The modern Rugby Boot is a far cry from the footwear first worn to play the game. Prior to laws penned in 1889 boots were either working boots or modified walking boots usually with nails or studs protruding. The law change barred the wearing of projecting nails or iron plates. In 1910 further changes specified a cylindrical stud no less than 3/4 inch in diameter and no longer than half the diameter fixed to the sole by 4 nails. The next change occurred in 1926 when studs had to be leather, circular and fixed by at least 3 nails. Rubber was included in 1948, Aluminium in 1953 and approved plastics in 1954.
The modern boot was brought into being through the barring of the toe stud in 1983 and the introduction of the British Standard 6366. This said any boot used for playing the game must now carry the BS mark on the studs, now superseded by IRB regulation 12. The only other style allowed by the regulations are that moulded rubber multi-studded soles are acceptable provided they have no sharp edges or ridges. Needless to say the light weight boots used today feature a degree of waterproofing and support for the arch, side of the foot and the ankle these are a major change from the leather boots in use until the late 60's These needed a lot of work to clean, dry and treat to stay pliable. All the major manufacturers have their own styles and some very fancy footwear can be seen on the leading International and professional players.