Mizuno’s DNA produces brilliance once again
A few eyebrows were raised when Mizuno launched the Rebula Cup. It wasn’t named with a number like the other boots in the series (Rebula 2, etc.) and the design was quite different, with the internal foam cage replaced by a more external sponge padding to help with the touch on the ball. Mizuno also frequently brought up the idea that Rebula Cup is a modern interpretation of the Wave Cup. There is also the fact that the boots only weigh 200 grams (7.05 Oz) in a US 9, which means it’s the same weight as the Morelia Neo 3, which is Mizuno’s speed boot. This has led many people to speculate that this isn’t a proper update, but only a holdover until a “Rebula 4” launches. Despite these changes in direction for the series, the Rebula Cup has brought inspirations from several different Mizuno boots to make a class-leading modern leather boot.
Fit and Feel
One of the biggest changes between the two generations of Rebula is something you’ll notice as soon as you put them on to your feet. Mizuno have built the Rebula Cup on the same last as the newest Morelia II Japan and that means the fit has slightly changed. Not everyone will agree with this change, but I personally prefer the new last as it fits my feet a bit better. Another thing that was immediately noticeable was how much cushioning is in the heel. It is very soft and very comfortable while at the same not sacrificing lockdown for that comfort.
Another thing that I thought would be more noticeable is the fact that the boot has less leather than the previous model. The soft and pliable synthetic midfoot more than makes up for that to the point that on feet it isn’t very obvious that you’ve got less leather on the boot. But the leather that is there is so plush and comfortable, it be one of the best Mizuno has produced.
Speaking of the leather, it is absolutely brilliant. Yeah it’s Mizuno and yeah we shouldn’t be surprised, but I feel that leather on the Rebula Cup feels a bit nicer that what you find on the Rebula 3. Part of that might be down to the way its constructed, and another part might be the beforementioned new last, but the combination of both means you get an excellent fit that has just enough give to form to your foot.
In some ways, the boot does feel like a more traditional leather boot. The tongue is more free than on the Rebula 3. There is nothing overly complex about the lacing system as the boot continues to use Mizuno’s excellent Wave Lacing System which ensure you get great lockdown. The nice thing about that lockdown though is that it doesn’t overly squeeze your foot but rather gives it a snug hug.
As far as sizing goes, go to true to size and the fit will be dead on. What was even better is that I found no negative space or any spots where I felt like the boot didn’t fit me. I think credit again goes to using the Morelia last for these boots. I actually hope Mizuno keeps using this last in future.
Touch and Dribbling
In my Rebula 3 review I gave the boot a lot of praise for how well it performed when dribbling. The Rebula Cup continues that trend but because of the thicker foam, the feeling when dribbling is different. In fact, the boot I was reminded the most of was Mizuno’s own SuperSonic Wave series, which used the Feather Touch System to give you better control and to help with dribbling at speed. While the Rebula series has always had the SuperSonic Wave’s DNA mixed in it, the Rebula Cup feels like the most noticeable callback to this series.
Of course, the most obvious DNA present is the Wave Cup. The forefoot definitely reminds me of the Wave Cup in terms of the styling but besides that it does feel like Mizuno as pushing more of a REvolution (Rebula, Revolution, see what I did there?) than an evolution. But I will say, I do feel as confident dribbling in these as I do in the Wave Cup.
The FT (First Touch) grip on the midfoot is quite sticky and this, in combination with the foam pods, means that I felt confident when controlling the ball even when the ball was rocketed towards my feet. According to Mizuno, it gives 1.3x the grip versus the Rebula 3. As grippy as it is though, I was surprised that it never really got in my way while playing. It is noticeable but it wasn’t a distraction I was happy it was on the boot. It even worked pretty well in the rain and wet which is more than I can say for some other brands with control coating on the upper.
Passing and Shooting
As you might expect with the previously mentioned FT Grip, there is a slight sticky sensation when passing the ball. I found to be advantageous though because it meant that might passes were more solid and controlled. Part of this also comes down to the foam pods in the upper which are a positive addition in this area. Its not super fancy tech, but its solid every time and works.
