NEW YORK (Reuters) - After a public outcry, Adidas AG canceled the release of an upcoming sneaker model that featured plastic orange shackles attached to the shoes' heels.
In a June 14 Facebook post, the shoe company unveiled the "JS Roundhouse Mids," purple and gray sneakers with attached short shackles that bore the company's name. The shoes had been set for release in August.
"Got a sneaker game so hot you lock your kicks to your ankles?" read a caption on the picture post revealing the shoes.
A storm of angry comments erupted on the Facebook page, including some accusing the company of racism in the shoes' design. The German sportswear maker canceled the shoes on Monday afternoon.
On Tuesday, however, the original post could still be found on the "Adidas Originals" Facebook page.
In a Huffington Post blog post on Tuesday, the Rev. Jesse Jackson called the shoes "offensive, appalling and insensitive," saying they were reminiscent of slaves and prisoners.
Speaking on CNN Tuesday morning, Jackson said they were "a gross insult" and said Adidas was insensitive in designing the sneakers and that the company only canceled the shoes in light of a potential boycott.
Adidas said in a statement that it apologized "if people are offended by the design" and said it was withdrawing plans to make the shoes available in the marketplace.
"The design of the JS Roundhouse Mid is nothing more than the designer Jeremy Scott's outrageous and unique take on fashion and has nothing to do with slavery," it said.
The "shackled" sneakers are Adidas' second controversy in two days. On Monday, it was sued by a man claiming that the company's adiPure shoes, which mimic the effect of running barefoot and advertise a decrease in risk of injury, actually increase the risk for foot damage.
(This story has been refiled to correct that Adidas AG , not U.S. unit, canceled shoe)
(Reporting By Joseph O'Leary; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Dan Grebler)