The Pinnacle of Leather Football Boots
Mizuno’s Morelia silo has been around for a long time and is, in many ways, the solid foundation upon which the rest of their football line is built. Unlike some other brands though, Mizuno knows that over time that the foundation needs to be rebuilt in order to keep it structurally sound. Where this metaphor falls apart is that normally a foundation just does its job quietly without much fuss, but with the newly updated Morelia II Japan, Mizuno made sure to create something truly special. It is that brilliant. Spoilers for the review but this boot is probably one of the best all-leather boots ever made. If you want the more technical info, check out my breakdown of the boot here.
Fit and Feel
From the first time you put these boots on, to the first time you kick a ball in them. The boot exudes comfort and a purity of touch that is so genuine, it’s actually shocking how excellently crafted the Morelias feel on feet. These are the kind of boots that are made for everyone. The wide and deep lacing system will accommodate every foot type and the Wave Lacing System ensures that there is more than enough lockdown. The sizing has changed since the previous model, however. It runs a little over a quarter size long compared to before. Part of this has to do with the fact that the leather has change (for the better, IMO) as well as the heel counter. Not everyone will need to go down half a size, but if you prefer a snugger fit I recommend it.
The heel counter is the other thing that I noticed when I first put the boots on. It makes the foot feel much more locked in, even before the laces are tightened. It was really pleasing to feel so locked into the boots while playing. The heel fit was probably the only big issue I had with the previous Morelia and over time it became flimsy. The new heel construction is much stronger and as a result of that, cuts and sprints feel very solid, like one would expect from a “modern” boot.
A word too about the overall slimming down of the boot. While the boot hasn’t changed much in terms of weight versus the previous generation, it has gone on a bit of a diet and is less bulky feeling than previous Morelias. This isn’t just a visual effect, as on feet the boots feel much more progressive and modern than one would expect from a classic-styled leather boot. On feet the Morelias feel like a modern leather boot while the quality insole provides a lot of comfort and no stud pressure to speak of. Even the tongue which has been changed feels like it is less cumbersome since when the ankle is flexed, it no longer feels like it is bunching up against the leg. The new “Engineered Fit Last” and well as the new shape for the “mouth” of the boot also add to excellent fit.
This is a Mizuno leather boot. So of course, one of the biggest talking points in the leather itself. There are no gimmicks or anything to get in the way of that leather. If the Rebula 3 has one of the best leather uppers out there, then this updated Morelia has the best. Mizuno raised some eyebrows when they dropped the scotch guard leather from the Morelia and switched to a washable kangaroo leather. But the updating and improvements they made to their washable leather means that it’s a great upgrade to the boot. Outside of that the Morelia has that plush sensation leather is known for while not feeling bulky in any way.
Touch and Dribbling
As I mentioned earlier, the touch on the ball feels so pure. There are only so many superlatives out there that I can use to describe the feel on the ball that these Morelias have. Every touch, every dribble, every feel of the ball feels so natural. The boot allows for the focus to be on what you want to do and never attempts to take the attention away from the game. It’s the best “don’t even realise I’m wearing boots” boot I have ever played. The leather is so soft from the get-go that it just feels perfect in every instance. There is no tech in the boot to make things an easier or harder, its just you, the leather and the ball. If you want to do it, the boot will enable you to without asking for anything in return.
Like I mentioned in the post about the updates made to the Morelia, the newer micro taffeta lining underneath the leather provides a lot on tensile strength to the boot. This is most likely another one of the reasons why the boot feels so locked on to the foot even after it has been broken in. Its another part of the boot that that does its job silently so you can concentrate solely on doing yours. This also means that the upper doesn’t lose its shape as much over time. Which again, allows the ball feel and touch to be front and center when playing.
Passing and Shooting
The Morelia is a boot with no real gimmicks to speak of. Just like with touch and dribbling, passing and shooting are much the same way in terms of “if you want to do it, you can” because the boots are never in your way. Of course this does mean that you’re not going to have any gimmicks to aid with shooting or those pinging passes and the like. But that isn’t the point of these boots. The boots assume that you can do all of that without any gimmicks. Every pass, every shot has that same stunning consistent feeling that will never let you down and never stop you from doing what you want to do.
The midfield general who loves to spray passes, the striker who loves to hammer long-range shots, the poacher for whom any goal is worth celebrating as the most beautiful goal ever scored. The Morelias are the boots for them. There was never any point where I felt that the boot wasn’t doing its upmost to be brilliant. I have had boots before in which I’ve hit a shot and been disappointed with how they felt. The Morelias are the exact opposite of that. It always felt regularly satisfying and natural when shooting.
Consistency is probably the word that describes the soleplate best. It’s nothing revolutionary, rather it is the one part that carries over from the previous generation. This isn’t a bad thing as the last update to the soleplate made it more durable and easier to use on AG surfaces. The size and shape of studs is the other reason I never felt any pressure on the bottom of my feet on every surface I played on. They provide ample grip for what you want to do. By nature, I am a speedy winger and despite the idea that you need a speed boot to help you, I never once felt let down by the grip in any situation. Sure, it could be more aggressive, and I know some people would probably prefer it to be. But that’s not the point of these boots. They’re made for everyone and not everyone wants or needs a super aggressive soleplate. It can be argued that if you want a soleplate that performs on every surface, you don’t want something super aggressive. It works so that you don’t have to think about it.
The new Morelia II Japan sets a standard not just for classic leather boots, but for modern leather boots a well. For me, it is the purist of any football boot. It is designed for everyone. It’s a boot that the traditionalists can put on their feet and feel adorned by. The Morelia is a boot that the modern player can rely on. It can keep up with the modern releases and then some. It is the pinnacle of football boots and everyone else should at least take note of what Mizuno has accomplished here. It is up there with some of the top football boots ever made. Its integrity, clarity, comfort, and world-class leather makes it stand out from a field of wanna-bes. It is so good, that I am seriously considering whether or not it is now my favourite boot of all time.
It is the hypercar in a field of supercars. It is what a leather boot is in the best possible form. If you’ve never worn a leather boot, get these. If you’ve worn a leather boot get these. Every single person who plays owes it to themselves to get these just once. Yes they’re expensive (outside of Japan), yes they’re exclusive, but also yes they are easily one of, if not, the best leather boots ever to be released on the market. If the Rebula 3s told us that Mizuno is the king of leather boots, then the new Morelias make them the emperor. Long may they rule.
Thoughts? Are you going to try the new Morelias? Please share this with your friends and make sure to follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!