Nike Unveils LGBT History Themed Pride Shoes

The shoes feature pink triangles and the color lavender, two early symbols of the LGBT community that predate the rainbow.

Nike has unveiled this year’s offerings in its popular BeTrue pride line, and they are throwback themed as an homage to LGBT History.

The company announced on Thursday its designs feature “colors and symbols that have been reclaimed and historically repurposed by the LGBTQ community,” namely the pink triangle and the color lavender.

The pink triangle was used as a symbol by Nazis during the Holocaust to identify gay men in concentration camps. Before Gilbert Baker designed the rainbow pride flag, the pink triangle was the most widely used symbol under which LGBT people gathered while calling for liberation and acceptance.

The color lavender, as Nike notes, also predates the rainbow flag as a sign for the community.

“Lavender, a dynamic blending of gender-linked light blue and light pink, is one of the oldest symbolic references in LGBTQ culture,” the company states. “The shade appears in the four colorways of this year’s shoe cohort, the cornerstone products of the collection: the Nike Vapormax Plus, the Nike Air Max 270, the Nike Zoom Fly and the Nike Epic React Flyknit.”

Not that the rainbow flag is being done away with completely.

Two of the shoes, the Vapormax Plus and the Air Max 270, feature the rainbow spectrum on the bottom and side of the heels, while the Zoom Fly has “a muted rainbow colorway through the shoe’s translucent upper.”

Nike BeTrue pride shoe
Nike
Nike BeTrue pride shoe
Nike
Nike BeTrue pride shoe
Nike
Nike BeTrue pride shoe
Nike

The Nike BETRUE 2018 collection will also include t-shirts, socks, a hat, and a heritage hip pack, and will launches June 6 on nike.com and at select retail locations globally.

The collection is in its seventh year. A portion of the proceeds go to non-profits working to support LGBT athletes and end discrimination and prejudice in sports.

Journalist based in Charlotte, North Carolina, whose work has appeared in The Charlotte Observer, Creative Loafing, and more.