The Controversy Surrounding Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ Choice of Footwear: Are Lifts in His Boots a Political Statement?

In recent news, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has been the subject of speculation and controversy regarding his choice of footwear. It all started when experts and social media users began to question whether DeSantis wears lifts in his boots to appear taller. The rumors gained traction when three expert shoemakers told Politico that DeSantis seems to be wearing concealed lifts inside his cowboy boots.[0]

Shoemaker Nicholas Templeman pointed out an unusually high wrinkle in DeSantis’ boots, suggesting that his ankle sits higher up. Cowboy boot-maker Graham Ebner noted that the leather appears stretched, indicating a lifted heel.[1] He also observed that DeSantis’ foot seems to end prematurely, causing the toe of the boot to curl upward. Furthermore, the toe spring, which refers to how the toes curl up, is more pronounced than normal, suggesting that DeSantis’ toes are positioned too far back in the boots. This abnormal placement of the ball of his foot and the bending of the shoes in a strange place further support the claim that DeSantis may be wearing lifts.

Zephan Parker, a bootmaker, confirmed the suspicions, stating that he has helped politicians with their lifts in the past and believes DeSantis is wearing them.[2] He pointed out that the tops of DeSantis’ boots seem wider than standard cowboy boots, possibly to accommodate the width of the lifts. Parker also noted that the shaft of the boots appears wider, which could be attributed to the lifts as well. These observations suggest that DeSantis may be using lifts to increase his height.

The controversy surrounding DeSantis’ footwear has not gone unnoticed. Former President Donald Trump and his supporters have mocked DeSantis for his choice of boots, particularly the cowboy boots with heels that he has been wearing during his campaign.[0] Democratic opposition researchers and Trump aides have also joined in on the criticism, with Jason Miller tweeting out a Politico story about DeSantis’ footwear.

DeSantis himself has addressed the rumors, denying that he wears lifts in his boots. He has described his boots as “just standard, off-the-rack Lucchese boots” and emphasized that there are more important issues to focus on than his footwear. During an appearance on Newsmax, DeSantis stated, “This is no time for foot fetishes,” redirecting the conversation to more pressing matters such as the war in the Middle East, border security, and the state of American schools and cities.[3]

The controversy surrounding DeSantis’ footwear raises questions about the significance of height in politics. It is well-known that taller candidates have tended to have an advantage in general elections. However, there have been exceptions to this trend, such as former President Barack Obama and President Joe Biden, who were shorter than their opponents.[4] Despite this, the issue of height and appearance continues to be a topic of discussion in political races.

As the speculation and controversy surrounding DeSantis’ footwear continue, it remains to be seen how this will impact his political career. Critics argue that focusing on a candidate’s height or appearance is superficial and detracts from more important issues. However, others argue that a candidate’s image and presentation play a significant role in their ability to connect with voters and project confidence. Whether or not DeSantis is wearing lifts in his boots, it is clear that his choice of footwear has sparked a larger conversation about the intersection of politics and appearance.

0. “Is DeSantis Wearing Lifts? Shoe Experts Say Probably—But He Denies Rumors Boosted By Trump” Forbes, 31 Oct. 2023,

1. “3 Expert Shoemakers Say Ron DeSantis Is Probably Wearing Height Boosters” POLITICO, 31 Oct. 2023,

2. “Everything you need to know about the Ron DeSantis wearing hidden heels rumours” indy100, 4 Nov. 2023,

3. “Ron DeSantis Talks About ‘Foot Fetishes’ in TV Interview” Newsweek, 3 Nov. 2023,

4. “Equality! DeSantis, not a woman, subjected to stupid media meltdown over fashion” Washington Examiner, 1 Nov. 2023,

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