It’s not everyday that a rec league hacker can get his hands on a pair of boots which have been designed to the exact specifications of a World Class footballer! Thanks to my sister who was working in Japan, and brought me home a gift, I’ve been able to do just that, and have been putting them through their paces over the last month.
The boot in question is the Japanese release only (from the research I’ve done) Mizuno Ignitus II KH, which until the release of the Wave Ignitus III, was the exact boot being sported by Japanese playmaker Keisuke Honda, designed to his own personal requests. It features several alterations from the Wave Ignitus II which Bryan reviewed last year . The colourway that my sister chose for me was the Green/Orange/Black, which our own Jim Gautier said reminded him of “a watermelon” during an e-meeting at SC101 HQ.
My absolute first experience with the Ignitus II KH‘s was to pick my jaw up off the floor, when I took a Skype call from my sister back in February and was greeted by a hand holding one of the boots on my laptop screen. The only hitch with the boots is that I had to wait six months to get my hands on them. So fast forwarding through six months of salivating, to the beginning of the month and my first hands on experience with the boots, and the wait was worth while. As someone who ranks the Adidas Predator Precision as my favourite boot, the hands on with the Ignitus had me remembering back to 2001. A buttery soft K-Leather upper, and the 360 Bio Vamps covering the front of the boot, had me hoping that maybe I something which could rival the Precision.
As a rec league player the comfort is paramount, as the teams I play on don’t have training sessions my boots need to work right out of the box. The Ignitus was able to dive right into a game with no troubles, in fact, it felt as though I’d been wearing them for ages. As it pertains to the fit, I was originally worried, Mizuno markets these boots as wide foot friendly and my foot has never been described as being anywhere close to wide. I needn’t have worried, the K-Leather wrapped my slim-to-average width foot like a glove. My sister purchased me a size 9.5 US and they run true to size.
So what makes this different from the Wave Ignitus II?
That is a good question. Mizuno marketed the Wave Ignitus II, as the top end of their power silo. However, Mizuno sponsored star Keisuke Honda (the face of the Ignitus line) sat down with the company to dissect the boot and create a personalized edition, much like Messi does with Adidas and Cristiano Ronaldo with Nike. The major difference is that Mizuno made these boots available to the public (in Japan at least). Props to Mizuno for making this available to the public, even if they limited the market!
So what precisely are the differences? The Wave Ignitus II borrowed some technology from the Wave series of Mizuno runners. The Wave technology aided stability through the external heel counter, the soleplate and the MD bladed layout. The Ignitus II KH, strips away the heel counter and features a completely new soleplate and stud layout which I will go into below.
Stud Layout and Configuration
This was the part of the boot which generated quite a bit of curiosity from Bryan. The Keisuke Honda edition featured 14 thick triangular studs. As a fan of conical studs, I was interested in Keisuke Honda’s stud choice. I had tried triangular studs with a pair of Adidas F50’s but they were much thinner than what Mizuno offered up and had caused me terrible pain due to pressure while wearing them. The studs on the Ignitus, were simply put fantastic. Never once was I the victim of stud pressure or unnecessary resistance while turning. I managed to play one game in the wet with them and the traction was just as good as on turf and dry pitches, I was left looking as sure footed as a mountain goat, while opposition markers (several of whom sported F30’s) were left trying to maintain their balance as I ghosted by, and I’m not fast by any stretch.
[Also: Mizuno Wave Ignitus 3 Review]
Performance In Game
As I led off, I’m a rec league hacker these days. So these boots met and exceeded anything I needed them to do during the evaluation period. The Bio Vamps and K-Leather combined to give me pop in my shot that I haven’t seen since my high school days when I decided to tee the ball up from distance. The additional spin the Bio Vamps offered also led to a couple of chipped goals which were bang on in terms of accuracy, leaving the opposition goalkeeper flummoxed. I’ve been on a search for football boot nirvana since I stopped wearing the Predator Precision and I’m 100% sure I’ve found it with the performance of the Ignitus II KH, I’ve never been as confident in a pair of football boots.
Was I able to get the Mukaiten Panel to work?
No, I gave it a go in a couple of pre-game warm up sessions but the motion involved isn’t natural in the slightest.
A Single Slight Concern
The boots are practically perfect in every way, however, after my game last night (I’ve been playing three nights a week all month) I did notice that on the left foot by the base of the pinky toe a bit of stitching had come undone from where the upper meets the soleplate, which gave me a bit of a worry about the possible durability of the boots, but a full check over of the boots sees no other stitching affected at all.
We have no idea if the Mizuno Ignitus II is still available online (we couldn’t find any) but eBay is probably the best place to keep an eye out if you are interested in a pair!
Search ‘Mizuno Soccer Cleats” on eBay.
Mizuno Ignitus II KH – The Summary
About: The boot designed to the specifications of Keisuke Honda.
The Good: Everything performance wise is incredible. The best boots I’ve ever worn.
The Bad: The slight durability concern regarding stitching near the soleplate.
Price: Honestly, don’t know! I’ve tried get my sister to tell me how much she spent, but no dice.
Would I Buy Them? In a heartbeat. I cannot say enough how great I find these boots.
Rating out of 10: 9.5, they’d be a 10 if not for the stitching concern.