Nomalanga: Why Adidas Should Not Have Cancelled the Shackle Shoe

Adidas has reportedly cancelled its plans to release the “shackle shoe” into the market after it was criticized for advertising it on the Adidas Facebook page.

I think that Adidas’ first mistake was releasing the design to begin with. I question whether they used simple marketing tools,such as surveys,  before they decided to launch this new “shackle shoe”. That being said, I think that now that they have gone public with the design, the next mistake was to withdraw it.

I believe that even before they promoted the shoe on their Facebook page, they were aware of the slavery undertones that came with it. That is part of business; you take risks and sometimes they pay off. If Adidas was looking for a massive amount of attention, they got it. I’m just appalled that they are now trying to weasel their way out of it by “withdrawing” the shoe.

The bottom line is that Adidas decided to take a risk to get media attention and they got it. They should stand by their design and lie in the bed that they made.  Trying to withdraw the shoe at this time is a bad decision because it makes it look like their design team was so incompetent that they did not consider the implication of a shoe with shackles on it being marketed in a country like America. America has has a very painful history in which shackles played a very significant role.

Shame on Adidas.



About Nomalanga

Nomalanga helps Black Women thrive in their lives and careers. She is a Social Commentator, an Editor at Your Black World , Assistant Professor of Professional Studies and the reigning Mrs Botswana. Visit Nomalanga's blog at

One comment

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