My first impression of the new Riley Hawk pro model shoe from Lakai was that it looked very similar to the Lakai Owen, except it had an upper that included laces. The shape of the toe is almost exactly like the Owen. The Riley includes an added toe bumper that the Owen doesn’t have though. When you first put the shoe on you notice that it is a bit stiff. The reason behind that is because the back of the shoe around the heel is made of a tough canvas. Depending on how your feet fit in ther shoe this could cause discomfort for the first day or so. The LUX-LITE insole provides a decent bit of cushion and support. The shape of the toe is a bit wider than I’m used to, but I don’t think it will have a negative effect at all.
One Week Of Skating
After a week of skating in the Riley’s, the break in process was finally over. The bulked up sole and added toe bumper are great for making the shoe last longer, but the downfall is that it takes longer to break them in. The insoles are holding up strong and have yet to pack down from taking impact. The only major wear area is around the collar of the shoe. The stitching ripped in the first couple of days and the foam padding around the collar is now exposed. The laces that come with the shoe are thin, and the first one ripped pretty easily. Once these shoes are broken in they start to skate very well.
Three Weeks Of Skating
After another week there really isn’t a huge difference in wear. The most obvious area for concern is the collar and the lacing area. At this point I had ripped all the laces, and the collar began to fall apart more. An easy fix to all this would be to put a new lace in. These issues did not affect the way the shoe skated though. To be completely honest I was not a fan of this shoe at first, but the more I skated the shoe the more I began to like it. This is the kind of shoe that gets better with time. Pack a couple extra laces and these bad boys are good to go. It has been three weeks and the Riley’s have more life left in them. If I were to rate the shoe, I would give the Riley Hawk’s first pro model a 7 out of 10.
Lakai has one of the most diversely talented skate teams in skateboarding. Check the crew out as they tour Europe and hit multiple countries and skate every rad street spot and skatepark! Make sure to watch till the end as there are some pretty heavy lines that didn’t make the original cut.
Lakai’s trip to Europe featuring Daniel Espinoza, Jon Sciano, Sebo Walker, Vincent Alvarez, Riley Hawk, Stevie Perez, Rick Howard, Danny Brady, Nick Jensen and Sylvan Tognelli.
“This is the first in a series of videos featuring slow mo footage filmed with the Girl and Chocolate teams while they were filming for their latest video, Pretty Sweet. A few of these clips can were used in the intro to Pretty Sweet. This footage was recorded at 300-1,000 frames per second with a Redlake N3 high speed camera by myself and Ty Evans.” – Adam Shomsky
I’m really not 100% sure why this is getting as much hype as it is, but, as most people are already well aware, Mike Mo Capaldi will be leaving Lakai once his contract expires at year’s end.
There’s a whole lot of speculation out there as to where Mike Mo will land, but the conventional wisdom is that he will be heading to DC for a full footwear and apparel deal (which…leads to the assumption that he will be leaving Matix as well).
A really interesting article on the subject was posted on N-SB.org yesterday. This article discusses the post-Fully Flared departures of Anthony Pappalardo (Converse), Cairo Foster (etnies), Alex Olson (Vans), Eric Koston (Nike SB), and Lucas Puig (adidas)…while describing Lakai as a sort of “development team”…where young talent gets on early, builds names for themselves, and later get lured away by lucrative contracts offered by the big brands. This article suggests that this phenomenon will become a ongoing pattern for Lakai…especially given the “instant cool factor” that an association with Girl or Chocolate brings.
I guess…the real issue isn’t who rides for who and why, the real issue is the push and pull between the “for the skaters, by the skaters” ethos and big, public brands that have broken into the skate market.
Personally, I’m not going to fight this fight. Naturally, I would prefer that skateboarding stay true to it’s so-called “core” roots, but, as they say, “core is poor”…and why shouldn’t guys like Mike Mo take the money that’s put in front of them? Similarly, why shouldn’t these big companies try to build their brands and expand out into skateboarding…particularly if they’re offering a product that skaters want?
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