Mizuno Morelia Neo 3 Beta Japan Review

Among the Elite

When Mizuno launched the original Morelia Neo 2 Beta it marked the start of a new approach from Mizuno that would push them to compete more in the speed boot race. While the Morelia Neo 2 was a speed boot by all accounts, it never had the tech that other boots in the space had. The Beta models changed this. And this year we got a new Beta with some new tech, like the Beta Mesh upper and the BF (barefoot) knit. Although it shares a lot of similarities with it’s younger brother, the Morelia Neo 3 Japan, the Morelia Neo III Beta Japan stands apart from its sibling and shows that when it comes to performance, the Beta deserves to be talked about in the same breath as other speed boots.

Fit and Feel

Surprisingly, one of the other things that seems to be upgraded from the regular Neo III Japan is the kangaroo leather. It was easier to break in than the regular Neo 3 with only a short jog needed to soften up the leather. Because of the one piece upper the boot is a bit more difficult to get on but once you do so you get a really nice locked in feeling. What was interesting is that even though it is still a one-piece upper boot, there is still a decent amount of adjustability thanks to the knit used on the tongue. There isn’t as much adjustability as the regular Neo 3, but there is enough for most people.

Tightening the laces gives you a very nice and secure lockdown in the boot and no matter how I tried, the laces refused to let any of that lockdown give. Like it’s sibling, the laces are improved over the previous generation and this helps add to the locked in feel the boot provides.

What doesn’t happen is that your feet don’t feel cramped through the middle. With most speed boots you expect to feel some tightness on the sides and a stiffness to the upper. Remarkably, the Beta Mesh is just there. You don’t notice it squeezing at all, but your foot is still very secured in the boot. It is especially interesting because for one the midfoot is stiffer than the regular Neo 3 and in the regular model, while it is very comfortable you can feel the boot wrapping around your foot. I had to double check a few times to makes sure that the midfoot really did have such an excellent fit.

The Beta Mesh does an excellent job of providing all of the responsiveness you need without getting in your way. It really does feel quite barefoot. Aside from the Wave Cup, the Neo 3 Beta Japan has one the best fitting midfoots and forefoots out of any boot I have ever played in. It really is that good and it makes it an absolute dream to run in.

Except for one issue. I have heard from a few people saying that had blister issues with the boots. While I have not encountered any problems myself, I do find the heel to slightly stiffer than I want, and I was surprised that I preferred the heel of the regular Neo 3. I feel part of this issue could be fixed by using a softer internal heel counter and I would love if the Beta had the same lace hole options that the regular Neo 3 does. I was able to mitigate this by changing the lacing set up by going in the bottom of the three laceholes at the top and coming out of the middle one without using the top one at all. This mostly fixed the heel issue and stopped the boot from flaring out. Wearing a slightly thicker pair of socks also helped with this issue.

Lastly, you definitely want to go half a size down. Aside from running long, the leather does have a bit of stretch to it, but I have also found no issues with overstretching.

Touch and Dribbling

Given the high standard set by the Neo 3, you would think that the Beta would be very similar in terms of touch on the ball but in reality, it is erm, better. A large part of this is because of how well the midfoot and forefoot fit. The boot does it’s best does aid you while getting out of your way in a sense and letting you focus more on what you’re doing. I loved the fact that the boot adjusted so quickly so that there was nothing to “get used to”.

Because of the Beta Mesh material, it feels more in line with other speed boots in terms of a barefoot, on the ball touch. The argument can be made that it is above other speed boots in this because of the brilliant kangaroo leather. It’s absolute fantastic and I will boldly claim that as a consequence of this, it is one of the best leather speed boots ever.

A lot of bold claims are being made but if you try the boots, you will know that the excellent first touch and the exquisiteness of the leather on your feet is something that can only really be experienced in this boot. Yes, the regular Neo 3 is awesome but the touch with the Beta just feels like that step up. It is shocking how natural it feels to play in these.

