Foot in mouth? Reebok denies its making ‘Israeli Independence’ sneakers

© Grigory Dukor
Sportswear company Reebok has denied claims it’s producing a shoe to commemorate the 68th anniversary of Israel’s Independence Day.

Described as a “one-time celebratory release,” it emerged on Monday that Reebok was releasing the limited edition shoe, blue and white in color and emblazoned with “Israel 68” on the heel.

The shoe’s design was widely panned on social media, but it emerged on Tuesday that the shoe was not in fact being produced and there had been a miscommunication, reported the Jerusalem Post.

Reebok Israel explained that the shoe had been “prepared by an independent designer and should not be presented as a product by the company's international brand.”

The shoe had been customized on the Reebok website and the personalized design was then sent to a local Reebok distributor along with a statement, which was interpreted as an official release from the company.

Reebok International have said they “do not support this initiative” and that it would like to “distance itself from the shoe”.

The company explained that it doesn’t allow the politicization of its sportswear and refrains from tying their products to national emblems or countries, although this seems to have been overlooked on some occasions.