This is a funny story.
When we launched El Skate Shop back in the 1990s, the very first account we got was with Arcade Skateboards and their distribution. I can’t remember the name of the distro – but they sold Arcade Skateboards, Evol Snowboards and they had just released Osiris Shoes.
For some reason we were laser focused on getting skateboard decks in the shop. I had no idea skate shoes were going to be a big deal. I figured everyone needed decks, because, well, you break decks somewhat often, whereas you wear your shoes until they’re completely dusted.
Boy, was I wrong. Maybe, the biggest mistake in El Skate Shop history. WE DUMB.
So, when I went to make the first order of boards from Arcade, they sales rep – I think his name was Sugar Bear, asked if we wanted to get hooked up with Osiris Shoes. I was like, “Nah, I’ll pass”. Lol.
Sure enough, the D3 dropped a couple years later and that sh*t blew up. I remember, everyone was wearing Osiris Shoes around town, at my college campus and I was like, “I should call up Sugar Bear and get some shoes”. I called back and either Osiris split from the distro and did it’s own thing, or we were just assed out – straight missed the boat. Maybe we would have been become billionaires if we bought all the D3s from day one but instead we remained true to our core: The Almost Non-Profit Skate Shop :).
So What’s All The Hyped With The D3?
First off, Osiris wasn’t anywhere near the most sought after skate shoe company back then. The top dawgs were Vans, Emerica, Etnies, Es, and C1rca. DC was definitely gaining steam. But Osiris was kind of a second tiered shoe company like Duffs, Axion or PTS.
For whatever reason, the D3 shoe just resonated with EVERYONE. No one is quite sure why. It’s like NFTs, figgit spinners or Beanie Babies…everyone had to have them. I think I heard through the Grapevine that ravers like D3s and so it hit it off with other sub cultures around the world.
What Professional Skateboarder Was The D3 Designed For?
This is a common question for skate newbs. The answer is Dave Mayhew. And as the story goes, he didn’t design the shoe or have any significant input on the design of the shoe – I think they were like, “Here’s your shoe”. And Dave was like, “aight, I guess that will work”. For a more accurate answer, watch the video below:
Regardless, Dave made a decent payday from the sales of this shoe and I’m sure he doesn’t mind the outcome.
Osiris D3 Features
Them eyelits! The most noticeable feature of the D3 are the big old-school-beer-can-opening eyelits. Those are quite unique. They sure make lacing up a lot easier.
Nike Air style sole cushion with viewing windows. Those were all the rage in the late 1980s. And again in the late 1990s!
Super thick padded tongue. This was pretty common in most skate shoes in the late 90s. The idea being you wanted thick padding all around to absorb shock from landing big tricks down stair cases and gaps. I’m pretty sure these shoes had a knack for shooting off your foot when you ate it.
Rigid construction. One issue with all the padding, thick rubber and overall layering was these shoes were very rigid. For me personally, I don’t mind that so much because if I’m trying any trick at all I’m just flicking with my toe and snapping with my the ball of my feet. I don’t necessarily need to super flexible shoe. It is a little weird to have a lot of material between your foot and your board in a way. Some people can’t stand shoes like these and like much thinner shoes where they can “feel” their board more. That’s one reason why Vans made such a big come back in the 2000s – a lot of Vans (like the Rowleys) are more flexible (easier to bend and to feel the concave of your board).
Osiris D3 image credit
Osiris D3s Chillin
D3 Art Installation