Here’s a few tips for buying your next pair of boots: First of all, make sure that they have enough toe room — roughly 12.5 millimeters from the end of your toes to the front of the boot. And second of all, make sure that they don’t leave swastika prints wherever you walk.
Conal International Trading Inc., a California-based footwear retailer, is recalling its “Polar Fox” boot after a customer posted side-by-side pictures of the boots and the footprints left behind on dusty soil. The tread marks on the soles of the boots were leaving a clear pattern of small swastika symbols on the ground.
“There was an angle I didn’t get to see when ordering my new work boots,” the customer wrote on Reddit.
That original post soon led to a frenzy of jokester reviews of the boots on Amazon, where one user quipped that they were “good for marching into Poland, but not so good for much else.” Another simply said “They weren’t the reich size.”
Jokes aside, other people often decide on your trustworthiness within a tenth of a second of meeting you. Chances are, leaving swastika prints wherever you go might send the wrong kind of signal.
Conal International has recalled the boots and apologized for the embarrassing faux pas.
“That was totally something that wasn’t intentional or anything like that,” the company’s e-commerce manager, Anthony Nguyen, told the Daily Mail. “It’s something that we’re going to pull off the shelves obviously… It was obviously a design flaw.”
Others have pointed out that the company’s description of the boots as “military combat” style is somewhat disconcerting. Furthermore, a German magazine noted that the name of the boot design, “Polar Fox,” was also “the name of an operation carried out by the Wehrmacht of the German Reich in the Second World War: from Finnish and Norwegian soil, the goal was to conquer the port town of Murmansk against the Soviet Union.”
Still others are quick to dismiss the boots for other reasons.
“There’s too much going on here: a zipper, a buckle, a cloth panel, and swastikas,” read a tongue-in-cheek Esquire review. “Honestly, they’re pretty ugly, and that’s not even including the numerous white supremacist symbols!”