Adidas is being criticized over a controversial decision to put plastic ankle shackles on the new adidas JS Roundhouse Mids, debuting in August, sneakers that resemble slavery or inmates.
The shoemaker says it’s not promoting that explicitly and the marketing campaign that goes “a sneaker game so hot you lock your kicks to your ankles.”
In a company statement supplied by representative Lauren Lamkin, it says the shoes represent “nothing more than the designer Jeremy Scott’s outrageous and unique take on fashion and has nothing to do with slavery. … Any suggestion that this is linked to slavery is untruthful.”
Response to the ad campaign racked up more than 2,000 comments, with many describing them as offensive, inappropriate, and yes, even ugly.
“What is this, the slavery line?” Christopher Daniels asked in the photo’s comment section.
“Why would you want shackles round your legs that’s just like back in slavery days #sillyidea,” commented Shakira Allen.
“Wearing them you can feel like real prisoner,” wrote Pawel Lisowski.
Aamir Ali also saw a jailhouse connection, writing: “Sorry but I’d rather not look like someone who just broke out of prison.”
While detractors likened the kicks to slave chains and prison shackles, Adidas said the JS Roundhouse Mids are not meant to be a symbol of oppression, and noted that Scott has previously designed creative kicks for Adidas featuring panda bear heads and Mickey Mouse.