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.
Great stuff! hope i could get my hands on a pair one day. What do you think of other modern full leather boots like the adidas 11pro , tiempo, or speciali?
I’m not the biggest fan of the Adipure or Tiempo Legend purely because they are very over rated….don’t get me wrong they are decent boots but for example the Speciali 4 is better in every department.
Thanks for the review. Mizuno do make excellent products!
im juggling btw the ryal and MIJ mizuno morelia. which one is better do u reckon? and wut r the major difference with those 2 pairs? cheers.
Both are outstanding boots, with comfort and touch second to none, the Ryal Europa looks amazing and make a huge impression on people but for me the Morelia slightly edge it as the insole on the Ryal can move around slightly where the Morelia is stitched in place and grips your sock.
Apart from that they are both very similar in performance.
Nice review! I agree at all.
I have two pairs (one of them BNIB). As I didn’t wore the Indonesia made, can you compare the MIJ with the Indo?
Finally, welcome to the club!
I do a brief comparison in the review with the differences. The biggest difference is the leather quality, better insole, better fit and more cushioned tongue.
I will second you on the best boots ever bit. Can think of none better.
Yeah it has to be experienced to appreciate how good they really are!
Also note how the soleplate of the Mizuno Morelia MIJ is studded with 3 nails in the front, and 1 in the back. This is a demonstration of quality. The other "modern" boots (Nike Tiempo Legend V, Umbro Speciali 4) do NOT have the studded soleplate. They are only held together by glue. Thus, there is often Separation of the leather from the soleplate after a few months. Why do big companies do this? Hint hint. So players have to buy new boots from them every few months. Contrast that to the Adidas Copa Mundial or the Mizuno Morelia MIJ. Those are pure, quality boots.
Can anyone explain the difference between the Mizuno Morelia 2 Japan Edition and the Mizuno Morelia AF KR 2?
The Morelia AF (Anatomical Fit) KR (Korea) are a wider fitting boot designed for the Korean market, from what I have heard they are not as good.
How do these fit compared to the laser t90 iv? And do these stretch at all? I like my cleats to fit snug. I am currently a size 11 in the t90 laser iv. Should I go with 11 in the Mizuno Morelia mij?
Draw an outline of your foot with one sock on and measure your feet from the tip of your toe to your heel in Centimeters and order by the Japanese size as the sizes in Japaneese are the exact measurements, these offer an excellent fit and don’t over stretch.
yes. they fit same as nike
I am deciding between these and the indo ones. If I wanted ones that did not over stretch and stayed snug over time which ones should I get? I am size 11 in Adidas nitrocharge. Do these fit true to size?
See my above comment regarding size…..Both the MIJ and standard are great boots you won’t be disappointed with either, the MIJ ate the best boots ever made (in my opinion) but the Standard ones are still better than the likes of Tiempo Legend, Copa’s etc and are an outstanding boot.
Nice review man, have you tried the morelia neo? how would you compare them to these?
Hi, my Neo review is on the site, only tried the standard ones not the MIJ but they are great boots, I personally prefer the Morelia but both are outstanding.
A long time ago when you did a piece on top ten classic boots, I commented that the Morelia Made in Japan was my favorite classic boots of all. Now you know why! 😉
– It was Bryan who did the review of top ten classic/heritage boots
– I want to add that the "anatomical fit" technology that comes with this boot means that the leather will mold to your feet perfectly.
Kevin, would you recommend the morelias to someone with wide-fitting 2e size feet? I am 32 and play at the back so need a boot with some protection. Love k-leather as had nike lazer 2 in k-leather and were excellent. Any other advice would be appreciated, thanks
Yes. These are one of the best boots I have ever come across. Have tried: Adidas Copa Mundial (Germany), Nike Tiempo Legend IV, Lotto Stadio (Italian), Diadora Maracana, Lotto Stadio Primato K, Umbro Speciali Statement. If you like the sublime touch of Copa's than these are for you. Copa's have a conical stud pattern and are very agile, these have a similar conical platform. Yet, Mizuno Morelia MIJ's are: noticeably lighter, more flexible, and have better cushioning. Copa's have a thin, firm insole and you feel beaten up the next day after a game. Mizuno Morelia MIJ has a more forgiving insole. These are basically Copa Mundials taken to the mystical level. High quality Kangaroo leather, Buttery touch, lightweight, excellent traction, they lace up to perfection. The only boots that rival this one IMHO are: Lotto Stadio Italy. However those boots have been discontinued for years. Their elite qualities were destroyed by Chinese overseas production. Definitely not the boot they used to be. The Nike Tiempo Legend IV was OK. They had an aura of Chinese-cheapness. Clearly not in the same echelon as the Mizuno Morelia MIJ. They would loosen up during a game, didn't mold to my foot properly, rolled ankles a few times from the Blades in the rear. Felt cheap. Anyway, Nothing comes close. Soccer players: you are looking at your dream shoe. And I do not work for Mizuno. Highly recommended.
How are these compare to the Ryal Europa in terms of width for wide fee, touch, comfort, traction? Which shoes do you prefer? Thanks.
How does the MIJ compare with the AF KR2???
Great review…what is the difference between Morelia MIJ and Morelia MD? I've seen both online, and they look identical.
MIJ stands for "Made In Japan", while the MD version is more generically produced. Differences are based on the fact the MIJ version is hand crafted and pieced together.
Excellent review! I know you prefer the Morelia over the Bridge but How would you compare the Neo and the Morelia in terms of COMFORT and DURABILITY? I’m guessing, but not really sure, that the Morelias would probably edge the Neos in durability but how about comfort? Thanks and more power.
Oh sorry that should be Neo, not Bridge
I ordered a pair the day after the US site went active. 7 mo later and I appreciate the decision to buy them every time I wear them. Simply put, best I've ever heard about. I've played in F50 leathers, Copas, King Finale SL I's, Kelme Trueno's, and Pantofolo's. Nothing comes close. MIJ is the way to go. You will not regret it. I understand cost is a concern, but you get what you pay for in these boots, plus some. Kevin, spot on review son. Thanks for the advice. I normally wear a 8 1/2 in most brands. Had to return these for a 9, customer service was top notch
They fit like Nike's. I was a 10.5 US-28.5 JAPAN in the Nike Tiempo Legend IV. The 10.5 US-28.5 JAPAN fit me exactly the same, this is the Mizuno Morelia MIJ of course.
Would you say the Ryal europa is better than the Copa Mundial and which is more durable and comfortable?
In prodirect site i can not find my size .somebody knows other one site to bye these kind of shoes??
I wear a 10.5 in just about every version of a k-leather boot Adidas has put out since the Copa Mundial. I tried the Morelia MIJ in a 10.5 and had to return for an 11. For further reference, my feet measure 12 on a brannock device and are slightly wider than average. I also agree that the MIJ is better than any other k-leather boot I have worn, not a stitch out of place, worth every penny.