My first pair of skate shoes were DCs.
I forget the model but they were banana yellow and I definitely got them at a PacSun at the Willowbrook Plaza mall in New Jersey. They were my only pair—I soon moved onto a variety of weird kicks from other brands like Osiris (I had the Jerry Hsu model), Globe (I had a Rodney Mullen monstrosity), and Savier (I had a pile of crap bought from a Nike outlet store) before settling on the accepted Vans standard. But the release of the Tiago Lemos pro shoe from DC, along with a slew of awesome content they’ve been pumping out, has got me thinking it’s time to give them another go.
DC Shoes has gone through many phases. Already a mall brand when I started skating, they were plastered across TVs nationwide via Rob Dyrdek’s shows and were purchased by Quiksilver in 2004. They had the duckets to offer, via Rob, one million dollars to make Philadelphia’s LOVE park skateable when it was shut down by the city. They had a motorcycle team. They sell snowboards. They were responsible for proliferating the Mega Ramp. They went in some wild directions for a skate shoe company but they were also, with help from folks like Stevie Williams, Brian Wenning, Rob Dyrdek, and Josh Kalis, pretty much the unofficial shoe of LOVE park skaters. They’ve had some of the biggest names in skateboarding come and go on their team and served as a sort of corporate shoe sponsor starter pack for guys like Nyjah. Through it all, they’ve maintained a legacy and status in skateboarding that is unquestionable. Just go rewatch the DC Video if you need confirmation. And is it any wonder that three of the biggest names in skateboarding, three of their original riders—Danny Way, Colin McKay, and Josh Kalis—are still on the team? Their place in skating, malls or not, is indisputable.
Which brings us to their newest iteration: supporter of the underdogs. They are putting on skater’s skaters—new upstarts and Skaters Of The Year alike—with astonishing taste and a sense of diversity. While any number of their new team riders and the content they’ve produced will illustrate this, I want to focus attention on the man of the hour, the one with the new pro model mentioned at the top: Tiago Lemos. It’s extremely rare that skaters from Brazil get their shine in the United States, let alone their own shoe, and behind Felipe Gustavo, Tiago is now the second Brazilian in recent years to get the honor from DC. Rewards are for the birds yet, to me and many others, it was still a damn shame when he didn’t get Skater of the Year. I’m sure DC recognizes this and his achievements and now, like his teammate and former SOTY Wes Kremer, Tiago can join the ranks of pros with their own shoe model. For the first time in a while, I want his shoe simply so that, out in the world, I can tell people I’m rocking the Tiago Lemos shoe from DC. Why? Because Tiago’s skating is unignorable and now DC Shoes is too. I’m not gonna buy em from PacSun, though.