12 months ago, we only had one lightweight kangaroo leather boot on the market. And, if anything, the adiPure IV SL was a concept boot more than anything. Today, the market is swimming with lightweight kangaroo leather boots. While we reviewed the Puma King SL earlier this month, Mizuno’s Morelia Neo has floated under the radar when it comes to player uptake. Yet it is on the feet of Hulk and Dzagoev, two of the most wanted players on the market at the moment. We’ve had the Morelia Neo for a little while, now it’s time to see whether Mizuno’s creation will be able to make it in a cut-throat lightweight boot market.
Come on. Take a look at it. It is an absolutely beautiful boot! The green colourway went against the grain of the traditional and conservative Morelia range, plus it was definitely a bit too bright for my tastes. But one look at the White/Black/Red colourway and I knew it was the football boot that I wanted. Plus the Black/White/Red colourway looks gorgeous too. The Mizuno Morelia range is going through a development stage at the moment; it’s had to contend with the lightweight boots on the market. It’s hard for Mizuno to keep the tradition of the range with this new concept, and I think they’ve absolutely nailed it with the White/Black/Red colourway. With so many bright football boots on the market, you can be assured that the Mizuno Morelia Neo does have two more conservative options if bright isn’t your thing.
Mizuno arguably make the most comfortable football boots on the market, but has that carried through to the Morelia Neo? Sort of. The old Morelia is known for its supreme levels of comfort, but with Mizuno shaving about 110 grams off the Morelia MD to create the Morelia Neo (280 grams to about 170 grams), it’s near nigh impossible for the boot to keep the same levels of comfort. If I could, I would give the Morelia Neo a 3.75/5 for comfort, but I’ll round it up to 4.
Performance: (3.5/5) – A reliable boot that does everything you expect it to
What I like about the Morelia Neo is that it’s simple, traditional and untouched. A lot of the sub 200 gram boots on the market come with strange stud configurations or technology that probably doesn’t work (I’m looking at you miCoach F50 adiZero). But with the Mizuno Morelia Neo, what you see is what you get, and it is this reliability that I thoroughly enjoyed in the Mizuno Morelia Neo. Plus it comes in at 170 grams, making it feel nice and light on your feet.
While this does mean dribbling is a delight in the Morelia Neo because you feel so close to the ball, you are sacrificing protection at the same time. In saying that, kicking in the Morelia Neo feels like what kicking in a K-Leather boot feels like. It’s outstanding, it’s not like the thinner upper hurts your foot when you kick the ball. From 30 yard driven passes to finesse shots, you can do it all in the Morelia Neo. The upper provides such a clean kicking surface, plus the satisfaction you get from kicking in a K-Leather boot is something that you’ll never achieve with a synthetic leather boot. Something I really liked about the boot is the breathable tongue. The tongue gives the Neo a really solid feel, and kicking the ball through the laces really doesn’t make it feel like you’re kicking with a 170 gram football boot with the quality tongue.
While there’s a lot of lightweight boots on the market these days, the boots that are in direct competition with the Mizuno Morelia Neo are the Puma King SL, Tiempo Legend IV Elite, KL EvoSpeed and the K-Leather Pele Sports Trinity. The Mizuno Morelia Neo retails for £150, which is the same as the Puma King SL and the KL EvoSpeed. It’s a competitive price tag, plus it comes in with a boot bag. Okay, it’s really little more than a drawstring bag, but something with the name of the boot you’re wearing is better than nothing! But while you can look around and get the Puma King SL for less than £150 (especially the launch colourway), the Mizuno Morelia Neo isn’t going to be discounted any time soon.
The Final Score
Total: 15.5/20 (or 78%)
The adiPure IV SL first introduced the concept of super lightweight kangaroo leather boots last year. We thought it was the perfect combination, a light boot and a K-Leather upper, what could go wrong? In the end, that boot left us slightly disappointed. This is why the current batch of lightweight K-Leather boots had big shoes to fill. There was a massive storm of excitement when the Mizuno Morelia Neo was revealed to be weighing in at 170 grams, and in my eyes, it has delivered. When you look at the whole package, then you can say that Mizuno have delivered. The upper, while very thin and may be susceptible to poor durability, is unique and offers an amazing feel for the ball. The conical stud configuration offers no traction issues, while the Pebax soleplate does a good job in keeping the weight of the boot down. But when you consider that Mizuno have been able to keep the tradition of the Morelia within the Neo through the K-Leather upper, clean looks and conical studs, that is what makes it an impressive football boot.