While Mizuno has probably watched the majority of the World Cup with a bit of anguish as the majority of their sponsored athletes crash out, the Brazilian poster boy for Mizuno is still advancing with his squad. While Hulk might not be setting the scoring charts alight, he is sporting a gorgeous pair of Brazil-inspired Mizuno Morelia Neos. Now, we have a pair of our own to test and see if boot-spotting savant Jordon English was telling the truth when he said these are one of his favorite boots of all time. Game on!
While Mizuno have now allowed us to stop looking longingly across the ocean at their products by making the leap over to the United States, the question now becomes whether it is worth the risk to take a look at this company and their gear. The Morelia Neo arrives in a stylish black box and is accompanied by a boot bag. The boots we received are in the blue/yellow Brazil colorway and, although we find ourselves saying this rather frequently, pictures do not do this boot justice. The blue is much deeper than I anticipated and the yellow really helps the boot “pop” without making it look tacky.
In your hands, you can immediately feel the quality of the kangaroo leather, but the biggest surprise is how thin the entirety of the boot is. From the heel cup to the tip of the toe-box, the boot is super thin and you can immediately tell that it is built to be super-light. The feeling translates once you put the boots on your feet, but a feeling that typically does not accompany speed boots is also present…comfort.
The Neo is amazingly comfortable. The quality of the leather and build of the boot shines through as soon as you put the boot on and as soon as you walk on the pitch. After my first run-out, the boot felt great and I did not experience any actual break-in time. While I have about 5 boots I am juggling on testing right now, the Morelia Neo is the only one that I chose to use in an actual game situation that I took part in this week. While I did have some concerns about the material that lines the heel, it ended up being a non-issue as it felt great during initial testing.
While testing has only begun with the Neo, there is no doubt that Mizuno has released an extremely impressive boot. It truly seems like it is more a matter of “when” for when Mizuno become a big player over here instead of a matter of “time.” The next step, we would assume, is a bigger footprint with top players and team sponsorship. They have made begun to make a move within the United States as the Atlanta SilverBacks (NASL team) are currently sponsored by the brand and we hope to see their reach extend.
I am really looking forward to the remainder of my time with the Neo and there should be a review up within the next week or so. Until then, know that these boots have made a fantastic first impression and I expect the remainder of our time with the boot to be just as nice. (Sizing note: absolutely true to size)