Politicians Love Their Workboots…And Sneakers?

Politicians love their workboots. They are the embodiment of their public persona, the symbol of power and prestige. That is why they are often seen wearing them on social media, in interviews, and even during speeches.

People who know what it takes to make a good pair of work boots (delta plus work boots come with a 1 year warranty) will know that they should last long enough to be passed down from generation to generation.

Sneakers are entering the picture of Politics?

Politicians are now wearing sneakers with fashion

Fashion has always been a big part of politics. For example, the first president to wear an overcoat was Rutherford B. Hayes in 1877, and Ronald Reagan was the first politician to start wearing sneakers with his fashion. Boots are still in. Recently, however, more and more politicians are sporting their sneakers in a fashionably casual manner.

Let’s take a look…

Joschka Fischer and his white sneakers

It is impossible to talk about the relationship between sneakers and politics without naming Joschka Fischer. When the German politician took his oath of office as the first Green Minister in the state government of Hesse in 1985, he wore white high-top sneakers from Nike. This was not only a statement against any (dress) rules that had existed in politics for decades but also a symbol of the Greens as a lifestyle party for young, cool, urban people. And at the same time, his choice of shoes was no less controversial for Green voters, since Nike stood for American capitalism, which the Greens actually rejected. But even then, politics and lifestyle were not mutually exclusive.

But it wasn’t always just young, progressive politicians who staged themselves in sneakers. When the Bavarian Minister of the Interior, Günther Beckstein, from the conservative CSU, campaigned in 2007, he was given white and blue Adidas running shoes by his parliamentary group. More than ten years ago, this caused such a stir that it was reported nationwide. However, his attempt to appeal to a younger electorate failed miserably – too intentionally, not authentically enough, especially since the textile symbol of the sneaker was not otherwise associated with any political change.

Kamala Harris in her Chucks

In the USA, politicians make things smarter with their sneakers: the sneakers on them always carry a political message. Now, in what is probably the most important election campaign in American history, we can observe this very concretely with Kamala Harris, the Democratic vice-presidential candidate. They wear one specific shoe more often than average: classic Chucks.

It may be that she just likes to wear Chucks – like millions of other people. For personal reasons, perhaps because they remind her of her youth. But deeper these shoes also have a message. Chucks are originally basketball shoes, and basketball is a sport traditionally dominated by black athletes. In addition, the brand belongs to the Nike Group, and the latter supports politically committed athletes who oppose conservative tendencies, police violence or systemic racism.

In addition, the shoes that Kamala Harris so often wears are the embodiment of democratic thought. There is hardly anyone who does not like them, they have been picked up and worn by a wide variety of cultures and subcultures, such as the grunge or skate punk scene.

Read also: Manchin the Democratic Senator Who Will Block the Build Back Better Bill Benefiting Ordinary Americans

Barack Obama in his Adidas Stan Smith sneakers

Other Democratic politicians have also repeatedly staged themselves with sneakers. While Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Al Gore were concerned with presenting themselves as agile, sporty, and vital as possible, the former president, Barack Obama also stood for change in this regard. When he appeared in his Adidas Stan Smith sneakers, he was demonstrating to young, urban intellectuals: I’m one of you.

Senator Ed Markey recently did the same (although at 74 he is anything but young): he often posts himself in his Nike sneakers, which have meanwhile been completely worn out – and reaped enthusiastic comments from young sneakerheads.

Cool sneakers are something of a matter of course for democratic politicians today. Senator Elizabeth Warren likes to wear athletic models, and fellow Texan Wendy Davis drew attention when she paired sneakers with a formal suit.

Those sneakers – Surely it’s more than just sneakers!

The thin-soled, completely worn-out sneakers that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wore constantly during one of her election campaigns even made it into the museum in 2018 as part of the exhibition “Women Empowered: Fashions from the Frontline” at Cornell University in the US state of New York. Sneakers are the new work shoes – and in the USA they also demonstrate a closeness to the people that opponents of the Democrats are happy to deny.