Browse all

The Africa Cup of Nations witnesses the premiere of the first-ever eco-friendly football boot

Thanks to William Troost-Ekong

The Africa Cup of Nations witnesses the premiere of the first-ever eco-friendly football boot Thanks to William Troost-Ekong

The African Cup of Nations 2023 was inaugurated on Saturday, January 13, with the match between Ivory Coast and Guinea-Bissau, which ended 2-0. On Sunday, three matches were played, including Egypt against Mozambique, featuring the anticipated Mohamed Salah in his last Africa Cup of his significant career. Among the matches scheduled yesterday, the most discussed was Nigeria vs. Equatorial Guinea, with the Super Eagles fielding an offensive lineup led by Ademola Lookman and Victor Osimhen. Despite the unexpected draw, what made news in terms of aesthetics and technological innovation on the football field was the boot worn by Nigeria's captain, former Watford and Udinese player, William Troost-Ekong. Despite being photographed in Nike boots during Super Eagles' training sessions leading up to the Equatorial Guinea debut, it was the sportswear brand Sokito that dressed the defender, making him the first player in history to take the field in a pair of completely sustainable boots.

White and green upper characterized by a wavy pattern (inspired by the design of the Nigeria jersey) and a classic silhouette, this is how the Scudetto model is presented, made from corn waste, sugarcane, bamboo, and other sustainable materials, such as castor bean that finishes the soleplate. The player told The Athletic how the relationship with Sokito began, stemming from Troost-Ekong's Turkish experience at Bursaspor. Former teammate John Bostock introduced him to Jake Hardy, the sole founder of the brand. Sokito was born after Jake's trip to Hoi An, Vietnam. According to Sokito's website, during that experience, Jake spent a lot of time exploring the local market. His goal was to buy a pair of handmade lace-up shoes, and the details of those shoes made him realize that they could be replicated on a completely sustainable football boot.

Troost-Ekong added: «This could be my last Africa Cup, and that's one reason why I wanted to wear sustainable boots. It's a way to show my commitment to environmental issues. There's a lot of hype around Nigeria: everyone talks about the kit and the excitement about the sports event, and I want to follow that positive trend.» Today, Troost-Ekong is one of the players who has invested time and money in Sokito, an up-and-coming brand that does not yet boast top global players in its limited roster. According to what the defender shared with The Athletic, his initiative and involvement in Sokito's business model stem from his sensitivity to the environment. Troost-Ekong, currently playing for PAOK, donated money to farmers in southern Italy during his time at Udinese so that they could introduce more sustainable agricultural methods to reduce environmental emissions. For the Sokito-signed boot worn by William Troost-Ekong to gain the right fame, we can only hope that the Nigerians coached by José Peseiro continue their journey to the final stages of a competition sponsored by the French oil company TotalEnergies.