There was never a point when I felt I needed to change what I was doing to get the most out of the boot because it just delivers the same solid performance consistently.

Passing and Shooting

The Beta Mesh being thinner does mean that there is less of a cushioned touch in the midfoot when compared to the regular Neo 3 but instead of being a detriment to the boot, its actually a positive. The reason for this is that there is much more of that pingy sensation when hitting the ball in the Beta. The fact that the Beta Mesh does it’s job without being noticed only serves to increase the great feeling you get when taking a shot or hitting a long pass.

In my Neo 3 review I mentioned how I prefer having a softer surface when I’m making passes, so I thought I was going to have issues with the Beta. To my surprise I really enjoyed passing the ball in these and I felt like I always want to have the ball at my feet. I was the one in control and not the boot.

One of the reasons some prefer speed boots is because how good they feel when shooting the as the thinner materials make you feel more connected and to the ball to give you a satisfying feeling. The Beta offers this same sensation though because of how well the boot fits and the inclusion of that supple kangaroo leather means that, in my opinion, its above over other speeds boots in this sense.

And the curl I can get in these boots is simply perfect. This is again down to that extremely great fit of the forefoot and the leather. When the fit is exactly right in a boot, the shooting and crossing feels just delightful. Mizuno deserves credit for the way the leather and the Beta Mesh come together on the forefoot because that is the one area where it is obvious to me when the fit is off, or something isn’t quite right. But Beta is brilliant in this area.

Grip

The Beta has the same soleplate and stud layout as the Neo 3 so you would expect it to be in much the same vein as the Neo 3. And for the most part this is true. You still get a surprisingly grippier-than-expected stud layout that is so versatile it can be used on almost any surface without any issues to speak of. However, the Beta Mesh has such good lockdown that the soleplate hugs your foot just that little bit closer. It’s similar to what people say they feel that the Vapor has your foot “sink in” to the soleplate.

This means that your feel more connected to the soleplate. This did also mean that I expected there to be stud pressure, but I surprised that I didn’t find it to be an issue at all. Given how hard some of the fields tend to be hard ground here and the prevalence of matches on AG pitches meant that this was a relief and like other aspects of the boot, meant I could concentrate on my game.

A quick aside

This is a bit weird, but I was pleasantly surprised how little amount of water the boots took up while playing the rain and also how quickly the boots managed to dry out afterwards. It only took a few hours for them for them to be dry enough to play in again without feeling uncomfortable. It needed to be noted at least and its great considering its still raining a lot here.

Conclusion

The Morelia Neo 3 Beta Japan is and absolutely brilliant speed boot that impressed me every time I wore them. The only issue is I wish the heel counter was softer and the same as the one found on the Morelia Neo 3 because then the boot would be pretty much perfect. It still definitely has the versatility that the Neo 3 has but is a higher performing boot and more speed like than it’s sibling.

It would be a stretch to call this the best speed boot ever because there are a ton of boots that could rightfully fight for that crown. What I will say is that for me personally, this is one of the best speed boots I have ever worn. The fit and performance along with the leather and the always top notch made in Japan quality comes in together in an excellent way. If you love speed boots, you owe it to yourself to try these.

What do you think of the Mizuno Morelia Neo 3 Beta Japan? Please share this with your friends and make sure to follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!

じゃあね!

aglockhart

18 thoughts on “Mizuno Morelia Neo 3 Beta Japan Review

  1. Between the Neo 3 and the Beta 3, would you think the Beta 3 justifies being around 26% more expensive on top of the already ridiculouly priced Neo 3? Im more intrigued with the Beta 3 but cannot justify the price (maybe i can when i try them on) and have lost hope on it being discounted as like the iPhones, they usually dont or it’s just a minor discount even YEARS after release.

