Nike’s USA Flag-Themed Sneakers Are Reselling for $2,500 After Halting Distribution

Despite Nike’s attempt to take back its controversial USA flag-themed sneakers, a small number of the shoes have found their way to the resale market — with one pair on StockX.com reselling in the thousands.

A leaked pair of the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July trainers was found on the online sneaker marketplace, with bidders on the auction platform putting the shoe’s value at upwards of $2,500, or more than 20 times the original retail price.

The shoes, which were shipped to retailers for a release ahead of the Independence Day holiday, were slated to retail at $120. (Nike.com and its mobile shopping apps are no longer selling the sneakers.)

The Swoosh’s decision to pull the product spurred conversations on social media centered around a print of the American flag at the back of the shoes. Commonly called the “Betsy Ross flag,” the design featured 13 white stars set in a circle, an emblem created during the American Revolution in the 1770s and representative of the 13 original colonies.

According to a Wall Street Journal article published last night, former NFL star and Nike endorser Colin Kaepernick reached out to officials at the Beaverton, Ore.-based company, informing them that the flag’s symbolism is considered offensive to some — including himself — due to its connection to an era of slavery.

In a statement to FN, a Nike spokesperson wrote, “We regularly make business decisions to withdraw initiatives, products and services. Nike made the decision to halt distribution of the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July based on concerns that it could unintentionally offend and detract from the nation’s patriotic holiday.”

As of this morning, 66 pairs of the American flag-themed sneakers had been sold on StockX, with multiple sizes selling for upwards of $1,000. The shoes were recently pulled from the website, which now displays a 404 error.

Watch FN’s interview with Nike trainer Joe Holder.

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