DC Centric S Review

DC's Centric S. Week 1 to Week 4. (top to bottom)

DC’s Centric S. Week 1 to Week 4. (top to bottom)

The DC Centric S is the quintessential throwback shoe with a modernized design. It pays homage to where we’ve come from as skateboarders: an era of 48 mm wheels, oversized green blind pants & even bigger shoes that resemble moon boots, all while advancing the current model of skate shoes today. Recognizing this shoe is one thing but the fact of the matter is that it wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for Josh & his loyalty to DC. He’s become the classic example of how to be a professional skateboarder & he’s tied in many of his own traits with his new shoe. As is Josh, the Centric S is durable, dependable & modernized to adapt to any surface, terrain or object with ease & style. The one word we forgot to mention is longevity. It’s the word we didn’t feel the need to mention because after all, we’re talking about Kalis here & that’s pretty damn apparent. After a 15 year long career with one of the most recognized skate brands in the history of skateboarding, Kalis continues to add onto his already memorable legacy by doing the same thing he’s done since first joining the team. Feel free to think of anyone else with the same brand loyalty, you might need to pack a lunch & free up your day. We were proud to review & more importantly skate the DC Centric S. Hopefully by the end of reading this review, you’ll be tempted to do the same.

Review information
The review was done using our month long format and the shoe was skated for a total of 20 hours. Check below after each section to view the grading system. We base our ratings from 1-10. 10 being the best and 1 being the absolute worst. Enjoy.

Sizing & Support
This section is normally our easiest write-up but over the past few years, DC skateboarding shoes have gain some notoriety for running a half size too small. During this review, our normal 11.5 pair wasn’t available and caused us to go a half size larger. Skating the size 12 shoe wasn’t difficult in any sense & the fit felt normal. Although this was our experience, we did have some of our contributors look further into this dilemma & found that in their normal skate shoe size, they just experienced a temporary snug feeling that disappeared over a short period of time. Most of us do enjoy a snug feeling rather than adjusting to a large pair of shoes so with that said, you should skated the DC Centric S at your normal size.
Short Answer: True to Size.

Comfort & Cushion
One of the main reasons we decided to review the Centric S is because we couldn’t wait to get our feet in the Airbag construction sole that DC brought back. It’s been far too long since we stepped into a skate shoe with that kind of technology & support. We can’t express enough how much of a difference it made with our skating in every sense. Everything felt that much more comfortable & with each step, you could feel your foot sink into the cushioning & respond back even quicker. It’s one of the many elements about the Centric S to admire & not be apprehensive about. As stated above, while skating the Centric S, we noticed our response time felt much quicker after landing tricks. This is obviously because of the Airbag construction system and even more so reiterates why brands should follow suit & bring the bubble back! We realized that every brand doesn’t have the clout or history that DC has with Airbags but we’re sure there is a spot for it in every brands catalog, at least we hope there is. In comparison to older models that we remember from the 90’s/early 2000’s, this Airbag construction is much thinner & we understand why. The Airbag has to be thinner in order to prevent any blowouts or unnecessary damage to the cushioning system; without it, you’re screwed. To furthermore complement the Airbag system is the cushy EVA midsole. This EVA midsole acts as a sockliner & sits inside the Centric S to wick away any unwanted moisture after a long day of skating. It’s worked wonders for us & was surprisingly cushy for such a thin piece of material. Simply put, it’s one of those examples where you have to try it out for yourself in order to understand our appreciation.

Comfort: 10. After all of the technology that went into creating the Centric S, its simplistic efforts in comfort are what gave this shoe a 10.
Cushion: 10. We’ve been talking about the Airbag construction throughout this review so you know damn well why it’s graded 10.


