Nike has withdrawn a range of shoes called Air Stab following the spate of knife murders across the U.K.

The company pulled the range from its Nike Town store in central London, the one shop which sold the shoe, in the last couple of days "given the current climate."

The running shoe, whose name is derived from "stability," was first released in 1988, a Nike spokesman said.

The current limited edition "retro" range was launched two years ago. One style of the current range carried the logo Runnin' 'n' Gunnin' on the inner lining and heel.

Nike said the Air Stab "may be an unfortunate coincidence timing-wise" but rejected any suggestion that the company condoned the use of knives

A spokesman said: "The shoe was first launched in 1988 as a stability running shoe, hence the name Air Stab. It has nothing to do with knives or knife crime.

"While it may be an unfortunate coincidence timing-wise given current problems regarding knives, we completely reject the idea that we are in any way condoning or encouraging the issue of knife usage."

Crimestoppers, the crime fighting charity, said it was "astonished that a major retailer such as Nike could be this naive and act so irresponsibly with its marketing.

"With the current gun and knife epidemic that is sweeping our country we would expect retailers to be taking a more sensitive approach to promoting products to a young and impressionable market."

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