Lakai Carroll 5 Review

From Week 1 to Week 4

From Week 1 to Week 4

We’ve all aspired to skate like Mike Carroll at one time or another. The sad truth is that it’ll never happen. The closest we got to feeling like MC was skating & reviewing his latest pro model. Aside from that, Sebo Walker has been making them look more appealing than ever by appearing in every one of his ads with them. This pushed us over the edge & we just had to review them!

Review information

The review was done using our month long format and the shoe was skated for a total of 20 hours. Check below after each section to view the grading system. We base our ratings from 1-10. 10 being the best and 1 being the absolute worst. Enjoy.

Sizing & Support
The Carroll 5 have a simple and easy fit. Everything is pretty snug and close to your foot without causing unwanted heat or overbearing sweat. Truthfully, the only complication that we found as far as sizing & fitting goes was that our heel kept coming out of the shoe after every other step. This is simply due to the fact that the cut of the collar doesn’t particularly become narrow as it reaches the very top of the shoe. Overall, you don’t have to dwell on this factor too much because the remedy is as simple as tying the laces to the very top loop hole. This isn’t of much importance but we have to let you know in case you’re one of the few who likes wearing their shoes loose.

Short Answer: True to Size

Comfort & Cushion
For a well padded shoe, it felt surprisingly light. Even with this light feeling, padding around the collar & heel area were actually quite generous. It made for a comfy fit & was noticeably protecting our feet without looking bulky. The tongue had a medium amount of padding and was held together with some elastic centering bands. As you know, these straps keep your feet at bay and allow you to be centered in the shoes at all times. The most enjoyable aspect out of everything though was the PU shock insole. Since moving their distribution from Podium to Girl, every change has been ten times more noticeable & rewarding for consumers. We never were a big fan of the shock heel system and eva insole that they were forced to use then so it’s great to recognize these changes as they come to light. The PU insole didn’t flatten at any point or time. It was equipped to handle most drops which was surprising to find in a vulcanized shoe.

Comfort: 9. So long as it ain’t pinching our feet or making us sore, it’ll always get a high grading.
Cushioning: 9. We’re thankful yet still shocked by how much padding this thin vulc shoe has. Everything is sooo thin nowadays.


From Week 1 to Week 4

From Week 1 to Week 4

Boardfeel & Grip
Because it is a vulcanized shoe, all the boardfeel you’d want & imagine is in there. The Carroll 5 certainly isn’t the thinnest shoe out but is more than capable of giving you what you need for an enjoyable ride. As good as the boardfeel is, we can’t say the same about the grip. Obviously, at the very beginning of the review it was great but it’s another classic case of how short the depth is in the tread pattern. In most cases, deeper marks will clearly last longer than shorter ones. The tread pattern on the Carroll 5 did last up to the third week of review but ultimately you will always burn out the outsole before the shoe with this particular outsole. (This same outsole is used in a number of their vulcanized models so if it isn’t for you, try out the XLK models.) Even though the grip did fade away after the third week, don’t get the misconception that it was impossible to skate. Personally, we enjoy skating in a broken-in shoe more than anything. The herringbone pattern might’ve disappeared but the performance stayed the same. There were no instances where our feet slid off the board from a bad bs 180 so as long as that didn’t happen, you’d have to agree that it’s still a good functioning gum rubber outsole.

Boardfeel grading: 8. Luckily, you’ll feel protected and you’ll still feel what you need to get by. This should explain why it felt okay to do some high impact drops.
Grip grading: 6. Yes, it burns out but you’re not going anywhere. The grip from the gum rubber will always keep you in place.

It’s refreshing to see a dual panel shoe in this world of one piece toe caps. Granted, they work but if we did every review with one piece toe caps we would’ve given up on reviews a long time ago. The paneling on the toe is an idea that can work so long as it’s done properly. Our only real disappointment in the shoe was that the paneling wasn’t a traditional tripled stitched one. In the past, we’ve noticed that one extra lining of stitching can make a world of difference and it could have here as well. The paneling did slowly start to split apart between week 2-3 and finally opened up like a teenage mom on Maury during the 4th and final week. The tear was along the stitching but the paneling remained in place which was this shoes (& our socks) saving grace. The main reason the Carroll 5 didn’t fall to pieces during our review is because the sole is fused together with the suede. The flapping of the panel never bothered us during the last week of testing and it never interfered with our flicking.

What could’ve prevented the tear aside from another lining of stitching? Well, if the shoe was higher, on a taller platform perhaps, the abrasion would’ve fallen on the sole instead. After all, it can without a doubt take a beating. The sole was most definitely the most impressive element of the shoe. During our four weeks, we noticed that the sole shed slowly with every ollie and kickflip. It never gauged, split or broke off into fragments of dust into our griptape. Now, if you’re one of those skaters who never, ever over rotates their ankles on any of their tricks, then this could be the shoe for you. It’ll keep some money in your pocket and be as durable as you imagine or see here.

Suede & Sole durability: 8.5. Collectively they make it out alive like in any good action/drama flick. By sticking together, they lasted much longer than anyone expected them too.
Outsole durability: 6. Those precious lines aren’t going to be there forever but we’d hate to see them go so soon. 🙁

The result of 20 hours of skating

The result of 20 hours of skating

Lakai’s Carroll 5 is a shoe with some flaws but fundamentally put together very well. The shoes style and feeling is great while kicking around but could wear easy depending on how often you skate. With our results, we’ve calculated that the shoe could ultimately last anywhere between 30-35 hours. This time frame is somewhat average compared to the advances in the skate industry today but the shoe still deserves your time for it’s quality in comfort and consistency while skating. If you’re still hesitant towards the shoes durability, you could always try the new Biebel 3 that just came out. It practically has the same silhouette as the Carroll 5 but has the two aspects we listed for an extended period of durability. If you look for either of these models, be sure to buy from your local skate shop.


  1. Djimon has a blog

    May 18, 2012 4:17am

    they’ll last as long as a Mass Effect game?
    I can dig it

  2. Thomas Guerin

    May 31, 2012 8:33pm

    You convinced me, I just bought them.

  3. Kārlis

    June 10, 2012 11:50pm

    Must say that I`m a big fan of your site and the fact that something like this is done at all. I could say that I`m a shoe fanatic myself and I know a thing or two about what they`re made of. As funny as it is I actually skate for only 20 hours a month, so I could do the reviews, haha. Thing is there are only 3 legit shops…in my country, so they aren`t interested in this kind of advertising or giving out free stuff. Anyway,good luck with your great blog and I hope you do a Emerica, Reynolds Cruisers review someday! Cheers!


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