Are Osiris Shoes Good for Skating?

Skating is all about the slick slides and smooth ride, but stopping short or catching grip at the wrong time can really ruin your flow. We’ve all been there – wiping out hard when our shoes catch at the park or sidewalk.

So it’s super important to rock skate shoes with just the right combo of flexibility and grip. Osiris has been a top name in skater style shoes for years, but are they really the best bet for your board?

Can their iconic chunky style really keep up with your kickflips and grinds? In this guide, we’ll break down if Osiris shoes stack up for skating or if you’re better off looking elsewhere when it’s time to get new kicks.

So, are Osiris shoes good for skating? Osiris shoes like the iconic D3 model provide a nostalgic chunky 90s style but many find, uncomfortable, and lacking board feel. While durable, most skaters prefer modern shoes with better cushioning from brands like Vans, Emerica, and Lakai. However, some enjoy Osiris for the protective padding and retro aesthetics. Overall they work for casual wear but aren’t the best for performance skating.

Also Read: How long do skate shoes last

Brief Background on Osiris As a Skate Shoe Brand

Back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Osiris made a huge splash in the skate shoe scene with their bold, chunky, futuristic designs. They really pushed the envelope when it came to loud, experimental styles.


Founded in 1996, Osiris was created by professional skateboarders Dave Mayhew and Tony Magnusson along with two other partners. Based in San Diego, California, the brand set out to make cutting-edge skate shoes that stood out from the crowd.

They took inspiration from the technological advances of the time – think lots of plastic, foam, and synthetic materials mixed with an edgy, alternative aesthetic. Osiris shoes almost looked like they were from the future compared to other skate brands.

The Iconic Osiris D3

Arguably the most legendary Osiris shoe was the D3. Debuting in 2001, this absolute unit of a skate shoe featured a massive “c” tongue, intricate crisscrossing straps across the upper, and bold gradient color schemes.

Designed by Brian Reid (though some attribute it to Dave Mayhew), the D3 became hugely popular even outside of skating circles. It was almost caricature-like in its chunky, techy design. The D3 perfectly encapsulated the experimental Osiris style.

Connection to Skate Culture

While unconventional, Osiris shoes still maintained their skate functionality. The chunky silhouettes provided protection when skating big drops and gaps. Lots of padding and support made them comfortable to skate in too.

Of course, wearing gigantic moon boots-looking shoes altered skate tricks a bit. But the shoes developed a cult following among skaters who appreciated the unique style and protection.

Osiris team riders like Dave Mayhew and Chad Muska pulled off tricks in the shoes and cemented their popularity in skate culture. Soon the big shoes became part of the signature late 90s/early 2000s skater style.

Pop Culture Crossover

Beyond skating, Osiris shoes also infiltrated pop culture. Their distinct look attracted interest from non-skaters looking for statement sneakers. Celebrities and musicians began wearing the shoes simply for fashion purposes.

They were especially popular in the sneakerhead community. Rare colorways and collaborations became highly sought after. This expanded their cultural footprint.

Nostalgic Revival in the 2010s

In the 2010s, Osiris shoes enjoyed a surge of nostalgic interest. The chunky skate shoe styles of the late 90s/early 2000s became retro-cool.

Collaborations like the SRLo, designed by A$AP Rocky and referencing the D3, helped reintroduce Osiris to a new generation. Among sneakerheads and streetwear fans, the bold Osiris designs were appreciated in an ironic, postmodern way.

The D3 and other classic models were re-issued to capitalize on the nostalgia craze. This cemented their cultural staying power. Elements of Osiris’ futuristic, maximalist style were also influential on contemporary sneaker design.

Though sometimes viewed as campy, Osiris shoes had a surprising second wave of popularity thanks to rising 90s/2000s nostalgia. Their DNA continues to influence skate culture and footwear design today.

Debates Around Skating in Bulky Osiris Shoes

On the one hand, the thick soles and ample padding of Orisis skating shoes did provide more protection and impact absorption for big drops and gaps.

This durability and cushioning is a major plus cited by supporters of the chunky look.

Critics say the stiff and bulky design doesn’t let you feel the board or bend easily, which makes some tricks harder. This argument is similar to the bigger discussion about cupsole and vulcanized shoe styles.

When compared to slimmer shoe models popular in the 90s and early 00s, the chunky shoes often seem less optimal for performance.

Shoes like the Vans Half Cab or Emerica G6 offered a more streamlined profile. Though less padded, many skaters preferred the greater board control and responsiveness these vulcanized styles allowed. Of course, preferences varied based on skating terrain and individual needs.

That said, skate shoe technology and design has improved enormously over the past two decades.

Modern skate shoes manage to combine the best of both worlds – shock absorption and durability as well as board feel and maneuverability.

