Mizuno were the dark horse in last year’s race for supremacy in the football boot world with the release of their seemingly perfect hybrid boot, the Wave Ignitus. Reviews were all positive regarding the boots and there was an air of expectancy when Mizuno released their successor to the Wave Ignitus. Luckily, Soccer Reviews has had the chance to put the boot through its paces over the past few weeks. Thanks to Mizuno for making this review possible and to Madeline Kim for the photography.
Design (3/5, A design that looks good, however only a few professional players sport them)-
Mizuno adhered to the old adage, “Why fix something that isn’t broke,” as they only made slight updates to the Wave Ignitus II, rather than producing serious aesthetic changes. These changes include a different and newly redesigned and placed Mukaiten Panel, which is now larger and higher up on the instep.
I had the opportunity to test the Blue Danube colorway of the Mizuno Wave Ignitus II, which was one of the two launch colorways of the boots, along with the Black/Pink pair that Roque Santa Cruz wears. Be warned, these boots are not to be worn by the fainthearted as they are deceivingly bright, an aspect you can’t really pick up through our images online. With that said, they do look very ‘techie’ and modern, consequently drawing a barrage of questions about the boots.
This boot’s main weakness in the design department is the lack of professional support it has. Bar Keisuke Honda and Roque Santa Cruz, neither of whom are of star status, there are no names of note that come to mind when thinking of the Wave Ignitus II. While we understand Mizuno do not have the resources or marketing campaigns of that of the Nikes, adidas’, and PUMAs, we just wish that more players would convert into the Mizuno Wave Ignitus II, a move which would add credibility to the boots.
Comfort (4.5/5, Great out of the box comfort, you can wear them straight into a match and be happy with the comfort)-
The Mizuno Wave Ignitus II’s strongest point is most likely the almost unmatched comfort levels which it offers. Simply put, you would have to search high and low to find a more comfortable and form fitting boot than the Ignitus II (other than the Umbro Speciali Statement of course).
Kangaroo leather generally guarantees a high standard of comfort, but rarely does it reach the level at which Mizuno produced in the Wave Ignitus II. While it does start out a little stiff right out of the box, the Wave Ignitus II quickly softened up at the beginning of my first training session in them and have continued to mold to my feet ever since. The upper hugs your foot, and this can be attributed to the BioPanels that riddle the upper of the boot along with the off centered lacing system that ensures a nice tight fit. The padded tongue is another factor in the boot’s comfortability, as it is ‘plush’ in the sense that it sits right on top of your foot and rather than being a nuisance, you like having it there.
Something we don’t bring up too often is the pressure that is alleviated in the subject boots, but this was particularly noticeable while wearing the Mizuno Wave Ignitus II so I felt it necessary to bring up. As a person who plays predominantly on turf pitches, I prefer shorter bladed studs as opposed to long conical ones. Mizuno have developed a very interesting and effective soleplate that helps reduce pressure on the foot, subsequently providing for a more comfortable experience.
In terms of fit, I tested a pair of US10.5 boots. I have slightly wide feet and sometimes have to accommodate that by going up half a size, however I decided to test my true size, knowing about the expanding properties kangaroo leather possesses. These are very true to size, however, because the upper expands and conforms to the shape of your foot, you could go down half a size if you prefer a tight fit.
Performance (3.5/5, There are some performance enhancers that will help some part of your game)-
This is the reason why Mizuno had people flocking to the Wave Ignitus; the promise of becoming a better player without totally emptying your coffers. At first glance you are bombarded with technologies, including the small grippy BioPanels that line the upper and the fabled Mukaiten Panel that rests right in front of the ankle.
You are all obviously dying to hear how the Mukaiten Panel works, and based on my tests so far, it is probably the greatest gimmick of all time. I have yet to replicate a ‘No Spin’ hit akin to Keisuke Honda’s World Cup heroics, and while that could be down to a huge gulf in talent between the Japanese star and me, that would mean that that same gulf would exist and apply to most of the potential consumers as well! The Mukaiten Panel sits quite a bit higher than the average instep strike zone, meaning that unless you willing to spend hours on end mastering that particular technique (ie Didier Drogba and Keisuke Honda), it won’t have too much effect on your actual game.
The BioPanels on the other hand are a completely different story. They add a significant amount of grip to your touch, and that is completely feasible considering they are friction increasing material. When the ball is at your feet they are noticeable, and while it isn’t quite as obvious when you are striking the ball, you still can feel the ball ‘jump’ off the BioPanels. Like I said in my review of the original Nike CTR360 Maestri in regards to the Pass Pad, it just feels ‘right’ to shoot the ball on the BioPanels as they offer a firm striking platform.
Value (4/5, Worth more than you paid for, a good bargain and price for a great product which lasts over a year, with a bag thrown in)-
Based on my past experiences with Mizuno football boots, I knew that their boots were made of the highest quality and that was only reaffirmed when testing out the Wave Ignitus II. While most boots start to separate between the soleplate and upper near the toe region when using them on astro turf pitches, I have yet to see any signs of wear with these, bar a little bit of discoloring on the front of the right boot (nothing serious). If they continue to hold up, the boots should last a good year and a half, if not two, thus justifying their price tag. With that said, the price of the Mizuno Wave Ignitus II isn’t all that much in relative terms in a market riddled by inflated prices, with the boots being available for around $170-190 USD.
Another extra that helps with the boot’s value is the bag that is thrown in. It’s a decent quality bag that ably does it’s job of transporting your Ignitus’ around! While it’s not that big of a deal, Soccer Reviews do judge a boot harshly if the manufacturer omits to provide a bag or extra of some sort to go along with the product itself. The reason behind this is that we know players appreciate extras, and what better cost value extra than a string bag? It’s additional marketing and makes the consumer happy, plus, it enables the boot to get a higher score on Soccer Reviews!
15/20 or 75%
1. Comfort: The Mizuno Wave Ignitus II is one of the most comfortable boots on the market with its extremely soft and supple kangaroo leather upper. The boots should conform to your feet starting from Day 1, and will only continue to get softer and more form fitting.
2. Value: The Mizuno Wave Ignitus II’s construction is second to none as they are nigh indestructible thanks to meticulous production. They will serve you well for a very long time.
3. Performance Enhancing: While many scoff at the notion that boots help a player, I can honestly say that the BioPanels do aid some aspects of your game, or at least more so than other boots on the market.
1. Mukaiten Panel… Myth?: A huge factor behind the Ignitus’ stunning rise to prominence was the awe that surrounded the Mukaiten Panel. Translated from Japanese, it means ‘No Spin’, and players are almost deceived into believing that they will instantly strike the ball as well Keisuke Honda did in South Africa. From my testing, I can honestly say that the Mukaiten Panel is the definition of a gimmick. With that said, I want to stress that other technologies do work effectively on the Wave Ignitus II! Just be aware that you may not experience instant success with the Mukaiten Panel.
I was skeptical coming into the review, finding it hard to believe that Mizuno could have produced as good a boot as everybody claimed. The mystical Mukaiten Panel beckoned, unfortunately failed to deliver, however, other than that disappointment, I can see why the Wave Ignitus was and continues to be enveloped by hype. Mizuno have developed a supremely comfortable and performance enhancing boot that is better put together than most on the market yet remains for sale at an affordable price. Fantastic job from Mizuno!