adidas kept tight-lipped about the release of their latest rugby-specific boots, but we noticed a number of Europe’s top stars sporting what we believed were the brand new R15 IIIs in the latest round of the Six Nations. (They have however, turned out to be brand new FF80 Pro XTRXs, an updated version of the R15s.)
A long-time favourite with loose-forwards and locks the R15 range has been both Richie McCaw and Kieran Read’s boot of choice, and its likely Read will be one of the first to run out in the R15 III when the boots hit the Southern Hemisphere.
England’s Courtney Lawes was one of the stars seen wearing the new boots on the weekend as his side kept its hopes of a Grand Slam alive with victory over the French. Lawes, an ‘adidas Ambassador’ was an obvious choice to sport the new boots, as one of the German manufacturer’s poster boys in the Northern Hemisphere. A team-mate was also spotted wearing the firm ground version at training in the days leading up to the weekend’s clash.
Joining Lawes in the R15 IIIs this weekend was up and coming Welsh loose-forward Justin Tipuric, who helped his team to a comfortable victory over the Italians as the reigning Six Nations champions continued their return to form.
Tipuric is a star in the making, and could well be a bolter in Warren Gatland’s Lions side named later this year. Lawes is a virtual certainty for that squad, and it seems obvious adidas have targeted the young marquee players in their stable to unveil these new boots.
The one-piece outsole on the R15 enhances stability, and was designed to provide a firm base when driving, scrummaging and mauling, while the 8-stud configuration ensures optimum traction. Light enough for mobile loose forwards but robust enough to handle the rigours of tight play, the R15 is one of adidas’ most popular rugby boots, and this new offering is sure to attract keen interest.