The Mizuno Basara has caused a small stir since it was released in the market back in June of last year. With its headline player Shinji Okazaki currently slamming in goals with them in the Bundesliga (and for Japan!) I managed to get a hold of a pair and have been using them for the past month or so to see how they check out.
I am not normally one for boots that are not completely leather (as you can see here and here) I am almost always willing to try most things Mizuno brings to the market given how good the performance and quality is from their boots. Plus they have offered the Basara with a half leather/half synthetic model so it somewhat adheres to what I prefer. This boot is packed with a decent amount of tech which all serves a purpose rather than being just some gimmicks which Mizuno describes in detail below.
R-Fibre is used within the upper to reduce excess stretching and to securely hold the foot during acceleration and turn.
A diagonal groove in the midfoot area allows the player to turn at maximum speed and power by efficiently transferring natural body movement and shift in direction.
Primeskin has comparable softness and feel to kangaroo leather with the added benefit of improved durability and a more structured fit.
So now that we got the explanations for the functions of the tech out of the way let’s go into how the boots performs.
First off I always have to start with the Kangaroo leather. Mizuno have once again used their k leather that has been treated with Scotch guard in order to make the leather more water resistant and less likely to pick up stains than other K leathers. While the leather is not as premium as the ones found on Mizuno’s Made in Japan models it definitely is softer than many other brands leathers and is nice and plush to the touch. Because the k leather there is a slight stretch given in the front of the toe box so you still get that nice natural feel.
Going further back on the boot is the synthetic Primeskin which is the same material used on Mizuno’s Wave Ignitus 3. However, on the Basara it seems softer than the material on the previously mentioned Ignitus model. I was very pleased with how quickly this material broke in and how natural it felt, something that I feel most synthetics fail to pull off. Over the course of use in these I never once looked down and thought “Yeah this is boot definitely has synthetic” which was a new experience for me. Most of the time I can tell straight away how different a synthetic boot feels versus a leather one, but in this case I was able to carry on as normal. Also, synthetic aided with my foot feeling locked down in the boot thanks in part to the R-Fibre Control, which in this case is used instead of an internal cage like other brands have.
So what about the D-Flex groove? In theory it supposed to help the boot flex with your foot when changing directions, and I found this to be true. It’s a strange feeling at first when you run around in them for the first time but after a couple wears it just feels like it’s always been there. The grooves also allow for the studs to get more grip on the ground. It sounds weird but it works like this: In most boots when you cut left or right all of your weight shifts to the studs on your instep. When this is happening the studs on the outer part of the boot tend to be off the ground therefore losing traction. This is because almost all boots on the market are designed to flex on the middle of the forefoot rather than on the instep towards the arch and back. Because of the grooves in the Basara it allows the boot to flex in a way that allows the studs on the outside stay on the ground and provide more grip. Now this doesn’t happen every time but it is noticeable enough to give a more confident feeling when darting around. It’s a very simple and clever solution to the problem of getting more grip while playing.
Interesting to note also that this is how your foot naturally flexes and the boots follow the mechanics of your foot. Mizuno are one of the few brands that takes the foot and body’s movement into account when developing a product. Because of this fact these boots feel great from the first playtime in them.
Something also worth mentioning about this boot that hasn’t been talked about much by Mizuno with the Western launch of the boot but is pointed out specifically by the Japanese launch advertisements is the insole itself. It has a very grippy coating on the top of it that locks on the bottom of your feet. I tried the boot on barefoot and the insole even stuck to my foot as I was taking the boot off. It basically solves the problem that people have been using TruSox for. It is an awesome feeling running around in a match a not feeling your foot slip at all and in my opinion absolutely completes the boot.
The soleplate is again another winner from Mizuno. There are more studs on the leather version which is perfect for the firm and harder grounds like we have in Texas. A good way to test bladed boots here to see how well they preform is but running around on the Texas grass, with a lot of boots with blades having too thin stud to dig in the harder ground. The wider studs found on the Basara gave a comfy and steady ride and I didn’t have any slipping issues. The boots also performed well on turf and being Mizunos I will have these with me for some time. (My old Morelias are almost FOUR years old and are still in good shape!)
The boots have a very Mercurial like fit so if you have a wider foot you might to give these ones a miss, even in the leather model. Most places have said these run true to size but I found I had to go up half a size which still gave me the super tight feeling I enjoy ( I buy my leather boots tight enough to where my toes curl slightly and stretch the leather out. I’m old school and it’s not a fitting method I recommend for most people). I was very pleased with how quickly I was able to break these boots in and the synthetic Primeskin got really soft and pliable very quickly indeed.
The only negative is the color. It’s a bit too bright for my liking. I like the color but I normally prefer black, white, red or a combination of all three. I am currently debating on whether to black these out of not. There’s a rumored red one coming apparently and I wouldn’t mind that one at all!
Even though the Basara is not readily available in the US, you can find pairs listed on eBay.
You might have noticed the word grip pop up again and again throughout this break down and ultimately this is what Mizuno are aiming for: maximum grip for maximum speed (sorry that was cheesy) but the point stands that Mizuno have done an excellent job in creating a boot that helps you have that grip in order to get past your opponent. Once again Mizuno delivers on an excellent and quality product.