Perfect for any kind of player, the Sokito Devista is a stunning football boot – vegan or otherwise
Superb grip and traction
Subtle beauty to the boot
Perfect for multiple surfaces
Design is a little too minimal for some
In the early 2000s, David Beckham's Adidas Predator were the boots of the moment – but they weren't for everyone, drawing criticism from certain circles for the materials that they were made from.
Traditionally, kangaroo leather has been a popular material to use in football boots. It offers durability, comfort and certainly looks nicer than the more futuristic plastic that certain brands have opted for this century, sure – but there's certainly a moral issue for many. Even if you're not vegan, you may choose not to wear fur: and what's the difference between that and animal leather?
Fortunately, k-leather is no longer the unrivalled material that it once was. Synthetic options have improved dramatically in the past 20 years – and the Devista Vegan boot from Sokito is proof. A fully vegan football boot that offers the same level of luxury without scrimping on the look, the Devista Vegan is the first football boot to be certified by the Vegan Society. It looks and feels like a regular boot – but the technology of the future in every stitch. So where do they rank among the best football boots around right now?
How we tested
These boots were tested in the park for a kickabout on regular, boring old grass. The surface was somewhat wet after yesterday's rain and but the grass wasn't too long for the ball to zip across the surface. Just how we like it.
Comfort and fit
Perhaps the biggest question with any vegan boot is how the leather is going to feel in comparison to your average kangaroo boot. Within minutes of wearing the Devistas, however, we'd practically forgotten the USP.
Just as Quorn burgers are getting more and more like the real thing, you can't actually tell that Sokito have used 100% vegan materials with this one. The Devista is soft on the foot, stretches when you move – unlike a lot of synthetic materials found in lighter weight boots – and it feels high quality. If Sokito used substitute materials, it certainly doesn't feel that way.
One underrated aspect with these ones are that they're easy to put on, too. There's no shoehorning needed: they slip on, they stay on and unlike a lot of high-range football boots, they don't feel far too snug around your feet.
But maybe the most surprising thing about these boots is quite how light they are. You obviously shouldn't judge a book by its cover but they certainly don't look like they were build for speedsters: yet the Devistas are remarkably lightweight on your feet, despite looking like premium leather to the eye. Deceiving (in a good way).
On the pitch
Look at these boots and you could imagine them being donned by an Italian midfield metronome in the 90s. Unsurprisingly, they stand up to the Pirlo test nicely.
The Devistas are lovely to launch a cross-field sweep with, thanks to the pads on the front of the boot. Not only in distribution, the soft material all over the boot make them lovely to control a pinged pass with from any angle – and the shape of these boots makes them perfect for hitting a ball with any part of your foot since there are no focused zones, like on a Predator.
The stud-plate is sturdy and gives ample grip on the grass, too: as mentioned, we had a slightly slippy surface and didn't feel in danger of a fall in the Devistas in the slightest. The Devistas feel strong, all right: the kind of boot that your dad would approve of, but with the kind of softness to them, too, that can bring out the deftness in your game.
But though the Devistas feel classic, they feel at home in the modern game. It's easy to turn, change pace and swivel in these things: they feel lightyears ahead of boots from even 10 years ago. These are way lighter than some models of boots specifically designed to be lightweight and rapid. That's very impressive.
They're a real Jack-of-all-trade model: whether you're a centre-forward or centre-back, creative wide man or destructive cruncher, they stand up to most tasks admirably.
Wisely, Sokito have chosen not to overload the Devistas with fancy flourishes all over. This is a no-nonsense boot that does the talking on the pitch rather than on the shelves – and they look sleek, mature and sensible to match.
Your eyes are therefore drawn to the stitching and the stud-plate with these. The stitching is really subtle, design-wise, and looks great up close, with the stud-plate offering the flash of colour.
And while it would have been all-too-easy for Sokito to go green with the colour on this one – it's vegan, y'know – they've gone with a bright orange shade. It recalls boots of the early 2010s, thinking specifically about the shades in Nike's World Cup boots for South Africa and Adidas's F50s of around that time – but it still feels contemporary on the Devistas.
There are whiteout versions of the boots, too. Those ones are our favourites.
Sokito obviously aren't one of the big hitters of the football boot world but they've constructed a boot that can compete with some of the most established boots in the world. Given that there isn't a particular focus on any role in the game or type of player that these boots should be worn for, it's ever more impressive.
They feel great, they play great and they look particularly good, too. With football moving away from k-leather and embracing vegan materials, these might just be the go-to boots to invest in.
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