The Wave Ignitus football boots are the latest release from Mizuno; an innovative, creative and colourful release, the Ignitus is packed with a host of new technologies.
After recently making their on-pitch debut, we were keen to put the Ignitus through its paces in our SoccerBible play test, and find out how they really perform. We sent out a team of players armed with the new boots to test them out - and to see if any of them could pull off a Mukaiten kick worthy of Roque Santa Cruz or Keisuke Honda...
Mizuno have a reputation for building comfortable and durable football boots and the Wave Ignitus is a pioneering boot for the Japanese company, who are usually known for a more traditional boot design. In hand, the renowned Mizuno quality becomes apparent, the Wave Ignitus is a very well constructed football boot. Admittantly the yellow colourway may not be to everyone's taste, but look beyond the colour and you'll find a high level of craftsmanship that cannot be denied.
Putting the boots on and jogging for the first time, you instantly feel the comfort and fit, these are definitely a boot that can be worn straight out of the box. The leather is soft and padded, and the tongue in particular is very comfortable. In fact, one of our players even had football training after the play test, and had no complaints of discomfort despite wearing the boots for 4 hours straight!
We had various running drills through slaloms poles and cones incorporating passing and dribbling, and the boots were responsive throughout. The Wave Ignitus is a surprisingly lightweight boot, despite power boots all tending to be quite heavy (e.g. the adidas Predator and Nike T90 Laser series), but these are extremely light in comparison.
The traction sole-plate gives confidence during sprinting and turning, you could feel it grip from a standing start or when grounding the foot to turn. Especially with the instep studs shaped and acting like anchors, on a pitch that was firm ground and had recently been sprinkled so was quite greasy.
Our players were eager to strike some shots, and take advantage of the 360 Bio Panels and innovative new Mukaiten Panel, designed to give the ball an unpredictable flight path and deceive the goalkeeper. Following Mizuno's instructions on the best form to hit the ball and after a few shots we were beginning to think the panel didn't work, but then one of our players struck the ball and the movement in the air astounded us!
There was no denying that with a proper connection, the balls' flight path adjusted almost Cristiano-like and was very satisfying, but the technique was quite difficult to master. Which is our only issue with the Ignitus, to fully take advantage of the Mukaiten Panel seems quite an unnatural way to strike the ball, and we did wonder whether constant striking opening the face of the boot could lead to knee damage - but in reality during a game scenario this is limited to only a hand full of chances there should be no risk of excess or repetitive strain to the knee.
Being able to strike the ball off the toe however provides its own benefits, as from a dead ball shot the Bio Panels create additional ball swerve and spin.
Overall, the Mizuno Wave Ignitus is a genuinely good boot which got the thumbs up from our team of SoccerBible players. Easy to get on with, with no rubbing or soreness the Ignitus gives lots of support whilst changing direction quickly, and you will rarely lose your footing. Striking the ball with the Mukaiten panel was initially difficult, although our players felt they slowly began to master the technique and can definitely see the benefits of the skill when mastered.
But what stood out for us was how light and comfortable the Mizuno Wave Ignitus is, feeling as though we had been wearing the boots all season.
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