Lakai MJ Oiled Mahogony skate shoe

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If you visit us regularly you will remember that last year when the canvas version of these Lakai MJ’s hit our feet there were some serious high fives going down. Not only has this simple, slim, comfy design moved forward, it’s become a skater’s shoe of choice worldwide.

This month Lakai have released an ‘all weather’ range for the winter months ahead and thankfully these arrived freshly boxed the day before a trip to Portugal’s stormy beaches. The good news is that they came back looking like they did when we left with them on, despite walking around on wet sand whilst we took photos of really bad surfing on 3 foot waves and avoiding puddles all over Lisbon trying to find skate spots. It tanked it down.

The oiled mahogany thing aside though, Lakai have produced a classic, timeless skate shoe that is not pretending to be some lame sports shoe copy, they’ve kept their class and delivered what we need; the shoes we skate.

Ask for them in your local skate shop, the one that really knows their shit – you’ll probably find Lakai’s full all weather range there that should assist you through the coming winter months.

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Lakai Camby

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The good folk of Lakai have rolled out the ultimate sunshine tripper this year in the Camby shoe. It’s a simple number that comes in either canvas or suede that perform as a perfect all-round chiller. I have had these on now for a month and just managed to get them in the washing machine to freshen them up, as there’s been no need for socks in this heat, unless you are someone who has adopted the ‘long sock and roll’ look. They came out of this cycle fine, to live another day, just doing what they do best, which is pretty much taking care of business of my feet on a hot summer’s day.

You can skate in these of course as Stevie Perez proves in the clip below, but don’t expect a simple shoe like this to last forever when hitting your grip tape every day. They come with a vulc sole in black, green, port, red, navy and even a cloud design in light blue and fluffy white. The best part of this is that they are made by skaters, for skaters, so take that in the next time you are stood in your local skate shop and #chooseskateboarding.

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Etnies Marana

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A pair of these Etnies Marana’s were sent to our office in January. No note, no info, not even a follow up to this very day, they just arrived awaiting to be skated, sat in a box on their own, looking shiny, Black and brand new.

I’ll get straight to the point with these. As soon as they are on your feet they feel strong all round. You feel protected. It’s definitely due to the combination of various materials used to build this shoe and put to the test, the Marana stands up and delivers a multitude of positivity. The protection simply brings confidence which is not a feeling derived from the many skate shoes made today that are actually designed for the mainstream. These are built for skateboarding and come with a tough shell to cope with that in mind.

The padded tongue stays straight and doesn’t droop to the sides and overall the shoe doesn’t seem to wilt like some others after a few skates. It helps also that these are made by one of the only remaining skater owned shoe companies left. The Marana’s are worth your investment and retail at about £60. Out now.

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Lakai Marc Johnson Thrasher KOTR shoe

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You can pretty much tell straight away as your feet hit a new pair of kicks if they are going to be able to withstand the forces of nature that skateboarders are up against on a daily basis. Three weeks before my toes hit these new Marc Johnson’s, I was skating another pair of skate shoes that i’m sure were not even made for skateboarding, and just pushed out their to service the Dad brigade like so many are these days. Those shoes gave me a tasty heel bruise and didn’t have any cushioning whatsoever, but these new Lakai’s are the complete opposite, and enabled me to really have a crack at some new stuff due to the confidence factor. On first skate, straight out of the box, I knew I could run out of tricks and be confident that my heels were not going to be pummeled. The result, the best fucking sessions ever. Seriously.

I guess every brand has some sort of marketing chit chat to give their products but the Lakai people call it ‘Pu Shock’. It’s that crucial support needed, that’s derived from their design of absorbing impact through the sole. The last time I had a Pu Shock was back in 1991, whilst living in a student house full of skaters. The garage was housed as a dumping ground and had a blue bucket in the middle to host the eggs. The contents of this amassment were poured over a neighbours car on the eve of an LSD party that got out of hand and took the party to complete standstill. Confusion amongst many who were present was indeed priceless. Their faces bemused, disgusted and generally twisted like liquorice sticks.

Anyway, back to the shoes. These are by far the best kicks that have graced my feet this year and even come with a little Thrasher logo on the heel and KOTR branding on the tongue if you fancy the collab version. If not, they also come in various colour ways without. Put them on your Xmas list today.