BY Farah Khalfe 2 MINUTE READ

The traditional South African “vellie” shoe has been reinvigorated with a brand new look—and sense of purpose. Captain of the Springboks and Stormers rugby teams Siya Kolisi has collaborated with proudly South African lifestyle brand Freedom of Movement for a unique interpretation of our country’s much-loved veldskoene.

Handcrafted in Cape Town and manufactured with the highest-quality local raw materials—premium nubuck leather and soft, breathable calf skin—each pair that is sold will contribute to the development of Mbekweni Youth Centre in the Western Cape. The centre equips the next generation with a range of vital life skills through programmes such as academic advancement, sport, career guidance and economic development. The initiative provides youth in the surrounding communities with a safe space to nurture their talents and uplift themselves through physical activity.

Growing up in a township in Port Elizabeth, Kolisi holds youth upliftment and societal development at the heart of his passions and was therefore eager to get involved in the cause. “I want to do everything I can to explore and hone their talents because I’ve been there, I’ve played these fields, I’ve walked these streets,” he says.

And while the shoe contributes to society, its design includes elements that hold greater, meaningful significance to South African heritage. The custom shade of green “represents the fertile land… it represents the Boks (led by Siya) and it represents the field we’re going to build,” says Roal Bozaart, co-founder of Freedom of Movement. 

Each shoe features tonal top stitching, a durable sole and includes two sets of laces in green and beige. Kolisi’s signature is embossed within the interior of the shoe and symbolises the intimate sense of involvement and care he has channeled into this project. 

Available from freedomofmovement.co.za.