DVS has been going through quite some changes in the last few years. They were a brand that seemed somewhat left behind and overshadowed by the corporate shoe companies, yet still featured an interestingly daring palette of models. Just think of the new Torey Pudwill pro shoe that features a huge strap or the Endeavor with its asymmetric shape. Nonetheless, they have not forgotten their roots, and who would be better to represent those roots than Chico Brenes. His new pro-model, the „Nica“, is a throwback to earlier days without looking outdated. Even a little hint at the Nicaraguan flag has been implemented at the heel. How that translates into the modern era of skateboarding’s demands is something that you will find out now.
The DVS Nica fits true to size, even though people with wider feet might choose to go up half a size.
The DVS Nica features a one piece toebox and simple sidewalls that doesn´t offer much. The suede itself is grippy but unfortunately ripped quickly after doing flip-tricks. DVS knew how to deal with that by cleverly treating the Nica with a plastic toebox which withstood heavy griptape abuse with ease. Grip did decrease once the suede was torn, but overall was still fine. The sole itself showed hardly any signs of wear and performed stellar, no worries about durability problems here.
The Chico Brenes Pro model features a well designed sole, with foam padding at the heel area, honeycomb inspired structures in the midsole and a thin sole in the crucial frontfoot area for increased boardfeel. The insole seems rather thin at first, but keeps its shape pretty well and does everything one would expect from it. The foam-circle in the heel area helps to absorb strong impacts as well.
The DVS Nica is a slim cut shoe that does not end up in the usual pointy tip that most slim cuts do, but instead a well rounded shape. Its slim silhouette along with its shape stability from the cupsole construction and plastic toecap provides the skater a very snug fit. This of course also means that people with wide feet might choose to go up one size or at least try this shoe on at the local skateshop first.
The cupsole construction in combination with DVS’ FlexFeel tread technology promises cushioning without sacrificing boardfeel. However, this is something that takes a while to actually happen. After some breaking in by walking around and easy pushing through the streets, the grip and boardfeel get more and more ready for skating. With that said, the DVS Nica started to shine more and more especially during the end of our testing time of 10h.
The cupsole construction in combination with the insole and snug fit leads to a very comfortable wearing experience. Even the dreaded ventilation problem was addressed by incorporating a mesh tongue, which worked just fine, and better than one would expect from a shoe with a plastic toebox. The heel-lock is amazing, thanks to the mesh padding around this whole general area. The cupsole construction also prevents the shoe from losing its shape, something that happens with a lot of vulc models. Something that took a little to get used to was the rather stiff toebox area.
The DVS Nica is a classic cupsole model with modern features that shines when it comes to stability and durability, however it takes some time to break in.
Tester, writer, photos: Stefan Lind
Translator: Edan Qian