Ellen Ripley from the Alien franchise is an iconic action hero from an era when Hollywood actually managed to cast women in those roles on a semi regular basis (see Sarah Connor for more details), so we couldn’t have been more excited when we found out that the move studio had designated 4/26 as “Alien Day,” after the planet “LV-426” where the first two films took place.
One of the coolest tie-in promotions for that day was from shoe manufacturer Reebok, who announced they were releasing limited-edition “Alien Stomper” shoes based on the iconic footwear Ripley wore in the film Aliens. Fans around the world were salivating at the thought of slapping a piece of movie history onto their feet. Reebok hyped the shoes on Twitter for weeks until fans were in an absolute frenzy waiting to get them.
But when Alien Day came and fans flocked to the Reebok website, they quickly discovered something strange. “Alien Stompers” — the shoes made famous by one of the greatest female action heroes of all time — only came in men’s sizes.
The first sign of trouble was that Reebok only listed the shoe under “Men’s Classics” — no women’s listing was given. When contacted by webzine Gizmodo, Reebok issued a statement:
The Alien Stompers were released in men’s sizes due to retail demand.
Sure, that makes sense. Men love Ripley, too. But didn’t they think women might want to wear shoes inspired by a classic female character?
Cosplayer Yaya Han summed up the feelings of many female fans.
Even the smallest size, Men's 6, would be 2 sizes too big for me. What makes @Reebok think women don't want to wear Ripley's shoes??
After the story broke wide, Rebook issued a new statement, claiming the previous statement was “unauthorized.” The new statement read:
The Alien Stomper was mis-categorized on our US website as a men’s shoe. While size availability varied by market, the Alien Stomper is a unisex style and was produced in sizes (US Men’s) 3.5 – 12, which is a typical size range for a unisex model.
Currently, we have not found anyone who was able to find a size smaller than a men’s 8 — except Yaya Han, who managed to find a still-too-large men’s 6. So we have our doubts about those smaller sizes ever existing.
Whatever they were thinking, there is no doubt that Reebok blew it this time, taking what should have been a PR slam dunk and turning it into a catastrophe.
Game over, man. Game over.