A statement from Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung delved into the latest scandal rocking the political primary world: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s shoes.
“A scathing new article from POLITICO about Ron DeSanctimonious’ high-heeled shoes comes on the heels of an embarrassing interview on the Patrick Bet-David show that led to #bootgate trending on X,” the statement read, explaining that DeSantis offered up “the implausible explanation that he just wears off-the-rack Lucchese boots, doing major brand damage to a great American footwear company.”
The Trump campaign also mocked DeSantis for his “laughable claim that he’s 5’11”.
“Instead of telling the truth and just being comfortable in his own skin, he resorts to borderline psychotic behavior by lying to the American people,” the campaign continued. “Is that what this country wants in a President?”
“Soon enough, Ron is going to wish for more pudding and in-flight biohazard stories instead of having to deal with his shoes that are more appropriate for America’s Next Top Model than the campaign trail,” the statement added.
Indeed, for weeks, social media users have been examining the footwear choice of the presidential hopeful, as he often wears cowboy boots, presumably, critics say, to make him appear taller. However, video after video has gone viral, showing DeSantis’s boots looking awkward, with the toes of his boots appearing empty and his heels — though they cannot be seen — appearing to be even more raised. Many videos of DeSantis’s walk have gone viral as well, as some have accused him of walking like a woman in heels.
Look! Its ignit ass Ron DeSantis on Bill Maher with 5 inch elevator boots. Shame! pic.twitter.com/1JpdqIk3VS— Modern Man (@tooronlists) September 30, 2023
DeSantis addressed the rumor that he wears heels, or lifts, inside his boots, during an appearance on the Patrick Bet-David Podcast.
“No, no, no, no, those are just standard, off-the-rack Lucchese,” DeSantis said, asserting that he is “5’11”.
When asked why he does not wear tennis shoes, DeSantis said he does when he hits the gym.
“I’ve got a gift for you,” Bet-David said. “I’d love for you to wear; I shop at Ferragamo…”
“I don’t accept gifts,” DeSantis said as Bet-David pulled out dress shoes. “I can’t accept it, I’m sorry.”
Ron Desantis gets confronted today about why he is wearing lifts in cowboy boots to make himself appear taller. pic.twitter.com/LUbpuYVtZH— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) October 30, 2023
The story garnered the attention of Barstool Sports, whose Jerry Thornton asserted that there is “no coming back” from the way DeSantis handled that interview:
The American people have put up with a lot. Bribery scandals. Shady business dealing scandals. Stock trading scandals. Sex scandals. Jeffrey Epstein scandals. Scandals where they lie to get us into wars. Scandals about covering up their scandalous scandals. But claiming you’re almost six feet and wearing secret lifts to hide the fact you’re closer to 5’7″? There’s no coming back from that.
He added that, if he were to advise DeSantis, he would urge him to do a press conference, “get out the tape measure and prove it.”
“If he’s been hiding his diminutive stature, embrace it. Blame society. Remind everyone that the last kind of body shaming that is allowed in America is men of a certain height,” he suggested.
Not really short men, mind you. Mock someone of Peter Dinklage’s size and you’re committing a hate crime. The same goes for someone as tall as Victor Wembanyama. And of course, comment on anyone’s weight and you’ll be shunned by polite society. But somewhere between 5-foot-0 and 5-foot-7, and every guy is fair game. And DeSantis was merely trying to spare himself from the cruel oppression of the conventially-sized. He was sick of being judged. And his heels were his way of fighting back against the heightriarchy.“At this point, making people sympathize with him, and even feel like assholes for making him go to such extremes, is his only hope,”
However, others are continuing to glom onto the story — even famously underdressed Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA), who posted a picture of DeSantis with the caption, “hoodie > 4″ lifts cowboy boots.”
hoodie > 4" lifts cowboy boots pic.twitter.com/9xbLmDWER6— Senator John Fetterman (@SenFettermanPA) November 1, 2023
To add to the narrative, Politico Magazine spoke to three professional bookmakers, who said DeSantis is likely wearing lifts in his boots. The addition of the lifts can easily make boots turn into what Zephan Parker, owner of Parker Boot Company, described as “five-inch stilettos.” Further, he explained that, in such cases, they will reduce the height of the heel on the boot to “accommodate the lifts, which looks to be what happened here.”
“I’ve dealt with these politicians many times,” Parker said. “I’ve helped them with their lifts. [DeSantis] is wearing lifts; there’s no doubt.”
“3 Expert Shoemakers Say Ron DeSantis Is Probably Wearing Height Boosters”— Jason Miller (@JasonMillerinDC) October 31, 2023
1. Shoemaker Nicholas Templeman notes this unusually high wrinkle in the boot, suggesting DeSantis’ ankle sits high up.
2. According to cowboy boot-maker Graham Ebner, the leather appears stretched…
Other boot makers speaking to the outlet pointed to the crease on the weaker parts of the shoe, which could suggest that the presidential hopeful is wearing lifts inside the boots, as it creates a perched effect.
The DeSantis campaign, however, dismissed the Politico article as nonsense, deeming it a hit piece.
“The governor doesn’t pad his boots, but if he ever needed anything to line a pet cage or fold up and wedge under a table leg, that would be the highest and best use for Politico Magazine,” the statement read in part.
Donald Trump Jr. also addressed #bootgate on his Podcast Triggered, addressing critics.
“There’s those [who say], ‘Oh, I can’t believe you criticize him for wearing [boots]’ — but no, no. I’m criticizing that mentality. It’s that insecurity. If you’re that insecure, just if you’re 5’7″, whatever, it is like own it, right? That insecurity on a world stage is not going to work out well for us. That’s the kind of stuff that gets us into wars eventually,” Trump Jr. said.