The Laced has been part of every Emerica season for several years now with nearly all including at least 1 Vegan colorway. They are super slim and some would say not really skate-able. So we were super excited when Emerica sent a pair for a skate review. This is one of the most reliably vegan skate shoe models out, and if history proves correct, next season you will be able to pickup a pair of animal-friendly Laced.
Laced come in a waxed canvas graphite colorway for the Holiday 12 season. Out of the box, and side by side. The Laced is marketed as not needing laces to fit snug and correctly on or off the board. Given the varied feels and preferences skaters have in how they wear their shoes, its not surprise that someone might decide to forgo laces, but its a style typically thought of in the era of puffy skateboard shoes in the early 00′s.
The part that really helps pull this off is the stiff molded heel. While not having much re-enforcement, when the shoe is on it rests comfortably and snuggly around the ball of the foot and ankle. On the board the shoe stays relatively well in place when pushing fast and hard. Though with out the laces it still feels pretty loose. Almost like when kids used to wear the big puffy skate shoes with, NO LACES! The big and most obvious trade off here is going to be the padding, or lack there of. I whacked my right inner ankle hard as it is left fully exposed.
The gum cupsole treads look typical to most of the Emerica current lineup. A bit thinner then you might normally find with a cup but they have great flex. Opposite of the Jinx, no break-in time is needed here. Slip them on, and jump on the board. The EVA footbeds are super cushiony for the thinness. I took them down a few stair sets and felt fine, which for 31 is saying a lot. If you have doubts, check out just about any photos of Figgy in the last three years. He takes 12 sets in the Laced on the reg. (if only his model was Vegan.)
After a few sessions, I decided to give in and lace them up. I’m one of those kids who would tie their shoes so tight they would cut off the circulation. While skating unlaced was no chore, I was much more confident squeezing my feet in a vice grip.
For all the doubters of the slim skate shoe trend, here is my rebuttal. The Laced are some of the slimmest I’ve skated. I feel well connected to the board and agile with my feet. If I was fast enough to pop off three tricks on a ledge then I would need a shoe like this to do it in. They have plenty of cushioning in the soles to handle most any drop or impact. That being said, when you wear the Laced, its like walking around with an unsheathed sword. The sword being your skateboard. If you mess up a trick and it hits your ankle or toes you will feel the hard and unapologetic force of the board. The responsibility is in your hands, er, feet. Besides, I recently got my hands on some NOS Emerica Heritics 3‘s and skating those feels totally weird and disjointed.
Check back in a few weeks to see how the Laced holds up…
Emerica sizes 6-14 (no 6.5) $59.99
Zumies sizes 6-13 (no 6.5) $54.95