Having the opportunity to test out a Mizuno boot is always a good time – especially since they are still tough to get hold of here in the US. A few weeks back, the Mizuno Wave Ignitus 2 arrived in and I have been working with them since to see how they compare to other boots on the market. Offering a mix of control and power, there is plenty of technology to go along with the soft K-Leather upper. Having already tested the Wave Ignite, I had a pretty good idea of what to expect from the technology included on this boot. For testing, I wore the Blue/Black colorway in a size 9US.
If there is one aspect to this boot that I am happy to report has improved from the original release, it is flexibility in the soleplate. And as a result, they turn out to be a much easier boot to break-in. In fact, I wore them in a full training session right out of the box, and in a game a few days later with no problems. The fit is excellent and there is plenty of padding to keep your feet protected. Slipping your feet into a pair without socks feels ultra smooth and there are no hot-spots, something that is a definite bonus. Because of the bio-vamp region, there is plenty of stitching used and you will find that over the first few wears the upper really starts to mold to the ideal shape of your foot, producing a glove-like fit the more you wear them! Nothing negative to report here.
Plight of Mizuno
For a long time now, fans have been calling for Mizuno to enter the US market. We even ran a petition last year to try and encourage the Japanese company to release boots here. The petition was successful and as a result we got the following response from Mizuno: “We (Mizuno) have decided to start researching a possible market entry here in the US. No promises at this point, but we have put together a small team to study this opportunity to determine if it is viable for our company” – Mizuno Petition Update. We have since spoke to Mizuno and they are continuing to consider/investigate the market – with the process recently taking a positive step further! I guess it is a case of watch this space….
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. Independent tests state it produces 17% less spin – if taken advantage of in the correct fashion.
The Dark 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.
Compared to the Wave Ignitus
The Wave Ignitus II is actually pretty similar all around to the original. The most noticeable difference lies in the technology of the boot. Firstly, the Mukaiten panel has been redefined with a more focused center point. The 360 Bio Vamps configuration has also been changed up slightly, with Mizuno adding an additional row right along the laces. Other than that, everything else is relatively similar.
Whatever there is to say about the control properties of these boots, the Power aspect is nothing less than explosive, in fact it is masterful! Throughout wear, there were several shots that I would describe as the “perfect shot”, and I am not over-exaggerating. The upper is well padded and when you match that with the Bio Vamp region across the strike zone, it makes for a solid region for connecting with the ball. Again I found the Mukaiten panel to be an interesting feature. Having continually tried, I could never get an absolute no-spin shot. I completely comprehend the fact that there is a specific way to do it and it can be done, but having researched it, the movement needed to strike the ball effectively is not natural. One area where it would be effective is in taking direct free-kicks, but it takes time to perfect – best of luck to those that want to spend the time to incorporate it into their game.
Then there is the unique MD stud configuration. The idea behind it is that it reduces stud pressure and because of their strategic positioning, they allow the soleplate to flex more naturally. I wore these on both grass and artificial turf and they worked out really well. There is definitely no stud pressure through wear and they offer a very comfortable ride. I did have some concerns that the blade shape would reduce traction, but there were no negatives to report on that end, at least nothing that was evident.
How do they Fit?
These boots fit absolutely true to size in lenght and width. They have decent width in the forefoot and offer players plenty of support through the midfoot. The insert that Mizuno use curves very comfortably up around the arch. For comparison, these boots fit in very similar fashion to a boot like the Adidas Predator or the Nike T90 Laser.
Well, the obvious negative is that they are extremely tough to actually buy a pair here in the US. Until Mizuno make them more available here on the US, they can’t be considered as an alternative to the boots we can get our hands on (especially at sale prices!) And unfortunately, they are not the best looking boot in the world. There is not a great deal that can be done about that, but they have a sort of spotty teenager look.
Where to buy them? Your best bet is to keep an eye on eBay’s Mizuno Listings.
The Skinny Summary
Highlight: Another solid release from Mizuno that only increases their appeal and market value. Designed with power and control in mind, you are getting a well padded boot that features a fully functional and soft K-Leather upper.
Category: A power boot with a twist of control mixed in thanks to the Mukaiten Panel and 360 Bio Vamps.
Weight: They weigh in at a very, very impressive 9.6oz – a great weight for such an effective power boot!
Would I Buy Them: It is such a pity that they are not more readily available and at a competitive price. I would definitely wear a pair, but to have to buy them overseas and wait for them to arrive is a right pain in the behind!
Player Position: There are plenty of players on the pitch that can benefit from what the Wave Ignitus has to offer, but ultimately it is the set piece specialist (free kicks, penalties and corners) that has most to take advantage of.