I want to know the name of the Adidas executive who green-lit the release of sneakers with shackles on them. There is no possible way to market the JS Roundhouse Mids without making a slavery or prison comparison. The only way they these shoes could be more racist is if they had embossed images of fried chicken and malt liquor on the sides. It’s actually quite comical. I cannot wait to see a black guy wearing these, just so I can pull him aside like a Jailhouse Muslim and say “You poor, confused, misguided simpleton. Let me show you the way.”
The symbolism is almost endless. It’s so outlandish that I can’t even be mad at it. I kid you not, the shoes are described as being for people who have “a sneaker game so hot you lock your kicks to your ankles.” Those sound like the words of someone who is clearly NOT a member of this shoe’s intended demographic, and also listened to way too much rap music along the way.
When I look at these shoes, they say something different to me. They say “I am a slave. I am a slave to retail, I am a slave to dumb-ass trends, and I’m an attention whore.” I know that snap judgements are wrong, but it’s safe to make those assumptions about anyone with yellow shackles around their ankles. I just can’t see paying white folks in order to willingly put chains on myself. Maybe I’M too sensitive, but that seems ridiculous.
The worst part about it in my opinion is that although these shoes are pretty gaudy, the design itself isn’t bad minus the shackles. People who actually love themselves and don’t want to look like they’re on house arrest might have possibly bought them. I already know Lakers fans might have considered it thanks to the colorway. Unfortunately Adidas went for shock value to get people like me writing about them. It would be pretty ironic if only white folks bought these. Since that is unlikely, I’m crossing my fingers and hoping that I don’t see anyone walking around DC in these. If so, I’m clowning them on sight.Tweet