At this point, the name Guy Mariano is practically synonymous with innovation. The man revolutionized the concept of the child star, executed the world’s best comeback, and continues to blow minds to this day (on Instagram, no less!). It should come as no surprise that his newest offering from Lakai, the GuyMar, is a traditional silhouette, but with a VLK performance sole, advertised as “a classic take on modern vulcanization”. With that in mind, we set out to see if Guy’s newest shoe held up as well as his career.
The review was done using our month long format. The shoe was skated for a total of 20 hours. Check below for each grading. We base our rating from 1 – 10. 10 being the best and 1 being the absolute worst.
Sizing & Support
The GuyMar’s exist in that beautiful middle ground that favors neither wide nor skinny feet. The shoe is snug in all the right places, without pinching or irritating your foot beyond the initial break-in period. Even more, the plastic support in the heel keeps the shoe from losing shape after skating for hours into the summer night. The LuxLite insole keeps your arches from caving in, but don’t expect to use the insole in your next pair of shoes.
Short Answer: True To Size.
Comfort & Cushion
If there’s an aspect in which the GuyMar lacks, it’s comfort and cushioning. The shoe isn’t uncomfortable, by any means, but there is room for improvement. A huge issue was the canvas layer underneath suede toecap. Although it lengthened the lifespan of the shoe, it keeps your foot from breathing. If this is an issue, you may want to consider a canvas colorway of the shoe. Don’t expect these to break-in without a bit of a struggle, either. The GuyMar is technically a cupsole, and may be a little stiff during the first few hours of skating them. Again, the GuyMar isn’t uncomfortable: there is cushioning, support, and the sole is thicker than your average low-profile shoe. You just may not to want to wear them after the session.
Comfort & Cushion: 7 – For such a technical shoe, the GuyMar is no more or less comfortable than any other vulcanized shoe on the market.
Boardfeel & Grip
Lakai may have tapped into the perfect cupsole. The GuyMar is flexy, but not flimsy, and thin, yet supportive. Vulcanized connoisseurs can rejoice, as the GuyMar is a thinner cupsole that lets you feel every inch of your board while providing plenty of support. The tread will start to wear down by the twenty-hour mark, but the shoe didn’t go completely bald for weeks after the test. Even better, the sole itself stays sticky and grippy regardless of tread, a rarity for most cupsoles. The foxing tape on the toe, the vulcanized part of “VLK”, keeps your flip tricks proper while protecting the sole and the upper. As with any other shoe, we’d like to see the tread stay even longer, but the GuyMar skated great for its entire lifespan.
Boardfeel: 9– So much boardfeel, you’ll forget you’re skating a cupsole.
Grip: 8– The GuyMar’s really excel in this aspect. This is one of the few cupsoles that’s ever held grip for so long, even after the tread went bald.
You wouldn’t tell by looking at it, but the GuyMar is one of the more durable shoes Ripped Laces has seen in recent memory. The suede used on the upper is top-notch. It wasn’t until, at least fifteen hours of skating before we saw some notable wear and tear on the upper, but that’s no matter. An underlying canvas layer will keep any holes from reaching your feet (hence, the sacrificed breathability). As alluded to earlier, the foxing tape on the toe protects both the upper suede and the outsole. By the twenty-hour mark, a real kickflip pattern was just starting to form. The tread pattern was still mostly intact after the testing period was over, and the shoe still felt rigid and supportive. The canvas sidewall barely frayed, and even the stitching on the toecap stayed intact for the duration of the test. Kudos, Lakai. It’s the little things like this that keep consumers coming back.
Upper Durability: 10 – The canvas liner will keep any holes in the suede from ruining your favorite socks.
Outsole Durability: 8 – The foxing tape will wear down and you may have to watch out for pebbles, but that’s expected on any shoe.
The GuyMar is an excellent addition to the Lakai line. The hybrid between a vulcanized sole and a cupsole resulted in a shoe that’s thin and grippy, yet durable and supportive. The only serious issue found within the shoe was a lack of breathability. If this was to be improved, Lakai would have created a near-perfect shoe.