Lakai The Carroll "Reimagined"
In 1999 we started designing/developing the 1st Lakai shoes that launched in the Spring/Summer of 2000. I was 100% involved in every single detail of the design, as most skaters are and should be when they have a vision. I was filming a video part for modus operandi and received a pair of samples at the time. I was so stoked, just that feeling when you get a sick pair of shoes that look rad when you look down. There were very few, straight up made for skateboarding shoes that were rad looking at that time. So the design was influenced by a mixture of basketball & running shoes that had rad elements of design. I wanted to bring those into the skateboarding world so you could actually skate in them.
Today, in 2020 we bring an updated version of my very first Lakai shoe. For a lack of better words, I like to refer to my shoe as a reimagined version. The thought behind that is basically what I would do with a skate shoe from back then, but add elements of function that we have learned through development processes over the years. The XLK ™ sole is developed and inspired by a vulcanized outsole’s board feel and grip but has the comfort that the cupsoles provide.
Most skateboards aren’t 7 inches wide and wheels aren’t 34-36mm anymore, because we learned from those times. Can you imagine skating 34mm wheels right now? Sure, they were rad at the time but we learned they didn’t provide the function that skateboarding needed as it was progressing and evolving. So our knowledge now with shoe development and designs evolved as well. Back in the day there was a race to the smallest wheel. Meanwhile, footwear also had a race to the puffiest padded tongues and shortest toe, which we personally were not into back then. For example, everyone thought Lakai’s original “Manchester” shoe was too slim and too basic with not enough panels. If you look at that shoe now it is one hell of a puffy shoe today.
Short story long, as we worked on the development of a shoe inspired by skateboarding and Lakai’s earlier designs. I thought we should make my 1st Lakai shoe, but how I would approach it today. A shoe with straight out of the box broken in comfortable cupsole XLK ™ with vulcanized grip and and board feel. The sole that compliments the original upper’s aesthetic while being clean looking but with timeless character. Not as puffy as the OG, but padded enough to where Rick Howard thinks they are too puffy for his taste. He likes slim shoes with very little padding.
I’m hyped on the feel and skate straight out the box, looking down and not feeling like I’m wearing a brick shoe from the early 2000’s but still get that nostalgic feeling. And I’m sure you will feel the same. We at Lakai, look backwards for inspiration but we don’t move backwards. Just like the progression of skateboarding.Thank you to everyone that has supported Lakai from day one or at any time, without you there is no us.
Skateboarding’s best kept secret, “Tell everyone not to tell anyone.”