These kangaroo leather boots are light and durable, and feel like a homage to classic designs forgotten by the big brands
Old school design makes them stand out
Light and soft for good first touch and speed
Leather and sturdy sole give durable feel
Snug fit won't be comfy for everyone's feet
Sole might be too stiff for some
Laces were a little short
The Sokito Devista football boots are an exciting new entry onto the market from a start-up British manufacturer, who are aiming to create the world's most eco-friendly boot.
Sokito boots are handmade – something it's deeply unusual to see in an industry dominated by a couple of major brands.
These are the kind of gaps in the market it makes sense to try and fill, and the kind of innovation that can hold fire to the feet of your Nikes and your Adidases.
Former Watford defender and Jamaica international Adrian Mariappa has been sporting them already and Sokito are lining up stars from the Premier League and Bundesliga to join him.
But are they among the best football boots out there?
How we tested the Sokito Devista football boots
We've taken these out for several 5-a-side and 7-a-side games on artificial pitches – some of them fairly physical affairs – plus training and kickabouts on normal grass pitches. The latter was during a summer heatwave, so those pitches were rock hard.
We tested a pair of the Sokito Devista in a UK size 9 (US 10/EUR 44 - Women's: UK 9/US 11/EUR 43.5), and the pair we used don't have the flappy tongue over the laces that is available on some models.
Comfort and fit
The first thing we noted about these boots is just how stiff the soles are. As football boots have grown lighter, the bases have grown more flexible, and our first thoughts were: Will these soles slow us down? Will they let down our first touch?
But once the boots were on, concerns about stiffness melted away.
They're also noticeably narrow, leading to a snug fit – these probably aren't the football boots for you if you have wide feet. However, FFT found them to be immediately comfy, and the Devistas needed no time to break them in.
And they feel super light. Made with kangaroo leather to ensure durability, we had suspicions that they would be heavy and potentially cumbersome, but were wrong on both counts.
On the pitch
• RRP: £149-£149.99
• Gender specification: No difference in gender specs
• Sizes available: 6-12
• Colours: Black; black and red; blue and white; white; orange and black; orange and white; plus customisation
• Recommended for: Players watching their carbon footprint
The snugness means you get a responsive first touch, and the light weight and narrow design combine to alleviate any concerns that a superficially stiff sole might slow you down. In fact, once the boots were on, FFT found that they didn't feel stiff at all, only sturdy.
For a proper leather boot, they felt very soft. Essentially, these are modern boots for fans of the old Adidas Copa Mundial: no-nonsense, durable, reliable. They certainly seem like a pair of boots you won't need to replace in a year's time.
We would recommend buying some longer laces alongside the boots, as we found the ones that come with the boot are too short, and we prefer to play with a tight double knot.
The first thing to note about these boots is their eco-friendly credentials. Sokito claims that 56 per cent of the materials in the boot are "earth-friendly", and the only leather they use is kangaroo leather, which is a side product of government control of wild kangaroo populations in Australia.
The shoe contains 2.5 recycled bottles, as well as other recycled plastics. While that element is forward-thinking, the boots go for a more traditional approach in the looks department.
The pair we tested were a straight-forward pair of black football boots, like Wot We Used To Have When We Were Kids. They are just about as basic as you can get.
But that's not a criticism (or not necessarily, anyway). So many boots these days are vibrant beacons of neon that a boot as simply designed as this can be very welcome indeed. In the smorgasbord of customisability and choice (Sokito themselves claim you can order the Devista in 95 million colour combinations if you wish), plain-old black boots sometimes feel to have been forgotten.
The black and red design option comes with a long tongue that covers the laces and loops under the studs with elastic to keep it in place. It's a homage to the classic Adidas Predator football boots, and it's one that frankly delights us.
Similarly, the laces are slightly off-centre, reminding us of Nike Total 90s in their 2000s pomp.
A photo posted by on
The Sokito Devistas are a great pair of football boots, available for much less than the top-of-the-range models available from Nike and Adidas.
We've referenced several other lines in this review, which is not something we normally do, but these really reminded us of classic boots from 15 years ago or so: if you want a pair of boots that feel like a mix between Adidas Copa Mundials and Nike Total 90s, these are the ones for you.
That's not to say they're old fashioned – and Sokito's environmental credentials are anything but – it's just to say that, for a brand that is new to the football boot market, these feel familiar in a really comforting way.
It's great to see a new UK brand with such an emphasis of craftsmanship and sustainability, and we'll be keeping a keen eye on what Sokito do next.
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