For two decades, DC has been at the forefront of action sports, providing shoes, apparel, equipment and accessories for skateboarding, snowboarding, and motocross. Its approach from the start is to take the needs of the athletes in these sports seriously, and provide them initially with footwear and, later, gear that meets those performance demands. Along the way, it has also had a profound impact on not only the sports it serves, but indeed, on mainstream popular culture.
DC was founded by one of the most high-profile leaders in the industry, Ken Block, who teamed up with Damon Way in ’93 to fulfill a need that they encountered as skateboarders—the need for durable, technical footwear. At the time, there weren’t many shoes with both aesthetic appeal and the ability to stand up to the demands and abuse of skating. DC shoes incorporated features like effective cushioning, reinforced suede uppers, grippy “Pill” outsoles, and break-resistant lacing, along with a fresh new look.
The initial product was a smash success and the company grew rapidly, with DC shoes becoming must-have items for serious skaters. The company supported its product by assembling a team of professional skaters, starting with Danny Way and Colin McKay and quickly expanding to known names like Rob Dyrdek. Advertising that showcased both the athletes and their shoes helped push skating and, indeed, all action sports, into the mainstream.
Within a few years, DC had brought its passion and expertise to snowboarding, introducing a line of snowboards, boots, and outerwear for riders. As could be expected, it applied skate sensibility to its gear, developing jib-friendly boards and boots with the sensitivity and response of DC shoes. It also applied it street-savvy aesthetic to jackets and pants, a full line of gloves, beanies, and other accessories, and clothing for both on and off the slopes. As in skate, DC snowboarding is represented by a team of leading athletes, including Travis Rice, Devun Walsh, and Torstein Horgmo.
Today, DC is a world leader in casual footwear and apparel for men, women, and kids. Despite its enduring success, though, it continues to be driven by its original mission—to set the standard for both style and technology in action sports.