For each of our reviews we try to sift through the hype and give you our honest feedback on products before you shell out your hard earned cash on something you’ve never tried before. For this installment, we review the DC Nyjah 2.
This shoe was released in 2014 and is Nyjah Huston’s second pro model with DC Shoes.
With Nyjah’s dominance of the contest circuit, it came as no surprise that his second pro model shoe had a bold, futuristic look reminiscent of the skate shoes of yesteryear. I was definitely was curious to see how these shoes skated with its Unilite outsole and athletic runner aesthetic (with the exception of the runner’s toe). A futuristic high durability thermo-mesh material also graced the upper panels giving an unconventional paneling in the shoe’s upper coupled with DC’s super suede durability. The sole is extremely grippy when new and and offers above average cushioning when coupled with the right aftermarket insoles. The ventilation in the shoe is also amazing, with probably the best air flow I’ve experienced in a skate shoe. Definitely going some way to starving off the dreaded stank foot during the summer months.
Feel, flexibility, flick and stability
The Nyjah 2 has an extremely flexible sole, definitely sitting on the more flexy end of the cupsole spectrum. The ortholite insoles while comfortable, offer little in the way of any arch support and cushioning and pack out very quickly, requiring their replacement with aftermarket insoles almost immediately.
The shape of the toebox as apparent in the photos lends itself excellently to kickflips, giving amazing flick, and the overall slimmer silhouette as is the norm in current skate shoes ensures that the shoe doesn’t feel in the least bit bulky. The lace placement is also sufficiently recessed into the shoe’s upper to stay out of the way from griptape damage. The toe wall is extremely thin so you really feel every flick of the board, which also means that the wear on the toe is somewhat rapid in both the toebox upper as well as toe bumper. You certainly won’t get much protection from a board landing on your toes.
The heel cup is moderately firm when new and softens quickly with wear, so there was some appreciable loss of lateral stability in the ankle as the shoe continued to be skated.
As mentioned in the overview, the Nyjah 2 has amazing breathability, with airflow through perforations in the toe box keeping your feet extremely cool as the session progresses. Definitely one of the most breathable shoes I’ve skated.
Cushioning and impact absorption
The Nyjah 2 falls into that category of cupsoles that has pretty amazing flexibility in its sole. This flexibility being mainly attributable to the material of its outsole which is a combination of DC’s Unilite technology combined with a soft polyurethane outsole. The outsole still lasted an average amount of time before packing out completely, which was surprising given the soles’ extreme flexibility. Nevertheless, while the shoe is definitely pitched as one for jumping down big stuff, the cushioning is still not the most protective for the heavier stairset and handrail crowd, with some appreciable (but not complete) loss of the soles impact resilience occurring relatively early in its use (around the 5 hour mark). Bottom line, the Nyjah 2 is suited more to medium impact skating.
Wear pictures after 1o hours of skating.
The Nyjah 2 had average durability overall, with the wear rate in the toebox at about what you’d expect given DC’s super suede combined with the moderately pointy toe silhouette. One aspect of the shoe that didn’t seem to hold up was surprisingly the sole, where portions of the ribbing in the region under the arch started to tear within the first 3 hours of skating (see picture above). This was unusual given it’s deliberate design, as you’d imagine that this would have been tested in the design stages. This might have been a one-off experience on the part of my pair but nevertheless took us by surprise. This unfortunately definitely detracted from the shoe’s performance, as the sole quickly developed uneven wear and added instability from the other portions of the sole that were now progressively coming loose. Another feature of the durability of the shoe that should be mentioned is that the seam between the super suede and thermo-mesh in the upper also seemed to be under a fair amount of stress and started to come apart towards the end of the 10 hour test mark.
The Nyjah 2 is a shoe with a bold design that strives to bring flexibility to the cupsole skate shoes while still offering impact protection for jumping down stuff. With moderate cushioning and the flat stock ortholite insole, this shoe is definitely more suited to medium impact skating. With the $110 MSRP, this shoe definitely sits on the more expensive end of the skate shoe spectrum. Probably not quite the shoe for those looking for an extremely durable, long-lasting skate shoe but there certainly will be a category of skaters looking for an extremely flexible cupsole that may find the Nyjah 2 appealing. – HK