First impressions

The DC Evan Smith is a low top vulcanized skate shoe featuring a rubber toe cap, super suede, super canvas, impact-I protection as well as DC’s OrthoLite insole. The official specs are:

  • Impact-I™ technology features inverted cones in the outsole for compression and shock absorption
  • Vulcanized construction for great board-feel and sole flex
  • Rubber toe cap for a longer lasting skateboarding shoe
  • Evan Smith branding

Fit & Feel

Let’s make one thing perfectly clear. These shoes are wide! In fact they are probably the widest shoes I’ve ever skated with (and these include some old Emerica Reynolds’s that were two sizes too big). This resulted in a slightly “wobbly” feel that some might call “relaxed” However to me, they did not provide a locked-in feel that I was used to with other skate shoes.

The tongue of the shoe provided adequate cushioning to reduce all of the nastier bruises on the top of your foot. The soft tongue also helped with the feel of the shoe because you can better adjust the tightness of the laces to suit your own preference. Additionally, the tongue never felt uncomfortable even when lacing up tightly to hug your foot better. At times I did wish the shoe would’ve had one more lace loop for a more secure feel. Another thing thing I noticed was that the tongue had a tendency to slide towards the outside of my foot. This was slightly frustrating but nowhere near as bad as some other skate shoes I’ve tried in the past.

The DC Evan Smith’s sport a somewhat low heel counter which does not lock your heel like some other shoes on the market. If you are familiar with Nike Janoskis (who isn’t?), these have a relatively similar feel. Having high heels, I sometimes found myself struggling with the fit of the heel counter. Obviously this all comes up to personal fit and preference but we still recommend to try these before buying them blindly.

The insoles on the new DC models are some of the absolute best I’ve come across. The first time I noticed this was when I was testing the DC Tonik S model, which soon became one of my favorite skate shoes to date. The Evan Smith’s are no different. Just stepping into with these shoes feels like you are standing on a cloud. The best part about it is that this feeling never really goes away and lasts for the entire lifetime of the shoe.

Even with the enhanced support in the heel I never felt that it compromised board feel

Skateability

Overall, the DC Evan Smith model offers great boardfeel and grip. The forefoot of the outsole is thin enough so you can feel the concave of your board. This gives you an overall sense of where your feet are without looking down on your board. The heel on the other hand was a bit thicker offering more impact resistance. Even with the enhanced support in the heel I never felt that it compromised board feel. Heelflips etc. were still a breeze.

Feel-wise the DC Evan Smith offers basically everything you need from a vulcanized shoe.

The toe box shape seemed a bit more round than other shoes I’ve skated lately. In all honesty, flicking tricks felt the same as always so I feel the shape might only have an aesthetic impact on your skating. However, the biggest impact on your skating might be the rubber toe cap – especially if you are not used to skating with them. To me, toe caps do not have the same consistency as an all suede upper when flicking. Sometimes I felt my flicks gripped too hard on the board while sometimes it did not offer any friction for ollies and flip tricks. The best way to see if you like the new wave of rubber toe caps is to try them out yourself!

Comfort & Cushioning

Being a low-profile vulcanized shoe these are built for ultimate board feel. This  does not mean that a thin shoe needs to be uncomfortable to wear and skate in for a whole day. I was, once again, surprised how comfortable the DC insole was. I could not notice any signs of unnecessary foot pain even after a three hour skate session. Obviously vulcanized shoes cannot be compared to cupsoles when it comes to support and cushioning. To me, the impact-I technology did help alleviate some of the impact from bigger drops etc. All in all, the DC Evan Smith’s are a good middle ground between board feel and cushioning.

The extra padding in the tongue also came in handy and kept some of the nastier bruises away. Some people might argue that cushioning comes at the expense of board feel. The statement rings true in this case as well and the Evan Smiths can feel a bit too bulky for those who are used to very thin skate shoes.

We've always had good experiences with comfort in DC shoes - and these are no different. Just stepping into with these shoes feels like you are standing on a cloud.

Durability

The most prominent feature of the shoe is the rubber toe cap. If you are expecting a durable skate shoe that you can practice your flip tricks with – this is a solid pick. You are more likely to blow through the sole than the toe box. However, the most wear and tear to the shoe usually happens higher up on the outer side of the shoe. At least on me, this is usually the most common place the shoes wear out first. The DC Evan Smith’s have super canvas on this spot, which basically means an extra protective layer underneath it. I did feel that this provided a bit more durability compared to regular canvas. After a good 12 hours the first real holes appeared on the side of the shoe. Nothing a bit of shoe goo won’t fix though! The shoes were still skateable after this and lasted a good two more weeks.

The laces keep ripping

One of the most annoying things in skate shoes is ripping laces. Sadly, this model also suffers from this downfall and I was forced to make some pretty interesting lacing methods after only a few hours of skating. This also compromises the overall fit of the shoe especially in the already wide forefoot area. To alleviate the problem the lowest lace loops could have been pulled up just a bit to stay away from the abrasion of your griptape. Alternatively, lace loops could have also been hidden for more durability.

The outsole has excellent durability

Aside from a few gripes on the suede abrasion resistance, the outsole scores high points in durability. By the time the upper was completely worn out there was close to no wear on the outsole. This probably has something to do with the way I skate, but nevertheless the construction of the upper was impressive.

Pros

  • Great boardfeel
  • Comfortable
  • Good grip
  • Good impact protection for a low vulcanized shoe
  • Durable

Cons

  • Very wide forefoot fit
  • Laces rip very easily
  • Low heel counter
  • Tongue slips to the outer side of your foot
  • Might be a bit too bulky for some

What to improve?

The shoe could use one more lace loop on each side to ensure a more locked-in fit. This could also be achieved by creating a tighter fit on the tongue, which would also solve the tongue-slippage problem we discussed earlier. Finally, the toe cap could reach higher on the pinky toe area. This would greatly increase the durability of the shoe.

The bottom line

The DC Evan Smith’s are decent skate shoes for skaters looking for a little more cushioning for daily skate sessions. The rubber toe cap offers a bit more grip and durability for flicking but ultimately does not really improve the overall durability of the shoe. We also experienced some fit-issues with this particular model so be sure to try these on before buying.

Check out the best sales on skate shoes

Subscribe to our newsletter