Nike’s Black and Tan Sneakers May Be the Most Controversial Shoes Out There

black & tanHave you seen Nike's new "Black and Tan" sneakers? They're inspired by the cool beer trick: When you pour Guinness over pale ale in a pint glass the stout stays separate, floating on top. So the sneakers are black with brown trim, in homage to the beer drink. Tasty! Also --

Oh wait, oops... someone at Nike forgot to Google "Black and Tan" before approving that sneaker name. Why, it's the luck 'o the Irish! Nike's got themselves a right good controversy just in time for St. Patrick's Day. How many of you knew about this other meaning for "Black and Tan?"


It also happens to be a reference to a British paramilitary group in Northern Ireland that attacked Irish civilians during the War of Independence. Ciaran Staunton, President of the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform, says it would be like naming a sneaker "the Al Qeada." So yeah, not a happy association for the Irish. They would appreciate it if we would NOT name our sneakers after the Royal British Constabulary Reserve Force, thank you very much.

For that matter, "Black and Tan" wasn't even the "official" name for the sneakers anyway. It's the "Dunk Low Premium SB." But Nike sent out an advertisement that read, "Tis the season for Irish beer and why not celebrate with Nike. The Black and Tan sneaker takes inspiration for the fine balancing act of a Stout (Guinness) on top a Pale Ale (Harp) in a pint glass."

FACEPALM, Nike! 'Tis the season to re-think the marketing for that sneaker. Needless to say, they've apologized. But hey, the unintentional consequence is extra publicity. And they're good-looking trainers, really. I mean, black and brown together, that's a chic look as sneakers go. I like the cool airbrush/fade effect on the sides, too. Pity about that name. Maybe we could call them the "Stepping In It" sneakers instead?

What else could Nike call this color combination?

Image via ebay
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