Adidas “shackle shoe” canceled before it’s debut

Designer Jeremy Scott created a shoe for Nike that was debuted last January on their Facebook page–a regular pair of sneakers with a shackle attached. In an effort to be edgy they failed to recognize that the use of “shackles” harkens back to a time when people were, you know, shackled and enslaved. Is this what hipster racism looks like in the corporate context? Was this supposed to be ironic?

The purple and orange sneakers come with a set of plastic “shackles” that strap around the ankles. “Got a sneaker game so hot you lock your kicks to your ankles?” the company asked in the Facebook post. The post was “liked” by more than 36,000 people by Monday morning and had received more than 2,000 comments — but the reaction was mainly negative.

“These shoes are the WORST idea EVER! Really, we’re supposed to voluntarily buy shackles now?!” wrote one commenter.

“Who ever wears this is openly saying they are a slave,” said another.

via NY Daily News

Well, Adidas decided to take heed and canceled the shoe,

The adidas JS Roundhouse Mid, bagged Monday after burgeoning online criticism that its ankle shackles smacked of slavery, was the just latest example of sneaker gaffes. (Adidas, in a statement, said “we apologize if people are offended by the design.”)

via USA Today

I am more concerned by the judgement on the production team to let this product make it so far–I mean, what else could a shackle refer to? Seriously.


Join the Conversation

  • Kaitlin

    Is there anything in this world more pointless than apologizing for offending someone? No, you apologize for BEING OFFENSIVE. That’s how you take responsibility for your actions, not by putting the onus on the person having the reaction.

  • Jonathan

    “I mean, what else could a ‘shackle’ refer to?” Look, I understand that the shoe was a little insensitive and short sighted, but don’t critique a company for not thinking of the various meanings of an object if you won’t yourself. From the ad language, the producers were clearly trying to reference the chaining of valuable things to oneself such as when a briefcase is chained to the carrier’s wrist if it contains valuable items. The items they were making happen to be shoes so they chained it to the ankle. Stop being so self-righteous.

  • F.Toth

    “I mean, what else could a shackle refer to? Seriously?”

    I am glad the shoe got cancelled.

    Now will people please reconsider those nose piercings? Because, SERIOUSLY, they are traditionally used to indicate slaves or farm animals.

    • Rebecca

      ‘used to’ as in past tense. Funny someone who comments about body shaming and the like is being so judgmental on the aesthetic choice of others because of outdated culture specific connotations.

  • Rebecca
  • Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz

    Wait, when did Sheriff Arpaio start designing sneakers? o_0