Adidas cancels ‘Shackle’ trainer after slavery outcry

Adidas has cancelled plans to release a pair of trainers with a Shackle-like ankle cuff after critics complained that they were racist and evoked connotations of slavery.


Concerns were first raised after an image of the product was posted on the brand’s Facebook page earlier this month (June 14).

Adidas developed the JS Roundhouse Mid trainer in partnership with fashion designer Jeremy Scott and defended the shoe’s design saying it was nothing more than a “unique take on fashion and has nothing to do with slavery”.

“Since the shoe debuted on our Facebook page ahead of its market release in August, Adidas has received both favourable and critical feedback. We apologise if people are offended by the design and we are withdrawing our plans to make them available in the marketplace,” Adidas said in a statement.

The product was to go on sale in August for $350 (£222) and was developed as a reboot of a classic hi-top trainer.

Adidas previewed the trainer earlier this year and generated little concern, however the brand sparked controversy last week when it began promoting the product on its Facebook page. The post received nearly 3,000 comments, with many calling the trainers inappropriate and ugly. Despite the claims, the photo racked up nearly 38,000 likes.

The product recall comes just months after rival Nike faced similar criticisms for the release of the ‘Nike SB Dunk Low Black and Tan’ to commemorate St Patrick’s Day. Complainants argued that “black and tan” also referred to a violent British paramilitary unit and Nike subsequently apologised.

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