In rugby, the forwards are the group of 8 players who take part in the scrum and lineouts. They form the front row, second row and back row of the scrum and are responsible for much of the physical work in the game.
They are generally the larger, stronger, and more powerful members of the team and are tasked with carrying the ball forward, tackling opponents, and disrupting the opposition's play. Therefore rugby boots for forwards need to be stable, robust and offer maximum traction for scrums and mauls.
Forwards are divided into two groups: the tight five and the loose forwards. The tight five consists of two props and a hooker who form the front row of the scrum, with two locks in behind them. Their primary role is to push against the opposing team in the scrum and provide stability and support to the rest of the team.
Boots for these positions tend to be a wider fit and should have 8 screw in studs for maximum traction; these studs can then also be varied in length for different pitch conditions. Wetter, muddier pitches need longer studs for more traction. On harder pitches shorter studs are fine and are easier on the feet in terms of impact.
Our Top 3 boots for the Tight Five in 2023
- Adidas Kakari Z.1 Soft Ground Rugby Boots - the lightest pro level forwards rugby boot adidas has ever made, built for dynamic play in the tight five. The upper is made of a lightweight ripstop synthetic leather, overlaid with supportive stitching which also beefs up durability. An internal support system also helps with stability for that all important scrum-time. The eight-stud split outsole also helps keep the weight down while also offering superb traction. Made with a series of recycled materials, this upper features at least 50% recycled content so the eco credentials are on point.
- Canterbury Stampede Pro SG Rugby Boots - The Canterbury Stampede Pro is ideal for tight 5 players. The Stampede collection is the widest our there, if your feet look more like boats then any Stampede Boot should be your go-to. The boot features durable textile upper that is both scratch and abrasion resistant. The secure sock-like cuff will help you lever up at scrum time. The outsole is designed to provide excellent traction and grip with 8 x 13mm studs as well as extra supportive moulded multi studs. These 13mm studs can of course be switched up to longer studs on softer pitches.
- Mizuno Waitangi PS Rugby Boots - Mizuno Rugby Boots are the OG's of the rugby world, they've been around since the 90's. What they like in razzmatazz they make up on in instant fit comfort. Width wise they seem just right, durabilty wise they are outstanding. It's very rare we see a faulty pair at rugbystuff.com HQ. The Waitangi has a Primeskin upper which is light and gives extra stability. The eight stud outsole in 6 x 2 configuration is ideal for any tight five ready to dominate the scrum.
The loose forwards, also known as the back row, consist of the flankers and the number 8. Their role is to provide support to the tight five in the scrum, but they also have more freedom around the field and participate in other aspects of the game, such as carrying the ball forward, tackling opponents, and competing for the ball at the breakdown.
Boots for these positions can be lighter in weight to aid in getting around the pitch quickly, loose forwards have a lot of work to do and ground to cover! Therefore these boots will probably only have 6 studs to aid in them being light and agile. Loose forwards don't do quite as much pushing, therefore traction at scrum time isn't quite as much of a priority.
Our Top 3 boots for Loose Forwards in 2023
- Canterbury Phoenix Genesis Elite SG Rugby Boots - Striking the balance between weight, grip and stability nicely for any backrow player. The Premium leather forefoot is both durable and supple and will mould to your foot for maximum comfort. Pebax powered 6 stud outsole, made from 97% bio-based materials, is lightweight but stiff for efficient and powerful energy transfer, providing a greater contact area for traction to make it easier for you to change direction quickly.
- Mizuno Morelia Neo III Beta Elite SI Rugby Boots - The Morelia is borrowed from Mizuno's football stable, however it makes a beautiful back row boot or even backs boot; even although it is an eight stud boot, it is still crazily light and achieves the impossible of insane grip and minimal weight. An external heel counter locks the heel in and again keeps weight down. Added to that, you've got a knitted collar for locked in fit and superior K-Leather upper provides a luxurious feel.
- Canterbury Phoenix Genesis Team FG Rugby Boots - We've choosen this FG (Firm Ground) boot as during dry spells in summer, or on 3G pitches, back rows may well choose to wear a boot with a moulded sole. This is because moulded boots reduce the impact on your feet compared to aluminium screw in studs on hard surfaces. This Canterbury Phoenix model has a synthetic leather and TPU upper, lightweight outsole and is reinforced for stability and energy response making this boot a great value all rounder.
Forwards are a crucial component of any rugby team, providing the foundation upon which the rest of the team can build their play. Their strength, power, and teamwork are essential for success in this physically demanding sport. Choose the right rugby boots for forward play and set yourself up for success.