Brands like DC, Emerica, and Lakai now engineer shoes using innovative materials and construction methods. The result is skate shoes that outperform and outlast their 90s counterparts while still reflecting skate style.

In terms of specific Osiris models, the D3 seems most divisive. This iconic shoe from 2001 had a truly massive, futuristic shape. While some appreciate the protective design, others find the giant “foamposite” tongue impractical.

One reviewer managed nollie flips in the D3s but complained of the stiff, short fit cracking their deck. The extreme chunkiness does seem to hinder dexterity.

Beyond performance considerations, the loud styles also attracted attention, for better or worse.

Big shoes elicited reactions from other skaters that wearers may or may not have enjoyed. Still, there’s nostalgia and respect for pro skaters who influenced the chunky movement like Dave Mayhew.

Sizing and Fit of Osiris Shoes

When it comes to finding the perfect pair of skate shoes, getting the right size and fit is crucial. Ill-fitting shoes can ruin your session and leave your feet hurting.

General Sizing Seems to Run Small

One of the most common opinions expressed about Osiris shoes is that the sizing runs on the smaller side.

Numerous reviews point out that going at least a half size up, if not a full size up, tends to yield the best fit.

For example, one user who normally wears a size 12.5 Nike was advised by others to get a size 13 in Osiris.

Similarly, a user who wears size 10.5 found the same size Osiris to fit well. However, a size 9.5 had to size up to a 10. This pattern suggests Osiris shoes tend to fit snug.

Why might this be the case? Some speculate that the padding inside the shoe makes them fit tighter until broken in.

The overall consensus is to consider sizing up, especially if you fall between standard shoe sizes. Trying them on in-store first is ideal if possible.

Break-In Period Required for Optimal Comfort

In addition to running small, numerous reviewers mention Osiris shoes can feel overly stiff and uncomfortable when new.

However, many note the fit and comfort improves significantly after a break-in period.

It appears the padded interior mold to your feet over time. But those first few sessions might feel restrictive before the materials soften up.

Having patience and allowing the shoes time to conform to your feet seems to pay off in the long run. Just don’t expect them to feel perfect right away.

Width and Shape Important for Good Fit

With some skate shoe brands, the width and contours of the shoe don’t always align well with everyone’s foot shape. This can cause pressure points and discomfort.

Some users specifically note Osiris running a bit narrow. So for those with wider feet, sizing up may help provide enough width and toe room. Paying attention to the particular shoe model and last is also advised.

Osiris Quality and Durability

Osiris made very chunky, futuristic shoes in the 90s/2000s which were trendy at the time. Some of their newer re-issued retro models aim to capitalize on that nostalgia.

However, while those big shoes might look cool, they aren’t ideal performance-wise for actual skating. So, quality and durability takes a backseat to style for some Osiris shoes.

When it comes to the quality and durability of Osiris shoes, reviews seem a bit mixed, with some concerns over longevity but also positives mentioned about comfort and style.

Overall, opinions on Osiris shoes range from decent but not amazing quality to issues with sizing consistency and durability complaints.

Some specific models likely hold up better than others. There are certainly worse options out there, but also better ones if you want a long-lasting skate shoe.

Pro skaters mention that things like toe caps, rubber backing, and double or triple stitching help strengthening the skate shoes.

The materials and construction methods used for skate shoes can significantly impact their durability.

Suede is seen as grippy but prone to tearing, while canvas is lighter but less hardy. Leather is tough but can have less grip. Vulcanized soles offer good board feel but less cushioning and shock absorption compared to cup soles.

  • Cupsole shoes have a rubber sole that wraps up over the sides of the shoe a bit to provide more protection and impact absorption. But this can make them stiffer.
  • Vulcanized shoes have the sole glued or “vulcanized” to the upper part of the shoe. This provides more board feel and flexibility but less protection.

Alternatives for Old School Style Osiris Skate Shoes

Vans are known for their simple, low profile vulcanized shoes that provide great board feel. The checkerboard Slip-On and Old Skool styles are timeless. And models like the Sk8-Hi offer more padding and support in a high top sneaker. Vans canvas shoes tend to wear out faster than suede, but overall the shoes break in well and many pros wear them.

Converse Chuck Taylors have been skated in since practically the beginning of skateboarding.

The canvas upper and vulcanized rubber sole provide that barebones board feel. They don’t have much padding or protect your feet much, plus they wear out quickly. But Chucks are cheap and a classic that just looks right for skating.

Emerica is another skater-owned company that makes solid performing skate shoes in simple but stylish designs. Models like the Herman G6 or Reynolds G6 have gum rubber soles and clean silhouettes. Emerica shoes break in nicely and the brand is known for durability.

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