The Centric's one piece toe durability. From Week 1 to Week 4. (top to bottom)

The Centric’s one piece toe durability. From Week 1 to Week 4. (top to bottom)

Boardfeel & Grip
If you were skating in the 90’s, you might be one of the few who have some repressed anger towards the Airbag construction & we know why. It sometimes prevented boardfeel & over compensated to the point where you thought your shoes were designed to professionally jump off buildings. Based on skating back then, and maybe today, the answer to that question can go either way. Fortunately enough,  the cushioning from the Centric S isn’t from the 90’s & that translates well when mentioning the outsole & boardfeel. This uniquely designed outsole is flexible, functional & designed to grip as well as any other conventional outsole, if not better. The lined grip patterns found in each square help against any abrasion from your griptape but still hold on for dear life when you need them to. Along with this newly created outsole are these amazing flex patterns that allow you to differentiate certain parts of the outsole. This remarkable capability, in addition to the rebound aspect mentioned earlier, helps you react & respond to skating better. After piecing this all together, we’re slowing starting to understand how Kalis was able to do that Fakie 5-0, Front foot Impossible out. This ability in the outsole also gives you the capability to contort & control your foot placement easier than ever. With a simple flex of your foot or arch, the Centric S will follow & you’ll feel a significant difference while skating every time.

Boardfeel: 10. With a slightly higher heel, all the control & boardfeel lies in your forefoot & toes. This will ultimately increase performance & reactions when skating.
Grip: 10. This newly constructed outsole has the best functionality when it comes to ultimate control & flexibility.

The skated outsole, from Week 1 to Week 4. (left to right)

The skated outsole, from Week 1 to Week 4. (left to right)

The Centric S is made up of the best materials DC has to offer. Kalis kept it simple with a clean toe & recessed side paneling to give his shoe some durability but that can only go so far. With the addition of DC’s patented Super Suede, the shoes durability substantially increases to make a great shoe even greater & more importantly, last longer. We’ve been doing a considerable amount of heelflips during this review (as if we were possessed by Lindsay Robertson) & we found that heelflips attacked the side paneling stitch much more than ollies & kickflips combined. Be that as it may, the disappearance of the recessed stitching during week 4 never bothered us & overall, never effected the general performance of the Centric S. Throughout week 4, we also found the first signs of the outsole starting to shed. It was actually nothing to be alarmed about because we were actually quite impressed. After 20 or more hours of skating, the DC Centric S finally started showing actual signs of wear. These signs of wear showed up pretty late in comparison to other shoes we’ve reviewed in the past so that speaks for itself. Even after the completed 20 hours of review, the toe barely showed signs of falling apart.

Toe Durability: 10. Even with our recessed stitching gone, the toe was the savior of this shoe & upheld a crazy amount of abuse for over 20 hours.
Outsole Durability: 8. During week 4 was the only time we ever saw any wear from the outsole. We wish it would last forever!
Overall Durability: 9. The Centric S gave us everything we wanted & more. The durability was just the icing on the cake.

It’s been some time since we laced up a pair of DC’s & we couldn’t be happier to do so now with the introduction of the Centric S. It certainly had our vote for most anticipated shoe of 2012. Reasons behind that should be pretty obvious by now but if you’re still in the dark, it’s because DC re-introduced something back into skateboarding that’s been missing for quite some time. After unfathomable requests to bring back older models like the Lynx, consumers worldwide can now rest their nostalgic heads & move on with their lives with the Centric S. It carries the same significance in the old school sense while staying relevant & stylish. Personally, I’m ecstatic that the bubble is back. The newly engineered bubble works & functions better than you can even imagine. I’m still baffled that it took this long to get it back. If you’re going to get these amazing shoes, visit your local skate shop. If your local shop doesn’t have the Centric S yet, get them directly from the brand that brought you them here.

After you’re done checking this review out, go read Chops new interview with Josh on Chromeball.


  1. Anonymous

    July 12, 2012 1:36am

    Thanks for this review. Going to the shop tomorrow. LOL Savier also use the low profile air bags too! Although those were nike Air bags 😉

  2. Anonymous

    July 12, 2012 5:12am

    Are the insoles removable. Unfortunately I need to wear a shoe insert due to back issues so I won’t be able to cop pair unless I can take out the insole.

