April 20, 2024

If anyone was waiting for the other shoe to drop in the upcoming presidential race, former President Donald Trump just did, launching his own line of tennis shoes on Saturday.

“I’ve wanted to do this for a long time,” Trump said when he announced the launch of a sneaker line at Sneaker Con in Philadelphia.

“I have some incredible people that work with me on things and they came up with this … and I think it’s gonna be a big success,” he added.

In his brief remarks at the sneaker launch, Trump indicated the line could be an effort to reach out to younger supporters, saying, “We’re going to turn this country around fast. We’re going to turn it around. And we’re going to remember the young people, and we’re going to remember Sneaker Con.”

He was met with a mostly enthusiastic crowd, though some occasional boos permeated through the cheers.

Donald Trump carries a pair of his new signature shoes before taking the stage at Sneaker Con on Saturday.Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

The line, called Trump Sneakers, is available for preorder online.

It features three different pairs of tennis shoes: a pair of high-tops, a pair of red laceless athletic shoes and a pair of white laceless athletic shoes.

The high-tops, which are gold and emblazoned with a “T” on the outside of each shoe, are called the “Never Surrender High Top Sneaker” and are priced at $399 online. The athletic shoes, which feature a “T” and the number 45 on the sides are priced at $199.

The purchase of a pair of sneakers comes with extra laces and a Trump “superhero charm.”

The website selling the sneakers also features a “Victory47” perfume and cologne for sale at $99 each.

The sneakers, perfume and cologne sales have nothing to do with Trump’s presidential campaign or the Trump Organization. The former president’s name, image and likeness have been licensed to CIC Ventures LLC to sell the sneakers.

President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign mocked the sneaker launch, with communications director Michael Tyler saying, “Donald Trump showing up to hawk bootleg Off-Whites is the closest he’ll get to any Air Force Ones ever again for the rest of his life.”

The announcement comes less than 24 hours after Trump incurred a more than $350 million penalty for engaging in repeated financial fraud through his family corporation. Trump has said he intends to appeal the order.

This isn’t Trump’s first time licensing his name, image and likeness to sell products. In 2022 and 2023, he struck a licensing agreement to sell NFT trading cards. Those cards were produced and sold by NFT INT LLC, which had a licensing agreement with Trump to use his name and image.

Presidential Candidate And Former President Donald Trump Attends Sneaker Con To Launch His New Shoe Line
Donald Trump introduced his new line of signature shoes at Sneaker Con.Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Sneaker Con, the venue where Trump debuted the sneaker collection, is an event that started in 2009 and has become one of the premiere events within the broader sneaker culture that has exploded in recent decades.

With the rise of sneaker culture, signature shoes have moved beyond athletes to musicians, actors and more. Some politicians are now thought of as “sneakerheads,” which is slang for people who tend to rock particularly desirable sneakers. Rep. Jared Moskowitz, D-Fla., reportedly has somewhere in the neighborhood of 150 pairs of collectible sneakers.

From left; Rep. Jared Moskowitz, D-Fla., talks to Becca Balint, D-Vt., and Summer Lee, D-Pa., in Washington, D.C. on May 16, 2023.
From left, Rep. Jared Moskowitz, D-Fla., talks to Rep. Becca Balint, D-Vt., and Rep. Summer Lee, D-Pa., in Washington, D.C., on May 16, 2023.Tom Williams / AP

Sneakers directly associated with politicians are rare. There are a pair of Nikes designed for former President Barack Obama, but only a couple of pairs are known to exist, and Under Armour made a pair for him with the presidential logo that Steph Curry wore for a game.