The current trend in skate footwear is toward the lightest, vulcanized, no-frills shoe. At the turn of the millennium, however, the pendulum swung the opposite way. People were stuffing extra tongues into their shoes to fatten them up, and shoe companies were slapping on all kinds of “features” onto their kicks which only increased their weight and uselessness. In the late 1990s to early 2000s, you could pick up a shoe with one or all of the following features: stash pockets, double shoelaces à la L.A. Gear, velcro strips to fasten the hem of your compatible SAG (Smolik Action Gear) warmup pants to, multiple air bubbles, triple-thick ollie pads with quadruple stitching, and more “innovations” worthy of a facepalm.
The crowning achievement of this era is the Osiris D3 2001. It may not have all the features above, but it was pretty much the antithesis of the modern skate shoe. One D3 weighs as much as a pair of Half Cabs, and the lacing system makes baby Jesus cry — especially with the double lace option. The D3 was designed by Dave Mayhew, who skates exactly like you would imagine the designer of this shoe to. Lots of crazy tech tricks with awkward knock-knee landings in the middle of his board. Apparently, the original D3 wasn’t selling that well, but the updated D3 2001 took off like Lizard King’s popularity. 8 years ago, stores couldn’t keep them on the shelves. It wasn’t TK Supra-level pandemonium, but most colorways sold out really quick and could be seen on demographics from toddlers to grandparents. How or why, we will never know. I just hope Mayhew and Chet Thomas are chillin’ on a private island somewhere from shoe sales, filming the best 411 Chaos section imaginable.
Here’s an interesting quote from Skateboarder:
“The heads at Osiris will think twice the next time they contemplate discontinuing a sleepy seller. When Dave Mayhew wanted large lace loops for his third pro model, the folks at Osiris were less than optimistic about the samples. The D3 was very technical, bulky and the lace loops made it look awkward. It sold decently the first year, but sales began to dwindle. Six years later something inexplicable happened. “We were just about to pull the shoe from the line,” owner Tony Magnusson remembers, “when it took off like a friggin’ rocket.” The updated D3 2001 is rumored by many accounts to be the best selling pro-model skate shoe of all time”. – Skateboardermag.com
Discuss below your all-time least favorite skate shoes.