A buyers' guide to the best boots for flying wingers and full-backs

Best Rugby Boots for Speed 2021

How do you reach max speed? You put as much power out as possible with as little weight as possible. The power part of that equation is all down to you but the right rugby boots can help with the weight. A light boot not only helps increase your speed, it also helps you stay agile and dance past defenders. If speed is your only focus then go light.

There are other factors to consider, however. A very flexible boot will reduce the power you can generate as instead of driving through the ground your power will go towards bending and flexing the boot. Modern boots targeted towards improving player speed will tend to offer a solid, or even reinforced, sole that ensures all that power turns into speed.

The last thing to look at is grip. Bigger studs are heavier and that will slow you down, but, you can’t reach top speed if you are slipping around in the mud. In bad weather you are well advised to choose grip at the expense of lightness.

Best Rugby Boots for Speed

Nike Mercurial Superfly Elite DF SG Boots

(Nike)

Let’s kick off with something a bit different. 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 winger 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 which should allow for year-round use

£200+ for boots is extraordinarily expensive

Gilbert Kaizen 1.0 SG Boots

Gilbert Kaizen 1.0 SG Boots

(Gilbert)

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, even when your only 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

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.

Puma Future Z 1.1 SG Boots

best rugby boots for speed

(Puma)

Up until recently you had to make a choice; grip or speed. That is no longer the case with the Future Z from Puma. The design cuts down on excess heft and also provides added agility thanks to the locked in nature of the fit. Increasingly boots look like socks but still transmit all your power and speed into the turf.

That lightweight design is complimented by a full set of studs to provide grip year round. All the benefits of a running spike and an old school leather forwards’ boot.

+ A great fit despite the lightweight upper

+ Wonderful acceleration and agility without compromising on high grip levels

The colour and design might be too much for some

Adidas Predator Malice Control SG Boots

best rugby boots for speed

(Adidas)

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.

Adidas X.Ghosted 1 FG Boots

(Adidas)

Ideal for speedy backs who steer clear of the rough stuff or prioritise accurate kicking over the odd bruise. Exceptionally lightweight construction and sock like comfort will leave you feeling like you’re not wearing any shoes at all.

A carbon-fibre insert under the foot means that all power is sent straight through the turf to fire you forward rather than lost in a bendy sole. There is plenty of space on the toe and instep for consistent and accurate kicking.

+ 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 and, unless you live somewhere warm and dry, unusable in the winter months

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 dancing around in the backfield 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 which is noticeable without being over the top

As the name suggests, these don’t come with much in the way of protection

Under Armour Clutchfit Force FG Boots

Best Rugby Boots for Backs

(Under Armour)

These boots from Under Armour are the perfect match for any fleet-footed back. The padded insole and ankle cuff provide great comfort without compromising on performance.

The colour might not be for everyone but we all know that red is the fastest colour! Combine that with a hard-wearing outer and these are boots you will be able to enjoy season after season.

+ The red colour scheme is breathtaking and will stand out on any pitch

+ Extremely comfortable for all day wear

With only plastic moulded studs these may not offer enough grip in deep winter

That concludes our guide to the best rugby boots for speed in 2021.

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