Although All Black hooker Andrew Hore and Welsh flanker Sam Warburton, amongst others, have been spotted in them at training sessions since November last year the formal release of adidas’ new FF80 Pro boot only happened recently, amidst surprisingly little fan-fare.
Designed with indepth feedback from some of the world’s leading players the FF80 was created specifically for loose-forwards, and essentially represents the evolution of the R15 boot, a favourite of World Cup winning All Black captain Richie McCaw.
The major development in this new boot is the presence of a 5th stud at the front. With loose-forwards needing as much traction as possible for pushing and driving in scrums and mauls, without sacrificing mobility, the 5th stud enhances traction and stability.
Adidas spent two years researching and developing the boots, concluding that “flankers use their feet differently from other positions in rugby; they use the sides of their feet during scrums, they’re on their toes during rucks, and they need to change direction quickly to make tackles and reach breakdowns”. The result is an extra stud positioned exactly where a flanker puts most pressure during scrums or when driving in mauls.
Made from a lightweight ‘Singmax’ upper and utilising adidas’ patented ‘Sprintframe’ construction the boots are robust enough to handle the most rigorous contact zone, yet light enough to ensure the most active men on the field can reach top speed as quickly as possible.
The gradual heel rise aids comfort and support, while the pre-moulded EVA sockliner and the anti-slip insert ensure a perfect fit. The colourway blends dark blue with black, and features striking yellow highlights.