Questions about Republican presidential candidate Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ (R) high-heeled footwear, which have ricocheted across the internet in the past month, reached a head—or a heel—this week, with DeSantis supporters resorting to claiming that Trump supporters pointing out the pumps have a foot fetish.
“The Trump campaign is being run by Rex Ryan simps,” wrote @JoeStief on X, referencing the former Jets coach’s foot fetish which put a toe on the scale in the national news cycle when Deadspin surfaced foot fetish videos of Ryan’s wife Michelle in 2010.
Stief’s decade-old reference came in response to a clip on MLM financial guru turned influencer Patrick Bet-David’s podcast where he asked DeSantis about the high-heel meme.
David showed DeSantis a viral TikTok clip from the Florida governor’s appearance on Bill Maher’s show Real Time With Bill Maher where the internet pointed out that it looked like DeSantis was wearing hidden lifts in his high heel boots. That clip racked up over 1.2 million likes, and a graphic from the story the Daily Dot wrote about was shared on Truth Social by Donald Trump, who’s also been zinging DeSantis over the boots.
“What are they, I don’t underst—I haven’t even seen that,” DeSantis said in the clip, grimacing at the video.
“They’ve not shown that to you?” Bet-David said.
“Nah,” answered DeSantis.
“What they’re trying to say with this is that in your boots you have heels,” Bet-David said.
“No no no no, those are just standard off-the-rack Lucchese boots,” DeSantis answered, referencing a Texas-based luxury cowboy bootmaker. Lucchese didn’t answer a request about whether the boots in the videos were theirs.
After DeSantis denied the boots had lifts, Bet-David asked him flat out why he didn’t ever wear tennis shoes or something flat.
“I do wear tennis shoes when I work out,” DeSantis answered defensively.
After the interview, which went viral, DeSantis supporters rushed to call out Trump fans who shared it.
Matt Whitlock, a GOP communications veteran, said the complaints were the work of “indoorsy Trump sycophants who don’t recognize Lucchese boots.”
Others claimed that Trump fans must have a secret obsession with feet.
Citing everything from a strangely placed high wrinkle to stretched leather on the boot, all the experts agreed that DeSantis had likely inserted lifts into the boots to give him a little extra height.
The consensus was that DeSantis was giving himself about an inch-and-a-half of extra height, “high enough to make a difference in his appearance.”