Did Nike collaborate in the release of "new demonic shoes on March 29, 2021 for $1,018 USD"? No, that's not true: Nike wrote Lead Stories in a March 29, 2021, email that the company did not collaborate on the "Satan Shoes" venture between recording artist Lil Nas X and MSCHF, a business focused on making products go viral. The shoes, which went on sale March 29, 2021, for $1,018, are refashioned Nike sneakers.
The claim appeared in a Facebook post (archived here) published March 27, 2021, which opened:
Nike & Lil Nas X will launch their new demonic shoes on March 29, 2021 for $1,018 USD. The limited edition will have no more than 666 pairs. His shoe has the number "666" on them and a Bible verse that says Luke 10:18 "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven." There also is a demonic pentagram on the shoe lace and a drop of human blood in the soles of the shoe .
This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:
(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Mon Mar 29 16:07:03 2021 UTC)
Lead Stories contacted Nike about the claim that the company was part of the Satan Shoes venture. The company emailed this response:
We do not have a relationship with Lil Nas X or MSCHF. Nike did not design or release these shoes and we do not endorse them.
In a subsequent email to Lead Stories on March 29, 2021, Nike said that it is suing MSCHF:
Nike filed a trademark infringement and dilution complaint against MSCHF today related to the Satan Shoes. We don't have any further details to share on pending legal matters. However, we can tell you we do not have a relationship with Lil Nas X or MSCHF. The Satan Shoes were produced without Nike's approval or authorization, and Nike is in no way connected with this project.
The customized Nike Air Max 97s are decorated with devil-inspired themes, including what the Satan Shoes website says is one drop of human blood. The price of the sneakers at $1,018 is a reference to the biblical passage Luke 10:18, MSCHF said in a March 29, 2021 article on cbsnews.com. Luke 10:18 is emblazoned on the shoe, near the sole. The biblical passage reads:
He replied, 'I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.'
A January 23, 2020, Business Insider profile of MSCHF said that the company had "quietly been creating some of the most absurd, cynical, and viral projects and products that have spread across the internet." These include Jesus Shoes released in 2019. The soles of the modified Nike Air Max 97s included holy water sourced from the Jordan River, according to an October 11, 2019, article on cbsnews.com. The sneakers initially sold for $1,425, but were listed on resale sites for as much as $4,000, according to a January 30, 2020 New York Times article. Jesus Shoes were also done without Nike approval, according to the New York Times article.