It is no secret that I am a huge fan of Mizuno football boots, I have had the privilege of recently reviewing the impressive Morelia Neo and next up in the Mizuno range is the Wave Ignitus 3.
With Nike retiring the T90 range and Adidas turning the predator into a control boot, does this make the Wave Ignitus the last true power boot? Here are my thoughts in the range having had them in testing for the past few weeks.
You can find pairs of Mizuno Wave Ignitus on eBay.
First impressions/In the box
My first impressions of the boots were mixed, the colours used are not my thing, I have never seen such a bright pair of boots before and I must admit I wasn’t looking forward to wearing such stand out colours but in typical Mizuno fashion the build quality and feel of the boots were top quality. I was slightly disappointed that these were all synthetic as Mizuno do use great quality k-leather. There is a draw string bag included which is a nice touch. Getting pictures of the boots was a struggle, wasps and bees would not stay away from them whilst trying to photograph (I’m being serious).
The all new Wave Ignitus 3 emerged following two years of research and development. Working in collaboration with top Japanese football player, Keisuke Honda (CSKA Moscow and Japan International), the engineers at Mizuno answered his request for some additional shooting armoury for ‘deadball situations’. The aim was to add increased pace to the ball with a more forward-kicking approach. The R&D team analysed Honda’s new forward kicking approach and when striking the ball it was evident to apply some form of technical panel on to the top and medial side of the vamp area.
The top of the foot was then layered with a fin shaped technical panel called Tatekaiten (Japanese for top spin). When the strategically placed fins make contact and rub against the ball during the kicking motion, they force the ball to rotate with 17% increased ball revolutions. The improved (longitudinal) ball revolutions deliver more pace to the ball and when struck with Honda’s unique forward kicking technique the ball rises then dips at a forceful pace. A great tool for deadball situations like free kicks, when the player wants to get the ball up and over the wall at enough speed to beat the keeper.
Further along the vamp area, the technical panel also features another new update, in the form of a more flexible Yokokaiten (Japanese for side spin) panel on the instep which creates extra (latitudinal) ball revolutions for improved side-spin and accuracy when wanting to curl the ball. Also following on from the Ignitus series, the Mukaiten Panel (Japanese for non-spin) is still ever present in this third edition. As the original technical USP the application of non-spin movement, reduces the rotation of the ball making ‘deadball situations’ even more lethal. As the ball flies towards the net it dips and swerves making it difficult for keepers to judge its path.
Additional updates include a premium synthetic lightweight upper, knocking a few grams off the weight, and a brand new outsole cleat design aimed at reducing stud pressure and improving traction on the turf. Featuring a more supportive lateral bridge to offer more stability in the mid-foot area.
The colours are ‘out there’, vibrant making them a stylish boot that stands out on the pitch.
The Wave Ignitus 3 Weapon Selection
Tatekaiten (“Top Spin”)
What is it? Firm PU flared fins that create added friction upon ball contact to increase longitudinal rotational top spin.
What is the impact? Increased pace with furious dip towards goal.
Yokokaiten (“Side Spin”)
What is it? Flexible PU patterned panel that creates added friction on ball contact increasing latitudinal rotational side spin.
What is the impact? A more controlled curl.
Mukaiten (“Non Spin”)
What is it? Placed on the in-step, Mukaiten’s special material makes a clean ball contact without applying any revolutions to the ball.
What is the impact? An unpredictable flight.
I have always been a skeptic when it comes to technology on football boots. The Mizuno Wave Ignitus 3 makes some bold claims and I was very interested to see if they were justified. I felt the best way to test this was to go to a local park and practice some freekicks, penalties, shooting and passing for a prolonged period. (As a defensive midfielder I am lucky to have more than 2 shots per game).
The technology in this boot definitely works, when striking the ball you can hear and feel the contact with a bit of added power. When curling from dead ball situations, I noticed a difference and the flight was more unpredictable which made it harder for the goalkeeper to judge the flight of the ball. So in short, the technology definitely works. If you are a striker or set piece taker these will be right up your street, I was slightly concerned if the raised rubber fins would have a negative effect on your touch, and at first I thought they did. The more time I spent wearing the boots, I got used to the feeling of the synthetic and adjusted and can safely say there is no negative effects. The technology definitely works and is very impressive, but I much prefer the feeling of a natural leather boot, and like to feel exactly where I am placing the ball, this is just my personal preference.
Fit and comfort
If you have worn Mizuno boots before then you will know that they make some of the most comfortable football boots available. The Wave Ignitus 3 is no different although it is a different type of fit from any Mizuno boot I have worn. I am a big fan of the heel area on these, there is a synthetic padded material that wraps around you and offeres a very secure and comfortable fit. The length is very true to size and like all Mizuno boots they cater for the wide footed player. The stud pattern and high quality insole also eliminates any stud pressure, I was very impressed with how comfortable the Wave Ignitus 3 are especially as they are all synthetic.
Mizuno have really impressed me.with the traction on the Wave Ignitus 3, the blades offer excellent traction on very dry ground to slightly soft ground. I usually prefer conical studs to blades, but the stud pattern and L shaped blades on these have really impressed me. The weight is distributed across a greater area and this eliminates any stud pressure and works amazingly well on hard ground.
Durability and Maintenance
With the Wave Ignitus 3 being all synthetic, maintenance will be a breeze. Just a simple wipe down with a wet cloth and your ready to go. I have encountered no durability issues, and knowing Mizuno as well as I do then I would be shocked to hear of any durability issues.
Would I buy them?
Mizuno have done a stellar job with the Wave Ignitus 3, these really are a great pair of football boots and I highly recommend them to strikers and set piece takers. Although touch is not compromised, I like the feeling of a natural leather boot, no technology can improve on a natural feeling when receiving and making passes, with all that said, would I buy them? Yes definitely, but not in this colourway!
What do you think of the Wave Ignitus 3?
Fortunately for me, I can pick up a pair of these boots very easily in Scotland. But, rumor has it things are a little tougher in the US – If you are interested in a pair, check out the current US Mizuno on eBay listings.