Converse may have over-stepped the mark when choosing the name of its latest sneaker style.

The new shoe, due in stores in November, is being called "Loaded Weapon" and is described as the next generation of the "Weapon" range which Converse released in 1981 and has sold millions of pairs in hundreds of countries.

Converse, which was bought by Nike in July for US$305 million, says the name is derived from the fact the shoe is "loaded" with a new cushion system.

But because of recent high-profile cases involving guns, murder and basketball players, the name raises issues in basketball associations such as the NBA, where several players have had run-ins with the law, sometimes involving firearms.

Converse has recruited five NBA rookies - Chris Bosh of the Toronto Raptors, Kirk Hinrich of Chicago, Dwyane Wade of Miami, Mike Sweetney of New York and Troy Bell of Memphis - to endorse the new product in a series of TV ads.

Jim Haney, executive director of the National Association of Basketball Coaches, told Associated Press he is troubled by the name, especially in light of the fatal shooting this summer of Baylor's Patrick Dennehy.

"You're taking a violent theme and trying to sell it to kids," he said. "I'm sure these people are well-meaning, but I think it's a bad message in today's environment, a bad statement for the time in which we live.

"It's a pensive time reflecting on what's going on, and we're promoting a shoe called Loaded Weapon?"