for the tight five

Adidas Kakari Elite SG Boots

Adidas Kakari Elite SG Boots

(Adidas)

Some things can be found in all rugby clubs anywhere in the world. The first is at least one Welsh person and the second is a host of players wearing these boots.

The Kakari Elite is a boot for forwards that shuns the perceived wisdom that forwards only want to wear black boots. The upper provides protection from a misplaced size 12 but these are still lightweight. An integrated cage system straps the foot firmly in meaning you can dance past the last man once you make the break.

+ A stylish boot that is still somehow understated despite the orange and blue colour scheme

+ Achieves the balance of being comfortable and protected while also keeps the foot strapped in place

Not a year-round boot, you will find them much less comfortable during pre-season training on a sun-parched track

Gilbert Side Logo Boots

(Gilbert)

It might not seem like it, but you don’t need to spend a fortune to get a really good pair of boots. In the Side Logo, Gilbert deliver the ideal boot for a forward, all for under £40.

The laces and padded ankle collar ensure your foot remains locked in, even on the worst of pitches. The collar also gives your ankle bones protection from stray feet. The studs provide maximum traction even under intense scrum pressure. There are no fancy additions, but for most of us, the Side Logo offers everything we need.

Plenty of traction on even the worst of pitches

Amazingly good value for this quality of boot construction

– Black and neon green is a combination which takes a bit of time to get used too

Canterbury Stampede Pro SG Boots

(Canterbury)

A boot for the tight five who appreciate mod-cons. The Stampede Pro looks more like the kind of speedy backs boot 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, as this is designed for members of the tight five. 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.

+ Extremely attractive boot which 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

That is a wrap on our best rugby boots for forwards in 2020.

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