A buyers' guide featuring the best boots for the cornerstones of the scrum
Best Rugby Boots for Props 2020
The front-row union might kick you out if you choose a paire of rugby boots that is too garish but this guide doesn’t think that should stop you experimenting.
There are a number of things that you should be conscious of when buying a boot as a prop but let’s deal with colour first. We like traditions but you shouldn’t feel you need to only choose black if you’re playing in the front row.
Aside from colour, you will want to ensure you have good stability and comfort. For optimum stability most props choose an eight-stud sole. That is eight metal studs that can drive into the ground and make the player virtually immovable. The problem is that an eight-stud sole is exceptionally uncomfortable on a hard surface. For that you want a mix of plastic molded studs and shorter metal studs.
Update your footwear game with our handy guide to the best rugby boots for props.
Best Rugby Boots for Props
Canterbury Stampede Pro SG Boots
We included the Stampede Pro SG in our boots for flankers guide. That shows just how versatile it is. Quick enough for ball-carrying back-rows with all the elements required for those at the heart of the scrum. 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 lifting in lineouts or packing down in the scrum, it will take that bit longer for your legs to fatigue.
+ Extremely attractive boot that 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
Adidas Kakari SG Boots
We are all aware of that prop who has boots that would be considered retro back in the 1980s. How to bring them back up to date? The Kakari might do the job.
It is a very reasonably-priced boot given its quality and attractive but understated styling. That is combined with excellent traction through the traditional eight-stud metal sole. Finally there is plenty of protection covering the toes of the boot so you will have a bit more comfort when the inevitable happens and a fellow front-rower’s boot comes crashing down on top of your own.
+ Great styling without going over the top
+ Plenty of traction no matter the surface
– You will need a firm-ground pair for pre-season and early season
Under Armour Spotlight FG Boots
It might come as a shock, but not every rugby game is played in a swamp on a winter’s day. Increasingly teams are using synthetic pitches or keeping their match pitches in top knick well into the season. In that case you don’t want a great big eight-stud sole that will slow you down and, arguably, offer less traction.
The Spotlight is very lightweight. That is perfect for the modern prop who combines hard scrummaging with dynamic work in the loose. The Spotlight is a left-field boot for a prop but if you have hidden ambitions to play in the backs, it is the boot for you!
+ Very lightweight, perfect for the agile front-rower
+ The right amount of grip for an early-season or synthetic pitch
– Almost no protection from a stray stud
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 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 front-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
- Buy Now from Amazon from £39.07
- Buy Now from Lovell Rugby for £60
- Buy Now from Sports Direct for £60
Puma King Pro H8 Boots
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 open field.
+ Great value boot given the high-tech features
+ The leather upper provides protection in even the roughest contests
– Some may call the styling boring
Gilbert Side Logo Boots
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.
+ 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 that takes time to get used too
Canterbury Phoenix 2.0 Mens SG Boots
The Phoenix 2.0 is a stylish and comfortable boot for any level of prop. The boot features a wider forefoot with a locked in toe and padded collar for comfort and performance.
The eight-stud sole offers plenty of traction, but the sleeker studs mean these boots will still be comfortable on harder surfaces. The design is relatively simple but it is really offset nicely by the red laces and flashes on the sole.
+ A long-lasting boot thanks to the durable upper
+ A good-looking boot that won’t end up with you kicked out of the front-row union
– Lacking the high-end tech of some of the competition
That concludes our run through of the best rugby boots for props.
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