Nike has won a bid to temporarily stop a company selling a customised version of its Air Max trainers dubbed “Satan shoes”.
The Air Max 97s were given a controversial spin by art brand MSCHF and produced in collaboration with rapper Lil Nas X.
They featured a pentagram design and each shoe was said to contain a drop of human blood in the sole.
Biblical passage Luke 10:18 – about Satan’s fall from heaven – also features on the shoe.
Nike sued over copyright infringement because the black and red trainers feature its famous “swoosh” logo. It said the shoe created “an erroneous association between MSCHF’s products and Nike”.
MSCHF x Lil Nas X “Satan Shoes” 🏹
👟Nike Air Max ’97
🩸Contains 60cc ink and 1 drop of human blood
🗡️666 Pairs, individually numbered
🗓️March 29th, 2021 pic.twitter.com/XUMA9TKGSX
— SAINT (@saint) March 26, 2021
A federal judge in Brooklyn, New York, agreed on Thursday that the shoes breached the company’s trademark.
MSCHF said it “strongly believes in the freedom of expression” and hoped to work with Nike and the court to resolve the matter.
Its lawyers had argued the trainers were “not typical sneakers, but rather individually-numbered works of art”, and followed its “Jesus Shoes” based on the same Air Max model in 2019.
Nike’s lawyers said “even ‘sneakerheads’ were actually confused by MSCHF’s shoes” and that the company had a history of selling shoes faster than courts could stop them.
The entire stock of 666 pairs has already sold out – despite costing $1,018 (£735).
MSCHF said the restraining order was unnecessary as they did not plan to make any more.
Old Town Road star Lil Nas X was set to pick who got the 666th pair but that plan was scrapped when Nike decided to sue on Monday.
The rapper has tweeted a series of memes mocking the lawsuit.