Best Rugby Boots for a Hooker

Squashed between two brutes in the front row, the role of a hooker is a fine balance between finesse and physicality. While hooking the ball in the scrum and accurately throwing to the lineout are delicate skills honed through years of repitition the player in the Number 2 jersey must also possess the courage to engage in the collision area of the scrum, and is expected to make a big impact at rucks and mauls.

The modern day hooker is considered a fourth loose-forward – more mobile than his two buddies in the front row yet still able to mix it up with the big boys. Hookers look for a boot which provides support and traction, but which is light enough to allow them to manuevre around the paddock in much the same fashion as the flankers.

Here are some of the best boots currently on the market for Hookers -

adidas FF80 – The latest boot in adidas' stable of rugby-specific boots, the FF80 was designed with input from some of the world's leading players, and boasts an innovative stud configuration featuring a strategically placed 5th stud at the front, positioned specifically to assist when pushing in the scrum and driving in mauls. Light enough to complement the high-paced game of the modern-day hooker yet durable enough to offer protection in the darkest depths of the ruck, the FF80 really does provide the best of both worlds.

adidas Kakari – Enjoying immense popularity since the day they were released the Kakari is one of adidas' most popular rugby-specific boots ever made. Solid and durable, the boots offer ultimate support round the ankles, creating a stable base for scrummaging and decreasing the risk of injury in the process. The 8-stud configuration was developed specifically to enhance traction, while the wide-foot design factors in the size of those that pack down in the front-row!

Puma evoPOWER – For Hookers seeking a more dynamic-looking boot Puma's evoPOWER is as functional as it is eye-catching. The GSF soleplate boasting 11 studs provides optimal traction, while extensive padding enhances comfort levels and decreases stress on the lower limbs. Assymetrical lacing contributes to a traditinal fit, whilst the synthetic upper ensures durability and lightweight protection.

Asics Warno – Utilising a Traxion-sole designed specifically for rugby the Asics Warno perfectly balances the need for a hooker's boots to be light enough to allow explosive acceleration around the park, while being sturdy enough to endure the rigours of tight-forward play. 8 removable studs and 2 moulded hybrid studs combine to deliver unparrelleled traction and grip.

The Position

The Hooker is a key team member and said to be one of the spine of the team, with 15, 10, 9 and 8 the others. The Hooker is the ideal choice to be the co-ordinator at the scrum and line-out. He can play a similar role to the Flanker at the lineout as he is usually the player throwing in on his own throw and in the channel at the front of the line on opposition ball.

The Hooker as the name implies is the prime guy for connecting with the ball as it is put in at the scrum and his role is to trap the ball and heel it back so it can come out and back into play. The hooker has to be agile, flexible and strong enough to take the forces exerted during the push in the scrum.

Boots for Hookers

We should look at the primary needs of a hooker and they are a strong boot to withstand the massive forces of the scrum whilst giving the support for fast feet and quick changes of direction. So which boots fit these requirements?