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In the sea of soccer cleats dominated by Adidas, Puma, and Nike, one soccer cleat brand stands out because of its unparalleled comfort and remarkable technologies. Mizuno soccer cleats are probably the most underrated soccer cleats in the market today.
Mizuno Corporation is a sportswear and equipment company that was founded by Rihachi and Rizo Mizuno in Osaka, Japan in 1906. Today, Mizuno is a global brand that manufactures sportswear and accessories for golf, cycling, skiing, rugby, running, volleyball, baseball, tennis, table tennis, judo, boxing, badminton, and soccer.
Mizuno soccer cleats are widely known for their flexibility, light weight, and barefoot feel. They come with a variety of technologies that can make the user one of the best on the pitch. However, what makes Mizuno soccer cleats stand out is their genuine leather upper and how the shoe has been put together.
Mizuno’s journey to perfection
The Japanese company started as Mizuno Brothers Ltd. as a store that sells western sundries. It was launched by brothers Rihachi and Rizo Mizuno in Osaka, Japan in 1906. They later changed their company name to Mizuno Shop in 1910.
In 1914, full-scale production of Mizuno sporting goods started and Dojima factory opened. Another Mizuno headquarters building was built in Yodoyabashi, Osaka in 1927. Shanghai Mizuno Corporation Ltd. was established 12 years later.
The company’s name was again changed to its present name, Mizuno Co., Ltd. in 1942. They started producing sportswear in China in 1985 and established their head office in Osaka in 1992.
As far as soccer cleat is concerned, the Japanese brand launched the first Mizuno soccer cleat “World” in 1980. The first ever Mizuno Morelia soccer cleat was launched five years later. The Mizuno Wave Ignitus, a Mizuno soccer cleat that made the no-spin kicks easy, was released in 2009. After five years, a new Mizuno soccer cleat line called the Basara was born.
In just a relatively short period, Mizuno has already launched a lot of noteworthy soccer cleats that can compete against the best soccer cleats from Adidas, Nike, Puma, and other Western brands.
Mizuno Made in Japan version
Made in Japan Mizuno soccer cleats are among the best shoes in the soccer shoe arena. These soccer cleats are all handmade one-by-one by expert Japanese artisans and are subjected to intense quality control in every stage of production. The meticulous process includes the selection of the finest-quality kangaroo leather as well as the careful cutting and sewing of materials together to form the cleat.
These Made in Japan Mizuno soccer cleats use premium quality materials throughout the entire manufacturing process. Before placing the finishing touches, each cleat undergoes a 24-hour lasting period to ensure a comfortable fit right out of the box.
In comparison, the time it takes to make one MIJ soccer cleat is equivalent to the approximately 72 standard version Mizuno soccer cleats.
Features of Mizuno soccer cleats
Kangaroo leather upper
Some high-end Mizuno soccer cleats use premium-quality kangaroo leather for the upper. These soccer cleats look similar to the classics Adidas Copa and Nike Tiempo soccer cleats complete with the fold-over tongue. The Japanese brand has been adamant in using K-leather because it is thin, pliable, and durable, features that are indispensable in making lightweight and flexible cleats.
Another remarkable feature of kangaroo leather is that it stretches well. Therefore, Mizuno soccer cleats conform to the natural shape of the foot creating an almost customized fit. The K-leather upper is so soft that it wraps around the foot providing unmatched comfort and ball touch. Some of the best Mizuno soccer cleats with kangaroo leather upper include the Mizuno Morelia II SG, Mizuno Rebula 2 V1 MIJ, and Mizuno Morelia II MD.
Mizuno endorsers like Hulk and Thiago Motta get a special kind of kangaroo leather called the Scotchguard kangaroo leather for the upper of their soccer cleats. It is the highest-grade kangaroo leather that is afforded to soccer shoes. Scotchguard kangaroo leather is treated with liquid silicone during the tanning and conditioning process. These treatments make the material more durable, stain-resistant, and waterproof.
