How To Stop Rugby Boots Rubbing?

Rugby boots may look cool but lets face it they are not the most comfortable shoe choice. I certainly wouldn’t reach for them if I was planning on going for a leisurely stroll. Their design and hard material often causes many issues such as rubbing and blisters which can really impact your play on the pitch. 

Not too worry we will show you how you can make your footy boots as comfortable as possible so you won’t think twice about thumping the ball downfield or taking off on a darting run down the sideline.

How to Stop Rugby Boots Rubbing?

To stop rugby boots rubbing and irritating your heels you need to make sure you have bought boots that fit, a boot that is too big will rub. You need to wear thick padded socks, so you won’t feel any rubbing. You need to tie your boots tight so they don’t move during a match.

2019 Guinness Six Nations Championship Round 2, Twickenham, London, England 10/2/2019 England vs France England’s Jonny May scores their second try despite Damian Penaud of France Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

If you wear rugby boots that are too big for you they will rub against your heel which can cause discomfort and blisters. This rubbing can be avoided by buying boots which correctly fit you.

Many people make the mistake of buying rugby boots that end up being too big as they fail to realise that many boots will stretch as you wear them in. To ensure you buy properly fitted boots make sure you buy ones which feel slightly tighter than your normal shoes.

Rugby socks are thick and padded for a reason, they prevent rubbing and friction. If your boots are a little big and are causing rubbing simply buy a thicker pair of socks or consider wearing a thinner pair of socks inside your rugby socks. You can buy rugby socks with an extra thick heel, you should purchase these if you still suffer from painful rubbing while wearing normal rugby socks.

If your boots fit well and you are wearing thick socks and you are still experiencing painful rubbing then your boots are probably not tied tight enough. During a rugby match you will be placing a lot of stress on your boots and laces and if you do not do them up tight enough your feet will move around resulting in rubbing. 

To prevent your feet from moving within your rugby boots tie your laces as tightly as possible without causing pain or affecting circulation. Tape them to make them extra secure and retie them at half time as it is common for them to loosen after a half of footy.

How Tight Should Rugby Boots Be?

Rugby boots should be tight enough so your foot doesn’t move within the boot while sprinting, changing directions, kicking and driving off the ground. They should feel considerably tighter than your normal shoes but they should not cause discomfort or pain. Your toes shoe not be crushed and you should be able to wriggle them. 

Rugby boots need to be tight. If your boots are too loose you will not be able to play to your best ability as you won’t be able to generate your maximum force when running, stepping and kicking. You need your boots to be secured tightly to your feet so you can explosively push off the ground and have that force be effectively transferred throughout your body propelling you rapidly down the field. 

To test this theory time yourself running a 50m sprint in tight rugby boots vs very loose and completely undone boots. You will be considerably quicker in your tight boots.

If you are not used to wearing rugby boots then the fit may take a little time to get used to. Rugby boots should be quite a bit tighter than your regular running shoes and as they are made of much harder materials than your standard Nike runners they are less forgiving on your feet and will take longer to stretch.

Now just because rugby boots need to be tight does not mean they have to cause pain. If your rugby boots are causing you discomfort this a classic sign that they are too tight. Your boots should be comfortable to wear and your toes should not be slamming into the front of the shoe. There should be ample room to allow your toes to be outstretched and a little wriggle room.

How To Stop Rugby Blisters?

To stop rugby blisters you need to wear boots that fit snuggly and wear thick rugby socks which have a padded heel. You need to make sure you tie your laces tight so your feet don’t move within your boots. You can tape your heels or wear an extra pair of socks to prevent rubbing causing blisters.

Hard leather rugby boots are a blister’s best friend. Many a rugby player have cursed their new boots after rubbing their heels raw and being left with some nasty blisters.

Fortunately there are many tips you can use to prevent your rugby boots giving you grief. Many players will wear a second pair of athletic socks inside their rugby socks. This is highly effective in preventing blisters as your heels are protected by two layers of socks.

Some players will rub vaseline inside their boots and on their socks. This reduces the friction and can protect your skin. Other players will tape their heels and feet, which prevents your skin from taking the full brunt of the rubbing.

Try out these methods until you find one which works. With so many options at least one of them will stop your rugby boots giving you blisters.

How Do You Soften Rugby Boots?

To soften rugby boots soak them in hot water for 15-20 minutes. Then wait until they are cool enough to wear and put them on. You can walk around the rugby pitch or train in them. This will soften the leather and make them mould to your feet.

There are many different methods you can use to soften your rugby boots. The aforementioned hot water soaking is a famous one.

You can try rubbing  a wet bar of soap onto the heel and the crease of the shoe near your toes. Leave the applied soap on your boots overnight. The next day put on your boots for at least 20 minutes and have a run around in them. Repeat this process for a few days until the leather softens up and they start moulding to the shape of your foot.

The best way to soften your rugby boots is to simply wear them. Over time as you use them they will soften and mould to your feet. As they may be uncomfortable at first and cause blisters you should start off slow. Wear them for 15 mins and go for a walk then 20 minutes. Then you can start jogging in them. After a couple of weeks of building up the time and the intensity your boots should be broken in and ready to go. If you value your feet, don’t just show up at training with brand new boots and start sprinting round the pitch for 2 hours, you will have very sore feet the next day.


Rugby boots are not known for their comfort and ease of wear. It is common for them to rub and cause blisters. To avoid this make sure you buy a pair of boots that fit snuggly, wear thick socks, tie your laces tightly and consider wearing an extra pair of socks or taping your heels. If your boots are very hard and need breaking in try soaking them in hot water for 15 minutes, waiting for them to cool and then putting them on for 20 minutes. This will soften the leather and help them mould to your feet.

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