All rugby players will attest that their boots are the most vital and expensive piece of equipment when it comes to playing rugby. Rugby boots are extremely important and play a crucial role on the performance of a player. Naturally, given their importance, rugby boots need to be kept in good shape by looking after them properly. They are also rather pricey (good branded boots cost over £100!) and so it makes sense to take special care of them, else you will have to keep on buying new boots all the time. By doing so, you can prolong their usage and will also increase support and comfort, thus improving your game. Here are a few tips to follow to clean and maintain your rugby boots.
It is important to clean your boots after each and every match or practice session. During bad weather like rain, the boots must be dried out carefully.
First, all traces of dirt, mud or grass must be cleaned off using a soft damp cloth which will prevent damage to the leather. If there is excessive dirt that cannot be removed easily then use a specific cleaner for leather. If you do not have the specific cleaner, do not use any other household cleaning products as these can damage your boots and cause fading of colours.
Clean grubby laces by removing them and soaking them in laundry detergent and hot water for an hour before machine washing. If the laces are frayed, make sure you replace them.
Let the boots dry out naturally – do not use artificial heat such as a radiator to dry out your boots as this will cause the leather to become stiff and will deteriorate the adhesives. This will ultimately lead to cracking and ripping of the boots. If you want to speed up the drying process, stuff scrunched up newspaper in the boots to soak up any moisture. Stuffing them with newspaper will also help maintain their shape.
If you have screw in studded boots, these will require additional care. Once dry, remove the studs from the sole of the boots, clean them thoroughly and then grease them. This will prevent rust from forming. Make sure that the studs are tightly screwed in after you are done and have no sharp edges which could be dangerous to you and other players.
Once in a while, treat leather boots with dubbin or wax which will help to keep the leather supple and waterproof.