The Mizuno Morelia is my favourite football boot of all time, in my opinion they are the ultimate football boot offering supreme comfort, touch on the ball and are as durable as boots come. I really didn’t think I could like a boot more but I have been told the handcrafted Made in Japan Morelia’s were even better.
I recently picked up some Made in Japan Morelia’s the original model in SG and the newer Morelia ii in FG and I am excited to put them into testing to see the difference for myself.
Editors note: The Morelia Neo is finally be released in the US via soccer.com.
Initial Reaction/Difference from the Standard Model
My first Impressions of the Mizuno Morelia MIJ were extremely positive, the leather used is of the very highest standard, they are very light and the overall look of them in my opinion is stunning.
The differences I noticed straight away was the difference in leather, the standard model use great leather every bit as good if not better than other heritage boots like the Adidas Copa Mundial or Nike Tiempo Legend iv but the MIJ models leather quality is even better and softer rivaling other handmade brands such as Ryal and Cinquestelle.
The insole is also different with the MIJ models having a very textured almost rough feeling which does a great job of gripping your sock and holding it in place, they also have a slightly different shape offering more arch support.
The tongue also has a more quilted feel on the top of your foot offering great comfort and eliminating any kind of lace bite, the Velcro to hold the tongue in place is also better positioned.
All the other differences are purely in looks as you can see little differences between the machine made boots and the hand made ones with the biggest difference being on the tongue with the MADE IN JAPAN writing marked clear on the tongue.
Fit/Comfort and Break In
The fit of the Mizuno Morelia is very true to size and due to the length the laces go down the boot and the soft and supple Kangaroo leather they are an excellent option for wide footed players.
The break in period was non existent as I took these straight into a game and these were super comfortable for the full 90 minutes. I played in quite wet conditions and after I cleaned the boots the leather became even more soft and I can honestly say they use the best Kangaroo leather I have ever worn.
After the first couple of wears the boots mould to the shape of your feet perfectly, sometimes after a game I can’t wait to get my boots but the Made in Japan Mizuno Morelia are that comfortable I would rather keep them on!
Touch and Striking
I have been hugely impressed with all the technology and “control” elements on boots recently such as the Adidas Predator LZ 2, Nike Trequartista iii and the Mizuno Wave Ignitus 3 but there is nothing better than good quality Kangaroo leather, this is the reason why these brands try to mimic the feel of leather.
With the MIJ Morelia’s using such good quality leather the pure touch and striking really is outstanding.
The soleplate is riveted to the upper and uses 13 moulded studs with 4 at the rear 4 each on the inside on the front and one stud in the middle.
Basic stud patterns like this are my favourite as you know what you get and they do the job perfectly, I have used this stud pattern on dry grass, wet grass and artificial grass and they perform very well on each surface.
The SG version use 8 metal tipped studs with 2 at the back and 3 at each side on the front and also do an excellent job, I have used these in slightly wet and very wet and muddy conditions and they performed well on both.
Durability and Maintenance
The build quality of Mizuno boots really are outstanding and the handmade ones are no different. These can easily last you for many seasons if you take proper care of them.
These require and deserve proper care and maintenance, as with all leather boots if you want to keep them in great condition you will need to take some time and clean them, dry them properly and occasionally apply leather cream.
Would I buy them?
Well I have bought them and I do not regret it for one second but are they worth double the price of the standard model? That depends on the individual as the standard model are an outstanding pair of boots. For a boot connoisseur like me they are worth every penny as for me they are my favourite and I would go as far as to say THE BEST BOOTS EVER MADE.
Along with the outstanding Ryal Europa and Cinquestelle Colibri these really are as good as it gets when it comes to football boots I would rate these ever so slightly higher due to the insole, I prefer the stitching used on these and I love a fold over tongue.
Mizuno have just entered the US market and the Made in Japan ones are the only option they offer and these are also available in the UK and would happily recommend these to anyone as I will go out on a limb and say it again that these are the best boots available to buy.