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    1. Hmmmmm it’s quite a difficult decision. The “regular” Neo 3 Japan is still a brilliant boot and for what it’s worth I prefer the heel on it. It’s more of an all around boot more thean the Beta which more just a speed boot. I think if the Beta had a bit more tech, like KaRVO, then I could justify the price a bit more. I doubt the Beta will ever get discounted given how limited they are.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I see. So if KaRVO can justify the price, then i might as well get the Umbro Accelerator at a fraction of the price! Indeed, unlikely to see a discount. But I thought the Beta 3 is a regular release and not limited edition like the Beta 2 was?

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  2. Hey, read quite a few of your reviews today and I appreciate your unique takes on the boots and how they differ from SR4U and Unisport.

    I wanted to ask about the Neo beta 2/3’s vs the Rebula 3’s. Both boots employ the finest k-leather but is there a large difference in how they feel in terms of touch? I was a huge fan of the Tiempo Legend 6’s and am currently wearing the Vapor 13’s so you can see I’m torn between the Neo beta and the Rebula.

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    1. Thanks for reading and the kind words!
      The biggest difference between the leathers is the the Neo Betas have thinner leather so it’s a more barefoot feel. The Rebula 3 has quite thin leather but there is still some cushioning because of the internal support cage. If you want something similar to the Vapor, get the Beta. If you want something more like the Tiempo 6, get the Rebula.

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  3. Hey mate, awesome review, agree with pretty well all of it, was just wondering if you had any problems with the lace holes stretching wider each time you tie them up? Just a bit worried they are going to tear and then that’s it. Literally perfect boots otherwise!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for reading! I haven’t had any issues with the laces holes stretching too much. The material seems pretty durable so I don’t anticipate any problems with it as time goes on.

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  4. Do you think if I coming from a Mercurial Vapor size 9.5, is it okay to buy these in a 9? I really want to try something different. Thanks! Loved your review overall. It convinced me to give these a try after a long investigation on them. Much appreciated content my brother !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey! I would go half a size down for sure. I found true to size to be too long in these. Half a size down fit perfect. There is a little bit of stretch in the forefoot as well. Awesome that you’re branching out with these. The soleplate isn’t as aggressive as a Vapor but my word the fit is so good. Thanks for the support and I hope you enjoy them!

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      1. Hey ! Thanks a lot for the advice. I definitely will heed to it. I was actually always a fan of the Vapor, because my father gave me my first ones years ago. However, now they aren’t a good quality anymore. They begin to come apart in just 3 months for me. Plus, these Betas look very classy and the specs are so intriguing. Will definitely let you know. I hope I don’t get addicted to them.
        Much Respect,
        Miguel.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh yeah? Dang, I didn’t realise the durability was that bad on the Vapors. They’re so classy! Haha, it’s very easy to get addicted to Mizuno’s!

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      3. I believe I will most likely. Yes, the durability is horrible! You know as the saying says, ” They don’t make em like they used to.”

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey man. Thank you so much for such an informative review. I’m deciding between the regular Neo 3 and the Beta version and was wondering if you could help clarify a fit issue for me. I’ve got a chance to try on both versions (with a half size down for the Beta because of length) and found the midsole to be a bit too tight in the Beta. Do you think that that midsole section will stretch any further with use since it is made of a stiffer, synthetic material rather than the kangaroo leather in the forefoot? I think I’d prefer the more snug fit of the Beta if that midsole section molds to my feet after a few matches. Thanks!
    FYI – I have wide, flat feet and cannot wear speed boots such as the Nike Mercurial.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome! Thanks for reading it.
      Hmmm it’ll form to the shape of your foot but ultimately I think the issue with Beta for people with wider feet is that the one piece upper can be restrictive. I personally feel that the regular Neo 3 is a better option for wider feet since the midfoot is softer and a bit more forgiving.
      Hope that helps!

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      1. I think the regular Neo 3 is definitely the safer choice as you said, but I’m still somehow tempted by the lockdown (and, admittedly, to the more “premium” product positioning) of the Beta. Anyway, really appreciate the help!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think it will be as well. The Neo 3 is still definitely premium. And I know more than a few people who prefer the regular Neo 3. The lockdown is still very good in the Neo 3 as well. You’re welcome, always happy to help.

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