Creative Soccer Culture

Mizuno: A Class Apart

In amongst the fierce battle for supremacy in the football market, the world of innovation, advertisement, and player endorsement, there's one brand that is perfectly content to let their quality spread through word-of-mouth and first-hand experience: Mizuno.

2015 is already building up to be a massive battle for supremacy in the football market. Nike, adidas, and PUMA are prepping for a huge summer, Umbro, Under Armour and New Balance are vying to become bigger members of the rat race, and even brands like Concave have thrown their hat back into the ring. For Mizuno though, they sit proudly in their own space.

While the war rages on for what is shown on a player’s feet and who has the most outrageous commercial, Mizuno quietly sits by. The race to the top is not a competition that concerns the Japanese company, merely the task at hand: to produce as fine a product as they possibly can. How has Mizuno positioned themselves to where every one of their releases feels exclusive? What makes them think that they can survive the current climate without wading into the constant game of one-up that all the other brands are involved with?

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Simplicity. An idea that shows an extreme tie to the Asian heritage of the brand, but Mizuno is as zen as any brand ever has been or ever will be. Even when Mizuno slaps purple and neon yellow on a Wave Ignitus (complete with all manner of fins and pads), the boot still comes across as a simple creation. For the other silos, the Neo, Basara, Monarcida, and Morelia, the construction never feels excessive either and nor does the marketing.

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With the Neo and Monarcida, lightweight packaging has never looked more classic. If modern editing skills placed either of these boots on pictures of players from decades gone by, only the most astute fans would think the boots to be out of place. Once again, simplicity in the build, stitching, and features helps create something that somehow blends the magic of modern technology with classic craftsmanship that puts Mizuno in an alternative category, one which they share to an extent with Pantofola d'Oro.

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Another realm where Mizuno holds sway is with the older, “no-nonsense” boot fans (or even, the “old soul” boot fans). The group that are quickest to moan about a colourway that's too loud or a boot that fails to live up to the hype is also the group that is quickest to point those looking for new boots towards the safe haven of Mizuno. A group that was typically quickest to point everyone towards a Copa has now become the loudest cheering section for Mizuno. It seems that everyone that finds their way inside a Mizuno boot rarely suggest anything else.

The only problem for players continues to be access. While it does create an air of constant limited releases and exclusivity, there are a ton of players out there that wish getting a pair of Mizuno boot was a bit easier. In the United States and occasionally in Europe, you just have to cross your fingers and hope that certain colorways eventually become available. Still, absence does tend to make the heart grow fonder.

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In closing, the biggest statement we can make about Mizuno is that the gear backs up any and all fluff that fans throw around about the boots. If it has the Running Bird logo on the side, then we have enjoyed countless hours wearing it. Mizuno is perfectly content to let the other companies battle for all the media attention, yet they're not getting erased from the top of players' wishlists any time soon.

Fancy taking a plunge on the Mizuno Morelia 30th Anniversary Collectors Box or the Runbird LE? If so, both are available here.


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