Before starting this review, I want to pay full respect to those affected by the recent earthquake, Tsunami and current nuclear issues in Japan – you are in our thoughts and prayers. The lives of those affected is far more important than any website or soccer cleat review, and I sincerely hope the country can get back on its feet real soon. Whether you read this review today or in a few months, Japan will need financial support – one way to give back is to buy a Soccer Japan t-shirt, of which 100% of proceeds go to relief efforts.
After an extended and somewhat delayed period in review, it is time for a full review of the much sought after Mizuno Morelia. Seeing as Mizuno are a difficult brand to get your hands on here in the US, I figured a review was necessary so you know exactly what you are getting before ordering. Earlier this year, I featured a review of the Mizuno Wave Ignite and was impressed with pretty much every aspect of the boot. The Morelia has received just as much praise in recent times and is a very well crafted soccer cleat. For testing, I got my hands on a size 9US in the Pearl/Red/Gold colorway.
You can find these boots available at soccer.com.
Another great boot that doesn’t take long to break in and mold to your feet! The Morelia is created using a soft kangaroo leather that adds to the heritage feel of the boot. One thing I found was that the leather is not as soft as other boots in with a similar design – specifically the Puma King Finale – mainly because of all the deep stitching located along the forefoot. But in saying that, the leather does soften up over time to offer a pretty tasty fit right around your foot. It only took one or two sessions before they were game ready, so the break-in time is pretty quick.
How do they fit?
The Morelia fits pretty true to size, although they are snug to start with the opportunity to stretch more as you wear them. If you need a boot to compare it too, the adiPure range would be the closest match. Looking at the boot in-hand, you will notice that the laces seem to sit lower than on other boots. This I found to actually be a bonus as it allows you to really tighten the upper right around your foot. In other words, you really get to dictate you desired fit.
I like that Morelia have continually stuck to a pretty steady design with the Morelia range. I really like this white version of the release far more than the traditional black colorway. The red signature Mizuno emblem on the site mixed with gold detailing looks really modern. I also really like the stitching along the front of the boot. Some people won’t like this, but in my opinion it adds a classy, traditional look to the boot.
My one area of fault is in the tongue. I have no problem with any boot featuring a tongue, but it has to be done in the right way. I felt the tongue on the Morelia is a little too wide and bulky and can lead to a clumsy feel. The velcro is also badly positioned, something we discuss more in the negatives section below.
For me, the Morelia is like that expensive trip to Hawaii you have been wanting to take. You get really excited about going and the first few days are an absolute blast. Bit then, you begin to notice some little issues that make the money you have spent on the trip feel a little less valued. What I am saying is that the Morelia has 90% of everything you need in a boot, only for some minor issues to take from its overall performance.
On field, they started off fantastically and I really enjoyed wearing them, you almost feed of the nostalgic feel of wearing them. They move in sync with your feet, give great traction when trying to cut/turn and they compliment your strike of the ball. There is also a very natural feel as you dribble thanks to the soft leather upper, with the padded definition created by the stitching creating a dampening effect as you control the ball.
But, then I started to get a little tired of the tongue flapping because the velcro kept sliding behind the laces and the insole moved consistently until it ended up squeezing itself up my ankle. In all seriousness, you are not going to be disappointed with the overall performance of the Morelia once you get past the minor issues! (more on how I resolved both issues below.)
The Morelia features a unique 13 round PU stud design that adds a high level of traction and comfort, while reducing stud pressure over your entire foot surface. Interestingly, the very front studs have a slightly lower profile than all the rest. This I would have imaged would impact quick turns, but having tested them I found it doesn’t have any negative affects.
Well I guess the biggest negative is the fact that Mizuno soccer cleats are extremely difficult to get hold of here in the US (solution to this is to get your name on the SoccerCleats101 Mizuno USA Petition!) Of the minor negatives, I found some solutions. I ended up taking out the problematic insole and replacing it with the comfort insoles from the Adidas adiZero. The tongue just never stuck properly to the velcro, so I ended up slipping it underneath the laces. This worked out well because of the width of the tongue, it easily slipped under either edge of the boot.
The Morelia is another great boot that I feel would only add value to the US market. They look great and offer just as much quality as anything Nike or Adidas have released. I don’t feel like they match the overall package of something like the adiPure, but they do pack a real punch and ooze class. If you are truly interested in a pair, I would say they are worth the investment of paying a little extra. Again, they fit true to size with a 9US offering my natural fit. They are a medium width and weigh in at a decent 10oz. In terms of playing position, the Morelia is an all round boot that has something to offer the majority of playing positions.
Probably the best way to get your hands on a pair here in the US, keep an eye on eBay listings where pairs are listed every so often!
UPDATE: You can now find these boots available at soccer.com.