Holy shit, were these a hot commodity when they were released. Of Lakai’s many Chocolate collabs, this is debatably the strongest offering, and Scott Johnston didn’t fuck around when it came to ensuring the colorways of his shoes differed for those dedicated to his board sponsor.
The SJ-3 didn’t have too much allure on it’s own, aside from the strap (btw, would like to see more of that), but the reason we brought this shoe up was to highlight just how much difference colorways make.
When acknowledging how impressive the color placement was on SJ’s third model, it reminds us of shoes of today, such as Gilbert Crockett’s second pro model. Sure, the shoe in one solid color doesn’t do much, but when creativity takes over and blossoms onto different panels, the shoe’s allure increases drastically.
We’ve all fucked with our shoes at one point or another, spraypainting the midsole or Sharpieing the upper to better reflect our desired colors… or just to try something different. Chances are, you’ve had different colors of the same shoe at least once, so you know where we’re coming from. If executed properly in service to the model, a colorway can create an entirely different shoe, visually.
Point being, the standard colorways of the SJ-3 were pretty vanilla. Most of us paid the shoe little attention until we realized it’s potential when the Chocolate colorway was unveiled. Brown shoes were entering into their prime, and the Chocolate SJ-3 is one of the better examples of the era, and one of the few that went the way of the light tan (leather, no less). Pretty sure the “Chocolate” chunk on the strap is one of the most tasteful branding jobs done in the history of skate shoes, as well.
The SJ-4 black/green/yellow colorway was no joke, either. Depending on your taste, you may think we should have focused on that one instead, and you may be right. Mayyyybe…