Review: Mizuno Morelia Neo Boots
Born Offside recently went to the launch of the Mizuno Performance Centre in London’s Centrepoint building and, whilst we were there, picked up a pair of the company’s Morelia Neo boots.
The Performance Centre is for both athletes and the public to drop into over the next fortnight and test themselves out on different activities, while trying Mizuno equipment.
Whilst testing these boots out on a football game in which you had to kick the ball in a goal which measured your speed and accuracy (in which Steve Norman and I beat Dwight Yorke, sign us up), I decided it would be interesting to see how they played in a real football environment.
I wore them to play six-a-side on Wednesday night and was impressed – although I’m a little dubious about the colour scheme of the boots. Purple and highlighter yellow might look good on Hulk in the Champions League, but in Wandsworth they went down a little differently.
As we were informed at the launch, purple is a colour in Japan associated with positive traits, fitting for Mizuno’s elite range of equipment.
Anyway, down to business. I’m a size 8 and this pair of boots fitted well. They are snug in the middle and I could feel the sides of my feet pushing against the sides. This is something that suits me, but others might want to try on a size up. Length wise they were pretty much spot on.
They are moulds, rather than blades – which is widely accepted as better, and less likely for you to get injured. I play on rubber-crumb (synthetic grass) and they were suitable for that – unlike other pairs of moulded boots I’ve worn, they never felt like they might get stuck in the surface.
The boots’ best feature is how light they are. Weighing in at around six ounces. It was difficult to even notice they were on my feet. Whether they helped or not, I’ll never know, but I felt as if I was zipping across the surface at a quicker speed than normal.
The front part of the boot is made of very soft kangaroo leather and it gives the wearer the (accurate) impression that the ball will not be influenced by anything but the way they kick it. If you kick it hard and low, that’s where it will go.
This next part is difficult to put down to the boots as it might just be a coincidence, but normally I’d only score two-three goals in the hour we play. Wearing these boots I hit seven. Really, though, we’ll only know if this had anything to do with them after a few more sessions.
The finish they seem suited to best are Thierry Henry-style curled, accurate strikes (finesse shot in FIFA, if you will), but on the few occasions I shot from distance, the ball travelled hard and true.
The natural downside of lightweight boots was not negated here though – they offer little protection to the wearer – they are better suited to attackers than defenders.
Overall I was impressed with the offering. Cost-wise, you’re looking at top-end prices – around £120.
Are they worth it? I’m not sure if any pair of boots are, to be honest. In general, if I was buying, I wouldn’t spend that much. But if you do want to splash the cash, there’s no pair I’d recommend more highly than these.
If you’ve got time over the next couple of weeks, I suggest you go down to the performance centre and try them yourself. The performance centre is open until mid-August and you can find some more information here.
Mizuno have also been kind enough to tell us about a competition they are currently running for a lucky winner to win prints of Luke Donald, Tasha Danvers and Sally Gunnell, drawn during our visit by renowned Japanese artist Hidekichi Shigemoto. Click here to enter, and good luck!