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Comparison Review - Mizuno Morelia Neo 4 Beta Elite vs Japan

Mizuno has released its best-selling Morelia Neo 4 Beta Japan for almost a year now. The tradition of upgrades on the Morelia Neo silo is always subtle facelift instead of revamping, and the transition to Morelia Neo 4 Beta Japan this time is no exception. At the same time, the more affordable Mizuno Morelia Neo 4 Beta Elite have also been released. Are they up to the flying marks of the Japan-made big brothers? Let's find out.




Fit


Why is anyone still buying Mizuno boots? Dwarfed by the Swoosh, the Stripes and even the Big Cat, the brand is under-endorsed and even a little obscure in the world of football. However, bring up the topic of Mizuno football boots in front of any ballers who pride themselves as boots enthusiasts and you will be guaranteed unreserved praise for how comfortable the boots are and how great they fit. The anatomical fit of Mizuno football boots has won the most skeptical critics over and the Morelia Neo 4 Beta Elite and Japan have followed the tradition.


The Mizuno Morelia Neo 4 Beta Elite and Japan are made on the same last and have maintained their trademark snug and streamlined fit. They hug the contour of human feet so well that the snugness is evenly distributed toe-to-heel, which is key to eliminate any hotspot and provide a sock-like sensation. Both variants also offer excellent arch support that is crucial to long-term orthopedic health and injury prevention.




Construction and Material


The Mizuno Morelia Neo 4 Beta Elite and Japan have sticked to the winning "knit + leather" formula. The BareFoot Mesh at midfoot offers very direct ball touch as well as uncompromised lockdown. The premium kangaroo leather forefoot, which is a rarity among football boots nowadays, provides exceptional comfort and ball control that only the finest K leather can deliver.



The biggest distinction between the Morelia Neo 4 Beta Elite and Japan lies in the midfoot. The Morelia Neo 4 Beta Japan comes with a slightly stiff and thick Barefoot Mesh material, and the raised, hard plastic Runbird logo of Mizuno doesn't help either. A couple of game or training sessions will certainly be needed to break it in at the midfoot.



Curiously, the Mizuno Morelia Neo 4 Beta Elite, with a significantly smaller price tag, fares better in this department. The Barefoot Mesh on the Elite is thinner and softer, and the heat-pressed logo almost feels non-existent. On feet, they are also more comfortable straight out of the box.



The kangaroo leather used on both the Morelia Neo 4 Beta Elite and Japan is of the highest quality among any footwear. The finishing of the leather on the Morelia Neo 4 Beta Japan is more glossy and glittery, while the Morelia Neo 4 Beta Elite has a leather upper that appears more no-frill but just as soft.



The Morelia Neo Beta series has been the first and only attempt by Mizuno at one-piece upper. The Barefoot Knit that replaces a traditional tongue is very stretchy and maintains elasticity even after extended use. The knit material feels largely the same on both the Morelia Neo 4 Beta Elite and Japan and offers excellent lockdown on the instep.



The soleplates used on both the Morelia Neo 4 Beta Elite and Japan are made of the same lightweight, PEBAX-based material. The conical studs are versatile on both natural and artificial surfaces and the Y-shape midfoot reinforcement provides great stability and torsion resistance.



Many may not believe it, but the heel support on any football boots could be what makes or breaks a great pair of shoes. Both the Morelia Neo 4 Beta Elite and Japan utilize an external heel cup with ample padding and suede heel lining to achieve sturdy yet comfortable heel lockdown. It's arguably the best in the business.




Under the Bonnet


The finishing on the insoles from the Morelia Neo 4 Beta Elite and Japan is slightly different. The sockliners from the Morelia Neo 4 Beta Japan feel really plush to the touch, almost velvety with good friction. The ones from the Elite are more fabric-like, but equally grippy.




Both insoles are relatively thin and made from cheap EVA material that lacks any real cushioning or bounce. If you prefer a little more plushness or spring underfoot, the OuPower Sports Insoles are available here.






Weight


Being the flagship speed boots from Mizuno, the Morelia Neo 4 Beta Elite and Japan are both very lightweight. They will not slow you down even in the dying minutes of the most exhausting games.




Conclusion


The Mizuno Morelia Neo 4 Beta Japan is truly class-leading with premium material and fine engineering and workmanship, but the Elite is no slouch either and rivals any top-grade footwear from the Big 3. If what you are looking for is a pair of boots that simply bring out the best of your games, look no further.







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