Canterbury Puts The Boot Into Rugby
19 February 2002
Canterbury puts the boot into rugby
The world’s first boots designed specially for rugby players, by Canterbury of New Zealand, had their ‘Southern Hemisphere launch’ in Auckland today.
Sports personalities, politicians, media and representatives from Ngati Whatua attended a Powhiri on Princes Wharf before getting their first glimpse of the boots.
Peter Garbett, Canterbury CEO, says the boot is a world design first.
”It’s the first ever rugby boot to be designed from the ground up for rugby players, instead of just being a ‘genetically modified’ soccer boot.”
Because the world market for soccer is so large, soccer has traditionally dominated sports companies’ design thinking and research investment in footwear.
Mr Garbett says Canterbury had a hunch that rugby players around the world would be pretty keen to play in a boot that’s designed specifically for rugby, not soccer.
“Our Christchurch-based design team saw the opportunity and totally rethought the traditional structure of the rugby boot to fit the needs of the modern rugby player,” he says.
“We found that rugby players are heavier and have bigger, wider feet than soccer players. And because rugby is a running and tackling game, rather than the constant kicking you see in soccer, the demands on footwear are quite different.”
Canterbury’s boots have a wide sole and external lacing options, which give extra support and help to prevent rollover. The eight-boot range includes special models for particular positions, a sole that flexes like an animal’s hoof and customised stud configurations to suit different conditions and player styles.
“They feel like running shoes,” Mr Garbett says. “UK players, who have been wearing the boots in the Northern Hemisphere winter, are telling us they’ve given them a real edge.”
Mr Garbett says the launch of the boots in New Zealand had been eagerly anticipated. “The word has spread from the UK and players are approaching us to get them. There’s a groundswell of interest from players at all levels.”
The eight boots in the range have been given Maori names. Three also have Maori motifs on the outside, developed in consultation with leading artist and carver Riki Manuel (Ngati Porou).
“As a New Zealand-based global marketing company, we love the idea of taking New Zealand Maori culture to the world,” Mr Garbett says. “We believe this is a fantastic opportunity to showcase contemporary Maori design.”
The boots are Canterbury’s first venture into footwear. They range in price from $50 for Haka, a children’s boot, to $250 for the top-of-the-range Rangatira. The boots are on sale in sports retailers and Canterbury stores nationwide.
For more information / photographs:
Catherine Etheredge, 09 309 1494, 025 276 9712