A few months back, Mizuno treated us to another one of their fabled power releases in the form of Wave Ignitus 3. The only unfortunate part is the fact that we still don’t have direct access to the Japanese brand here in the US, but that doesn’t stop us from drooling over what they have to offer. With so many companies choosing to redirect their focus away from Power boots, it only makes sense that Mizuno releases would continue to grasp attention and grow in popularity.
Being honest, the initial release colorway is a little loud and not in a good way. The combo of colors doesn’t quite seem to hit the right notes design wise, but like every boot it is performance where we evaluate what they have to offer. After testing them, I am extremely glad to have received a pair and had the opportunity to see first hand what they have to offer.
Interested in a pair? Check out current eBay Mizuno Listings on eBay.
Quite often, the colorway can be the make or break characteristic of a boot. Mizuno has gone hyper vivid on this one and in my opinion it gives the boot a very plastic look. At first glance, this is not a colorway that doesn’t really appeal to me. The strikezone has been increased and the technology added looks interesting. In typical Mizuno fashion, the heel is more narrow than we naturally see on boots.
Breaking In and Comfort
This is the type of release that really won’t suit all foot shapes as effectively as a regular boot. Where other releases have the ability to adapt and adjust to a players foot shape over time, the Wave Ignitus is pretty much set in stone, with some uncommon differences. For example, the heel shape is very different to what you might expect. The heel counter on the boot forces the walls of the boot in around your ankle and this produces a tight fit from first wear. It almost cups the entire heel. Thankfully, Mizuno use plenty of cushion through the region ensuring it is ultra comfortable. If you need a tight fit around your ankle, they are a great boot to consider.
The soleplate is extremely flexible and allowed for a comfortable ride through first wear. Mizuno has added some extra support through the midfoot in the form of three thicker ridges. This does give the midfoot a slightly more rigid feel but again they have got it right by leaving it offering players some nice movement through take-off. Overall, a very comfortable boot if they suit your foot shape and size!
Tatekaiten, Yokokaiten and Mukaiten
Rather than just having the extremely reknowned Mukaiten panel, Mizuno has upped the power of the strike zone by adding 2 new regions. The Tatekaiten and the Yokokaiten each provide a different type of shooting characteristic to the boot. My description of each region won’t do it justice, so instead here is how Mizuno has described each areas role:
The top of the foot was then layered with a fin shaped technical panel called Tatekaiten (Japanese for top spin). When the strategically placed fins make contact and rub against the ball during the kicking motion, they force the ball to rotate with 17% increased ball revolutions. The improved (longitudinal) ball revolutions deliver more pace to the ball and when struck with Honda’s unique forward kicking technique the ball rises then dips at a forceful pace. A great tool for deadball situations like free kicks, when the player wants to get the ball up and over the wall at enough speed to beat the keeper.
Further along the vamp area, the technical panel also features another new update, in the form of a more flexible Yokokaiten (Japanese for side spin) panel on the instep which creates extra (latitudinal) ball revolutions for improved side-spin and accuracy when wanting to curl the ball.
Also following on from the Ignitus series, the Mukaiten Panel (Japanese for non-spin) is still ever present in this third edition. As the original technical USP the application of non-spin movement, reduces the rotation of the ball making ‘deadball situations’ even more lethal. As the ball flies towards the net it dips and swerves making it difficult for keepers to judge its path.
Such A Sweet Strike!
Having read the description for each region, I am sure you are now wondering how they work out in play? Well, quite honestly, it all comes to together to provide one of the sweetest strike zones I have seen on a boot. I mean seriously, they combine to provide a fantastic feel as you look to really get some power behind shots or bend a ball top corner. The gentle layering of the Tatekaiten into the Yokokaiten panel is easily the most naturally effective, technologically advanced, panel to be placed on the strike zone of any boot. What differentiates it is how the Yokokaiten has a much softer and flexible feel to the more sturdy Takekaiten. Each zone matches the type of strike you use the zone for. Up higher, the Takaiten allows you to really bend the ball by offering a uniform connection. The Yokokaiten is softer and ends up cupping the ball, offering more control as you strike shots. Listen, simply put when you strike a shot in these boots it really pings – I dare the technology bashers out there to try striking a few shots on goal wearing these and tell me there is no difference compared to a boot the features no shot technology. It won’t improve your performance but it certainly will give you the opportunity to strike the ball more solidly.
