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Charlie Hunnam Is Aware His Clothing Choices On Sons Of Anarchy Were Controversial

Wardrobe is a major aspect of any film or television show, with the costumes helping to bring characters to life. FX's hit drama "Sons of Anarchy" is certainly no exception. From the leather jackets of Gemma Teller Morrow (Katey Sagal) to SAMCRO's patch-covered vests, much work went into giving everyone the perfect biker look.

Regarding leading man Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam), his closet contains a few staple pieces: white T-shirts, black vests, and varying button-downs, all of which make for quite the tough guy appearance. However, there's another staple of Jax's look that "Sons of Anarchy" fans never really warmed up to –- his white Nike Air Force 1 sneakers.

On Reddit, u/james_shortt asked, "Does anybody else hate Jax's shoes? I don't know why and I guess it's part of his look, but his dirty white Nikes just look bad imo. I feel like he should be wearing 'cool' black biker boots." U/alli_darko shared a similar sentiment, though this user didn't view the shoes as "dirty": "I feel like a bad*** motorcycle dude wouldn't have immaculately white shoes." 

Eventually, after shooting his own mother for causing the demise of his love, Tara Knowles (Maggie Siff), Jax's Nikes aren't so white anymore. Following this heartbreaking deed, Jax has no choice but to trade in his now blood-covered kicks for a pair of black boots. Still, this comes after seven years of sporting the controversial sneakers. Audiences made their feelings on Jax's shoes clear during this time ... and Hunnam didn't care.

Charlie Hunnam fiercely defends Jax's Nike Air Force 1's

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Charlie Hunnam reflected on his years portraying Jax on "Sons of Anarchy," including the hate received for deviating from the classic biker look. Though Hunnam was aware of fans' dislike, he didn't cave to their wishes.

"I got a lot of criticism for some of the choices I made, you know, I wore white tennis shoes. But this kid [Jax] was a 19-year-old West Coast, Oakland bad*** and he's gonna wear sneakers and Dickies and that was his vibe," said Hunnam, who was often told that bikers should wear leather boots. "I just went, 'OK, well, you know, maybe most bikers do. But these ones don't.'"

According to Hunnam, having Jax wear white sneakers wasn't a random choice. Rather, they're modeled off the look of a real-life outlaw biker from Northern California who helped inspire the character of Jax. He told Men's Fitness Magazine, "I wear exactly the shoes he wore, the jeans he wore. He had a powerful impact on me. He was an amazing guy." The sneakers became especially meaningful for Hunnam upon learning that the biker was killed.

For costume designer Kelli Jones, it was extremely important to accurately depict the unique styles of each biker gang. In prepping for "Sons of Anarchy," she studied gangs of all backgrounds and ethnicities to ensure that, if real-life bikers were to watch the show, they'd see themselves represented and respect what the show was trying to do (via The Hollywood Reporter).

Therefore, despite fans taking issue with Jax's Nike Air Force 1's, the shoes perfectly exemplify the style of that late outlaw biker. They also serve as proof that some bikers prefer something different (and more comfortable) to the stereotypical boot look.