Best for: All kinds of Skating
Star Feature: ImpactG cushioning
Weight: 414.2 grams
The Nyjah HI SE is a cupsole skate shoe that plays on the footwear history that exists between skateboarding and basketball that dates back to the the 80's when vert skating was king and vert skaters skated in basketball shoes. Everything likable about the HI SE is what you would find in a classic basketball shoe. Obviously since we're in 2013 the interior has a more modern take on this idea because of access to better materials and enhanced manufacturing methods available today. If you're a fan of hi tops, you know the security great-fitting ones provide for your feet and ankles, ultimately will go to your head.
When I lace them up (all the way to the top) the fit gives me this brash, jock-like confidence that makes me feel like I can go do anything on my board, but I also get to thinking I can shoot like Michael Jordan. The tongue is mostly mesh with leather at the top and the inside is lined with polyurethane all the way through to the toe. Only the side panel is different on the inside and that's because the mesh lining is for breathability. Since the rubber outsole is so solid, all that's needed inside is a thin, foam Ortholite sockliner.
The source of the shoe's success is the cupsole, which consists of a three part system -- and the star is the ImpactG heel cushioning. Press on the gel pad in the heel region of the sole and you'll notice it goes in and comes back out. This is the kind of response you want for your heel when you're about to hit the pavement, as it is pressing down on an insole with the force of gravity. You want to think your outsole is reliable, and the ImpactG appears to be just that. Another cool thing about the outsole is that the sidewall in the toe region has grooves which react well to griptape, while the sole itself has DC's customary recessed pill traction grooves.
If you've ever skated in white leather shoes and liked them, you'll truly be satisfied with the HI SE because the leather performs, and since they are DC's you can expect the leather to withstand griptape abrasion better than most other brands.
Bottom Line: DC prides themselves on being a skate-athletic brand, so they can totally pull this off. By this I mean making a shoe that you can jump down a 15 stair in and also wear to swish some jump shots in the gym. At $90 they are fairly priced, considering they are premium leather high tops.
Reggie Altema is a Haitian writer from New Jersey who grew up obsessed with music and skateboarding but despised east coast winters, so the former Fat Beats New York employee escaped to Los Angeles where he could skate all year round. When he’s not out walking his pitbulls, he listens to Bebop and contributes to ESPN Skateboarding and Sneaker Report.