For skater Evan Smith, slipping his foot into the final design of his first pro model sneaker from DC Shoes gave him goose bumps.
But it will be the technology in the Evan Smith S that keeps him happy.
Setting out to design his first signature skate shoe, Smith wanted to focus on simplicity, durability, comfort and board feel. The first major new effort came with a fresh type of sole on the shoe.
“When first designing and modeling, I was approached by a new scientific idea,” Smiths tells SI.com. “The idea was that these cone-like shapes absorb impact and allow a more comfortable vulcanized sole. It’s been a great success all the way around.”
The Impact-I technology uses inverted cones of a lower durometer rubber to allow for compression upon landing, protecting your foot, while maintaining flexibility and board feel. “You can actually feel your skateboard like switching on a light bulb,” the pro skater says.
The new sole technology has allowed Smith to keep his model thin, as he wanted.
The 24-year-old skater from Florida is known for trick selections and creativity. While the majority of the upper features DC’s Super Suede, Smith went with a rubber toe cap for functionality, even if the feedback has proven popular aesthetically, he says. The rubber toecap allows for a longer lasting shoe, “which saves you money,” he says. “I guess we are all trying to look out for the up-and-coming skateboarders.”
But the Evan Smith S won’t stop with the original look, bringing out silhouettes that use suede instead of the toe cap and go both low and high in cuts. From there, Smith wants each individual to feel even more at ease with personalizing the look. “Buy them up and draw on them,” he says. “Make them yours.”
Beyond the shoe, Smith also designed an apparel line, although the two were made separately. “I really like how that line came out,” he says. “Acid-washed tees and the bleached tie-dye design is right up my alley. I’m highly interested in pursuing the creation of more apparel.”
The design bug has caught Smith—and given him goose bumps.
Tim Newcomb covers stadiums, sneakers and technology for Sports Illustrated. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.