POLITICS & ELECTIONS

Trump hawks $399 branded shoes at ‘Sneaker Con’

Feb 17, 2024, 6:20 PM

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump holds gold Trump sneakers at Sneake...

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump holds gold Trump sneakers at Sneaker Con Philadelphia, an event popular among sneaker collectors, in Philadelphia, Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — As he closes in on the Republican presidential nomination, former President Donald Trump made a highly unusual stop Saturday, hawking new Trump-branded sneakers at “Sneaker Con,” a gathering that bills itself as the “The Greatest Sneaker Show on Earth.”

Trump was met with loud boos as well as cheers at the Philadelphia Convention Center as he introduced what he called the first official Trump footwear.

The shoes, gold lame high tops with an American flag detail on the back, are being sold as “Never Surrender High-Tops” for $399 on a new website that also sells Trump-branded “Victory47” cologne and perfume for $99 a bottle. He’d be the 47th president if elected again.

The website says it has no connection to Trump’s campaign, though Trump campaign officials promoted the appearance in online posts.

On Friday, a judge in New York ordered Trump to pay a whopping $355 million in penalties, finding that the former president lied about his wealth for years, scheming to dupe banks, insurers and others by inflating his wealth on financial statements.

That penalty came after Trump was ordered to pay $83.3 million to the writer E. Jean Carroll for damaging her reputation after she accused him of sexual assault. With interest payments, Trump’s legal debts might now exceed a half-billion dollars — an amount it is unclear he can afford to pay.

Former president met with mixed emotions

Trump’s appearance was met with clashing boos from his detractors and chants of “USA!” from supporters who arrived at the sneaker event decked out in Trump gear. The dueling chants made it difficult, at times, to hear Trump speak. Some held signs that read “SNEAKERHEADS LOVE TRUMP.”

“There’s a lot of emotion in this room,” Trump said of the reaction, after holding up and showing off a pair of gold shoes, then placing one on each side of his podium.

“This is something that I’ve been talking about for 12 years, 13 years,” he said.

As he spoke, the smell of weed occasionally wafted through the room.

Some of those who attended said they were unaware Trump would be there, and continued to shop as a crowd gathered around the stage. Many in the audience said they were not from the city and instead hailed from nearby states and Washington.

The attendees skewed younger and more diverse than Trump’s usual rally crowds. Trump’s campaign is hoping he will be able to win over more young and minority voters, particularly young Black men, in a likely rematch against President Joe Biden in November.

This isn’t the first money-making venture Trump has announced since launching his third campaign for the White House in 2022. Trump last year reported making between $100,000 and $1 million for a series of digital trading cards that portrayed him, through photo editing, in a series of cartoon-like images, including an astronaut, a cowboy and a superhero.

The new sneaker website

Trump’s new sneaker website says it is run by CIC Ventures LLC, a company that Trump reported owning in his 2023 financial disclosure. A similarly named company, CIC Digital LLC, owns his digital trading card NFTs, or non-fungible tokens.

The website states the new venture “is not political and has nothing to do with any political campaign.”

A Trump spokesman did not respond to questions about the event, including whether Trump was paid to attend.

The website describes the shoes as a limited-edition, numbered “true collector’s item” that is “Bold, gold, and tough, just like President Trump.”

“The Never Surrender sneakers are your rally cry in shoe form,” the description reads. “Lace-up and step out ready to conquer,.”

Among those in the crowd were Jonathen Santiago, 21, and Danea Mitchell, 20, Trump supporters who drove from Monroe County in the northeastern part of the state for the sneaker event. They said they were excited to see the former president and praised how he interacted with the crowd. They also had kind words for the sneakers.

“The red bottoms were a really nice touch,” Mitchell said.

She shrugged when asked about Trump’s legal troubles. “I think it’ll be an interesting four years if he’s found guilty, but I have no doubt he’ll be president,” she said.

In attendance

Also in attendance was a group of “cheer moms” from New Jersey who said they were in town for a cheerleading event and decided to stop by for a chance to see Trump.

Karla Burke, 48, said she heard some people booing and making noise, but that most people around her had been supporters. “At the front was a different vibe,” she said.

As for Friday’s penalty in Trump’s civil fraud trial, Burke said it doesn’t change her support. “I think it was unfair,” she said. “They’re just going after him so he’s not the Republican candidate.”

Biden-Harris 2024 Communications Director Michael Tyler slammed the appearance, saying: “Donald Trump showing up to hawk bootleg Off-Whites is the closest he’ll get to any Air Force Ones ever again for the rest of his life.”

Trump planned a rally later Saturday in Michigan in the suburbs of Detroit.

KSL 5 TV Live

Politics & Elections

Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene on Sunday said House Speaker Mike Johnson “betrayed” Rep...

Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN

Marjorie Taylor Greene calls on Johnson to resign after foreign aid bills pass

Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene on Sunday said House Speaker Mike Johnson “betrayed” Republican voters after the House approved new aid to Ukraine, threatening to call a vote for his ouster if he doesn’t resign.

1 day ago

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer speaks at the US Capitol earlier this year. (Craig Hudson/REUT...

Ted Barrett, Morgan Rimmer and Clare Foran, CNN

Senate passes surveillance bill despite contentious debate over privacy concerns

The Senate voted late Friday to reauthorize a key surveillance authority, avoiding a lapse in the controversial program.

2 days ago

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman speaks as he joins Ryan Smith, co-founder and chairman of Smith Enter...

Michael Houck and Lindsay Aerts, KSL TV

Smith Entertainment Group addresses the logistics and politics of bringing the NHL to Utah

On Friday, the NHL and the new owners of the Utah NHL team discussed the exciting opportunities that the team can bring to Beehive State.

3 days ago

Donald Trump sits at a table a jury has been seated for his trial...

Jennifer Peltz, Michael R. Sisak, Jake Offenhartz and Alanna Durkin Richer

Jury of 12 people and 6 alternates is seated in Trump’s hush money trial in New York

A full jury of 12 people and six alternates has been seated Donald Trump's hush money case, setting the stage for expected opening statements next week in the first criminal trial of a former U.S. president.

3 days ago

FILE: Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) speaks during a news conference following a closed-d...

Stephen Groves, Lisa Mascaro and Kevin Freking

Ukraine, Israel aid advances in rare House vote as Democrats help Republicans push it forward

The House has pushed a $95 billion national security aid package for Ukraine, Israel and other U.S. allies closer to passage.

3 days ago

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., speaks at the Capitol in Washington, Feb. 29, 2024. Short...

Melanie Zanona, Manu Raju, Annie Grayer and Lauren Fox, CNN

Johnson won’t change rules over removing him from speakership after hardliners revolt

Speaker Mike Johnson announced he will not change the procedure for removing him from the speakership.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Trump hawks $399 branded shoes at ‘Sneaker Con’