For the last year I’ve been wearing the adidas R15 SG, a boot which internationals including Richie McCaw, Brian O’Driscoll and Jerome Kaino had a big influence in designing.
When I first got them out of the box they looked great – predominately white, with black and red highlights and with the famous three stripes on each side – and I couldn’t wait to try them out. They felt nice and light, a bi-product of the extensive research adidas carried out, which led them to use a one-piece outsole, and a newly developed stud – their efforts conspiring to reduce the weight of the boot by 36 grams.
The fit wasn’t perfect – to be honest I didn’t really notice the effect of the synthetic print on the inner sole which is supposed to prevent slippage, and as a result they weren’t great for shuffling in, and because my feet felt like they were moving around in the boot a bit I found them a little uncomfortable, and I initially developed a few blisters as I broke them in.
The traction was sufficient, without being spectacular, and I think they could potentially benefit from having another couple of studs on them, which would be an asset to forwards in particular, when mauling and pushing in scrums. They are ideally suited to softer surfaces, although again would benefit from the addition of more studs to suit these conditions.
With that said, they were great for running in, and they were really durable. Highly abrasion resistant and waterproof thanks to the Taurus leather, which is the same material used in adidas’ Predators, they’re still in good condition after a full season of rugby.
Overall, more positives than negatives, and I would consider purchasing the adidas R15s again, although am prepared to consider other options. I’m interested to see what the R15 II has to offer.