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The ever-dependable guys at Weartested provide us with another excellently detailed skate shoe review. This time they set their sights on the Lakai Flaco 2, putting it through its paces over the course of a 10-hour wear test, before breaking down its pros and cons with their unrivalled expertise.
Stevie Perez appeared at a time when a standout part in a full-length video would excite skateboarders around the world. Girl and Chocolate’s Pretty Sweet video premiered in 2012, it featured Stevie’s first big part, one that was preceded by a shared part featuring Chocolate O.Gs such as Kenny Anderson, Gino and Chris Roberts. You could say this was Chocolate’s O.G crew giving Stevie, the new L.A based amateur, the seal of approval.
To reward the hard work Stevie has put in over the years Lakai gave him his first pro shoe, The Flaco, back in 2016. The Flaco was a slim, vulcanized, low-top shoe which featured Stevie’s name on the tongue. Stevie continued his development as a skateboarder, becoming part of the GX1000 crew that set about redefining modern street skateboarding with their raw, fast and gnarly videos from across the globe. The Flaco 1 got a revamp from Lakai, presumably to keep up the rugged spots and abuse that Stevie needed them to withstand.
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The Flaco 2 was released in March of this year. It features a co-bound suede upper, advanced PARA-MOUNT dual-density outsole and Lakai’s patented Delux-Liner sockliner. The shoe comes with plenty of technical details in order to prolong the shoe’s lifespan. Carry on reading to see how the Flaco 2 appeared in our wear test.
The Lakai Flaco 2 fits true to size.
The Flaco 2 has two suede upper panels on the toe and lateral area of the shoe. Double stitching fixes the edge of the toe panel to the lateral suede side panel, a critical area of abuse. Following the 10-hour test, the only abrasion visible was on the vulcanized sole, the stitching between the two suede panels showed no signs of ripping. The thick, high-quality suede panels significantly improve the shoe’s durability. Beneath the suede panels, there is a second layer to further enhance durability, providing extra defence should the suede panels develop a hole. The side panel is made of canvas, which can reduce durability, however, Lakai’s designers made sure this wasn’t an issue by ensuring the seams on the side panel are far back on the shoe, meaning there is little chance of the griptape coming into contact with the canvas. The upper eyelets of the shoe, a notorious point of vulnerability, did however show signs of wear during the test. In conclusion, it's fair to say the Flaco 2 has good durability as the major areas of wear from the 10-hour test were not the most critical parts of the shoe.
Lakai’s updated, patented vulcanized sole, known as PARA-MOUNT outsole technology, makes use of dual-density cushioning in order to absorb impacts. The shoe’s midsole construction is supposed to add cushioning, particularly in the heel, however, the construction feels a bit flat and only offers average cushioning. Impact absorption when it comes to flat ground and medium-sized drops isn’t a problem. Whilst the Flaco 2 is a vulcanized shoe and has typical vulcanized cushioning, it has some of the advantages of a cupsole when it comes to foot support. Lakai’s DELUX-LITE sockliner is made from foam, in order to improve the fit, cushioning and general comfort of the shoe. The shoes’ insole is of a decent thickness in order to offer some cushioning around the heel. All in all, the shoes’ cushioning was average.
The Flaco 2 makes use of a slim silhouette, this means that the shoes fits close to the foot in all areas. There’s enough space in the toe area, the midfoot and the heel area, which means you get good board contact without the stability of the shoe being compromised.
Boardfeel and Grip
The sole of the Flaco 2 is a classic vulcanized sole, the PARA-MOUNT outsole overs average cushioning but excellent board feel. The sole is thinner around the toe area, which gives great board feel as there’s minimal material between the foot and the board. Hex-tread on the sole is designed to offer better flexibility, increased board feel, and maximum grip. The shoe is very flexible and adapts well to the concave of the board, meaning when the shoe is pressed against the griptape it grips extremely well.
Comfort and Stability
The slim silhouette of the Flaco 2 provides a solid base for your foot, this is aided by the two elastic strips that hold the tongue in place, meaning your foot feels secure and hugged by the shoe. The Flaco 2 keeps its shape well, which is a testament to the construction of the shoe. Sadly, breathability is somewhat of a downfall. Whilst the cushioning, as mentioned before, isn’t the best, the vulcanized construction means good board feel and stability. The arch in the shoes’ middle is reinforced, which helps with this feeling of stability.
The Lakai Flaco 2 offers excellent durability, grip and board feel, it’s only minor flaws are that it has average cushioning and breathability. Overall, its a great option for those who enjoy skating vulcanized shoes.
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