It has taken longer than I would have liked to get this review out, but finally the Mizuno Wave Ignite has been tested! Now, I know many of you are looking for a review of the Ignitus, but the Ignite offers the same technology and fit as the slightly more expensive Ignitus (more on this below). Keisuke Honda is the player responsible for the rapid rise of the Mizuno brand over the past 12 months – notably from his spectacular free kicks and performances at this summerss World Cup, so I was pretty excited when I was finally able to get them out onto the field and into some games. For testing, I wore a size 9.5US (not my regular 9US size due to lack of availability) in the yellow/black colorway.
Ignite versus Ignitus
The difference between both versions is simple – the Ignite is constructed using a premium synthetic upper, while the Ignitus is made of a super soft K-Leather. The Ignite is designed to give a lighter feel and increased durability, compared to supreme comfort and touch from the K-Leather version.
I have to admit, my experience breaking these in lasted longer than I would have liked. In order to get them into game action, it took several training sessions where I needed to revert back to my go-to boots midway through. In all, it took 2 weeks before I felt fully comfortable wearing them in a game, which is longer than other boots. The main reason behind this, and one of the more important things to mention, is that the sole plate is pretty stiff to begin. You will need to spend some time breaking these in to get the best out of them.
What is the Mukaiten Panel?
One of the more appealing aspects of this release is the side Mukaiten Panels that exist on both boots. The idea behind the Mukaiten panel is simple – deliver a shot from the instep that produces no spin. When you strike the ball with your instep, it naturally creates spin on the ball, like the technique of curling a shot around a wall. The Mukaiten Panel is grooved and is made of a rubber like material. I spent a lot of time testing this out on shots to see if it did in fact create less spin. And after many hours, I found that there did seem to be less spin on shots but I definitely did not reach the heights of no spin. I also found the panel to be a little higher than the area where I strike shots. This of course could be related to my technique, but I couldn’t work out how striking the ball in that region could produce no spin without having to turn your foot to a very acute angle.
The Black Panels – 360 Bio Vamps
Officially, the black panels are actually called the 360 Bio Vamps, designed to give players 2 different types of ball contact. The front area consists of a deeper groove that create additional spin on shooting, while the goal of the instep area is to offer additional control and touch on the ball.
Sizing and Fit
These boots fit true to size. I ended up testing a 9.5US, but a 9US would have been a far better fitting boot (the size I will order for the Ignitus review). If you decide to order, choose your normal size. In terms of fit, the Wave Ignite fits medium to wide and reminded me a lot of the Nike T90 Laser III.
Throughout testing, I found the actual performance of the Wave Ignite to be extremely positive. The took time to break in, but once I was comfortable wearing them in game action they worked out extremely well.When striking the ball, they feel great – well protected and I did feel like I was able to get an extra element of power behind shots. They are also excellent for striking set pieces, whether it is free kicks or corners. For me, it was mainly on corners and I did feel like I was at an advantage using the 360 Bio Vamps. They seem to give you an added psychological advantage.
The biggest negative for me lies in the weight of the boot. In my opinion, Mizuno could easily lower the weight of the boot. There are several areas including the extensively padded tongue and the highly protected heel area where Mizuno could focus on reducing the overall weight. I didn’t necessarily find the boots to be overly heavy, but it is an area where there is room for improvement. The other negative is the fact that Mizuno have not entered the US market – making the boot extremely difficult to get your hands on.
It is quiet unfortunate that Mizuno have decided not to enter the US market yet, as these boots would be an extremely welcome addition. When/if they finally do decide to release some ranges here, there is no doubting that many players will be excited to get their hands on a pair. There are several aspects of the Wave Ignite that should excite players looking for something different, including the Mukaiten Panel and the 360 Bio Vamps. I found that after breaking them in, the Wave Ignite is a very strong performing boot on the field. In terms of position, I think these are most suitable for players who are in the mold of Keisuike Honda, attacking midfielders who take set pieces. They are also a pretty good option for defenders or center-mids, who like to get stuck in on tackles, as they offer good protection. All in all, I would recommend getting a pair of these if you get a chance – they are worth the money you have to pay in order to get them!
Where to get a pair!
The best way to get them here in the US is on eBay. Check eBay Listings.
Most of the time, the listings are from the UK and some from Japan so expect to pay higher shipping fees. If you are lucky and check at the right time, you might even find a few pairs sold here in the US.