·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary

Lawsuits & Litigation

Nike, MSCHF Reach Settlement Over ‘Satan Shoes’

— April 15, 2021

Earlier this month, Mschf and Nike agreed to settle a lawsuit over the controversial ‘Satan shoes.’

Earlier this month, there was a big spectacle made after Mschf unveiled its ‘Satan Shoes,’ a sneaker that allegedly contained a drop of human blood in each pair. The shoes used the “Nike Air Max 97 model as a base” and were a collaboration with rapper Lil Nas X to help him promote his new song, ‘Montero (Call Me by Your Name). Nike took issue with the shoe, though, and filed a lawsuit against Mschf. Earlier this week, Mschf and Nike agreed to a legal settlement, and as part of that agreement, Mschf will voluntarily recall the shoes.

Graphic of gavel on polished desk; image by Vanna44, via
Graphic of gavel on polished desk; image by Vanna44, via

In addition to the ‘Satan shoes,’ the settlement agreement also requires Mschf to recall its ‘Jesus shoes’ that hit shelves in 2019 and used the same Nike sneaker model. If you’re unfamiliar with the ‘Satan shoes’ and the controversy surrounding them, allow me to explain. They’re sneakers that have a “pentagram pendant attached and a drop of human blood in every sole.” They also have imagery from Lil Nas X’s equally controversial music video, ‘Montero.’ The ‘Jesus shoes’ were manufactured with a crucifix and had holy water from the River Jordan in the soles. Both shoes sold out almost instantly and were priced between $1,018 and $1,425 per pair.

In a statement about the matter, Nike said:

“In both cases, MSCHF altered these shoes without Nike’s authorization…Nike had nothing to do with the Satan Shoes or the Jesus Shoes.”

The suit was filed back in March and claimed “some consumers mistook the ‘Satan shoes’ to mean that Nike endorsed Satanism,” and began boycotting the brand as a result.

David H. Bernstein is the attorney who represented Mschf. He also chairs the intellectual property group at the law firm Debevoise & Plimpton. When commenting on the settlement, he said, “the collective had already achieved its artistic purpose” with the shoes and that the settlement would allow it to pursue new projects.” He further stated that the shoes were “individually numbered works of art that commented upon branded collaboration culture and intolerance — themes that were dramatically amplified by the Nike lawsuit.”

Before the settlement was agreed to, Nike’s requested a temporary restraining order against Mschf that would halt shipment of the sneakers less than a week after they were released.” That request had been approved by a U.S. District Court in New York.

While Lil Nas X was not listed as a defendant in the suit, he had a giveaway planned for the 666th pair was shoes. That giveaway has been canceled as a result of the settlement agreement.


Lil Nas X’s ‘Satan Shoes’ go up in smoke as Nike settles for a recall by Mschf

Nike and MSCHF settle Satan Shoe lawsuit, say any ‘confused’ buyers can get a refund

Join the conversation!