    • Ripped Laces

      July 12, 2012 11:46am

      You can take out the insoles in the Centric S. Not sure how thick your insoles are but the ones in the Centric mimic a sockliner & are super thin. If you’re looking for depth to compensate for your insole, then you’re gonna have to skip these. Otherwise, go all in!

    • Anonymous

      July 14, 2012 12:21am

      Oh I don’t neep to put in separate insoles, just slip a piece of plastic under it. So if these are removable I’m more than down. Thanks a ton.

  3. Anonymous

    July 12, 2012 8:25am

    i want some of these bad

  4. e-hick

    July 12, 2012 2:06pm

    Sorry if this is a stupid question, but what’s the deal with the Week1 and Week2-4’s pictures? The first week shows a sole that looks different from the others.

  5. Anonymous

    July 12, 2012 9:18pm

    exactly….the first week shows a different sole..that means its not the same shoe that was put in the test. they tested at least two DC’s with the same colorways. that’s kinda lame

    • Anonymous

      July 12, 2012 10:56pm

      You’re dumb. The outsole is the same. The first week just has a very defined sole design so it gives the illusion of having diamonds on the sole. Process what you’re looking at.

    • Ripped Laces

      July 12, 2012 11:05pm

      Hey guys,

      Due to the fact that we don’t work in a white room, the color of the sole looks different in week 1 & week 4 because of the natural lighting from the sun. Week 1’s photo was probably taken during the later hours of the day while the sun was setting & the week 4 photo was taken during the bright afternoon. Sorry for the mix up. From doing reviews for so long now, we’ve always noticed some discoloration after long periods of wear/skating. This was the only pair skated during this review, as in all of our reviews. Sorry for any confusion.

      Same thing happened in the Lakai Carroll 5’s too.

      Thanks for checking out the review.

  6. Anonymous

    July 14, 2012 6:35am

    As a heelflipper I loved how you guys included a little section on how heelflips affected the shoes in the durability section. Can you guys do this in future reviews too?

    • Ripped Laces

      July 14, 2012 4:12pm

      Most definitely. We’re a natural heelflipper. It used to take us longer to land a kickflip than a heelflip back in the day. From now on we’ll always mention what tricks effect the shoe more distinctly.

    • Anonymous

      July 15, 2012 6:11am

      Thanks! You guys do the most helpful reviews

  7. Anonymous

    July 15, 2012 2:40pm

    I’ve had this shoe about a month, and agree with almost all of this review. I was shocked at how flexible the sole was for having an airbag, and how well it translated to grip and boardfeel!
    One downside of this, like most skate shoes, is the breathability. The rubberized vents on the sides keep the shoe looking modern, but it seems as though there is still a thin layer of soft plastic (latex?) between the mesh and rubber. This keeps the venting from doing much…
    Otherwise this is as close to perfect a shoe as I have skated in a long time. The Centric and Cole Lite S have put DC backon top of amazing shoes to skate!

  8. Anonymous

    July 17, 2012 11:49am

    Which is a better overall performer (durability, protection, performance, price)?
    Which is more durable?
    Which is more budget friendly?
    This shoe or the Fallen Seventy Six?

    • Anonymous

      February 18, 2013 2:28am

      I’ve been fortunate to have both of these shoes but the fallen76s are a little bit cheaper. They were super durable I’ve have never had shoes last that long and they are really good in terms of performance only thing is that they feel really snug so it’d recommend going a size bigger and the centric is good too but your gonna get ur best bang for ur buck with the fallen 76

  9. Anonymous

    August 28, 2012 2:46am

    I feel compelled to mention Rob Dyrdek’s loyalty to AWS. He was their first pro in 1991 and bought the company earlier this year. Pretty epic. Also, I believe Berra has stayed Alien his whole career as well, even if he is a bit of a kook.

    • Bob Barker

      September 10, 2012 2:17pm

      Nope, actually Berra rode for Foundation in the early 90’s as well as Birdhouse until around 2000. He made the move to AWS with Kirchart.

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