Jeremy Scott Adidas Shackle Face-Palm

By Manolo the Shoeblogger

Ridiculous at any price.

Manolo says, no, these are not the clever fake, these are the Jeremy Scott x Adidas Roundhouse Mid “Handcuffs” sneakers, priced at $350.

And yes, the symbolism of the basketball shoe with the make-believe leg shackles has not be lost upon many outside of the world of fashion designers.

Adidas has sparked outrage and been accused of ‘promoting slavery’ by creating a new pair of trainers which have bright orange ‘shackles’ that fit around the wearer’s ankles.

The clothing giant is under fire for its August scheduled release of the JS Roundhouse Mids, which many have compared to the devices worn by black slaves in 19th Century America.

The seemingly innocent promotional material, uploaded to Facebook earlier this month, asks: ‘Got a sneaker game so hot you lock your kicks to your ankles?’

But the shoes have sparked angry debate online, with many saying there is a more cynical tone to the advertisement.

More than 2,000 people have labelled the design ‘offensive’ and ‘ignorant’ and say the firm has ‘sunk to new lows’ in its ‘slavewear’ product.

Dr Boyce Watkins, writing for Your Black World, said: “Shackles. The stuff that our ancestors wore for 400 years while experiencing the most horrific atrocities imaginable.

“Most of which were never documented in the history books and kept away from you in the educational system, all so you’d be willing to put shackles on your ankles today and not be so sensitive about it.”

Sadly, people in the fashion industry–fashion designers, promoters, and publicists–are not known for their keen knowledge of history, and thus this sort of thing seems to happen with depressing regularity.

Although, rarely do these transgressions involve such aggressive stupidity…

Jeremy Scott Handcuff Adidas

Nor, such ugly shoes.

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29 Responses to “Jeremy Scott Adidas Shackle Face-Palm”

  1. Charlotte Allen Says:

    I think the sneakers look stupid–but where’s the “shackling”? The chains “bind” the sneakers only to the wearer’s own ankles. They don’t impede walking. I think this whole flap is overreaction by the sensitivity police.

  2. forrest Says:

    I totally agree.

  3. Mike James Says:

    The people getting outraged might consider saving a little outrage for the next trampling death when Nike releases a new Air Jordans design.

  4. JeremyR Says:

    To be fair, they were probably thinking of the popularity of prison culture these days – that’s apparently how the trend of wearing the really droopy pants came from, since you can’t have belts in prison. And don’t get me started on facial tattoos…

  5. thomass Says:

    Ah; beat me to the punch.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    skinny Jeans are the in thing, no one wears the saggy Jeans any more….

  7. tom swift Says:

    This has little to do with history. This is all about race-pimping and the modern grievance industry. The giveaway line – “…most of which were never documented in the history books and kept away from you in the educational system…” – says it all. The whining isn’t about history, it’s about fantasy generated as needed by professional hustlers and con-men.

  8. MrPadraig Says:

    I have a way kinky relationship with a black woman. She wants to know if they come in woman styles. LOL!!!

  9. Anonymous Says:

    Padraig’s comment is more offensive than those shoes…

  10. thomass Says:

    I thought the whole deal with the low pants look was to imitate the inmate look (hard to keep your pants up when in shackles).
    So; anyway… Are the shoes the creation of someone historically ignorant of slavery [being evil] or were they meant to mean something other than slavery… of which the critics are ignorant?

  11. HeatherRadish Says:

    And I don’t think it has anything to do with prison or slavery or race. The “strap around the ankle/shin only vaguely tethered to the rest of the shoe” been big in women’s sandals for awhile now (why?…it’s so ugly….). This is just an extension of the trend to sneakers.

    There’s a whole lot of people who make their living looking for something to be offended about. The controversy eminds me of this, actually:

  12. Casey Says:

    There is a very large difference between a small strap, and what is obviously a shackle with a chain attached to it. It’s a pity you can’t see the difference.

    Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and sometimes we run into genuinely stupid ideas. This is one of them.