Mizuno soccer cleats with this kind of leather upper were once reserved for professional athletes only but are now opened for the rest of the world to use and enjoy.
CT Control Frame
The CT Frame, also called the Control Frame, is a game-changing technology that is integrated into the kangaroo leather upper. The highly skilled Mizuno engineers crafted it using memory foam and based on the natural curvature of the foot. Therefore, it can follow the movement of the foot very closely.
The CT Frame dramatically improves cushion control without sacrificing the overall fit and weight of Mizuno soccer cleats. The structure also enhances the forefoot stability and prevents the leather material from overstretching. This feature is commonly found on the soccer cleats from the Mizuno Rebula series. It is similar to the Fitmesh found on the upper of the Nike Tiempo Legend VII.
Aside from natural and synthetic leather, Mizuno soccer cleats also use synthetic materials, such as the Primeskin, for the upper. This lightweight synthetic material provides excellent control of the ball in all weather conditions. Its softness is comparable to that of kangaroo leather but has a more structured fit and durability.
The Primeskin is used on the Mizuno Basara 001 soccer cleat which was released in July 2014. It is thinner and has a more barefoot-like feel compared to the Primeskin used on the older Mizuno Wave Ignitus 3.
R-Fiber Control is the CT Frame equivalent of the Primeskin upper. This technology is made of woven materials that line ¾ of the Mizuno soccer cleat upper. Aside from acting as the structural base of the synthetic material that prevents overstretching, the R-Fiber Control also locks the foot in place, keeping it from moving around during the game.
It also helps the synthetic upper in terms of responsiveness while accelerating and making quick directional changes.
Wave Fit lacing system
The Wave Fit lacing system uses a specially designed zigzag system at the lace holes. Mizuno engineers believed that by doing so, the user could experience the perfect lockdown sensation. When slipping is minimized inside the shoe, the stability needed in making quick turns is improved.
With the zigzag pattern, players are able to adjust the tightness according to the shape of their foot. The Wave Fit lacing system is found on the Mizuno Neo II and Mizuno Monarcida 2.
Zero Glide sock liner
This aptly named technology is a special kind of sockliner that is useful in keeping the foot in place and preventing foot slippage. The surface of this removable insole has a sandpaper-like lining that creates friction against the sock to prevent it from moving around. It also increases the comfort level of the Mizuno soccer cleats.
The Zero Glide insole is found on the Mizuno Morelia Neo and the Mizuno Monarcida 2.
Underneath some Mizuno soccer cleats is an engineered diagonal groove in the midfoot region called the D-Flex Groove. It allows the user to change direction swiftly even at high speed. Because of the D-Flex Groove, it is easier to do side-to-side movements. This amazing technology helps in the shoe’s overall flexibility as well as the player’s push-offs for faster accelerations.
The D-Flex Groove is present in some high-end Mizuno soccer cleats such as the Mizuno Morelia Neo and Mizuno Revula V1.
Featured in the Mizuno Rebula series, the Stabilizer Studs enhances the player’s balance on the pitch. They also improve weight transfer when the foot prepares to strike. The studs look like regular oval cleats on first look, but each Stabilizer Stud is made up of two kinds of plastic. The outer part is soft, while the center part remains stiff.
When the foot is planted on firm ground surfaces, these Stabilizer Studs will not deform because of its hard center. This results in better stability and shooting power. These unique studs are present in Mizuno Rebula V1 soccer cleats.
Special edition Mizuno soccer cleats
Aside from the regular Mizuno soccer cleats that may already be considered special as-is, there are a few special edition Mizuno soccer cleats that were released in limited quantities. They were launched for a variety of reasons including 25th and 30th anniversaries. One limited edition series was especially released for a specific cause. Read on to learn more.
Mizuno Morelia Ultra Light
In celebration of Mizuno Morelia’s 25th anniversary since it was first produced, the Japanese brand launched the Mizuno Morelia Ultra Light. It is one of the most lightweight Mizuno soccer cleats to date. This special edition soccer cleat has taken all the good stuff from the regular Mizuno and then added the graded chassis and lightweight soleplate to make it one of the best soccer cleats in the market.
