Mizuno Alpha Elite
In the world of football boots, Mizuno is renowned for its exceptional leather offerings. However, a recent addition to their lineup has been creating waves – the Mizuno Alpha Elite.
This football boot is a significant departure for Mizuno, known for their leather craftsmanship, as it ventures into the realm of fully synthetic boots.
In this review, I’ll delve into the highs and lows of the Mizuno Alpha Elite, helping you determine if it’s the right football boot for you.
Design That Balances Tradition and Innovation
Mizuno has opted for a design that strikes a balance between tradition and innovation. The Alpha Elite features a classic lacing system coupled with a synthetic knit upper.
While the upper has a sleek, glossy coating, it doesn’t incorporate the textured exteriors found in some boots. Instead, it boasts a smooth finish, emphasizing simplicity.
Inside the boot, you’ll discover a soft felt lining that extends from the mid foot to the toe box. This material is in direct contact with your foot and, although relatively thin, provides a comfortable fit.
At the rear of the boot, Mizuno introduces a distinctive feature – a sticky black mesh heel liner. This addition serves a purpose, which we’ll explore in more detail later in the review.
Complementing this liner is a robust plastic heel counter, providing stability, especially when you’re sprinting at full tilt.
The tongue of the Alpha Elite is another interesting choice by Mizuno. It’s exceptionally thin, almost resembling a laminated piece of paper.
While this design aligns with the boot’s minimalistic philosophy, it does come across as somewhat lacking in quality.
There’s room for improvement here, as a more comfortable material could have been used without compromising the boot’s thin profile.
The lacing system, on the other hand, is commendable. It runs through the length of the mid foot, ensuring a secure fit that extends from the toe box to the ankle area.
Mizuno even includes an additional hole in the lacing system, offering adjustability for those seeking a closer fit around the ankle.
A Powerful Sole Plate
One of the standout features of the Alpha Elite lies beneath – its sole plate. At first glance, it appears quite simple, adorned with triangular FG studs.
However, appearances can be deceiving. This sole plate offers impressive traction on the pitch, providing stability during quick direction changes. When your foot is planted, you can trust that it won’t budge easily, thanks to these aggressive studs.
The sole plate itself feels lightweight and remarkably rigid towards the heel and midfoot. There’s a touch of springiness towards the toe box, contributing to an agile feel on the pitch.
The Fit, Feel, and Comfort
My initial experience with the Mizuno Alpha Elite wasn’t the smoothest. Putting these boots on proved to be more challenging than expected, primarily due to the overly sticky inner lining around the heel.
This level of grip seemed excessive and unnecessary, especially when the right boot size and a traditional lacing system should prevent excessive slipping in the boot.
Thankfully, once the boots are securely on your feet and laced up, many of these initial complaints fade away.
The Alpha Elite offers a snug fit throughout the foot, with ample space in the toe box. While not necessarily catering to wide feet, it does provide a comfortable fit that doesn’t cramp your toes.
The lightweight upper doesn’t create pressure points, making for a nice experience on feet.
On the Pitch Performance
Playing in the Mizuno Alpha Elite was undoubtedly enjoyable, but it left me yearning for a bit more.
Mizuno’s reputation in crafting excellent leather boots set a high standard, and I had hoped that the transition to synthetic would maintain that level of excellence.
While these boots do offer a close touch on the ball and decent sensitivity, they don’t quite match the ultra-thin profiles of competitors like Adidas’ X Crazyfast or Nike’s Vapor 15.
The real strength of the Alpha Elite lies in its sole plate, with those triangular FG studs offering exceptional traction.
Once your foot is planted, these boots grip the ground securely, aiding in quick direction changes.
However, they don’t quite provide the sensation of a speed boot that disappears from your feet, which is often the hallmark of top-tier options in this category.
Unique Value Proposition
While the Mizuno Alpha Elite might not excel in any specific aspect, it presents a unique value proposition.
Its traditional lacing system sets it apart from most other speed boots on the market. Unlike boots with one-piece uppers, the Alpha Elite offers adjustability, allowing you to fine-tune the fit to your preference.
This advantage is particularly notable because, in the same category, only the Adidas X Crazy Fast Plus offers a traditional lacing system, albeit at a significantly higher price point.
Affordability Meets Performance
What further sweetens the deal is the price tag. The Mizuno Alpha Elite can be yours for $180 or less, making it one of the more affordable options in the speed boot category.
The most significant competition in this price range comes from the Nike Tiempo Legend 10 Pro, retailing for just $140. Despite the competition, the Alpha Elite presents fantastic value for money.
In summary, the Mizuno Alpha Elite deserves a spot on your radar if you’re seeking a straightforward speed boot with a traditional lacing system for under $200.
It might not outshine its competitors in specific aspects, but it offers a unique blend of affordability and customization. Mizuno’s attention to detail could elevate this boot further with slight improvements in the tongue and heel liner.
However, if the lacing system isn’t a deal-breaker for you, there are other compelling options in this category to consider. While I enjoyed my time with the Alpha Elite, Mizuno’s excellent leather boots remain their standout products.
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