Controversial Kicks: When Sneakers Offend Folks

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Contrary to recent mainstream press, sneakers are designed to be worn, not to stir the pot or offend people. Never the less, some fashion statements have been taken out of context and some names have evoked criticism. We take a look back at kicks that have been labeled offensive in style or title and retrace why they caused commotion.

Nike Air Bakin

Originally Launched: 1997
Reason for Controversy: Branding Font

While the ketchup and mustard colorway was too zesty for many, it was the branding that was deemed offensive on the Nike Air Bakin. The original release sported a flame-esque ?Air? font that also tagged the heels of the Melt, Grill, and B-Que models. The fiery theme was apparent in title, but caused heat for the logo?s likeness to ?Allah? written in Arabic. Nike apologized for their unintentional insensitivity and recalled the kicks. The shoe was later re-released and retroed with Swoosh stamped heels.

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