The kangaroo upper material and fit remain the same to create a classic Mizuno soccer cleat with a modern twist. The iconic Mizuno logo in black is a stark contrast to the white upper. It has a fold-over tongue that is similar to the ones found on the Adidas Copa Mundial, Nike Tiempo Premier, Adidas Kaiser 5 Liga, and Puma King.
A classy 25th branding is embroidered in the heel, while the Morelia label is found on the lateral side of the shoe. Each of this Mizuno soccer cleat weighs in at 210 grams, and every pair comes in a special edition packaging.
The Mizuno Morelia Ultra Light Gold is another special edition Mizuno soccer cleat under this banner. It is specially designed to commemorate the Hulk’s 2010-2011 season when the FC Porto won the Portuguese League, the League Cup, and the Europa League Cup.
An interesting fact about the Mizuno Morelia Ultra Light Gold is that Hulk himself has played a vital part in the research and development of Mizuno’s heritage cleat.
Mizuno Morelia II MD Gold/Black
As a tribute to the 30th year of the Morelia series in 2015, Mizuno launched 30 pairs of the Morelia II MD in gold and black. Each of this limited edition Mizuno soccer cleat is handmade to perfection.
The premium kangaroo leather upper of this Mizuno soccer cleat is dominantly gold with both sides showing the Mizuno logo in black. A red “Mizuno” text is found on the tongue. There is also some red trimmings for accent. The 30th logo is featured on the heel just like on the special edition Mizuno Morelia Ultra Light.
Mizuno Morelia II Blue
Also part of the 30th anniversary of the Morelia silo, Mizuno recreated their blue Mizuno Morelia. It was the cleat that the Japanese team wore during the World Cup in 2002. The Japanese also consider blue as the color of victory and luck. It was also the first time that Mizuno used a color other than their usual red, black, or white on their Morelia soccer cleats.
The special edition Mizuno Morelia II uses a super soft kangaroo leather material that is hand-stitched to form the upper. It has a fold-over tongue as opposed to the regular tongue found on the original version.
This soccer cleat has some white detailing all over including the Mizuno logo on both sides and the soleplate. Its fold-over tongue is also colored white with the Mizuno branding in black with red outline. The signature 30th anniversary logo in red, white, and gold is seen at the back of the heel.
The noticeable differences between the Mizuno Morelia II and the 2002 Mizuno Morelia are the fold-over tongue, the stitching pattern in the forefoot, and the red accents found on the newer version.
Mizuno Morelia 30th Anniversary Collector’s Edition Box
The Mizuno Morelia 30th Anniversary Collector’s Edition Box was released as the ultimate tribute to the 30th year of their most iconic silo, the Mizuno Morelia. It comes with three special Mizuno soccer cleats - the black Mizuno Morelia RunBird, white Mizuno Morelia II, and red Mizuno Morelia Neo. The company released only 500 boxes that came with individual numbers.
Each Mizuno soccer cleat inside the box came with the 30th anniversary logo at the back of the heel. The three Mizuno soccer cleats represent the different stages in the line’s three-decade history starting from the classic Morelia RunBird to the futuristic Morelia Neo. What makes this box even more special is that it only comes in one size and is available in Japan only.
Mizuno Morelia Neo ‘Origami’
The Mizuno Morelia Neo Origami edition was launched in 2016 as the Japanese brand’s way of making a statement for peace. Origami, likewise known as the art of paper folding, is closely associated with Japanese culture.
This limited edition soccer cleat features a graphic pattern of the famous Peace Crane origami, which is the international symbol for peace. The design, however subtle, highlights the importance of why the Origami Concept was launched - peace. Techwise, the Mizuno Morelia Neo Origami has the same features as the standard Mizuno Morelia Neo.
There were only 50 pairs available of this Mizuno soccer cleat worldwide.
Frequently asked questions
Are MIJ Mizuno soccer cleats better than the ones that are not made in Japan?
