Rarities: Lakai’s Koston One High (Never Released)

The decision was shocking. No one could believe it and no one had a clue as to where Koston was going after leaving Lakai back in 2009. As one of the most short-lived team additions in all of skateboarding, (no ones got AO beat w/ 3D though) we all wondered why Koston was leaving a brand that fit his entire image so well. Well, before leaving, we found out that Koston and Scott Johnston at Lakai had the intentions of making his iconic Koston 1 model into a skate-able high.

This legendary model, originally from éS footwear, was beloved by all, and is still considered one of the most requested re-releases since éS’ return (aside from the Sal 23). Initially, this model was suppose to stay in sample form, that was until it was sent out to reps everywhere to show. It wasn’t until after Koston’s impromptu decision that every rep was told to cancel their pre-existing preorders from skate shops everywhere.

Lakai Footwear's take on a classic. Koston 1 High.

Lakai’s take on a classic. Koston 1 High. Photos: @GirlCollector

With only a few samples floating around out there, its clear that Lakai’s Koston 1 High remake is a true rarity. It never received a proper chance to reach local skate shops that confirmed their pre-books and as a result, we’ll never know how well they would’ve done had they reached the market.

If we had to guess, given skateboarder’s photo3overwhelming request for a decent hightop cupsole, this would’ve been a hit. Not only would it have pleased the palate of those looking for a sturdy and protective high top, it also would’ve pleased the older crowd looking to relive some much needed nostalgia.

Was its preventative nature for the best or worst? Who knows…but we can certifiable tell you, we would’ve skated them.


  1. daddy long legs

    September 25, 2014 11:56pm

    Seen a few pairs on ebay earlier this year along with unreleased lowtop sample colors. I think it could use more detail around the ankle.

  2. T.A.

    September 28, 2014 9:46am

    “Was its preventative nature for the best or worst?”

    Worst, though it was hard to see the Lakai logo on his re-release. Also, worst because his Nikes don’t have much in the way of personality. Every shoe he did at eS was distinct, not so much with Nike.

    As far as Lakai Hi-Tops, I really dug the Sky High which was only made a short while, but looked good.

  3. Big Baby Jesus

    September 29, 2014 10:07pm

    This is when I still liked Koston, before social media proved him to be a kook.

  4. tomisrad

    June 21, 2017 4:19pm

    These shoes were made with such low quality, I have the Keep it Cool lows, and the stitching, the feel, the support, the grip are all wrong. Even the suede and nubuck had kook color combos and was terrible quality. They were awful. After seeing these, you can tell why Koston was over it. They murdered this classic. I still have the Lakai release, but they sit on shelf, skated twice and worn to Thailand out of nostalgia for the trip, not because they were rad. I hope Nike NEVER releases the original silhouette of the classic, you just cant go back. These were a good example of just letting it go. And e’S butchered the new Sal 23, with low quality, bad grip, a weird fit and too thinned out. Yuck.


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