Leather Luxury in an Indoor package
Mizuno stands above many other brands when it comes to their football boots. They are well known for the quality, comfort and performance the come together in a tidy package. Less celebrated over the years is their indoor range, which has been impressively improving over time. With the Morelia indoors finally being available outside of Japan as of last year, many people might be wondering if the indoors manage to achieve the same high praise that the FG boots get on a consistent basis. Long story short, they are a very competitive option for those who are wanting something more luxurious and high performance from their futsal/indoor shoes.
Fit and Feel
The first thing people might notice out of the box, or indeed to just seeing them in a store online, is that the indoors are not made in Japan, but rather Indonesia just like the “Elite” (read: non-MiJ) models of the FG boots. Years back the Morelia indoors were made in Japan, but they were quite clunky and had too much volume. With these the leather is not as soft as you would get on a MiJ FG boot, but they nonetheless have one of the softest leathers I found on an indoor shoe and take little time to break in. It is also a kangaroo leather which is a rare find on most futsal shoes. Putting them on feet the first time is pretty interesting because I sometimes find indoors to be somewhat restrictive because of the soleplate, however this isn’t the case with the Morelia indoors which are comfortable and pliable from the get-go. It is impressive how easily the leather molds to the feet and they stretch just a little bit to allow the shoes to do so.
As far as the sizing goes, I do recommend a half size down from what you normally might wear in indoors. Normally in indoor shoes I wear a half size up from what I wear in FG boots but in the case of the Morelia indoors, I can stay with the same size. The deep lacing system also allows for the shoe to fit a variety of foot types, though I did find them to be a skosh wide. Not enough to be an issue or recommend these as having a wide foot, just on my feet personally. This is probably down to my foot shape more than anything else.
Another thing to note is there is not a whole lot of cushioning in the sole of the boot. While some people might prefer to have something similar to the Lunarlon found on the Nike Gatos, I actually prefer to have minimal cushioning because I feel lower to the ground and less likely to roll my ankle. But while having less cushioning might be an issue for some people, the flip side of this is that this is part of the reason the shoe is so easy to break in and allows for a lot of flexibility through the forefoot. This also means it feels a lot more natural and it doesn’t feel as if the shoe is trying to force your feet into weird directions or movements, like I have found on some other indoors. The heel liner is also quite soft and surprisingly cushioned considering how low volume the shoe is. All of this together means the Morelia indoors have a great fit for pretty much everyone.
Touch and Dribbling
It’s leather so as usual I am quite happy when it comes to the touch on the ball. The K leather provides that consistent touch that one expects and because of how natural the whole shoe feels, I never felt like I had to adjust the way I hit the ball in these. Indoor football and futsal obviously involves a lot more little touches and the like so the fact that the leather on these is so soft means that the control is excellent. It is almost like a leather sock on the foot in some ways. Doing tricks and skills in the Morelia indoors is also really nice because of the flexibility of the soleplate and similar to the FG boots, it does its best to never be in the way.
One of the things I do wish that was included on these was the newer, tighter heel counter found on the FG boots. That isn’t to say that the heel doesn’t provide ample lockdown but I do prefer a more snug sensation in the heel, like some of Mizuno’s other indoor shoes. I was surprised at how little I noticed the stripped-down cushioning, especially considering that has been an issue for me in the past. What this means though is that you get a nice feel for the ball on the soleplate and I found myself using the bottom of my foot for dribbling a lot more than I had before when playing indoor.
Passing and Shooting
Again, these can be filed under “uncomplicated” when it comes to passing and shooting in the Morelia indoors. Something that really surprised me though was I actually found a good comparison with an FG boot and it’s not the Morelia FGs. Since the shoes are so flexible and pliable, they remind me a lot of the first evoPowers. The evoPowers had a really flexible forefoot by design to improve shot power and I found myself thinking that the Morelia indoors were reminiscent of the evoPowers. Personally, I never noticed much improvement in my shot power while using the evoPowers but I did like shooting in them. It is a similar story with the Morelia indoors, they’re really fun to shoot in.
Passing is a similar story. Some might call them low-key, but this is the kind of shoe I excel in. I don’t really need anything special on the upper of my boots and especially indoor, where space and time is limited, I really prefer having that confidence that I feel like only a leather can provide. Synthetics have improved greatly over the years especially in futsal shoes, but they still can’t give me the feeling I get from a leather. Being able to rely on a soft, cushioned, leather beats the heck of a synthetic or knit boot any day of the week for me.
The Morelia indoors have a soleplate that reminds me of the FG boots because of the look. Similar to the FGs, it isn’t anything overly crazy or overly grippy. I wore these on several surfaces, like a court surface and that carpet type astroturf, and I don’t find any issues with the grip. Some people might prefer something more aggressive but similar to outdoor boots, if you go too aggressive it can raise the risk of injury. What made me happy was how durable the grip is on the Morelia indoors. I have been using these for some time now (in fact I got these and the Monarcida indoors before I even started this blog) but I have yet to see the soleplate start to wear out. I normally use these 2 to 3 times a week to give a good idea of the kind of use they see. The rubber part on the toe also hasn’t much issues, the suede on the front is also a nice touch and I’ve even found myself grabbing these when I am going to the gym for workouts.
I am not a huge fan of playing indoor normally because I don’t like how clunky most indoor shoes feel compared to how “on your foot” FG boots are. But the Morelia indoors are one of the first shoes that I haven’t felt awkward playing indoor or futsal in. They are more expensive than a lot of other indoor shoes, but you really get what you pay for with these. I’d go as far as to say that these are one of the easier indoor shoes to recommend. Before these were available outside of Japan, this was the shoe that I’d always bring back to the US for my friends. There are some areas I would like to see future releases improve upon, like the heel, but none of that shoe take away from the fact that especially in the international market, this is one of the top options for futsal/indoor football.
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