There are very few boots that carry the intrigue of the Wave Ignitus line from Mizuno. With the crazy shooting elements that have been present since its inception, the amazingly unique stud-pattern, and the oft-maligned Mukaiten panel, the Wave Ignitus is a prize for any collector, player, or (for those of us too poor for the first option and too mediocre for the second) a reviewer. Now that Mizuno have made the jump to the United States, the boot still carries an air of mystery, but its new-found availability has everyone super excited. Luckily, Mizuno found us worthy to test out one of the last remaining “power” boots, and we have jumped in eagerly.
Although it took some convincing for me to move past the massively impressive Morelia Neo, the Wave Ignitus III nearly forces you to wear it out of sheer curiosity. The boot we received is in the non-Honda colorway from Brazil and it comes with a boot bag. A gorgeous looking boot, the Ignitus is known more for its impressive strike elements than its appearance (especially as the Wave Ignitus III has been released in very LOUD/contrasting colors so far). The “Tatekaiten” section feels amazingly aggressive in your hands, while the “Mukaiten” (no-spin) panel seems to have been dialed back on this release.
The Wave Ignitus is amazingly distinguishable by boot nerds, but will leave recreational players staring at your boots in a puzzled manner. The III is absolutely covered in tech and Mizuno have chosen to coat the newest Ignitus in some very bright/contrasting colors. The synthetic material on our pair also has been given a color treatment that changes depending on how the light strikes the synthetic side of the boot. Mizuno has not been afraid of giving their “power” boot a look that draws in any onlooker, and our purple/yellow/black version is still fairly bright.
The biggest item with the look of the Ignitus is all the shooting aids that cover a massive chunk of the boot. The Ignitus is plastered with big fins near the forefoot progressing into even more tech until you reach the boot’s collar. While the colors may draw people in, it is the crazy look of the tech that will have people reaching to touch the Ignitus out of sheer curiosity. For such a boot with an air of mystery like this one, it certainly seems to have been outfitted adequately.
With most boots that incorporate some form of shooting technology, the first worry will always be the ball getting stuck underneath you. However, the Ignitus avoids the trap of the first few adidas LZs with their excessive “stickiness” and provides a positive touch while still being loaded down with goodies. The synthetic is slightly padded, but is thin enough to allow for a great feel for the ball. While the areas with the shooting elements do feel more padded, it does not change the touch enough to negatively impact your play. Not to mention, the shooting elements help give shooting a very gratifying feel.
To continue with the shooting, anyone looking for these shooting elements to immediately have them knuckling shots, curling shots with ridiculous curl, or striking 5-10 mph harder will be disappointed. However, the Ignitus continues to feel like a boot that can be used as an extremely comfortable and effective aid in learning certain techniques. While knuckling the ball is a difficult act, the Ignitus has attempted to give you a target for where you should strike the ball in order to get the desired effect. The same can be said for anyone wanting to curl the ball a bit more or get more zip on their shots as the shooting elements are perfectly placed to work on these techniques and improve them through proper form instead of hoping for a “miracle boot.” All of the elements on the Ignitus serve a definite purpose and help it feel great to strike the ball in any manner, making it a very enjoyable boot to use.
Oddly enough, I felt that the fins on the front of the boot helped with bringing balls out of the air by providing something that the original LZs had hoped to create. While not something the Ingitus has touted, it definitely felt to be true. It may also add a bit of protection for harsh tackles, which couples well with the very solid external heel counter. Unlike the Morelia Neo, the Ignitus executes its job and keeps wearers as safe as possible. It was also fun to dribble and pass in the Wave Ignitus from the sheer quality of materials used, which is something that surprises nobody that has used Mizuno product before. A true joy to be on the ball with…definitely.
While the biggest fear during play was a fear of the boots being “sticky,” the other fear was derived from the new Ignitus shifting to synthetic instead of leather. While the kangaroo leather may be missed, it seems obvious that everything that Mizuno wanted on this boot required a synthetic in order for all the extras to be securely attached. However, the boot felt great upon first wear and only took two/three sessions in order for the boot to start to feel comfortable. The synthetic does mean that there will be a lot less stretch than past version of the boot, so anybody that needed the extra stretch in order to maintain optimum comfort should probably stay away. For a boot with so much going on, it is impressive that the upper could ever reach such a positive fit.
The soleplate on the Wave Ignitus continue to have the crazy triangular stud pattern that has served the Ignitus range for several incarnations, but with some slight differences. This version had a bit more flexibility in the plate from right out of the box and does not have any extra materials used to stiffen the forefoot (as the Wave Ignitus II did). The traction is good on a decent firm ground pitch and it translates decently to soggier/harder natural surfaces. However, the zig-zag triangles are prone to pick up small dirt clods/grass clods and hold them in…something that can change the traction as your game/practice goes on. As with any FG boot, this boot is not made for artificial surfaces and should not be used on them.
A Wave Ignitus has always been a prized possession and is something that every soccer player wants to try out. Luckily, the curiosity is matched by the quality that Mizuno have put out with the Ignitus III. A decent break-in time, a very high comfort level, and some satisfying elements that bring some serious joy to addressing the ball seem to blend together perfectly in Mizuno’s “power” outing. With the increasing opportunity to snag the boot, Mizuno has made sure that none of their new fans will be disappointed.
Who’s Wearing It
If you are looking for players wearing the Wave Ignitus III, then your best bet would have been during the World Cup. But, Mizuno still have a fine stable of players sporting the III with AC Milan’s Keisuke Honda easily being the most high-profile of the bunch (especially as he tends to get signature colorways!).
Bang For Your Buck
In terms of pricing, the current Wave Ignitus is available on the Mizuno USA website for around $210. In today’s market, it is a competitive price, but far from being a less-expensive alternative. If you want to finally get a chance in these bad boys, you will have to spend some cash. However, if my time with them has taught me anything, it is that you will not be disappointed.
SIZING NOTE: TRUE TO SIZE (SLIGHTLY NARROW)
This boot definitely fits true, but lacks some of the forgiveness of other boots for people that may have wider feet.