ORIGINALLY WRITTEN BY DAVID FLEENOR.
It’s a good idea to own 2 pairs of boots: 1 firm ground pair and 1 soft ground pair appropriate to your position. This is the ideal scenario and may not be feasible for everyone. Having the 2 pairs will cover you for most any field type or weather you are going to encounter. The more competitive your team, the more this matters as even small performance drops can make a big difference in how you perform. So if your budget allows, opt for two pairs, with a less expensive pair as a backup option for inclement weather or the odd travel game. Check out our buyer’s guide for soft ground boots and firm ground boots.
In the event you can only purchase one pair of boots, it is best to own a longer studded firm ground (FG) pair. This will cover the greatest array of fields you are likely going to encounter. The one caveat to this is if you live in an area that gets lots of consistent moisture during the season such that the fields are always soft enough for soft ground (SG) boots or you play in a position that requires tons of traction and the fields can handle SG cleats.
Another factor associated with the budget is the quality of the boot. There is a wide array of price points to choose from, but the most expensive boots are higher quality. There is a connection between the cost of the boot and its comfort, performance and durability. To understand the differences between the materials used in rugby boots, look at our rugby boot materials guide.