What the shoe is supposed to do
Made from super soft, highest grade kangaroo leather to improve comfort and touch. Integrated into the upper are the 360o which offers total control, power and precision, while the Mukaiten Panel delivers deadly ball speed. The outsole has been designed to reduce stud pressure and increase flexibility to improve traction on firm ground.
A technology unique to Mizuno football, ‘Mukaiten’, which simply means ‘No Spin’ is a technique when striking the ball.It travels through the air with no spin and an unpredictable flight path, more than often fooling the keeper, hence the goalkeeper’s nightmare! With the Mukaiten Panel placed strategically on the instep, the Wave Ignitus football boot is set to take the footballing world by storm.
I have to say of all the shoes that I have ever worn, none were more comfortable out of the box as these shoes were. I tried these on and they immediately were extremely comfortable. They have an unusually narrow heel cup, lined with a soft smooth synthetic “suede-like” material. This suede material is extremely comfortable out of the box on any shoe, like the k-leather Nike Laser III, but unlike the swede on that heel, this one did not dry out, staying super smooth and spongy. Because the heel is so narrow it locks in your foot, not allowing for any rubbing in the heel area, eliminating any chance of getting blisters. The shoe fits at around a regular width, maybe leaning towards a wider fitting shoe. I do have a narrow foot but did not encounter any fit issues. The tongue is unusually thick and padded, partnered with a central lacing system that allows for a super tight, secure fit. The sole plate seems to have an unadvertised carbon fiber sole, eliminating stud pressure and creating a more comfortable fit over long periods of time. They are not at all stiff out of the box and I had absolutely no trouble wearing them for 3 hours straight for the first time. I wore a size 9US in these, which is my normal size for a tight fitting shoe, and these did fit me perfectly, so go for your normal size.
They are advertised as 8oz soccer shoes, which is actually quite light, around the same weight as Nike Vapors. The truth is that they are actually pretty light, in your hands. On your feet though, they don’t give that same feeling of weightlessness that a pair of Adidas Adizeros or even Nike Vapors will give. Whether this is a mental thing or the truth, it is what I experienced playing with these shoes.
The Mizunos sport a very strange stud configuration. Made up of fairly long bladed studs, which run along a fair part of the side of the boot, with the standard 4 blades in the back. What this odd configuration does create is comfort, as the stud pressure is very evenly dispersed along the bottom of your foot. This also makes for a very stable feeling as there is a lot of the actual shoe touching the ground then your standard stud configuration. Unfortunately, I felt that it did not provide well in the way of traction. I found myself slipping repeatedly on a mildly soft field. Doing simple one on ones I found myself slipping and even falling while attempting to make quick changes of direction from side to side. With that said, I did not have any problems with stops and starts going forwards. They aren’t bad in terms of traction, but if you are on any kind of softer field, you may run into problems.
These are definitely a protective shoe. They offer tons in terms of padding on top of the foot with the thick tongue. The rubber pads that surround the outside of the foot give the shoe a very safe feeling as they are fairly thick as well. The large heel cup will also protect you from any kicks from behind.
If you don’t have a good touch, no shoes are going to help you, but I found these shoes not very helpful. Right out of the box I was surprised at the quality of the kangaroo leather that these shoes had. It did not seem overly soft and almost felt like it had hardened, or dried out. Although this did not at all effect the comfort, it was a disappointment. My other complaint in the touch department would have to be the super thick tongue. You can’t really feel the ball hit the top of your foot upon juggling or even when taking the ball down with the top of your foot. To say the least it feels awkward. The other strange feature on this boot is the small little hard rubber pads that covet the instep of the shoe. They are surprisingly slippery on contact with the ball and make receiving a hard pass just a little more difficult than necessary. The Mukaiten pad, located just above the outside arch of your foot, made of a super tacky rubber, led to several stumbles on the ball. It creates almost too much grip to the ball, and makes for unsuspected stumbles when the ball sticks to your foot as you push it forward, making dribbling at high speed a risky business.
This is where the Wave Ignitus gets it right. The awkwardly thick tongue makes for an almost perfect amount of padding upon striking the ball. The small rubber pads on the instep create a fair amount of padding as well for shooting. They don’t grip the ball well, and are fairly slick, so you won’t be able to bend the ball as effectively as say the laser III’s. But the star and main reason to buy this shoe is for the Mukaiten pad. This super tacky pad is supposed to allow for a knuckle ball, dipping shot, similar to that of Cristiano Ronaldo. So does it work? The answer is yes, it does, if you can master the technique. This pad, when struck properly creates a strange no spin effect on the ball making the ball do spectacular dips and curves in the air. The unfortunate part about it is that the technique to achieve such a strike is extremely difficult and only really possible in a free-kick situation. The skill is very awkward as you must open up your foot so the instep of your striking foot is parallel to the net while coming in contact with the ball. This strange technique seemed to create much strain on my knee and I was only able to hit a proper one once every ten shots.
They are very well built and seem like a solid made shoe. The k-leather is soft, but not so soft that it will overstretch and wreck the feel of the shoe. After about 20 hours of use they don’t show any major signs of wear apart from some loose stitching, but nothing major.
They definitely are good shoes, but perhaps not as good as I thought. The Mukaiten pad serves its purpose in a dead ball situation if you have the skill to do so, but I the end is what made this shoe not so great for me. It’s great for shooting but I found myself slipping and falling while dribbling and changing direction. Although I wasn’t a fan of the overall shoe, I have to say that this is bar none the most comfortable shoe that I have ever worn. It’s not my favorite shoe, but its not the worst either. If you’re looking for something different in the soccer shoe department, then I would definitely try these out.
Comfort/Fit 10 out of 10
Weight 8 out of 10
Traction 6 out of 10
Protection 8 out of 10
Touch 6 out of 10
Shooting 8 out of 10
Durability 7 out of 10
Total score 53 out of 70 or 76%