A buyers' guide to the best boots for the match-winning kickers
Best Rugby Boots for Kickers 2021
You are lining up to kick at goal for the match-winning points. At that point there is nothing more crucial than what is on your feet. If you don’t have confidence in your footwear, you will struggle to win the match.
The most important factor is grip, if you can’t rely on your planted foot, then the contact zone is irrelevant. Most soft-ground boots aimed at backs feature a combination of plastic studs and metal ones, these offer the perfect amount of grip in even the worst of conditions.
The contact zone is the area that propels the ball forwards. For consistency you want this clear of any laces, stitching or unnecessary detailing. You may consider a football boot, especially on a solid surface, as they tend to have consistent and large contact zones.
If kicking isn’t an important part of your game, look at our guides for the best boots for forwards and best boots for backs. Otherwise, this guide will help you find the boots to take your kicking to the next level.
Best Rugby Boots for Kickers
Gilbert Kaizen 1.0 SG Boots
Designed for speed and agility, these are ideal for fleet-footed outside backs. A knitted upper, brought over from football boots, hugs the foot without adding more than the bare essentials in weight. Perfect for some dazzling footwork and a sprint into the open field.
The offset laces mean that, when your best option is to kick, you can do it with confidence thanks to an unbroken kicking zone.
+ Very lightweight but still offering a solid and secure fit
+ A raised heel ensures you are always in the most powerful position when you need to surge by the last defender
– The knitted upper and lightweight construction means you can expect a few bruised toes, even if you avoid rucks as much as possible
- Buy Now from Lovell Rugby for £45
- Buy Now from ProDirectRugby for £40
- Buy Now from Amazon from £83.84
Mizuno Morelia Neo 3 Elite SG Boots
As kickers, we would ideally kick from a perfectly manicured surface. That isn’t always the case and when the weather turns we need a boot that can deal with them. The Morelia Neo 3 combines great grip with a real leather upper providing a consistent kicking surface.
The sock like fit ensures great comfort and, despite the heavy duty studs, a lightweight boot for the conditions.
+ A great all round boot even for people who rarely kick
+ Plenty of grip without the added weight
– Best suited to muddy wet pitches, will not be comfortable on harder pitches
Adidas Predator Malice Control SG Boots
The Malice Control boots from Adidas will split opinion. The hedgehog-like dimples provide control and accuracy for kickers while the asymmetric lacing provides more space to strike the ball. Foam Sensepods in the heel shrink and expand to fill space to ensure the optimum fit without rubbing.
The upper is crafted from 50% recycled materials and is lightweight but with some protection from rogue boots. The sole provides excellent traction on wet grass without adding weight.
+ Exceptionally lightweight but more than comfortable enough to wear for hours on end.
+ Ideal for kickers who want a clear contact patch between boot and ball.
– Right at the top end of the budget for most.
Puma Ultra 3.3 Women’s FG Boots
Ideal for female players who prioritise speed over anything else. The Ultra 3.3s offer a female-specific fit with a narrowed heel, lower in-step and sculpted arch step. The knit upper makes it hard to believe that you are wearing boots rather than just socks. These are incredibly light.
Despite the lightweight fit Puma have still managed to include their SPEEDCAGE technology, which keeps the foot planted and allows all the power to be transferred into speed.
+ Very lightweight but still offering a solid and secure fit.
+ A great colour scheme which hasn’t fallen into the trap of going for pinks or purples
– These are designed for dry ground or artificial pitches. Anyone playing through winter will need another pair of SG boots
Adidas Malice Elite SG Boots
A boot for speedy backs that won’t break the bank. Asymmetrical laces make more space for a clean contact and a series of raised dots on the upper enhance ball control for kickers.
The stud pattern combines metal and plastic studs offering plenty of traction year-round without causing discomfort on hard pitches. The upper is synthetic and keeps feet firmly in place to allow quick changes of direction.
+ A boot that can be used year-round all for a very reasonable price
+ An enlarged contact patch makes kicking simple and consistent
– The mix of orange, purple, and yellow may be a bit much for some
Asics Menace 3 S SG Boots
Loud, proud, and deadly. These striking peach and gold boots will have you feeling like a pro before you have even stepped foot on the pitch. The nylon and microfibre upper is exceptionally light but strong enough to last for match after match after match.
A stiff sole plate means that all of your sprinting power is directed straight through the ground so you can reach your max speed as you flash through the line. These double as football boots so unsurprisingly the contact zone is perfect for kicking.
+ Light as air but with a stiff sole to allow you to be agile and quick
+ Six-stud design gives you enough traction without added heft
– Not for forwards. Everything that is good about these boots is what makes them not a good choice for a forward
- Buy Now from Lovell Rugby for £80
- Buy Now from ProDirectRugby for £101
- Buy Now from Amazon from £155
Nike Mercurial Superfly Elite DF SG Boots
The Mercurial Superfly Elite is an example of where boots for backs are heading. The knit upper is exceptionally lightweight; it is basically just a slightly over-engineered sock. That means two things – unrivalled comfort and unrivalled agility.
No matter what boot you were wearing before, these will be a monumental step up. Add plenty of traction, thanks to the combination of stud types, and a perfect kicking surface, designed for a football, and these boots are ideal for a kicker looking to break open the game.
+ Built for football, these boots are ideal if you plan on making kicking a part of your game
+ These soft-ground boots have a stud pattern that should allow for year-round use
– I don’t have to tell you that £200+ for boots is extraordinarily expensive
- Buy Now from Lovell Rugby for £260
- Buy Now from Sports Direct for £138.50
- Buy Now from ProDirectRugby for £260
Nike Phantom Vision 2 Pro DF Mens FG Boots
These boots will split the readers. Some will think they are eyesores, others, will agree with me and think they look fantastic.
They are designed for football, which means the kicking consistency is excellent. That contact zone is enhanced by the Ghost Lace System, which conceals the laces. Sadly, this also removes any excuses if you do shank one off the kicking tee. The inner bootie adds excellent comfort and a tight fit to enhance agility and speed.
+ Fully concealed laces create an enormous contact area for kicking
+ The mesh and Nikeskin upper make for an incredibly light boot
– I love it but the styling is admittedly polarising
- Buy Now from Lovell Rugby for £90
- Buy Now from ProDirectRugby for £70
- Buy Now from Sports Direct for £90
That completes our round-up of the best rugby boots for kickers in 2021.
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.