Saturday, 14 July 2012

Whatever happened to: Rugby Boots?

Back in the mists of time life was very simple for rugby players, especially when it came to choice of footwear.

If you were a forward you bought a pair of solid, ankle-high boots with a hard toe-cap. If you were a girl back you wore lower-cut footie-style boots. And, whatever your positional disposition, your boots were unashamedly black.

These days, of course, all has changed. White boots, red boots, silver boots, luminous yellow boots…the choice is endless. Even the All Blacks are at it (although I suppose they can be excused on the basis that if you are going to wear coloured boots then you’d better be bloody good).

It is, perhaps, a sign of the times – i.e. a need to draw attention to oneself as part of the cult of the individual rather than as part of the collective (a symptom often associated with Haskell’s Disease). If so it is somewhat ironic as, such is the plethora of coloured boots on display these days that, as a strategy, it is doomed to failure.

And, sadly, I have to admit that, had coloured boots been available when I was in my twenties, I almost certainly would have worn a pair :(


rugbysid said...

We used to dreeeam of `avin boots!

Pascalou said...

now the kids dreamif having orange boots like Vincent Clerc. The important thing is to dream of something !

Paul D. Mitchell said...

Rugby boots are made using both synthetic and original leather and the best quality boots are usually made out of kangaroo leather. But owing to the growing concern to protect wildlife, the demand for non-animal products is higher. Leather moulds itself to the shape of the player’s feet, while boots made of synthetic materials are lighter and less expensive. Sometimes players choose rugby boots made of leather and synthetics that make them breathable and lightweight at the same time. Thanks.
Paul D. Mitchell

Pagra50 said...

I remember playing with a Kiwi whose boots had metal frame with studs riveted to the boot. It was the most extraordinary pair of boots I had ever seen. And today they would be totally illegal.

Unknown said...

We took our 3 kids to New Zealand watching the Lions on tour (4 weeks off school, holiday of a lifetime they were the days). Whilst visiting friends in Te Puke our then six year old was asked if he'd like a run out the next day as our friend was coach at the local club. "But he's got no kit" I said. "No worries, we'll soon fix him up with a Jersey and some shorts" came the reply. "What about boots?" I asked, at which our friend burst out laughing. "The little tackers don't wear boots" he chortled.
Not wanting to appear like 'soft pommies' we encouraged our youngest to get stuck in and have a go. We arrived to find over 25 teams aged from 3years to 12 years, and all playing in bare feet!!!!! There was frost on the grass and our son later confirmed that he couldn't feel his feet. Apparently getting a pair of boots when you were 12 was a major event for a New Zealand youngster. As a parent I could see the financial benefit straightway (our lads grew out of boots all the time). This was back in 2005 and has always stuck in my mind, whenever I see the ABs play I wonder how old they were when they "got their boots"!