Although it hasn’t always been this way, when you think of CrossFit these days, you likely also think of Reebok. Athletes are expected to rep the brand, and Reebok offers tons of merchandise specially designed (and marketed) for its devotees. Which, as it turns out, is something other brands are not allowed to do.
Case in point: Nike’s MetCon 1 has been banned from the CrossFit Games. The sneaker’s title, an homage to CrossFit’s metabolic conditioning aspect, infringes on Reebok’s exclusive relationship with CrossFit. Which means? No one can wear it to the games.
But Nike, of course, isn’t going to let this stop them from pushing their product. They’ve designed the shoe in the black and red combo of the banned Air Jordan 1, which went on to be, well, probably the most popular sneaker of all time. Clearly not afraid of disobeying rules, the brand shelled out almost half a million dollars in the 80’s so that MJ could keep wearing Air Jordans in spite of the NBA’s steep fines. Now, they’re marketing the MetCon 1 with the slogan “Don’t ban our shoe. Beat our shoe.” Apparently, they’re betting that CrossFitters intense loyalty is to its famous burn, and not the corporate sponsorships behind it.
The sneaker will come out on July 16, and customers are limited to two pairs.