    It reminds me of the shoe from Elizabethtown, the “Späsmodica,” which cost the company in the film $972 million. The shoe designer (Orlando Bloom as Drew Baylor) even tries to commit suicide at the start of the movie.

  13. Ursula Says:

    What do you expect from the folks who kept the Wehrmacht in boots during WWII. See here

  14. Patrick Carroll Says:

    Oh, come along now. Tarring today’s Adidas with yesterday’s sins is a bit much. I’ll guarantee you Eichmann was dead 20 years before the designer of these shoes was even a glint in his mother’s eye.

  15. CameronH Says:

    Why do African Americans believe that only black people were slaves. Australia, were I am from, was innitially built on white slavery. The majority of the innitial workforce were convicts sent from Britian. It is clearly documented that these convicts were kept in such shackles and many were beaten and whipped to death. In my home state of Queensland the importation of such “white” slaves did not end until self government in 1859. Why don’t these people grow up and also grow a little bit of a thick skin. Would it be because there is continued government benefits from the continuous whinging?

  16. William O. B'Livion Says:


    The biggest difference was that most of the folks transported to Australia against their will were convicts, and had a certain number of years before they would be freed (depending on their crime).

    The better argument is that historically *all* races have been captured and held as slaves. The Jews were slaves in Egypt, the Arabs have kept slaves (and still do) while the Persians kept Arabs as slaves. The Chinese kept Mongols, and vice-versa. Mongols also kept European slaves, and European’s kept each other. Various so-called native American tribes (North, Central, and South) captures slaves from other tribes (at least). I’m not sure whether Australian Aboriginal tribes ever trafficed in slavery, but from what I’ve seen of this country it just wouldn’t have been economically viable.

  17. lali Says:

    As a non-American, slavery was not the first thing that came to mind when I saw these shoes — “Lord they are ugly” was, quickly followed by “Adidas figures the buyer is going to land in jail anyway so lets skip a few steps.” My friend’s first thought was “shoes for Lindsey Lohan”.

  18. PT Barnum Says:

    Who knew these kids had their own line of shoes?

  19. marvel Says:

    I can’t believe anyone would try to defend these shoes. They are awful. Even if the intended reference is to prison culture and not slavery, how does that it make it okay? It’s still appalling. Plus they’re ugly as sin.

  20. John Key Says:

    I think the stupidity of the design is exceeded only by the stupidity of the negative reaction. I’m quite certain they will fail on their own without the need for any overwrought historical references.

  21. ChaChaHeels Says:

    @marvel–exactly. Especially if the intended reference is to prison culture and not slavery–in the US, there are more people imprisoned than in any other country in the world, and somehow, the largest number of those imprisoned happen to be African American. It is hard not to see the connection between that skewed population, the rise in the imprisoned population, and slavery. So I don’t see how anyone can say that an outcry against these shoes is just a bunch of folks trying to “make a living” by finding something to be offended about. There are way more “folks” trying to make a massive profit by selling us crap tinged with racism, then calling us “too sensitive” when we respond appropriately.

  22. Madame Suggia Says:

    They just look hideous.

  23. tom Says:

    it seems jeremy scott was the only one in the fashion industry who watched my pet monster in the 80s

  24. raf Says:

    Haha wow 2 thousand people. Out of how many millions of people who could possibly care. I want those kick cuz I’m a slave to fashion and one-upmanship

  25. agmartin Says:

    Maybe these shoes were intended for college athletes.

  26. Ragu Says:

    The shoes are distatsteful

  27. Bryan Says:

    People are overreacting. It’s a design. It’s funny how people say that this is promoting slavery. It doesn’t really matter anyway since this doesn’t look good at all.

  28. Breezy Says:

    so ur saying if it looked better, it would be ok?

  29. Breezy Says:

    So you’re saying if the shoes looked better (maybe a different color), its ok to promote the product?…stupid
    This is racist and prejudice. No one in their right mind would by these shoes especially since it offends so many people throughout the country.
    Just come up with another design already and that will squash this situation

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