Lil Nas X’s New “Satan Shoes” Has Social Media Swarming With Mixed Emotions


Alysha Izquierdo, Head Photographer

Lil Nas X’s latest fashion collaboration with Nike has spiked many different reactions on social media. The rapper is teaming with streetwear label MSCHF for a black and red version of the Nike Air Max 97 sneakers dubbed the “Satan Shoe.” According to MSCHF, the sneakers are designed with “the sole air bubble containing a combination of ink and one drop of human blood” and include an engraved bronze pentagram, an inverted cross on the tongue pull tab and red wool insoles with pentagrams on the heels. Launched as a limited-edition “drop” of 666 pairs, they are priced at $1,018 a pair, a reference to the Bible passage Luke 10:18 that reads: “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.”


Lil Nas X has said that he doesn’t care about being a role model as it is not his job and that he hopes fans simply follow his lead in doing so themselves.The musician, 22, who raised eyebrows with his recent jaw dropping release Montero (Call Me By Your Name), explained how his plan is to do “whatever the f**k he wants and laughs at anyone who’s mad about it.” The rapper then took it to another level after constantly posting on Tiktok using his newly released song. Montero was an instant hit, debuting at the top of Billboard Hot 100 for the week of April 10, 2021, with 21,000 downloads, 46.9 million streams, and 1.1 million radio airplay audience impressions. 


Amplifying the hype, Lil Nas X also released 666 limited edition sneakers which featured satanic imagery and contained a drop of human blood. They sold out almost immediately.  The shoes sparked outrage online over the weekend, and attracted criticism from a number of high-profile political and religious figures. Many described the sneakers in tweets as “evil” and “heresy.” Some fans of the “Old Town Road” rapper tweeted their desire to own a pair. Many people online have even tweeted out stating “I would like to donate my blood” in support of his new release.


In an email statement to CNN, Nike said it was not involved in creating the modified sneakers. “We do not have a relationship with Lil Nas or MSCHF,” the company said. “Nike did not design or release these shoes and we do not endorse them.” As part of the settlement, Nike has asked MSCHF, and MSCHF has agreed, to initiate a voluntary recall to buy back any Satin Shoes and Jesus Shoes for their original retail prices, in order to remove them from circulation,” Nike says.


Lil Nas X has also used humor to cope with the backlash against the sneakers, posting a YouTube video on Sunday titled “Lil Nas X Apologizes for Satan Shoe.” The video, which has now amassed nearly 3 million views, was not an apology but cuts to a clip from the controversial music video where he is dancing with Satan. Despite conflicting feelings about both the music video and the sneakers, many have voiced their support for Lil Nas X speaking out as a gay man and have shown interest in the sneakers.