Washington, D.C. Teen Believed To Be Killed For Sneakers

James Anthony Smith-17yr old killed in Washington, D.C. over sneakers

The family of James Anthony Smith, the 17-year-old, murdered on 12/18/2017 over what many believe were his ‘Win Like ’96’ Air Jordan 11 sneakers, will celebrate Christmas grieving the loss of their beloved young prince.

As parents and educators (non-traditional) our aim with SOLEcial Studies is to expose youth to the athletic footwear industry, but also expose the ugly side of the society where people have put too much emphasis on material things.

We use Rick Telander’s, the then senior writer for Sports Illustrated, article -“Your Sneakers or Your Life“- that he wrote and became the cover for the May 14, 1990, cover of Sports Illustrated.

The article put a bright spotlight on kids being killed for their sneakers and jackets.  This was a wake-up call for the sneaker companies that they had to pay attention to and attempt to address.

Well, after 27 years, we’re still dealing with senseless violence and murders.

We, the OSD/ SOLEcial Studies team, send our condolences to Bonita Smith and the family as they mourn the loss of James Anthony Smith.  May he rest in eternal peace.

[youtube width=”500″ height=”500″]https://youtu.be/rzCWpdhYrw0[/youtube]

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Timberland 50009: Let’s Do This Like Brutus!

When you’re obsessed with footwear that means that you look at ALL footwear and while there are a bunch of shoe companies out there, one that caught my attention in 1987 is Timberland.

I was introduced to Timberland boots by cats in Brooklyn and there was something ‘special’ about the way that they wore them; untied with the tongue flapped over and the ever-present tree stamped on the heel.

It was Christmas time and I was able to visit family in NYC and leave the warm temps of the Virgin Islands behind for a bit.

While it was cold in NYC, it was far from cold in the Virgin Islands and I wanted a pair of Timbs, but there was no way that I was going to play myself and wear a pair of 6-inch wheats in the Caribbean!

It was 1987, and at the time there 2 camps when it came to music for me: (1) Def beats with messages of empowerment and that made me think about what it meant to be a Black male, and (2) songs that made me want to dance, have fun and look fly.

With songs like “I Need Love” by LL Cool J, “Head To Toe” by Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam, “I Ain’t No Joke” by Eric B & Rakim and “Top Billin’” by Audio Two, ’87 was a great year for music!

But, let me get back to the Timberland boots.

I wanted a pair of Timbs, but I didn’t want boots so as I visited the Albee Square Mall, in downtown Brooklyn, and looking at a lot of people’s feet to survey what they wore, I noticed a few cats that wore a maroon pair of shoes that had lug soles. They looked similar to a pair of boat shoes, but more rugged and raw than traditional boat shoes. I had to have a pair!

After looking for a pair in what seemed like every store up and down Fulton Street and crapping out, I hit Triangle Sports (only old-school Brooklyn folks will remember Triangle and their bins with deadstock sneakers that were zipped-tied together) and found them, but they didn’t have them in my size.


So, what does a person back in ’87 do to find a pair of shoes prior to the internet? You grab the Yellow Pages (read: A telephone book) and let your fingers do the walking and flip to “Shoes” and look for sporting goods stores and make some calls.

I called a few places in Manhattan and found a spot near Wall Street that them in stock and in my size. Needless to say, I broke out like Heavy D & The Boyz and made my way to the store.

Once I got to the store, I realized that it was a rarity for the owner to have teenagers in his store and probably even more rare to sell a pair of these shoes to someone that wanted to wear them as everyday shoes and not for hiking.

I secured a pair of the 3-eyelet, oxblood-colored, beautifully crafted shoes and I was amped!

Oh, and how could I forget the sweet smell of the leather when I opened the box? The premium leather had a distinct smell that to this day I can remember.

So, without further ado, I introduce you to the Timberland 50009.

