Since receiving the Lakai Howard, there was an overall consensus that it was going to be the premier model from Lakai. As much of a bold statement that may be, it’s the truth. Amongst Lakai’s current catalog, nothing has looked as good and as durable as Rick’s new shoe. This doesn’t by any means cancel out the rest of their offerings but if our review did anything, it simply solidified our thoughts on the Howard.
After a lengthy 20 hours of skating, the Howard stood up to our challenge in a fitting manner. You name it: tranny, handrails, bank to ledges, etc. the Howard easily took the abuse without a problem. With the exception of the small kickflip tear, the rest of the shoe is practically unharmed. If it weren’t for the height of the toe, that small tear in the kickflip area would’ve never happened. Both the beauty and the blame of the Howard lies in the sole and dual density paneling (the red accent surrounding the shoe). Because the sole of the shoe slants inward from the top of the piping to the outsole, the majority of trauma from kickflips and ollies was directed to the top of the shoe. If only the sole of the Howard were a bit bulkier and came out a bit more, the trauma would first occur on the sole, the dual density piping and then gradually make it to the suede. Forgive us for getting extremely technical into aspects we have no power of changing but we felt the need to explain why the toe tore on us before the rest of the shoe saw any real action. Overall, each element did serve it’s purpose, especially the dual density piping. It was probably our favorite aspect of the shoe considering it’s hardness, which in turn allowed every flick we had, come off the board with ease. The piping didn’t shed away too fast but we definitely wished it had lasted long.
The XLK tread pattern has always received great accolades because of it’s performance and feel but because of this review, we’re truly starting to understand why it’s gained so much praise over the years. Although, the outsole did shed fast than the upper (and in someways that’s a good thing), it still maintained it’s grip and sturdiness. The outsole’s flexibility right out of the box is also commendable. If anything, it was accommodating in helping the shoe get broken-in in order to skate.
Aside from rewarding the outsole, which seems to be the savior when talking about this Howard, the biggest surprise is probably the durability of the side paneling. Even though it was a real pain in the ass during the first 2-hours, afterwards, even just for being double stitched, it held up beyond our expectations. We really thought it was going to blowout quickly with just the abuse of ollies but it appeared to be unharmed no matter what we put it through.
All and all, the Lakai Howard is a shoe that will give you solid hours of skating and top-notch performance but does take some brief time to break-in. If you’re trying to get in a girl’s pants, just pop these on, and go out with her. If she isn’t easy in the sack and keeps you waiting too long, at least you’ll know you walked around long enough to break-in these Howards to skate instead of getting blueballed.
Thanks to Scott at Lakai for making this review happen, Ryan for pulling off a Wizards/Workaholics song and ripping it in the best way possible and thanks to Bobby for not being deterred by that shinner in the beginning of the video and for these incredible photos. Really excited to see what Lakai has in store next.
Be sure to pick these up from your local skate shop. If not, gotta do the next best thing and get them from our friends at Brick Harbor. Check out the Howard here and if you like our review, get em’. Buy these from BH through our link and support RL’s, simple as that.