Traditionally, rugby boots were of a high cut above the ankle to provide additional ankle support. This was seen as appropriate given the nature of the game, particularly the stresses of forward play, and the amount of physical contact involved and to provide protection against knocks. Over the years, such boots have become less common, with modern boots now much more similarly styled to football boot. They have a low cut, offer minimal ankle support but maximum flexibility with minimum weight. Rugby boots are designed either for soft ground or firm ground and have an 8 stud or a 6 stud pattern. They come in an extensive range from entry level rugby boots right through to professional level rugby boots as worn by international rugby players. Therefore it's important to understand what position and level of rugby you're playing before choosing your rugby boots. Studs may be metal (Aluminium) or plastic and must conform to Regulation 12 of the IRB. This regulation dictates the permissible dimensions of the studs and also defines a standard for the hardness of the material. It is essential for safety considerations, particularly in the scrum, that forwards wear boots with studs and backs too, would be advised on most ground types to wear boots with some form of stud, to ensure adequate grip when changing direction. Plastic "blade" studs, common in football, are an increasingly frequent choice among backs. Rugby teams The 8 stud is most often worn by the tight forwards (props, hooker and second row) to provide them with extra grip for scrimmaging and mauling. The 6 stud is worn by backs as it allows for more agility and quicker movement around the field. Currently rugby requires an approved rugby boot with studs that carry the IRB marking which can be used for both rugby league and rugby union. Rugby boots come in a large selection of top brands worn by international rugby players such as Adidas, Asics, Canterbury, Gilbert, Joma, Kappa, Kooga, Mizuno, Nike, Nomis, Optimum, Puma, Umbro, Under Armour and Web Ellis. In the UK, these can be purchased at certain retail stores or online where you can also check out the latest arrivals and discounts available on your favourite rugby boots. Lovell Rugby stocks the UK's largest range of rugby boots. In addition to the brands stated earlier, Lovell Rugby's Online Boot Store also stocks a wide range of rugby specific boots such as the Canterbury Rampage Rugby Boots, the Kooga FT-X Rugby Boots, Gilbert Rugby Boots and the Optimum Eclipse and Inferno Rugby Boots.