Crossing the was also very nice in the Rebula Cup. I didn’t expect it be so spot on but because of where the foam pods are placed the boot is excellently set up for crossing and across the pitch passes. Although the foam pods do provide a slight dampening sensation, it never felt like they were in the way. In fact, it somewhat felt like they were once again a positive.
The strength of the foam pods really becomes noticeable when you are shooting the ball. You can absolutely smash the ball in these boots. The slight dampened feel sounds like it would be a negative but in reality, it only made me more confident when it came to putting my foot through the ball.
It was after the first two times that I hit some crosses and took a few shots when I realized the feeling was somewhat familiar to me. Looking down at my feet clued me in even more. What I soon understood was that there was a third Mizuno boot whose DNA was put into the Rebula Cup: The Wave Ignitus. Specifically, the shape of the boot is very reminiscent of the Ignitus 2 and the fact that it is so satisfying to hammer the ball in the Rebula Cup reminded me of the Ignitus 1 and the Ignitus 2.
What I started putting together is that although the foam pods seem too mimic the forefoot of the Wave Cup, they also very closely follow the placement of the Bio Control as it was on the Ignitus 2. With that in mind, its not too much of a stretch to call the Rebula Cup a modern interpretation of that boot, though sans the Bio Control panel. I would love to see Mizuno create a one-off Rebula Ignitus with the foam pads being replaced by some Bio Control Panel-esque grip areas.
Just to double-check that I wasn’t just making stuff up in my head because I love Ignitus series. I went out and played with an Ignitus on one foot and the Rebula Cup on another and it confirmed what I had been thinking. I also want to shout out Marco Migaleddu on Instagram (@il_miga) who has been thinking the exact same thing about the Rebula Cup.
This is the one part of the boot that is a hold over from the Rebula 3. On the one hand, I was hoping for the Wave Cup soleplate to be used on these. On the other hand, this soleplate is excellent and is great for multiple surfaces. It’s also surprisingly aggressive.
Here’s what I said about the soleplate in my Rebula 3 Review:
“Even though it is still mostly rounded studs, it provides a good bit more aggressiveness than we have seen previously for this series. It keeps the D-Frame from the previous models (and the discontinued Basara) which is used to help provide grip and allow the boot to torsion with your foot while running and cutting.
Things have been added to the soleplate in other places. A stability spine has been added to the middle of the soleplate to provide support and stability to the bottom of your foot and to stop the boot from over-twisting when running. Three rotational studs have been added to the ball of the area of the foot to allow you to turn without too much stud resistance. What I also like about these studs is that they help relieve pressure on the ball of your foot, which takes a lot of hits while running.
Lastly, Mizuno have reinforced the four rear studs, putting a harder TPU material in the middle of the studs that Mizuno says provides 54 percent more stability. In action, I will say that the changes add up to a more stable soleplate. It also doesn’t feel too stiff and you get a nice smooth and aggressive ride in the boots, giving you a lot of confidence while sprinting.”
As an addendum, I now actually feel that this is the best soleplate in Mizuno’s line up. I prefer this over the Neo soleplate and of course the Morelia II soleplate. I would love to see what this could do with the Neo Beta upper.
Which one: Rebula 3 or Rebula Cup
The one question I keep getting asked is if the Rebula Cup is an improvement over the Rebula 3. I don’t think its an improvement as much as the Rebula Cup is offers something different. I personally prefer the fit and the leather of the Rebula Cup but if prefer your boots to have more tech then go for the Rebula 3. Which ever one you choose, both are brilliant boots and both are the right answer.
I thoroughly enjoyed testing this boot. The boot takes bits from the Wave Cup, the SuperSonic Wave and the Wave Ignitus to create an incredible package that performs in every situation, giving you control and power whenever you need it. No, it’s not as tech heavy as the Rebula 3 and some people may still prefer that boot, but for me this is the best boot in the Rebula series. I’ll admit that I wasn’t expecting to like the Rebula Cup so much but it has been such a revelation that I will go so far as to even say that it is the best boot that Mizuno has released this summer, something that I am surprised to find myself saying even now. They are brilliant. If you love modern leather boots, you have to get a pair of the Rebula Cup. A brilliant boot, with excellent DNA and fantastic performance. An impressive boot.
What do you think of the Rebula Cup? Please share this with your friends and make sure to follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!