Are Nike Shoes Haram to Wear Because “Nike” is the Name of a Greek Goddess?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: I wanted to know whether wearing nike shoes is haram? The origin of the name is an ancient greek idol and the logo was based on the “wing” of this false idol. 

Answer: assalamu `alaykum

No, it is not impermissible to wear Nike shoes and apparel.

While ‘Nike’ may have originally been used as the name of a Greek goddess, such connotations of the word have long disappeared. Since it no longer carries any religious signification in the eyes of people but it seen simply as the name of a global sports brand, it would be permissible to wear. This is no different then our usage of words like ‘Thursday’ (from ‘Thors day’), or ‘May’ (from ‘Maia’), as none of them retain their original meanings in the customary understanding of people.

With that said, there are other, more serious reasons to take issue with Nike in terms of its corporate practices and treatment of workers in impoverished countries. This would not make wearing Nike products as impermissible, but would be strong reason to avoid them.