The Mukaiten panel is again a consistent addition in the range, but it is something that a lot of players won’t be able to use effectively. It takes a unique strike and a lot of practice to really get the deadly “no-spin” shot right. Having tested all 3 Wave Ignitus releases, I am sad to say that I haven’t yet perfected it but I still strive to get it right. If you want to try perfect it, there are video tutorials on YouTube that will offer you more help and direction.
[Also: Mizuno Wave Ignitus 2 Review]
Taking In a Pass
With all the technology along the strikezone, it might seem like touch and control is compromised. But it actually isn’t. The design of each section acts like an added layer of grip. and unless you have a touch like an elephant, you won’t encounter too many problems as you look to take the ball in stride at pace. When it comes to the lateral side of the boot, where you look to control long passes, there is a simple layer of padding used so you get a very natural feel on the ball.
Soleplate and the Configuration
Mizuno use their own, very unusual stud configuration and it kind of goes against the grain of strategies used by other major players in the market. Where they look to narrow down the shape of each blade and provide quicker penetration, Mizuno increase the surface area covered by the unusually shaped blades. The main concept is to even our weight distribution and provide a more comfortable feel through play. The only area where these type of configuration will fall short is on harder surfaces, where the blades can’t provide grip along the surface. So, they are better suited to fields where there is plenty of grass and they also perform pretty well in wet conditions. Under the big toe socket, Mizuno strategically place three blades in an evident triangular formation and this allows for a little extra swivel as you look to turn quickly.
How do they Fit?
In terms of lenght they are true to size and very much on par with most other releases on the market. Where they differ is in the width through the boot. Starting with the heel, you get a very snug and compact feel. Mizuno use the heel counter as a place holder for your ankle, pushing the walls in around the ankle tight to your foot. If you need or like a spacious fit around that region, stay away from there! In terms of the forefoot, you get a pretty wide fit that should suit most players. There is some give, so players who need an extra wide fit can definitely consider them as a suitable alternate to buying custom width shoes.
Mizuno to the US – Update
We are still fighting the good fight and encouraging Mizuno to enter the US. Since our initial petition, Mizuno has continued to survey the market in an effort to find the right strategic approach. Personally, I just want their boots on the market but there is a lot more too it than simply adding the boots in stores. mizuno don’t want to do half heartedly, so getting it right from the beginning is key to the brand fundamentally. Just know for now that there is more than you think going on behind the scenes, and we will be the first to break the news when they finally officially enter the US market.
I am going to wimp out of this one by keeping this section very short. The only problem I have with the release is the extremely odd combo of colors used, so for now I await follow-up releases to see if this area improves. Performance wise, there is not a great deal to criticize or point out negatively but it is worth noting the shape of the heel for players who find the fit through this region to be important (see the “how do they fit” section).
Interested in a pair? Check out current eBay Mizuno Listings on eBay.
The Skinny Summary
Highlight: A top performing power boot that features a triple threat, highly advanced strike zone.
Category: Definitely a Power boot – and probably the leading boot in that category right now.
Weight: 8.4oz, which is pretty competitive for a lightweight power boot.
Would I Buy Them: Absolutely – I am ready for the day when I can buy Mizuno boots directly here in the US.
Player Position: Suitable for most players who like to strike long balls, whether this is an outside back looking to play diagonal balls across field or attacking players cracking shots on frame. I’d even go so far as recommending them for goalkeepers!