Browse all

The story of Osiris D3 and the return of the skate shoe?

The evolution of chunky?

The story of Osiris D3 and the return of the skate shoe? The evolution of chunky?

With the current chunky sneaker trend, fashion’s obsession with the 90’s, and hints like the evolution of Yeezy's and new A$AP Rocky sneaker, there seems to be a strong indication that the natural conclusion of all this is the resurgence of the skate shoe. For many, the skate shoe was their first venture gently sidestepping into a world of fashion, as it meant choosing something other than the classic performance sport shoe sneakers from the likes of Nike and Adidas. There was of course also the social aspect of the subcultural connection to skate culture. The skate rebels that went against the norms of society was a strong force and the fashion was an equally important part. One of the most iconic of these was the Osiris D3, and for anyone familiar with the shoe, it's been unavoidable to note the striking resemblance to the new A$AP x Underarmour shoe. So for those of you who don't know, what’s the history of the Osiris D3?

The shoe was designed by a pro-skater called Dave Mayhew from Wisconsin, at the time the skate shoe market was chiefly controlled by three main brands, Vans, Etnies and Airwalk, and almost all the big name skaters were signed to one of them. These shoe brands would sell an incredible amount of shoes, but very rarely would the skaters endorsing them, and driving the sales, see any of that money. In the early days of pro skating, this wasn't that unusual as the sport hadn't reached a level of professionalism as other commercial sports, such as football, basketball, and baseball, and skaters were easily taken advance. Which led to a bunch of new brands seeing an opportunity and started up towards the end of the 90’s. Dave who was signed with Evol decided that starting a shoe line would-be a good idea, but didn’t think to keep the same name made any sense, and thus Osiris was born. 

“I thought if they called it something else, maybe more people would get involved. A board company using the same name for shoes, it just doesn’t work. So they took the name Osiris and changed it to that and I joined them as my shoe sponsor in 1996.” Dave Mayhew

Osiris appealed to pro skaters, as they first and foremost, paid their team members, and secondly, they pushed the “designed by”concept that only a few of the very top skaters had. They weren’t always technically sound shoes, but they were designed by riders, which applied to pro’s and fans alike.  

As the name implies, but many probably don't know the D3's were Dave’s third design for Osiris.

“My first design by shoe was called the Mayhem, real simple design. For the second one, the Damager, I kept it simple but tried to add these vents on the side because the shoes were bulky at that point. But for my 3rd shoe, the D3, I wanted something crazy.”

As the brands, and therefore the number of available versions of sneakers exploded, Dave wanted to make sure his 3rd design stood out. 

“I was in Sports Authority and there was a hiking boot I saw that had big lace holes at the top. I thought it would be cool if you put them down the side of the shoe and they got smaller closer to the toe.”

After a few back n forth between Dave and the Osiris design team, the final design was completed. From the start it was divisive, and at tradeshows nobody really liked them, then 6 months later the shoe exploded. It got so crazy that Dave even had to stop wearing them, as everywhere he went he’d meet another 50 people of the town wearing the same shoe. The shoe became so big it crossed over into pop culture with artists like Limp Bizkit’s, Fred Durst sporting them, and Avril Lavigne wearing them on her album cover, rumors say it ended up being the best selling skate shoe of all time. Unfortunately, as so often is the case with big success and big money, the relationship between Osiris and Dave soured, to where they broke all ties.

What remains is the legacy of sneaker that's clearly influencing taste until this day and beyond, as A$AP shows us, and we’re foreseeing that the skater silhouette will be the next step in the chunky evolution and expect to see much more skate style chunk coming back to the market and moving it forward.