How often do you see a shoe and think, “Yeah, but it’d be better if they did ____ differently with it”?
It’s becoming more common for singular shoe models to shift with the times and trends, and we couldn’t be happier about it. Nike has done multiple versions of the Janoski, Adidas with the Busenitz (and plenty of others), Lakai came back with the Staple reissue, Vans with the Pro Series, etc. DC tried it recently with the Lynx (not to mention the Kalis Lite), and continue to push forward and adapt with what is clearly a solid investment in the Wes Kremer pro models. Our fandom of Wes is probably a little unhealthy in its magnitude, but it’s damn well-deserved.
First released in 2013, DC’s Wes Kremer S has stood a 3 year test of increasingly short attention spans and trends in true DC form. It feels like such a straight up skate shoe with its classic construction – for skateboarders, by skateboarders (that Wes 2 ad is almost too on the nose). Pretty dope to just look at a shoe and think nothing other than skateboarding.
Striking a near-perfect balance between profile and boardfeel, the Wes S placed high priority on eyelet placement and how well the shoe maintained its look over the span of its skateable life. With a heavy Chukka influence, a solid insole protecting feet, great colorways and a multi-demographic appeal (just like the titular pro), the Wes S helped DC into their undertaking of a classic-yet-very-modern feel, along with a new (and recommitted) set of fans. How do you follow that?
Leave it to DC to improve upon an already great shoe; they’re nothing if not future-driven. How well that’s served them over the course of their life as a company depends entirely on the user and the numbers, but, for the most part, they can’t be accused of playing it too safe (please refer to this video for a particularly unsafe and not-too-fondly-remembered moment). After keeping the Wes S around for a couple years, to our delight, DC not only improved the durability factor of the original in 2015 (the middle shoe in the photos), but gave Wes another phenomenal shoe this year to boot.
The Wes 2 took the aesthetic of the original and added elements of a slip-on and a wee bit of boat shoe influence. Never ones to shy away from a “fresh” look, DC handled things by giving it a mullet-like makeover – the toe area is all business, while the back is all party.
Opting to leave their standardized rubber toe revival contribution as is, the toe and forefoot of the Wes 2 boasts rubber protection all the way around, from mid-panel to mid-panel. This provides a super clean aesthetic, especially pronounced by the removal of the bottom 3 eyelets and the pulling back of the side panels considerably, elongating the toe area to near slip-on proportions (it functions completely as a slip-on, if you so desire – laces aren’t required). The introduction of the Impact S insole is much appreciated, as are the slightly unorthodox colorways. Tack on some tongue stabilizers (seriously, it works 100% as a slip-on) and the Wes 2 compliments the Wes S to a T. To top it off, the only break-in time you’ll need is adjusting your eyes to the long toe, as it skates comfortably right out of the box.