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This really shouldn’t be something you have to check for.
Everyone knows the spiel that the swastika is an ancient Indian symbol and a shape that’s been used across different cultures for centuries, for both decoration and spiritual purposes. However, the Nazis pretty well ruined that intention. Even though there are still temples and products in India generously decorated with the swastika, it behooves most companies to avoid the symbolism.
Apparently, Polar Fox boots didn’t get the memo.
According to Reddit user FRSHFSHFCKR, they ordered some new boots for work without realizing that the tread pattern made teeny swastikas on the ground. They later identified the company as Polar Fox, which indeed has the same pattern on at least one pair of its boots.
After a million “bet you did NAZI that coming” jokes on Reddit, others mentioned that Columbia gear also has a suspiciously swastika-like logo. On Amazon, no one mentioned the tread design, but quite a few people mentioned the shoes smelled bad.
The Daily Dot hasn’t heard back from FRSHFSHFCKR to see whether they were returning the boots or would risk leaving swastika marks everywhere. If you’re in the market for new boots, maybe scratch the bottoms up before taking a walk outside.
Update 7:47am CT, Jan. 13: Upon learning about the swastika pattern, Polar Fox has recalled the boots. Company spokesperson Anthony Nguyen told the Daily Mail, “That was totally something that wasn’t intentional or anything like that. It’s something that we’re going to pull off the shelves obviously. It was a design flaw.” However, he also argued the symbol “existed before Nazis.”
Jaya Saxena is a lifestyle writer and editor whose work focuses primarily on women's issues and web culture. Her writing has appeared in GQ, ELLE, the Toast, the New Yorker, Tthe Hairpin, BuzzFeed, Racked, Eater, Catapult, and others. She is the co-author of 'Dad Magazine,' the author of 'The Book Of Lost Recipes,' and the co-author of 'Basic Witches.'