Return Of The Rubber Toe: Lakai Staple

Rick Howard's inspired colorway for the return of the long awaited Staple.

Rick Howard’s inspired colorway for the return of the long awaited Staple.

After weeks of alleged Stay Flared sightings and a handful of @FurryCalamari posts, we finally got our hands on the revamped Lakai Staple.

Originally introduced in 2001, the Staple was a breath of fresh air on a skate shop wall of puffy éS and Circa models, not to mention the infamous D3. The cupsole model was sleek, subtle and thin, yet durable and sufficiently padded. What really sold the Staple, however, was watching our favorite skaters jock them during repeated viewings of Yeah Right, Bon Appetit!, and Mosaic. The Staple was replaced by the Staple 2 in 2003, and the whole design was eventually phased out of the Lakai line well before the 2007 release of Fully Flared. As such, most of Lakai’s later models, such as the Manchester, held the spotlight. The shoe was rereleased in 2010 as part of Lakai’s tenth anniversary pack, and if Mike Carroll’s instagram is any indication, a revamped Staple is going to be joining the Lakai line for good.

A heat transferred rubber toe can be found on the new sleek Staple.

A heat transferred rubber toe can be found on the new sleek Staple.

The biggest change to the new Staple is obviously the sole. Lakai swapped out the original cupsole pattern for the vulcanized herringbone tread found on the Vincent Alvarez, among other models. Still present are the toe and heel foxing tape, giving the sole its 2001 flavor. What’s more, the shoe’s profile has been slimmed down to give it a more modern feel. Gone is the stitched on suede toecap; a rubber toecap has been heat transferred on in its place. The tongue is much thinner than that of its predecessor, and the revamped Staple also includes tongue-centering straps. That’s not to say the shoe is totally different; beyond the three key differences mentioned, the shoe’s upper and paneling remains more or less unchanged.

Lakai plans to release three colorways of the Staple next spring: a Mike Carroll-inspired black/white colorway, a Rick Howard-inspired navy/gum colorway (pictured here), and a Brandon Biebel-inspired all white colorway. We’ll report back after a few sessions with details, but in the meantime, what do you guys think of the changes to the design? Would you skate the new Staple, or like the DC Lynx, are you still pining for the original cupsole model?


  1. Tyler Calpin

    October 5, 2015 12:42pm

    These are so awesome. I haven’t had a pair of Lakais since I was in 8th grade (I am a freshman in college now) so I plan on trying these out. Need that all white color way!

  2. Oliver

    October 5, 2015 1:35pm

    Didn’t the original feature a heat transferred rubber toecap if memory serves?

  3. Widdly Scuds

    October 6, 2015 1:27pm

    Dude I just want this shoe in a midtop and I would be so happy.

  4. Oscar R

    October 6, 2015 1:41pm

    Oliver. The first model of the staple didn’t have a rubber toe cap. It was was P.U or Nubuck. Later on the addition of a rubber toe cap came and Lakai stuck with it.
    As time goes by processes allow for a better application. Now that a single film (as thick as a business card)can be applied directly into the material it makes the blend of the suede and the rubber function just as good (so I hope) as the thick rubber. And the best part is, the shoe should weight less.

    But side note, Did you notice how far back they recessed their laces??

    • Oliver

      October 8, 2015 11:09am

      Ok I don’t remember the first ones at all! It will be interesting to see how long they stick with this model though. I wish they could do with the staple what es have done with the sal; as in just make the shoe aesthetically very similar but just a whole lot thinner to fit in with today’s requirements.

      What I like about the Staple is that anyone from Rob Welsh to Pops could skate it and look good.

  5. Antonio Gaipa

    October 6, 2015 3:31pm

    These went under right when I got into the skate scene, but that’s sick that they’re back. I wish they had an actual rubber toe, rather than a heat trans printed toe. Possible new RL article(;
    “Heat Transfer Toe v.s. Traditional Rubber Toe”

  6. Drgraffenberg

    October 7, 2015 11:41am

    Give us the original. These are more vans vulc crap

  7. imran927

    October 7, 2015 1:54pm

    ah i wish they released em with a slimmer cup sole… i know its been said 100x but theres a reason why its been said over and over! we want cup soles!

  8. Trevor

    October 10, 2015 4:20pm

    I want these because they remind me of the Etnies Arto 2’s. When a black on black color-way is released I’m going to get a few pairs.

  9. Doctor_Dollars

    October 11, 2015 1:49am

    Fuck I didn’t know they were reissued in 2010, I gotta wait another 5 years for them to come out again?

  10. Chris

    October 13, 2015 4:37am

    I skated the black/ gum Staples because it looked sick in Beware of the Flare (Scott Johnston) and Yeah Right.
    Before the rubber toe cap re-release comes out- the the first time it came out the toe cap felt plastic ( it would peel and break). It was a bulky shoe. Looks like they slimmed it down again.

    If anyone remembers the Lakai Staple 2- those had regular suede toe panel instead of the plastic toe cap.

    These look sick btw, I might get these and maybe we’ll see an xlk cupsole model in the future.

  11. Anderson

    November 25, 2015 7:41am

    Anyone noticed how the heat-transferred rubber toes on both shoes don’t have the same size? Kindly check the second pic. Sheesh, the least Lakai could do was stiffen up on quality control.

    • the "i like shoes" guy

      November 29, 2015 5:04pm

      if your talking about the right shoe i think its because the shoe is not positioned the same as the left. its slighlty slanted and lower, (look at bottom laces)

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