The main selling point for the Mizuno Morelia Neo that they are one of the lightest kangaroo leather boots on the market, weighing a very impressive 170grams. A common opinion on lightweight models is that companies sacrifice durability and comfort in order to shed the weight of the boots. Having previously worn the original Morelia and being a big fan I hope these live up to the hype and don’t tarnish the great Morelia name.
In the US, it is slightly tougher to find a pair of Mizuno boots but the recommendation is to keep on eye on eBayListings, where there are pairs listed from time to time.
In the Box/First Impression
When unboxing the Mizuno Morelia Neo I was excited and skeptical at the same time as the original Morelia is probably my favorite football boot of all time, so the Neo has a lot to live up too. Mizuno include a drawstring boot bag and care instructions which is a nice touch that I feel should be standard with all top tier boots.
These really are a good looking boot, and look even better in person than they do on the pictures that I have seen. The stitching on the kangaroo leather provides a unique look and really do give these a very sharp image.
What else is instantly noticeable is even though these weigh in at 170 grams, Mizuno have still managed to produce a sturdy feeling top quality boot using materials of the highest standard.
My first impressions were definitely positive and my skepticism was rapidly fading. Even though I generally only wear black boots I actually really like the Orange/Blue colors used on these.
I am testing these in a size 8.5UK/9.5US and they fit true to size in length. I have a wide foot so was pretty worried as to how a streamlined boot as light as these would fit and had no problems what so ever.
I couldn’t resist taking these for a spin as soon as they arrived so took them too a park for a light jog and kicked a ball around for an hour and I doubt that I would have experienced any problems taking them straight into a game as the comfort is exceptional straight out of the box.
The kangaroo leather used on these feels a little stiff to start with but softened up after a couple of hours of use. The anatomical lacing and high quality microfibre synthetic midfoot make for a very snug but comfortable fit. The boots look narrow but offer quite a roomy fit, especially in the toe box area which was a pleasant surprise.
The Morelia Neo has a classic moulded conical stud pattern with four moulded studs at the heel, eight moulded studs at the front and a central oval stud in the centre, the sole is made from Graded Pebax which provides enhanced durability and flexibility and is much lighter than TPU. The soleplate is thicker at the heel area which keeps the boots rigid yet flexible. The boots offer excellent traction, and do the job perfectly. I have tried them on slightly soft to firm ground and also firm to dry ground and the traction was excellent on both ground types. The 4 moulded studs at the heel area are slightly angled and thin which means more of the stud enters the ground which offers great traction on all natural surfaces.
The kangaroo leather used on these is very thin but still of a high quality and as you would expect the touch with kangaroo leather is superb. Dribbling with the ball with these I really noticed a difference with the ball staying closer to my feet than usual. I can only out this down to the leather being so thin that you really get to feel every touch of the ball.
The way the stitching has been done on the forefoot also creates little cushions of leather which works well for your first touch and control.
There are no striking elements/gimmicks on these just nice supple k-leather and a leather tongue, so nothing out of the ordinary to report, just a very natural feeling strike.
As with all leather boots some routine maintenance is required. I can’t stress enough how important this is to maintain the quality of your boots. You can honestly triple your boots lifespan with the proper care. My initial concern with these were protection and durability, as they are so light. I have had my foot stepped on a couple of times in training and a game and the mesh on the tongue and thin leather offer a little protection, not nearly as much as the original Morelia but I wouldn’t say it was a concern. In regards to durability, the only thing to note is after a challenge from behind the external plastic heel counter has a small gouge and is slightly damaged, but nothing major and I can’t see it causing any problems.
Would I buy them and why?
The answer to this question is a resounding…….YES! The main attributes I look for in a boot are comfort and build quality and the Mizuno Morelia Neo delivers in abundance, whilst also offering a very lightweight and good looking design.
I have always argued that a boot could not improve you as a player, even though I maintain that thought, these have slightly changed my thinking. Little improvements on your touch and control even though they are small can make a difference, giving you more confidence which ultimately can enhance your game.
If you are considering buying these, then go for it. High build quality and materials, extremely comfortable, lightweight and look great. What more can you want?
Please ask any questions and leave comments below.
Again, it is slightly tougher to find a pair of Mizuno boots in the US but the recommendation is to keep on eye on eBayListings, where there are pairs listed from time to time.