Some Mizuno soccer cleats are made in Japan, while some are made in Indonesia. The Made in Japan, or MIJ, versions use the finest materials and undergo stringent quality control throughout the entire production process.
In essence, because they are more meticulously made than the standard versions, the MIJ Mizuno soccer cleats are better than the ones made in Indonesia. But this is not to say that the standard versions are not good cleats. They are, in fact, still considered as performance cleats that are made of premium-quality materials.
What sets Mizuno soccer cleats apart from other soccer cleats in the market?
Aside from the premium leather upper, Mizuno soccer cleats, specifically the Made in Japan versions, undergo a 24-hour lasting process. This creates a very comfortable soccer cleat straight from the box.
Another characteristic of Mizuno soccer cleats is simplicity. For soccer cleats that are as tech-heavy as they are, the overall aesthetic remains as zen as they can be.
Are Mizuno soccer cleats limited to using only kangaroo leather for the upper?
While Mizuno soccer cleats are well-known for their premium leather upper, there are a few cleats from the Japanese brand that use synthetic leather for the upper. Some of which include the Mizuno Rebula V3 and the Mizuno Monarcida Neo MIX. The Mizuno Basara 001, on the other hand, uses a synthetic material, called the Primeskin, for its upper.
Do Mizuno soccer cleats also come in colors other than red, black, or white?
Mizuno soccer cleats, specifically the Morelia series, used to come in basic colors of red, white, or black. It was during the 2002 World Cup when Mizuno launched the first Mizuno soccer cleat that is not black, red, nor black. This history-changing soccer cleat was the blue Mizuno Morelia.
Today, there are a wide variety of brightly colored Mizuno soccer cleats in pink, orange, green, yellow, purple, and even gold.
What variations are Mizuno soccer cleats available in?
Mizuno soccer cleats are available in firm ground (FG) variation such as the Mizuno Morelia Neo FG. A popular soft ground (SG) Mizuno soccer cleat model is the Mizuno Morelia Neo Mix SG. The Mizuno Monarcida Neo AG is a great option for artificial grass (AG) pitches. Soccerers who play on indoor courts (IC) can go for the Mizuno Sala Premium 3 Indoor, while those who play on turf fields (TF) may opt for the Mizuno Monarcida Neo AS as well as the Mizuno Rebula 2 V3 AS.
Are Mizuno soccer cleats available in the US and UK?
Mizuno soccer cleats have already penetrated the US as well as the UK market. The Japanese brand has also established themselves in Australia, Italy, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the Philippines, among others.
Which Mizuno soccer cleats are recommended for players with wide feet?
Soccer cleats that have a wide last and traditional lacing system as well as those that use natural leather material for the upper are great options for players with wide feet. Since Mizuno soccer cleats are widely known for their super soft kangaroo leather upper, they are among the list of most recommended soccer cleats for wide-footed users.
As a matter of fact, a wide (3E) version of the Mizuno Monarcida 2 FS MD is available.
Are there Mizuno soccer cleats for women?
Mizuno soccer cleats are sold in standard sizes for men. However, female soccerers who wish to use Mizuno soccer cleats may go 1.5 sizes bigger than their usual size.
Are there Mizuno soccer cleats for kids?
Some of the available Mizuno soccer cleats for kids are the Mizuno Kids Morelia Neo Classic AS, Mizuno Kids Monarcida Neo MD, Mizuno Morelia Neo Shin FG, and Mizuno Kids Morelia Club AG.
Which famous soccerers wear Mizuno soccer cleats?
The most prominent Mizuno soccer cleat endorser is Givanildo Vieira de Souza or popularly known as Hulk. He has been in partnership with Mizuno for more or less ten years. Other soccerers who were seen wearing Mizuno soccer cleats include Thiago Motta, Keisuke Honda, Lazar Marković, and Brazilian superstar Kaká.
3 best Mizuno soccer cleats
- Mizuno Morelia II Made in Japan
- Mizuno Morelia Neo KL II
- Mizuno Morelia Neo KL MD
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