High Quality PDF file: Lakai Alvarez Weartested
Despite their relatively young history, Lakai has already dropped designs that can be hailed as classics. Lakai started off strong with Rick Howard’s first select model, the „Staple“, and has carried that momentum all the way to Scott Johnson´s signature models and more recent designs. Still, with no doubt, all of those models are trumped by the OG noteworthy Lakai Manchester, which has been inspired countlessly by other companies.
Things have changed with the newest baby in Lakai´s cradle of shoes. Vincent Alvarez’s first signature model has been purposefully influenced by the Manchester, and the outcome is immaculate. Although the influence of the Manchester is evident, the Alvarez is not a simple copy but rather a new model with its own character, just like Vincent Alvarez himself. Whether or not this pro shoe model of a true „skater´s skater“ lives up to its hype will be addressed below.
The Lakai Vincent fits true to size.
One of the most prominent design techniques to improve durability in skate shoes nowadays is to reduce seams and overlapping materials. The dark side of this is the limitation faced trying to give a shoe a really outstanding design. Still, the Vincent manages to create a distinct recall value. The Lakai flare and other design elements have been set back, thus improving durability, especially in combination with the material.
Even the (sometimes) vulnerable part along the upper eyelets of the shoe has proven to be very durable. The outsole is also a little thicker than with most vulcanized soles, again improving durability. However, the toe area does not feature the usual rubber-layer which increases the vulnerability of the area with regard to abrasion caused by flip-tricks. The pattern of the sole is also deep and did not show any blank spots.
Vulcanized soles typically have weaker cushioning than cupsole models. The Lakai Vincent, however, redefines this preconception. It combines great cushioning with amazing boardfeel, due to its thinner construction in the frontal area of the shoe. The honeycomb structure also distributes the impact force more widely and allows the sole to absorb more forces without adding weight. The insole itself was quite flattened after 10 hours of skating, but since this attribute of the shoe can be easily swapped out, this should not be of great concern.
The Vincent features a slim silhouette, just like the OG Manchester. This leads to a shoe that is cut very close to your foot and improves board contact without compromising stability. The pointy toe improves flick and allows you to control flip tricks very well.
The sole construction in the first third of the shoe is very thin, creating great boardfeel, especially in combination with the great flex of the sole. This flex usually also improves grip, and this is true for the Vincent. The grip of the shoe is great without being too much and doesn´t weaken thanks to the deep pattern of the sole.
When it comes down to comfort, the slim silhouette of the shoe provides an impeccable foothold. The nearly seamless inner part of the shoe combined with Lakai’s use of soft materials, greatly improve shoe comfort. Unfortunately, weight and ventilation are not that stellar; the shoe is rather heavy when compared to the industry standard of models nowadays. Nonetheless, the Vincent keeps its form extremely well, which upholds great workmanship put into this Lakai model.
The Lakai Vincent is a stable vulcanized shoe that excels in terms of grip and flick. Smaller design flaws such as weak ventilation are balanced with great durability and cushioning.