With several of the big names in world rugby showing continuity with their choice of rugby boot you could be forgiven for thinking that this was down solely to a sponsorship deal. While that may be partly true, there is an element of freedom that the players have in choosing the boots they do.
Here we take a look at some of the top-level boots on the market, who wears them and why they work for them.
Adidas Liquid Silver FF80
First we start with one of the most successful on-field captains of our time – New Zealand’s Richie McCaw. He has an absolutely phenomenal amount of caps, thanks in no small part to his continued high level of performance. Richie McCaw can be seen sporting the Liquid Silver FF80 from Adidas.
These boots work well for McCaw, as being in the back row the demands of rugby rely on both the strength and speed. The FF80 was specifically designed for the loose forward by being able to handle the pressure needed for scrummaging, rucking and lineout jumping combined with a new TPU weld feature on the forefront. This feature was designed to enhance lateral stability and support, for the speed to get around the park and be the destructive force the team relies upon from their flankers.
Nike Tiempo Legend
In the backs you will find that there are numerous boots designed for comfort, speed and even to enhance the contact area with the ball to maximise accuracy when kicking. Both England’s Danny Care and Owen Farrell have been spotted wearing the Tiempo Legend’s from Nike’s Shine Through collection.
Designed with Nike’s Hypershield technology, it blocks out moisture, reducing weight and increasing comfort, something that can be seen as essential for a position such as scrum half where covering a lot of distance on the field is imperative.
Nike also offer an All Conditions Control (ACC) feature aiding grip between boot and ball in all weathers. This again is another essential element for a scrum half in being able to provide those all-important pressure relieving box kicks.
Adidas Predator Incurza
Following on with the theme of kicking, the iconic outside half, Kiwi Dan Carter, wears the Adidas Predator Incurza. Made from a lightweight and synthetic upper the boot instantly moulds to your foot.
When kicking for goal or for territory, the outside half needs to know the boot will not distort the shape of the foot or trajectory of the ball, and as the Incurza acts like a second skin it will help minimise errors. With durable rubber panels over the instep the kicking experience is enhanced, meaning the hours of practice can easily be brought to the field.
The Incurza is also a boot designed for the outside backs, those such as James Hook, who wears the Incurza, who are relied upon to both kick and run the ball should the occasion arise. To aid with grip and acceleration in these situations the Incurza has a configuration of strategically positioned moulded studs on the sole, and with an Adidas Sprintframe outsole the boot is lightweight and stable.