Apple makes sneakers? Who knew? Not I, not you, and definitely not Apple Inc., holders of the logo's copyright. Not that this matters to dozens of online shoe sellers at China's giant Taobao internet mall who've slapped the tech giant's familiar fruit on the sides of their footwear.
It may be the world's most recognized logo: a monochromatic image of an apple with a bite taken out of it and a single leaf angled off the top. You can see it almost everywhere, especially in China where it turns up in the most unexpected places... like the sides of one's running shoes.
You can call them Mock Pro's, Jobs Joggers or the “iFoot”; just don't label them official merchandise of the computer colossus from Cupertino CA.
Now don't assume China's increasingly savvy consumers expect these running shoes to perform any high-tech functions – remember, these are the folks who MAKE the products that support your modern lifestyle – they simply ascribe a lot of respect to the brand and love associating themselves with it. It's the old “imitation is the highest form of flattery” theory, and what's wrong with that?
OK, there's a lot wrong with it from the point of view of legal beagles and associated defenders of intellectual property. As relentless as they are in protecting their trademarks (I'm looking at you, Disney), the big dogs seem to turn into puppies once their quarries turn out to be in China.
Maybe it has something to do with the aforementioned manufacturing, I dunno... but I digress. Let's see more “Apple” Footwear!
Shoes sporting some variation of the Apple logo come in a wide variety of colors and styles though high-top sneakers are the most common.
It's likely the styling of classic Chuck Taylor All-Stars shoes (Chinese "homage" here), another popular American product greatly admired and imitated in China, influenced these designs with the ersatz Apple logo appearing where Converse puts their trademarked ball & star logo patch.
One more thing Chinese consumers don't expect from faux Apple branded footwear is quality and durability. They're throwaways, basically. Wear 'em once in a while when you can color-coordinate with the rest of your outfit and if they wear out sooner or later (most likely sooner), just buy another pair.
With prices in the $5 to $10 per pair range, these shoes aren't wallet-busters by any means... and just imagine how much they'd cost if they WERE official Apple merchandise?