Page last updated at 13:13 GMT, Thursday, 17 July 2008 14:13 UK

Stab shoe pulled after knifings

Nike Town
A spokesman for Nike said the timing was "unfortunate"

Nike has withdrawn a range of trainers called Air Stab from its London store following the recent spate of knife deaths in the UK.

In the last couple of days, the company said it removed the shoes from its Nike Town store in Oxford Circus, "given the current climate".

A total of 15 teenagers have been stabbed to death in the city this year.

A spokesman for Nike said the name for the running shoes came from stability, and had nothing to do with knives.

He said the retro range, which was only sold in the central London store, was "an unfortunate coincidence timing-wise".

One style in the limited edition range, re-launched two years ago, carried the logo Runnin' 'n' Gunnin' on the inner lining and heel.

'Astonishing naivety'

"The shoe was first launched in 1988 as a stability running shoe, hence the name Air Stab," the Nike spokesman said.

"It has nothing to do with knives or knife crime.

"While it may be an unfortunate coincidence timing-wise given current problems regarding knives, we completely reject the idea that we are in any way condoning or encouraging the issue of knife usage.

"Given the current climate, however, we have taken the step of withdrawing the shoe from our Nike Town store."

Charity Crimestoppers said it was "astonished that a major retailer such as Nike could be this naive and act so irresponsibly with its marketing".

"With the current gun and knife epidemic that is sweeping our country we would expect retailers to be taking a more sensitive approach to promoting products to a young and impressionable market," they said.

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