Rugby boots are the most important and expensive tool for a rugby player. They are the primary asset on the field, and have a huge impact on the performance of a player, so it is imperative to ensure that they are kept in good shape by looking them properly. As boots are rather pricey, it makes sense to take special care of them; else you will have to keep on buying new boots all the time. Not only will proper maintenance prolong their usage, it will also help you improve your game by increasing support and comfort!
The important thing about cleaning your rugby boots is to do so after each and every wear. The boots must be dried out after the every game especially after playing during bad weather like rain. Rugby boots are subjected to constant kicking often in awful conditions, such as muddy and watery grounds. It is important to clean off all traces of dirt, mud or grass off your boots with a soft damp cloth, preventing damage to the leather. When not in use, try to keep them as dirt and dust free as possible.
If there is excessive dirt that cannot be removed easily, use leather cleaner specifically formulated for high quality leathers. Make sure that the cleaner is pH balanced with the leather to prevent damage to the leather and adhesives holding the boots together. If you do not have this specific cleaner, do not use any other type of household cleaning product on your boots. These can damage your shoes and cause colours to fade.
If your boots are wet, let them dry naturally. If the sock liner is not glued into the boots, remove it and stuff the shoes with crumpled newspaper. This will ensure that the shoes will retain their shape while drying. Do not use artificial heat such as a radiator to dry your boots, as this will cause the leather to become stiff and deteriorate the adhesives. This in turn will cause the leather fibres to weaken and break down, ultimately leading to cracking and ripping of your boots. If the heat is intense enough, the soleplate can warp, making your boots uncomfortable to use.
If you have screw-in studded rugby boots, these require additional care to maintain the studs and thread area. When dry, remove studs from the sole of the boots, clean thoroughly and grease the studs. Greasing the studs will present rust from forming if moisture gets in. Re-tighten the studs to ensure that they do not fall off.
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