A Great Boot
Mizuno’s Monarcida series is one of the reasons why the Runbird dominates the Japanese market. Coming in at a cheaper price than many other Japan made models, the Monarcida was a classic go to for people who did not want to spend the extra bit of cash on the more expensive Morelia Neo or regular Morelia series. Unfortunately, the newest Monarcida series is no longer made in Japan, and to make matters worse, the price has also risen to 20,000 yen (about $150 USD, 137 EUR, 120 Pounds). While this seems relatively inexpensive by international standards, this is 2000 yen more than the previous made in Japan model. Even worse, this makes it only slightly cheaper than the Japan-made Morelia II. So even within Mizuno there is some stiff competition. Good thing the Monarcida Elite delivers.
Fit and Feel
One of the things that is noticeable versus the old Japan made model is that the overall package feels a but more premium and it does not seem as if Mizuno decided to raise the price for no reason. The boot feels really nice from the first wear and the fit is as good as one would expect from most Mizuno models. The heel has a good shape, with nice padding and the addition of a nice and soft suede heel liner that does feel a bit nicer than the previous model.
The other thing that has got a slight upgrade is the insole, which feels a bit nicer overall and has a grippy service that stops the foot from sliding around. The overall cushioning on the insole is good and there is no stud pressure, even on artificial grass surfaces. This is not to say that it is on par with some of the Japan model insoles, but it is up there and even better than other leather/synthetic boots, like the Puma King Mirai, for example.
The leather also feels premium and had there not been a previous Japan model to compare it to, it could be argued that it is one of the best leathers that Mizuno had put out. The problem is, while the fit and feel of the leather is indeed great, it is not quite the same level as Japan made leather boots. Though it is close, but some of the quality and care is missing.
And while some of the pickiest people might notice an ever so slight change in the fit, overall, it is excellent and provides that confidence that one expects with Mizuno boots. It also seems like the last from the previous models were shipped from Japan to the factories in Vietnam so that the general fit is extremely similar to the Japan models. This is to say that the Mizuno Monarcida Elite are very comfortable.
As a consequence of this comfort, the Monarcida Elite break in very easy, only taking around a full session to stretch and form around the foot. It has to be said that most leather boots in the market have become much better in recent years (mostly), few can keep up with Mizuno when it comes to break in time and overall fit and comfort. However, there is a slight issue with the fit in the length.
So, normally with most Mizuno products I go half a size down as they have been running longer in recent years and normally they fit my feet excellently. However, with the Monarcida Elite I went true to size as half size down was too tight. True to size fits well, but there is a slight gap on my other toes which considering I normally wear my boots with no space in the toes, it was a little frustrating to see. It does not affect the play in the boots, but it was still slightly annoying. Though, I might be the only one who is bothered by this.
As one would and should expect from a Mizuno boot, the touch on the ball in the Mizuno Monarcida Elite is very good. There are no real grip elements or anything fancy on the boot to aid touch and there are no issues. It could be imagined that Mizuno would make the synthetic midfoot slightly sticky to aid touch, but that might have raised the price of the boots even more for only what is normally a slight difference. There is an ever so slight stickiness on the Mizuno logo itself which also has some ridges that seem to be there to somewhat aid the touch or to add detailing. Either way, there is nothing to really get in the way. This also goes for the leather forefoot. It is nice and soft and has just enough plushness to cushion the ball without feeling like the touch on the ball is deadened. And as one might imagine, this makes the boots great for dribbling the ball as well. They are not a tricky winger’s boot, but they do not need to be.
Passing and Shooting
There is nothing overly complicated about the boots here as well. They pretty much do what you would expect them to do and it is refreshing to have a boot like the Monarcida Elite not try and overcomplicate things. Short and long range passing feels good and there is a nice confidence in the boot due to the overall fit. The uncomplicated nature of the boots means they are suited for just about anyone and what you put into them is what you are going to get out of them.
This also goes for shooting in the boots. Shooting always feels satisfactory in any of the boots in the Neo series and the Monarcida Elite is no different. There is just enough there to give a confidence with shooting but there is none of that ping that one would get from a speed boot. Not that it matters really. Leather fans will get what they are hoping for here.
The soleplate found on the Mizuno Monarcida Elite is the same one that one will find on the Morelia Neo 3 and the Morelia Neo 3 Beta. It is not overly aggressive, but it does offer more bite than one would expect. It is also very comfortable to run in and as mentioned before, has no stud pressure. Since almost all of the studs are rounded this means that it is easy to pivot in the boots which makes them safer on artificial grass than a boot with a bladed soleplate. There is also some snapback to found and it is more than one would expect from a boot like this. Overall, a solid soleplate that impresses by not trying to impress.
The Big Issue
Again, the boots are not made in Japan and the price has been raised. There are probably a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, Mizuno probably wanted to save money on the cost of one of their most popular boots. Secondly, A good reason to switch from the boots being made in Japan to Vietnam makes them cheaper to export overseas and there is a chance we might be seeing the boots show up on international storefronts without that normal premium price that comes with a Mizuno boot.
The Mizuno Monarcida Elite is an great boot that should be an option for anyone looking to save some cash versus the Japan models in Mizuno’s line up. I do wish Mizuno had done a bit more to separate the line from previous models. The Monrcida is a popular series (four of us were wearing the same model at practice last night) but Mizuno’s latest move will only make sense if the newest Monarcida Elite gets an international release. If it does not, it somewhat leaves it in a weird spot as a great boot that is overshadowed by its Japan made siblings.
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