A Superb Eco-friendly Alternative
Thanks to Sokito for providing the boots. Check them out here: Sokito.com
In the past few years, the Big Brands have finally decided that they should invest in and create eco-friendly products. It has taken longer than expected, but it is good to see the brands starting to get their act together. They are even having parts of their boots made out of recycled or eco-friendly materials on a consistent basis. But the feeling is that they could always do more. Given their R&D budgets, overall market value and sales, there is more than enough money around for this to be improved. Which makes it all the crazier that a new brand like Sokito comes in and absolutely crushes the other brands when it comes to being eco-friendly. There are a lot of things that Sokito does better: a good mix of natural materials being used in the boots, the fact that all the boots are designed to be eco-friendly rather than as part of a greenwashing initiative, and a good end of life cycle plan. But all of this would mean nothing if Sokito did not deliver an excellent product as part of this, but they absolutely nailed it.
Fit and Feel
One of the remarkable things about the Devista is the fact that there is a kangaroo leather version of the boots. We’ve gone into this previously as to why, but the fact is kangaroos are still regarded as pests and the leather is a byproduct from yearly culls that happen whether the big brands buy the leather or not. The leather itself is not as soft as some other boots out of the box, but they very quickly soften up, taking only about a session to break in. After that it feels high quality and stretches nicely around the foot. There has also been no overstretching as the leather forms to the foot but then keeps it shape well.
The boots are very comfortable and one of the things that aids this comfort is the fact that the whole inside of the boot is lined with a eco-suede lining material which gives the boots a lovely feel and touch. This includes the heel area, which while not as padded as other leather boots, actually feels properly shaped and still provides plenty of cushion to the back of the foot. This shape of the heel is good and is among the best that have been tested this year by the blog. For an industry that often treats the heel as an afterthought, it is welcoming to see a brand nail the fit in this area.
Speaking of the fit, the overall shape of the boot is great and follows the foot well. There are no weird bulges or hotspots and the synthetic midfoot does an excellent job of holding the foot in place. The synthetic midfoot is also pliable and provides a good amount of support. If one were to be hypercritical, I personally prefer a slightly lower cut boot but the flipside is there is more stability and protection on the sides of the boot.
Interestingly, even though the lacing system is not that deep, since the overall fit is so good there is a great amount of lockdown on offer and at no point does the foot feel like it is sliding out of the boot. The positioning of the laces does a good job of keeping the midfoot and the top of the foot locked into the boot. Part of this comes down to the fact that the final eyelet is located slightly higher up the boot than others found on the market, meaning that unlike some boots, it does not feel as if a runner’s knot is even needed.
It would be weird not to mention how excellent the insole is. It has plenty of cushioning without feeling overly squishy. The top of the insole is covered in this very soft suede-like material that feels really good on feet and grips the sock nicely.
Another thing that is appreciated in the Sokito Devista is how much leather there is on the forefoot. A lot of brands seem as if they are trying their best to use as little amount of leather as possible, the Devista covers the entire forefoot in leather, and it even goes slightly into the midfoot section of the boot. This is great because this means that the part of the foot that makes contact with the ball the most is covered this nice, great feeling, leather.
As far as sizing is concerned, I went true to size and the fit was perfect. It was slightly snug, but as regular readers will know, this is how I prefer my boots to fit. So, I highly recommend going true to size.
Since the leather on the upper is nice, this also means that the boots provide an excellent touch on the ball. Even in wet conditions, the touch feels assured and provides a good amount confidence on the ball. Also, interesting to note is that the water absorption is minimal meaning that even in some of the worst conditions, the touch does not feel sloppy or dull. The leather has decent thickness, but it is still thin enough to feel sharp and accurate when controlling the ball.
The nice, consistent leather surface also means that dribbling is a simple but uniform feel with the ball. There are no gimmicks, but the leather provides that natural feel that one would expect of a leather boot. The synthetic midfoot also has a nice, simple surface which means there is nothing to get in the way when controlling the ball on this area of the foot and just adds to that steady feeling the boot provides.
Passing and Shooting
So, the Soktio Devista is fairly simple in its design and execution, minus all of the tech that went into making the shoe, meaning there should be few surprises here. However, that has not been the case. The shape of the boot and the amount of leather means that there is a lot of surface to properly catch the ball with when hitting it. The excellent fit helps exude confidence when hitting and it does remind one of a classic Predator, albeit without the grip zones. What this means is the shape feels similar to a classic Pred. There is also a surprising amount of power on offer, which is interesting considering the boots are not overly heavy.
The off-set lacing system is a big part of the reason why the boots have such a great feel when hitting the ball. It offers a larger surface with which to hit the ball and it also ensures that the striking area has a clean surface with which to hit the ball. Shooting in the Devista is fun and it is easy (depending on your technique) to add bend and swerve when hitting the ball. It is a really enjoyable boot to shoot in and the confidence it gives seems to be willing the player wearing the boot to shoot whenever the chance presents itself.
Just looking at the soleplate, it seems fairly basic. However, the placement and the shape of the studs leads the boot to be a higher performer in this area than one might expect. While it will not provide the grip of something like a speed boot, there is still plenty of grip on offer and there is a good amount of support in the soleplate as well.
There is also some snapback when pushing off and the soleplate does not feel flimsy like one might in some other leather boots on offer. The soleplate also does an excellent job of keeping the foot anchored to the ground when hitting the ball without ever feeling like one is stuck to the surface. And unlike some bigger company’s boots, even in wet conditions there was still plenty of grip on offer, especially on AG.
What Sokito has done with Devista is create a very balanced and consistent boot that has some surprising tricks up its sleeve when it comes to shooting. This is before we even get into the fact of how eco-friendly the boot is. It is obvious to see that the Sokito Devista was created by a team who are not only passionate about the planet, but also the design of the boot shows that they are passionate boot-makers as well. It is a boot that is more than the sum of its parts and its parts show the future of football boots. An excellent boot, worth gracing the feet of any leather boot lovers out there.
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