Nike vows to stop making football boots from kangaroo leather, which David Beckham abandoned in 2006, following a campaign backed by Ricky Gervais and Woody Harrelson.
- Nike has joined other football boot producers to ditch kangaroo leather
- David Beckham stopped wearing kangaroo boots in 2006
David Beckham gave them the boot in 2006 after activists sent him graphic images of animals slaughtered for his shoes.
And now, the premium kangaroo leather football boots abandoned by the former England captain and made by the likes of Nike, Adidas and Puma will soon be given the red card after pressure from animal rights advocates, celebrities and the drastic measures in the US
It comes after Nike announced last week that it would stop using kangaroo fur in all of its products by the end of the year.
The US giant ended its partnership with its sole supplier of kangaroo leather in 2021.
The company said its famous range of Tiempo football boots, which have reportedly been worn by England midfielder Jordan Henderson and Liverpool and Netherlands centre-back Virgil, will in future be made from a synthetic fabric.
Nike announced last week that it would stop using kangaroo fur in all of its products by the end of the year.
David Beckham wore football boots made of kangaroo leather until 2006 when he switched to shoes made of synthetic materials after activists sent him graphic images of slaughtered animals (pictured in 2005)
Nike’s German rival Puma made a similar commitment earlier this year.
Luxury fashion houses like Gucci, Chanel and Prada, as well as British brands like Paul Smith and Victoria Beckham, have previously shunned kangaroo leather.
The announcement from the sports giants was welcomed by animal rights advocates, with Wayne Pacelle of the Center for a Humane Economics calling it “a seismic event in wildlife protection.”
The group spearheaded the ‘Kangaroos Are Not Shoes’ campaign, which was created in 2020 and went viral online after being endorsed by celebrities including Ricky Gervais and Woody Harrelson.
Previously, the most expensive soccer shoes were made from kangaroo leather, which is lighter, more durable, and more flexible than cowhide.
Now, most football boots made by Nike and its rivals are made from synthetic materials, but some like the Nike Tiempo Legend 9 Elite boot and Puma’s KING Platinum 21 Rallye boot have kangaroo leather.
The US state of Oregon, where Nike is based, introduced a bill in January that, if passed, would ban the sale of “any part of a dead kangaroo.”
Leather producers and industry leaders have criticized the decision by football boot producers, claiming there has been a “disinformation campaign” about kangaroo leather spread abroad (file image )
There are also only seven of the 60 kangaroo and wallaby species approved for take. These species are not on the list of rare or threatened species (archive image)
As of 2006, Beckham only played and promoted football boots made without kangaroo leather.
California is currently the only other state in the US that prohibits the sale of kangaroo-based products.
But there has been some criticism of the move in Australia, where kangaroos are widely considered a pest.
Australian leather producers say they have fallen victim to an international leather “disinformation campaign” that threatens the lucrative industry.
Some environmentalists say that banning the trade in kangaroo products would create more harm for kangaroos due to overpopulation.