The Timberland shoes are made with premium, full-grain, oiled leather for comfort, durability and abrasion resistance. The hand sewn construction is not only to improve the quality of these Heritage shoes, but to add an attractive hand-crafted look and feel. Additionally, the 360 degree rawhide lacing system allows for a custom fit.

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Video: PENSOLE x OSDLive Footwear Industry Panel Boston Public Schools

Boston-Pensole-OSDlive-0048On Saturday, October 28th, D’Wayne touched down in Boston and when I say that he assembled an all-star cast of footwear designers, Product Line Managers (PLMs), materials and trends folks and sales folks, my words don’t do justice to the knowledge that was shared!

Thank you to everyone that attended and especially to the youth, their parents, and teachers who participated and asked great questions.




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PENSOLE: Footwear Industry Panel At Boston Public Schools Open House

Boston-Pensole-OSDlive-0062When you enter the doors at PENSOLE Footwear Design Academy, located in downtown Portland, Oregon, you’ll quickly realize that you’re entering a studio that is unlike any other space that exists in the world.

No, I didn’t mistype the words “you’ll quickly realize that you’re entering a studio that is unlike any other space that exists in the world.”

You see, what started as an idea that was inspired by his own journey, D’Wayne Edwards created a space where creative folks from all over the world will want to enter, learn, be pushed to be better and leave with a new appreciation for footwear, design, problem solving and sharing what they learned while studying at PENSOLE.

PENSOLE came to be because D’Wayne’s mother instilled in him, and his 5 siblings, to BELIEVE. Continue reading

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Buy YOUR OSD Stickers!

The Obsessive Sneaker Disorder (OSD) vinyl, die-cut stickers have arrived!

Obsessive Sneaker Disorder vinyl, die-cut, UV coated sticker.

Obsessive Sneaker Disorder vinyl, die-cut, UV coated sticker.

The cost is $5 for 1 sticker or 3 stickers for $10 (Price includes shipping anywhere in the world.)
Pay with PayPal and send payment to info@osdlive.com.


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World Sneaker Championship Experience 2/23

osdlive-wscx16-8127On another unbelievably warm day in New York City, students from the Business of Sports School (B.O.S.S.) visited the World Sneaker Championship Experience and learned about the various careers that exist in the footwear industry and they were able to try their hands at using Wacom Cintiq tablets to learn how to draw sneakers using Adobe Illustrator. Continue reading

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World Sneaker Championship: Maxwell Lund

MaxwellLund-WSC-7981The champion is in the building and we have to say that Maxell Lund made a lot of noise and let folks know that he was in NYC to claim his crown and a big ass check! Continue reading

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SOLEcial Studies x St. John, USVI

Sean Williams and Dee Wells with students from JESS on St. John, USVI. We’ve been busy taking SOLEcial Studies to another level and we’re obsessed with teaching youth about the ever-changing footwear industry, the various jobs that exist in the field, and, more importantly, the role that they play in shaping the future of what sneakers y0u and I will wear.

Dr. Sean “Paper Chasr” Williams and I headed to the US Virgin Islands and when we touched down it was all love! Continue reading

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H-Town Sneaker Summit Summer ’16 on July 31st

H-Town Sneaker Summit Summer '2016 flyerHOUSTON, June 2016 – The school year is winding down and summer is nearly here, which can mean only one thing…on Sunday, July 31st the legendary H-Town Sneaker Summit returns to the historic NRG Center in Houston, Texas for their highly anticipated 13th annual summer event! Continue reading

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Talk Show: Obsessive Sneaker Disorder #365 12/9


Obsessive Sneaker Disorder Episode #365 12/9 @ 10 pm ET

Join the Sole Doctors & Disorderlies for Episode #365 as we share what sneakers we feel are the hottest sneakers for 2015 and what ‘heads can expect to see in the new year!

Also, make sure you head to www.Laced-Up.com to buy your copy of “Laced Up” a sneaker documentary, which was produced by sneaker connoisseurs for sneakerheads and gives you a firsthand look at the culture from within the culture! 


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