News: UPDATE: Adidas Unlaces Shackle Kicks, Shelves Controversial Sneakers

Tuesday, Jun 19, 2012 10:23PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Popular sneaker company Adidas has untied plans to release a controversial sneaker, the Jeremy Scott Roundhouse Mids, this summer in light of heated reactions from consumers.

Less than a week after the shoes were previewed, Adidas has shelved them for good.

German sports apparel maker Adidas has withdrawn its plans to sell a controversial sneaker featuring affixed rubber shackles after the company generated significant criticism when advertising the shoe on its Facebook page. The high-top sneakers, dubbed the JS Roundhouse Mids, were expected to be released in August, according to the Adidas Originals Facebook page. "Got a sneaker game so hot you lock your kicks to your ankles?" a caption below a photo of the sneakers read. The June 14 post prompted plenty of criticism from around the Web, with many of those commenting saying they felt the shackle invoked the painful image of slavery. (CNN)

New York rap veteran Talib Kweli publicly went after Adidas over its kicks.

"WTF @adidas sneakers with SHACKLES? Which morons approved these? Do better. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2160977/Adidas-unveiling-new-trainer-orange-shackles-like-worn-black-slaves.html," he tweeted June 18th.
"@NickNoir @adidas the sneakers are historically ignorant. Are their more offensive things in the world? Certainly"
"@NickNoir @adidas aggressively markets to urban. They should know better & be more sensitive. So should the artist. Wack." (Talib Kweli's Twitter)

Monday (June 18), Adidas took a firm stand to defend its company's integrity.

Adidas is defending its design for sneakers with orange ankle bracelets and chains, despite criticism from bloggers and Facebook users that the shoes resemble shackles worn by African slaves. "The design of the JS Roundhouse Mid is nothing more than the designer Jeremy Scott's outrageous and unique take on fashion and has nothing to do with slavery," an Adidas spokesperson said. "Any suggestion that this is linked to slavery is untruthful." Jeremy Scott's past designs for Adidas have featured panda heads and Mickey Mouse. (Black Youth Project)

Tensions initially flared when a sneak peek of the kicks surfaced last week.

Last Thursday, the promotional team posted a photo of the kicks- which are expected to land in August- on its Facebook page. The problem that so many fans have taken up with the Jeremy Scott-designed shoe is not its basic functionality, but rather its design: The shoe features a bright orange, shackle-like element that many associate with slavery. Upon posting, Adidas received an influx of outraged responses from the Internet and fans everywhere. The number of comments and criticism got so bad that the brand removed its original offending post from its Facebook page. However, that doesn't eradicate the issue that the shoe still exists. (Philly)

Check out a consumer's reaction to the sneakers below:

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