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7 devilish alternatives to the cancelled MSCHF x Lil Nas X Satan Shoes

The ‘Satan Shoes’, featuring satanic iconography, a blood-infused midsole and a lawsuit served by Nike.

Who knew a pair of black and red sneakers could stir up so much controversy? MSCHF certainly didn’t, not when the Brooklyn creative collective released its ‘Satan Shoes’ in collaboration with rapper Lil Nas X last week. The shoes, repurposed from Nike’s Air Max 97 sneakers, were meant to complement the latter’s new music video, Montero, which among other things, featured the Old Town Road star descending to hell on a stripper pole and giving the devil, also played by Lil Nas X, a lap dance.

The Satan Shoes were similarly blasphemous: There were 666 pairs created, sporting symbols straight out of a devil worshipper starter pack, like bronze pentagrams and inverted crosses. But what really had people clutching their crosses were the sneakers’ Air sole units, which were filled with red ink and a drop of human blood.

That’s if you take the word of MSCHF, which previously created other tongue-in-cheek pieces like Birkenstock sandals made from Hermes Birkin bags, or limited-edition Jesus Shoes, filled with ‘holy water’ from the Jordan River.

Apparently, a lot of people did: The Satan Shoes, like Lil Nas X’s music video, caused an uproar. Nike soon followed up with a lawsuit to stop the sale of the shoes, and won. Still, there’s no reason to be upset if you didn’t manage to snag one of the 666 pairs, as Miley Cyrus did. Below, we offer a list of alternatives to the controversial sneakers that you can actually buy without inciting an angry mob.

(Header and featured photos courtesy of MSCHF)

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Despite the lawsuit, Nike isn’t necessarily opposed to sneakerheads and artists like SBTG making tweaks to its iconic kicks. It even offers a customisation service on its website called “Nike By You”, which lets you personalise your own pair of sneakers, including the Air Max 97s. If you dig the black-and-red colour combo of the Satan Shoes, it doesn’t take much to recreate it — no human blood necessary.

(Photo courtesy of Nike)

If you have a morbid taste in footwear and were particularly enthralled by the fact that the Satan Shoes contained blood, you might like Maison Margiela’s new Replica sneakers. They come with a red paint splatter that can seem artsy at best, or sinister at worst. And because the white sneakers are already tainted, you won’t have to worry about keeping them in impeccable condition.

(Photo courtesy of Farfetch)


MSCHF isn’t the first to put pentagrams on sneakers. Rick Owens has made the symbol a trademark of his shoes, either by way of a logo (the pentagram represents his diffusion line, DRKSHDW) or a unique lacing system, which most recently appeared on his sold-out Dr Martens collaboration. For the goth designer, the pentagram symbolises “our eternal collective search for rational order, signs of hope and an affectionate blessing on the perpetual recklessness of youth.” Tell that to anybody who questions your choice of shoes.

(Photo courtesy of Farfetch)



Converse’s Chucks have always been the go-to sneakers for cool kids, but the shoes certainly got more points when the brand decked them out in a flames print from its archives. The print isn’t a nod to hellfire, but these Converse sneakers are nonetheless pretty lit.

(Photo courtesy of Farfetch)


Alexander McQueen’s chunky white sneakers are a cult favourite in fashion circles. Since their first release in 2016, the shoes have come with little tweaks here and there, but this latest update is the boldest one yet. The shoes are trimmed with glossy rubber in the shade of — wait for it — “Lust Red”. Just don’t tell that to your church-going friends.

(Photo courtesy of Farfetch)


What’s just as horrifying as a pair of shoes made with drop of human blood in them? Perhaps the wealth of sneakers made out of animal skin like calfskin, lamb leather, snakeskin and more. This Gucci pair is crafted out of all three, and features the brand’s signature serpent — one of the devil’s many forms — on them. They probably won’t piss anyone off, though.

(Photo courtesy of MatchesFashion)


Before the Satan Shoes, Margiela’s Tabi boots did a good job at stirring up similar feelings of fear and disgust. Their cloven toes were inspired by traditional Japanese footwear, but some people may mistakenly think of the Baphomet, a figure often associated with devil worship. Maybe the end times are near, because Tabis are now everywhere and have spawned countless variations — including these low-top, everyday pair of sneakers.

(Photo courtesy of MyTheresa)

7 devilish alternatives to the cancelled MSCHF x Lil Nas X Satan Shoes

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