DC is focusing on skateboarding again. More than ever. Somehow earlier review plans of a DC model never worked out due to different reasons. With the recent “rediscover DC” campaign it was the perfect timing to finally make it happen. Here it is, the DC Cole lite S review.
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DC is focusing on skateboarding again. The recent reintroduction of the skate division with the “Rediscover” campaign managed to end a few years of meritocracy. With new team additions of big names like Chris Cole, Mike Mo Capaldi, Nyjah Huston and Mikey Taylor they have the potential to conquer their old position in no time. But team additions and marketing campaigns aside, at the end of the day the product itself needs to match the expectations, too. The DC Cole Lite S was chosen because it’s a statement of what DC is capable of regarding technical skate shoes in 2012. If it managed to live up to the high expectations during the daily grind can be read in the following review.
The DC Cole Lite S fits true to size.
The Cole Lite S features a one-piece toebox design combined with a vertical panel in the ollie area. The toebox material proved to be quite durable. The use of DC’s super suede seems to improve the durability with only minor areas of abrasion appearing. A weak spot of the design is the connecting area between toebox and sidewall panel. The triple stitching does not completely ensure that the layers stay attached to each other and the wear was focused in the connection area of the slim vertical panel that the first two laceholes go through. A minor hole appeared, but this didn’t go through all layers of the upper material and didn’t increase noticeably in size.
The side of the sole offers average to good durability. After the test duration of 10 hours, the edge between upper and sole was worn out in the key areas and the first grooves are visible. The bottom of the sole showed some wear, but there are no flat areas and the remaining profile is still able to provide the necessary grip. A useful feature would be the construction of the slim panel with a two-layer design, providing the option for hidden laces. With the current design, the laces only last for an average length of time. The heel area was barely affected by the griptape abuse. The rubberized DC logo, as well as the reduction of mesh panels and overhanging inner material, resulted in a durable sidewall and heel.
The overall durability of the Cole Lite S is good. Apart from a few weak spots due to the paneling, it provides an average lifespan for a cupsole, mainly due to the thick and durable super suede.
The foam midsole feels very comfortable. It features certain spring-like properties and its cushioning properties can be felt when you are just pushing or walking around. It is able to dampen most landings and bails and help prevents heel bruises with its thick heel design. In the front, it is noticeably thinner but still offers superior cushioning to basically every vulc model and is therefore much more suited and recommended for high-impact skating.
The breathability of the shoe is only average. At first sight, the Cole Lite S features several areas that should allow air exchange, but only the tongue, with its roughly structured mesh, is breathable. Unfortunately, the perforated sidewalls are just punched through one layer. As such, it fails to make the most of a potentially really good air-exchange system.
Like many recent cupsole models, the Cole Lite S features a well balanced boardfeel. Direct contact with the board is enabled by the thinner front area, where only a thin removable insole and the sole’s red foam come between foot and deck. In the heel area, where cushioning is mainly needed, the thickness of the red foam increases greatly. This means it’s possible to feel the board while still being protected from bails and harsh landings.
The Cole Light S features a very grippy sole unit, which, as with the boardfeel, is well balanced. The gip doesn’t offer the “stickiness” of vulcanized soles but it lasts for longer. The main reason for the grip is the extreme flexibility of the sole, which adapts perfectly to the concave of the board. The roughly structured profile – a combination of herringbone and diamond pattern – contributes to the longevity of the grip, too.
The toebox shape can be described as arrow shaped and flat with a rounded peak. The area where the laces start is as wide as the rest of the shoe but it quickly tapers towards the tip, which is mildly curved. The toebox area is a bit shorter compared to many other current models, which some skaters might prefer. Overall, the model features a typical cupsole silhouette with a slightly bulky heel while fitting very close to the foot.
The lightness of the Cole Lite S is immediately noticeable. The reason for this is mainly the replacement of heavy rubber with lighter foam – the red areas of the tested colourway. This does not affect just the weight but also the overall comfort. The shoe is very pleasant to walk and skate in because of the aforementioned cushioning.
A minor flaw is the position of the tongue-centering straps. They tend to feel slightly unpleasant, especially at the beginning of every session. Furthermore, the inner lining is not completely streamlined and some stitching and overlapping material might cause hot spots. Overall, the Cole Lite S features very well executed craftsmanship. The perfect heel lock is also a positive point, thanks to the slightly higher heel cut. It bends slightly towards the tongue and ensures that the foot stays perfectly in place.
Supportive shoes have been rare to come by in recent years, as the trend moves increasingly towards thin, light and boardfeel-oriented shoes. The DC Cole Lite S is able to combine all these features. It’s a sturdy, protective model that is locked to the foot but still doesn’t feel bulky in any way.
The thicker sidewalls, made from nubuck leather, and the un-stretchable inner material result in a stable shoe that keeps his shape very well compared with most other models. The not-so-low cut around the ankle provides a secure feeling while skating without compromising freedom of movement or flexibility. The heel doesn’t interfere with the ankle or Achilles tendon, just ensures a snug fit. All those positive properties, like great support and a certain rigidness, normally cause a boot-like shoe, but the Cole Lite S manages to be thin and light, which makes it exceptional to a certain degree. It is highly recommended for people who are looking for a supportive low-top skate shoe that can take a beating and offers a secure feeling most vulcanized models can’t provide.
The DC Cole Lite S is a light, heavy-duty cupsole model with average durability, good grip, boardfeel and support and a highly cushioned sole construction that makes it suitable for heavy-impact skating.