One of the most iconic boot ranges has undergone a radical revolution, the Morelia is already famed for outstanding leather uppers, but now Mizuno have brought the boot into the 21st century with their lightest ever football boot – the Mizuno Morelia Neo.
It's not so much an innovation, but more of a revolution that in recent seasons has seen leather uppers take precedence in the speed market, with the likes of Lionel Messi, Arjen Robben and Sergio Aguero the main protagonists. But whilst the focus for some brands has been on the speed outsole, and fixing the upper to this, Mizuno's pedigree is in their leather uppers, combine with a lightweight speed outsole and you have a winning combination.
We've seen the impact Mizuno had on the Power market when they unleashed the Wave Ignitus, now they're expected to do the same thing to the Speed market. The Mizuno Morelia Neo soccer cleats incorporate lightweight performance with a quality leather upper. Weighing in at a very impressive 170g, which undercuts the Mercurial range by some margin and is just fractionally over the weight of an adizero, Mizuno have managed to completely revolutionise their Morelia range.
Quite significantly, and where Mizuno trump their rivals in the speed category is their use of quality Kangaroo leather for the Morelia Neo upper. Arguably the most premium natural material available for football boots, the K leather provides a luxurious, quilted feel as the stitch lines enhance the sense of touch and a secure fit.
To deliver lightweight speed traction, Mizuno have engineered a graded Pebax sole-plate, a similar material used by Puma for their SL, as it provides enhanced durability and great flexibility that is much lighter in weight than TPU, currently used for the adizero. Using different densities in the heel and forefoot Mizuno have created a flexible yet rigid, supportive unit.
Interestingly, Mizuno have opted for a classic moulded stud pattern for their Morelia Neo soccer shoe, which offers great traction and comfort by reducing stud pressure on the foot. Perhaps Mizuno have been conscious of over-engineering stud shape and configuration and the pitfalls this could bring, so instead they've opted for the proven formula of conical studs.
The Mizuno Morelia Neo football boots are fastened with a central lacing system, with the islets positioned and leather shaped to wrap around the foot for a better fit and offer increased support. Beneath the lacing system lies a mesh padded tongue, to provide comfort and breathability for the player without adding weight. And completing the fit is a removable padded insole and a suede leather lining for comfort, whilst also reducing any boot slippage and rubbing.
The speed category is the headline maker in the boot world, and as leather versions become more prominent Mizuno might have timed the release of the Morelia Neo just right. Morelia is famed across the world for comfort and quality, and to put this into a package that weighs a mere 170g is a great achievement. But final opinions lie with the soccer gear society, and whether the Neo comes under resistance from die-hard Morelia fans, or is welcomed as a revolutionary football boot we'll have to see.
It's no coincidence the launch colourway is Green, when you consider the Morelia Neo boots will be premiered by Hulk! They go into direct competition with some big guns of the speed market, but it's not something that's fazed Mizuno before, and final judgement will be left to the boots performance and reaction they receive. Available to pre-order now, fans will be able to get their hands on the Green/Black/Red Mizuno Morelia Neo football boots from early January, at a cost of around £150 GBP / $210 USD / € 180 EURO.
Are you a fan of the revolutionary new Mizuno Morelia? Weighing in at 170g there's sure to be plenty of reaction to the Morelia Neo football boots. Share your thoughts online, on Twitter and on Facebook.