By Najib Aminy
Nike is releasing a new aerodynamic shoe. However not for running but throwing at despotic foreign leaders, among other applications. The addition of the Nike Zoom Air Surprise is targeted to supporters and imitators of Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi, who last year threw his shoes at former President George W. Bush.
“When I threw my shoes, they were like bricks,” said al-Zaidi, whose trial for assaulting a foreign official has been postponed for next month. “If I had lighter shoes or that bounce on commercials, I am confident I would have hit Mr. Bush.”
Realizing the amount of attention al-Zaidi attracted, a team of Nike marketers worked towards designing the model shoe for hurling at dislikable dignitaries. “We here at Nike pride ourselves on designing shoes that can be used for every day life, including shoe tossing,” said Rosa Timmons, a Marketing Director for Nike. “We have come up with an aesthetic and aerodynamic design that is very light and a must have for any political demonstrator or Olympic shoe hurler.”
Weighing 8.3 ounces, the shoe is made with premium leather carefully sewn from sweatshops in Vietnam, has an upper mesh area with a breathable under layer, and a rubber sole for traction. The Zoom Air Surprise come in multiple colors including Communist Red with a Sunshine Yellow undertone or a Patriotic Red, white and blue theme.
The release of the shoe receives a strong reception from customers and supporters. “I have run out of things to throw at my wife,” said Jeff Tucker, a middle-aged white-American living in the south, who earns his living by fitting the stereotype of white southerners. “I figure, why not buy a pair of shoes to throw at her.”
At Tucker’s back was a group of tree-hugging, pot-smoking, liberal college students who said they wanted to fight the system. “We can give it to the man,” said Greg Phillings, a junior attending a $40,000 per semester-university. “If there is a speaker on campus that we don’t like, well they better watch out,” Phillings said, as his Che Guevara-shirt wearing friends high-fived him and agreed.
While a large number of people supported the Zoom Air Surprise, a group of protestors voiced their concerns that throwing shoes at people demotes one’s combat abilities to that of a 6 year-old girl. President of the Society for People Against People Who Fight Like Little Girls, Henry Vickerson said the act of throwing shoes is silly. “Shoes are meant for wearing, fists are for fighting,” Vickerson said. “Only little girls throw their shoes.”
PETA also protested the release of the shoes citing animal abuse in the production of the shoes. A number of consumers who purchased the Nike Zoom Air Surprises chucked their old shoes at PETA protestors outside shoe stores and then returned to shopping.