Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has been accused of wearing hidden lifts inside his cowboy boots to boost his height, a claim that he has strongly denied. However, three expert shoemakers who examined photos of DeSantis’s footwear told Politico that the evidence suggests otherwise.
- The possibility that Gov. Ron DeSantis is wearing hidden lifts in his cowboy boots to appear taller, which he denies.
- Cites three expert shoemakers who point out several signs of the lifts on DeSantis’s boots, such as the shorter heels, the wider shaft, the higher ankle, the longer shins, and the protruding ball of the foot.
- The role of height in presidential elections and how taller candidates tend to have an edge over shorter ones.
- DeSantis’s boots are part of his image problem and he is facing a tough challenge from Trump, who has mocked him for his personality and appearance.
DeSantis, who is running for president in 2024, has worn cowboy boots with his suits for years, but the strange fit of the shoes he’s worn since announcing his candidacy has been the subject of mockery on social media and by Trump aides. Former President Donald Trump, who is leading the GOP primary polls by a wide margin, has repeatedly attacked DeSantis’s personality and appearance and has shared posts speculating on whether DeSantis is wearing hidden heels.
DeSantis addressed the rumors in a podcast interview Monday, telling host Patrick Bet-David of the PBD Podcast that his boots are standard, off-the-rack Lucchese boots. He also declined to try on a pair of Ferragamos that Bet-David presented to him on air, citing campaign rules that bar him from accepting gifts.
However, the shoemakers who spoke to Politico said that there are several telltale signs of the lifts on DeSantis’s boots, such as:
- The heels on DeSantis’s boots appear shorter than those on traditional cowboy boots, a mechanism that is often used on shoes with heeled inserts in order to offset the height increase.
- The shaft on DeSantis’s boots seems wider than standard cowboy boots, perhaps in order to accommodate for the width of lifts.
- The ankle on DeSantis’s boots looks to be positioned higher than it should be, and the shins look unnaturally long for his proportions.
- The ball of DeSantis’s foot appears to be protruding several inches from behind the tip of the shoe, and should not be in that position unless the heels were being lifted dramatically.
The shoemakers estimated that DeSantis is wearing 1.5-inch hidden lifts, which would add about two inches to his height. DeSantis is listed as 5’11″ on the 2001 Yale baseball team roster, which means that with the lifts he would be around 6’1″.
The height of presidential candidates has been a factor in some elections, as taller candidates tend to have an advantage over shorter ones. According to a Washington Post study, only six presidential candidates who were shorter than their opponents won their elections in the years 1916-2012. Former President Barack Obama, who is 6’1″, is one inch shorter than the 2012 GOP nominee Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah). Former President Abraham Lincoln was the tallest president in history, at 6’4″, and James Madison, 5’4″, was the shortest.
DeSantis has been struggling in the polls since he entered the presidential race, and is trailing Trump by 43 points as of Tuesday, according to FiveThirtyEight’s GOP primary poll tracker. The Florida governor has also been panned for several awkward moments on the campaign trail, such as his botched response to a question about climate change and his controversial stance on COVID-19 mandates. The boots he debuted earlier this year have fueled sentiment that his image isn’t landing with voters on the national stage.