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You don't have to look back too far in to the past, to realise that rugby boots use to be a one-style-fits-all affair. Obviously you pick different sizes, depending on the size and width of your foot and there was also a choice of a few brands but that was it. The style of the boot itself was always the same.

Fast forward to the modern rugby game we have today and just by watching a single match, it becomes apparent that there are now numerous options, when it comes to purchasing rugby boots. With that in mind, how do you go about choosing the correct boots for you?

Of course, choosing the size is very important and not simply a case of going with what you would usually wear in a shoe. When playing rugby, you are wearing thicker socks, so it pays to take a pair of rugby socks with you to the store, when trying on new boots. If you use a regular sock, you may find your new rugby boots a bit tight when you put them on to play.

Rugby Union is a winter sport, meaning the ground is often wet and soft. Therefore, a longer metal stud will help to increase grip on the softer surfaces, however, a longer metal stud can also restrict movement. If you are a player who relies on good movement, such as a winger, you may want invest in a few different sets of studs, both rubber and metal, short and long, which you can change as the conditions vary.

As mentioned above, the position you play in the team, also influences the type of rugby boot you should be buying. Firstly, there is the upper section of the boot. As a forward, you should be using a tough upper, which can bend upwards in scrum situations. If you are a back, you will want a lighter, neater fitting upper, which will allow you to run easily and if you are a kicker, you will want your upper to be similar to that of a football boot.

As a forward, you will want a rugby boot which has plenty of long studs, spread out across the sole, which will enhance grip on the pitch. For back's, it's best to have a handful of studs at the front part of the sole, which will enable you to propel forward and get off the mark quickly. There is also the option of having a raised heel, which offers added protection to the ankle and lower leg, which can be beneficial during a long, hard season.

Finally, there is the choice of colour. You may be tempted to pick a nice, bright colour, like your favourite professional player is wearing. This is fine but be aware, it could make you very easy to identify on the pitch, which can be a good thing if you are on trial and looking to make a good impression but can also be a bad thing, if you commit an offence or make a mistake.

Essentially, the quality of rugby boot you will purchase, will be dictated by what you can afford and the level you are playing at. It goes without saying, that the premium leather boots worn by professional players are going to be more expensive than the boots made from cheaper, synthetic materials. However, whichever rugby boot you decide to spend your hard earned money on, make sure it is the correct style and fit for your size and position.

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