Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has been facing ridicule and criticism for allegedly wearing height-boosting boots, after a viral video on social media suggested that he was using lifts to appear taller.
The video, posted by a podcaster named Matt Binder, showed DeSantis walking in cowboy boots with a heel of about two inches, while being surrounded by reporters and supporters. Binder confronted DeSantis and offered him a pair of normal dress shoes, asking him to try them on and implying that he was wearing heels.
“You’re wearing cowboy boots. You’re not fooling anyone. Take off the boots. Put on these shoes,” Binder said in the video, which has been viewed more than 2 million times on Twitter.
DeSantis declined the offer, saying that he could not accept gifts and that his boots were “normal”. He also denied wearing heels or lifts, saying that he did not care about his height.
“I don’t wear heels. I wear normal shoes. These are normal shoes. I don’t really get into all that. It’s kind of silly,” DeSantis said.
However, some experts have cast doubt on DeSantis’ claim, saying that his boots were likely hiding height boosters. Three expert shoemakers told Politico that DeSantis was probably wearing lifts, based on the shape and fit of his boots. They said that lifts can add up to three inches of height, but they can also cause discomfort and health problems.
“He’s definitely got some kind of insole going on in there. There’s no way you can have that much of a bump in the front and nothing in the back,” said Randy Lipson, owner of Cobblestone Shoe Hospital in San Antonio.
“It’s a common thing for powerful people to want to look taller. It gives them more confidence and more authority. But it can also backfire if they get exposed,” said Jim McFarland, owner of McFarland’s Shoe Repair in Lakeland, Florida.
DeSantis is 6 feet 1 inch tall, according to his official biography, but he often appears shorter than other politicians of similar height, such as former President Donald Trump and Senator Marco Rubio. Some observers have speculated that DeSantis is insecure about his height and that he is trying to boost his image as a potential presidential candidate in 2024.
DeSantis has dismissed such speculation, saying that he is focused on his job as governor and that he is proud of his achievements in leading Florida during the pandemic. He also accused the media of being obsessed with trivial issues and ignoring his policies.
“In the photo of him sitting on the wooden stool, you can see where the ball of his foot is protruding on the right boot,” Austin bootmaker Graham Ebner told the outlet. “It’s a good inch behind where it should be. It should not be in that position unless the heels were being lifted dramatically.”
- DeSantis denies wearing heels after being confronted with viral video, by Gustaf Kilander, The Independent, October 31, 2023
- Ron DeSantis Addresses Rumors That He Wears Lifts in His Boots, by Bess Levin, Vanity Fair, October 31, 2023
- 3 Expert Shoemakers Say Ron DeSantis Is Probably Wearing Height Boosters, by Derek Guy, Politico, October 31, 2023
- Ron DeSantis is wearing height-boosting boots, experts claim, by Graeme Massie, The Independent, October 31, 2023