Nike slammed over 'Black and Tan' trainer to mark St Patrick's Day

Nike's new SB Black and Tan Quickstrike trainers have been criticised

FOOTWEAR giant Nike has caused controversy ahead of St Patrick's Day by unveiling a limited edition 'Black and Tan' sneaker.

The 'Nike SB Black and Tan Quickstrike' is named after the drink made by mixing stout and lager - usually Guinness and Harp or Bass - in a pint glass.

However, critics have highlighted the historical connotations of 'Black and Tan' and the term's connection to the Royal Irish Constabulary Reserve Force from the 1920s who became notorious for their attacks on Irish civilians during the War of Independence.

The footwear has been launched as part of a series of beer-inspired trainers, including the Nike SB Dunk High 'Guinness' which are coloured black like the famous stout.

Both the Black and Tan and Guinness trainers are expected to retail at around $90.

The row over Nike's new sneakers follows a similar incident in 2006 when ice-cream giants Ben & Jerry's released a 'Black and Tan' flavour. The company apologised and the ice-cream was only made available in the US.

According to the Irish Times it is not clear if Nike is officially calling these two new sneakers “Guinness” and “Black and Tan” - no one from Nike was available to comment - but they are being advertised with the Guinness and Black and Tan names at online shops and will go on sale this weekend to buyers.

Ciaran Staunton, President of the US-based Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform, stated that the Nike move left him speechless.

“Is there no one at Nike able to google Black and Tan,” he asked.