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If you are buying new boots for yourself or for a child this Christmas,  you should make yourself familiar with this handy guide.  Our thanks to the good people in the Leinster Metro Coordinator team that went to the trouble of making this guide.

It is important to note, that the wrong type of footwear can lead to unintended injuries.  Let’s all do our bit to make Rugby a safer sport.

One on the Metro Coordinators met  with a Leinster Branch referee at one of the major sporting retail shops & went through all the boots on the market. There is a lot of confusion about blades etc & with Christmas approaching many parents may spend a lot of money on the wrong boot.

The IRB Regulations are somewhat silent on Blades, which leads to the confusion because, other than 4G pitches, there is no law against playing with blades.

LAW 4(3) deals with studs as follows:

(a)Studs of players’ boots must conform with the IRB Specification set out in IRB Regulation 12 (

(b)Moulded rubber multi-studded soles are acceptable provided they have no sharp edges or ridges.

LAW 4(4) deals with BANNED ITEMS OF CLOTHING and this includes:

(b) A player must not wear any item that is sharp or abrasive.

It is the points (b) above that effectively deals with the Blades issue, the referee showed me blades, especially Nike chevron blades, that he considers too sharp even when brand new.  There are other blades he would allow as new and would only disallow if they became sharp over time.  Ultimately the law allows the referee to stop a player wearing any item that is normally permitted by Law, but in the referee’s opinion that is liable to cause injury to a player.

Studs need to be 10mm wide and there are a lot of soccer boots that are smaller and they are illegal. However, in many cases these studs can be replaced, thereby making the boot legal. Unfortunately, in some cases, especially Nike, the studs are unique to the manufacturer and cannot be bought on the high street and only direct from the manufacturer.

The best way to check boots you are unsure of is to rub your hand down the studs and you’ll fee the sharpness. As a general rule Nike boots are not good, Adidas, Puma, Mizuno, Canterbury and Asics are better.


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