Nike has not customised trainers to feature the Israeli flag

20 March 2024
What was claimed

A video shows a pair of trainers customised by Nike to include an Israeli flag design.

Our verdict

This is false. The trainers shown in the video have been customised by an artist who is not affiliated with Nike.

A video showing a pair of trainers featuring an Israeli flag design has been circulating online with the suggestion they have been customised by Nike. But the trainers were customised by an artist who is not affiliated with the brand. 

The clip shows someone unwrapping the trainers inside a Nike ‘Air Force 1’ shoe box decorated with the Star of David. The white trainers resemble the Israeli flag with blue stripes and a Star of David on the side. 

The footage has been shared more than 18,000 times on X (formerly Twitter), and also appears on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, some with captions calling for the public to boycott Nike. 

Several posts share the video alongside a clip of a man saying: “Nike has sent a customised shoes [sic]”, while another says: “This really is their lowest ever #boycotnike [sic]”.

However, Nike has not customised these trainers. A spokesperson for Nike told Reuters that the shoe with the design shown in the video is not an official Nike product. 

Moreover, Full Fact could not find this design for sale on Nike’s website or promoted on any of its social media channels

While Nike members can customise their order, choosing different colour combinations or adding text (limited to three letters per shoe), it does not include the option to add any symbols or images, such as the Star of David. 

Full Fact contacted Nike for comment and will update this article if we receive a response. 

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Where did the customised trainers come from?

The packaging in the video has a sticker saying “PNT by Ray” with a cartoon drawing of a trainer. This is the same name and logo as a Facebook page with the description of “artist” which sells “custom wearable art for kids & adults”. 

The Facebook page includes a link for an “order request” Google form, which states: “PNT BY RAY is not affiliated with, and does not sell, any brands mentioned on this page.”

PNT by Ray told Full Fact: “The sneakers were my own design and hand-painted artwork. I am not affiliated with Nike or any other brand of products I paint on. I simply paint whatever my customers want, on any products they want.”

They said: “The pair in the video circulating is one I made for Michael Dickson because I am a fan of his, and appreciate his advocacy for Israel during this turbulent time for Jews.”

Michael Dickson is the Executive Director of StandWithUs, which describes itself as “an international, non-partisan education organisation that supports Israel and fights antisemitism.” Mr Dickson posted a video on social media confirming he ordered the customised shoes and shared the original video of them being unwrapped.  

Photos of other customised shoes, jackets, bags and furniture are available on both the Facebook page and the artist’s Instagram account.

Full Fact has previously written about other false claims that McDonald’s introduced blue and white packaging to support Israel, a video shows an injured ‘Palestinian baby’ doll made in Israel, and Israel changed its barcode due to the public’s boycott of Israeli products

You can find more of our work countering misinformation relating to the Israel-Gaza conflict on our website. 

Image courtesy of HI 622

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