Osiris recently put out a classic skate style shoe called the Protocol that has some features that made us take notice. Most of the Osiris line is directly influenced by the not-so distant past of skateboard fashion. The material and build of skateboard shoes these days are often called into question for being to thin and lacking the padding. Maybe its just VSB readership of cranky old, “back in my day” types that struggle with changing times, (Mr. Fakie is a stubborn old codger too) and the Protocol seems to fill the void for several of us stuck in our ways.
The most notable thing, right off the bat is the upper. All Synthetic nubuck and synthetic leather uppers are what we often see asked for in a vegan skateboard shoe. The tongue however is mesh to allow for a breathing foot. Osiris has been putting out all synthetic shoes for awhile in their “lifestyle” brand and they tend to be thick and wear resistant to the business end of grip tape. Synthetics also look super clean and make the shoe feel more significant.
One details that set the Protocol aside from a regular lifestyle shoe is the lacing hole options. You can skip the outer later here and save those laces from getting gnarled. Looks a little goofy, but we didn’t get extra laces in either of the boxes Osiris sent.
Check out those collars and tongues! “Padded” is an under-statement. The shoe are cushioned all around offering plenty of protection to the lower ankle area. Its almost to much padding and can be a bit restrictive when trying to flick your skateboard. Then again, “back in my day” you popped sloppy kickflips with about 2″ more padding in the toe. This is the furtherest thing from the slipper like shoes the 90’s skaters hate on.
That being said, the soles are what Osiris is calling the “VLKN cupsole.” Its got the look of a vulcanized sole, down to the foxing tape stripe and bumper. The feel is pure cupsole however. Even down to the insoles that have more arch support then any skate shoe that we’ve tested. Its sort of a double edged sword. While the support for bigger landings is there, the board feel is certainly sacrificed. While your toe is instantly connected to the board, the heal feels out of place. It feels like a real separation and clumsiness. The break in period for the shoe is significant. If you think you’re going to lace em’ and skate em’ think again. I’d suggest walking around or some light board pushing with the Protocol a good day or two before getting on your board.
After two hours of sessioning the shoe, with about a day of walking around for break in, the Protocol skates well. The whole shoe is stiff though. The flex of the sole really leaves you wanting more. If this is a hybrid of a vulc and cup then it should be much thinner and the arches should be flattened out a bit. Alternative to that, you could just replace the insoles all together.
The Protocol really hits a certain market. One, is purely for the lifestyle look, i.e. non-skaters who like the look. And Two, Skateboarders who like a stiff shoe and want some real ankle and tongue padding. There are a lot of reasons the core skate companies have gone away from shoes like this. The fact still remains that many of us don’t need crazy thin shoes that allow for wildly technical tricks. Some of us just want a shoe that takes serious impact and protects against a flying board. Thats the Protocol. Check back in a few weeks and we’ll tell you how the Protocol is holding up!
A note. The White synthetic leather Protocol is the only one left in a range of sizes. We actually got the last two 10.5s in the Char/Black colorway. If Whites not your thing, hopefully you wear a size 5 or 7.
White sizes 7-12(limited 1/2s) $55.00
Black/Char 5&7 $55.00