A buyers' guide featuring the best cleats for the beginner player

Best Rugby Cleats in 2021

If you are new to the game of rugby and looking for your first pair of rugby boots it can seem like an impossible task, this guide will simplify it all though.

Basically, rugby cleats are pretty much exactly the same as any other type of cleat. The differences depend on the position you will be playing.

If you are planning on becoming a forward you will want something a bit more hardwearing that will offer you protection from the cleats of other members of the pack – best rugby boots for forwards. If you want to play in the back-line you can go for a more lightweight cleat, maybe even a soccer cleat, that allows you to max out your agility and speed – best rugby boots for backs.

The basic things to look for are whether you should get a firm-ground or a soft-ground cleat. If you will be playing on a synthetic surface or a hard natural surface you would be best getting a firm ground cleat. These will have small molded plastic cleats or a mixture of plastic cleats and short metal ones. A soft-ground cleat is best if you will be playing on wet natural surfaces. These have long metal cleats that dig into muddy grass surfaces.

With this guide you can see which rugby cleats are best for you.

Best Rugby Cleats

Gilbert Kaizen 3.0 Pace SG Cleats


The Kaizen 3.0 Pace has quietly, and without fanfare, become one of the best in the business. The synthetic sole is designed to channel all your power into forward, or sideways, movement. Combine that high-performance with a padded ankle collar and a cushioned insole and you get extreme comfort alongside your speed.

In these cleats you will probably want to charge into a hole rather than kick through. If kicking is your only option, the asymmetric laces will make kicking consistent and sweet by increasing the contact zone.

A boot with a lot of technology all for under, by some margin, £100

Internal cushioning means it isn’t a case of choosing comfort over performance

– The mesh effect on the upper takes a bit of getting used too

Puma Evoknit SG Cleats


The EvoKnits fit a lot of features into a reasonably priced, classy boot. The synthetic upper coupled with a knitted element keep your foot tightly and comfortable held while also offering protection from stray boots.

The six stud sole will provide traction across the full season and will be great regardless of what position you end up playing in.

+ A great all round boot for a new player.

+ Suitable for year round wear even in very poor weather conditions.

Not the most imaginative looking boot out there.

Gilbert Kuro Pro L1 6 Stud SG Cleats


A cleat from Gilbert that mixes sleek and fast looks with power. The Gilbert is designed for powerful forwards who need lightweight cleats, which 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 cleat. The black-and-white colour scheme works and the flashes of green prevent accusations that Gilbert have played it safe

+ The perfect combination of light without being flimsy

– If you are a back or a big carrying forward you may want something a little less solid

Canterbury Stampede Pro SG Cleats


The Stampede Pro looks more like the kind of speedy backs cleat 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 front- and second-rows. The leather forefront and PU upper provide durability and abrasion resistance to last for season after season. The cleats 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

Puma King Pro H8 Cleats


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 Elite SG cleats


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 which 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 despite that. 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 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 Kaizen 1.0 SG Cleats

Gilbert Kaizen 1.0 SG Boots


Designed for speed and agility, these are perfect 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 these are best avoided if you are wearing a number in single digits.

Asics Lethal Speed ST SG Cleats


Not all boots for forwards need to be eight-stud beasts with heaps of protection. If you see yourself as a skillful and quick forward then these are the cleats for you.

The low-profile cleat is built for speed, as the name suggests. It’s quick, it’s light and it’s agile. It is also made with a sturdy synthetic upper that is durable enough to last for season after season. The ankle cuff also provides some low-key protection for when you find yourself at the bottom of a ruck.

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

It is rare that a black and silver boot ends up looking this good. The slight chessboard effect is a great touch

– There’s really not much protection at all with these

That is a wrap on our run down of the best rugby cleats in 2021.

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