Lakai is celebrating their fifteenth anniversary this year, and they don’t seem to be losing steam with their creative colorways and in-depth detail work with each model. Ever since the brand switched factories in 2012, their quality and designs have skyrocketed, as has their fans’ support.
Let’s start with some bad news: the Vincent Alvarez pro model, a fan favorite, is on the way out. In its place is the slimmed-down VAII, pictured here in black/white and navy/white (above). If you remember his debut pro model, it weighed a lot – more than your average skate shoe – especially during a time where a lightweight pro model was the hottest thing to have on the market. While it gained some traction for its great build and durability, it’s time for something more up to date. Alvarez’s second pro shoe is lighter than its predecessor, but doesn’t sacrifice comfort and cushioning. The VAII features a Lux-Lite insole, similar to the GuyMar, to keep your feet protected. An additional layer of foxing tape on the toe will do wonders for frequent kickflippers and lengthen the lifespan of the shoe. It’s height will also keep the suede from being touched for quite sometime, too. Whether or not the VAII can take a beating like the original Vincent Alvarez pro model (or Vincent Alvarez himself) is still up for debate.
After Lakai’s success with the XLK sole, it was inevitable that the brand expanded the design to existing models., such as the Griffin. The model has herringbone tread and a thicker midsole to keep your back and knees intact while hucking. Pictured here is the second run of the model in a classic black/gum colorway, a suave burgundy/white colorway, and a risky grey/yellow colorway. Lakai is still producing new colorways of the vulcanized Griffin, like this denim/white and desert boot pictured here, so fans of the shoe needn’t worry. If you found relief in the previous sentence, you should consider investing in a tube of super glue: both of these colorways are canvas but will have suede options available come SP’16.
Marc Johnson’s work ethic is being rewarded with another pro model, and rightfully so. Johnson’s existing pro model, the MJ, is getting the XLK treatment for 2016. Designers utilized several different treads to get that perfect cupsole grip, but don’t let that scare you. The shoe is still as basic, low-profile, and functional as ever- it’s even coming in your mandatory/essential black/white colorway and dressier navy version too. No word if the MJ High will be getting an XLK makeover in the coming seasons. Vulc connoisseurs will be pleased to hear that Lakai wasn’t cold enough to dump the original MJ that we’ve grown to know and love, pictured here in cream/white and black/white. Additional colorways will be sure to drop along in suede options too. Keep your eyes peels this SP’16 for all these colorways and additional ones featured in Part 2.