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It may come as a surprise that Donald Trump would end up offering his own brand of limited-edition high-tops, but it shouldn’t have.

Since long before he began his political career in a red hat he was also selling for $25 at the official Trump Tower store, Donald J. Trump has loved trying to hawk Trump-branded stuff. First, there were the buildings and hotels and golf courses. Later, it was Trump Signature Collection business apparel (made in China and Mexico). Eventually, there were big branding misadventures like Trump Airlines, Trump Vodka, Trump Water, Trump Wine, Trump Mortgage, Trump: The Game, and Trump Magazine. And there were also outright scams like Trump University.

Whatever the product, most Trump brands once strove to project luxury and success while offering at least some value proposition to the buyer, even if it was just hyperbole about how that product was the “best.” In recent years, however, most Trump products have come across as cynical half-baked crap designed to bilk anyone eager to demonstrate how much they love the former president and his cult of personality. For instance, the Trump NFT digital trading cards, or his coffee-table book, Letters to Trump, or his mug-shot Christmas merch, or the extremely limited Trump trading cards that include a real fragment of the suit he wore during his mug shot. There was, however, one market Trump hadn’t yet targeted: MAGA sneakerheads.

On Saturday, Trump made a surprise appearance in Philadelphia, and it wasn’t at either of the Four Seasons — it was at Sneaker Con, the self-proclaimed “Greatest Sneaker Show on Earth” and a kind of roving comic con for sneaker aficionados and influencers where people can buy, sell, trade, and authenticate collectible sneakers. Trump was there to launch his newest product scheme: Trump Sneakers. And as luck would have it, it was also one day after a New York judge ordered him to pay about $450 million in penalties as a consequence of his fraudulent business practices.

The former president was both booed and cheered before speaking to the collected sneakerheads inside the Philadelphia Convention Center, which often smelled like weed, according to the Associated Press. “This is something that I’ve been talking about for 12 years, 13 years,” Trump said. “And I think it’s going to be a big success.”

After implying he was also at the show to connect with young voters, Trump added, “We’re going to turn this country around fast, and we’re going to remember the young people, and we’re going to remember Sneaker Con.”

The Biden campaign responded to the news with some sneakerheaded snark. “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,” communications director Michael Tyler said.

Whatever happens in November, there are now, available for preorder on a special website, three different Trump sneakers, all with a big embossed T (for Trump!). Each also comes with extra laces and a Trump superhero charm. And regardless of how they look, none of them are cheap.

The gold “Never Surrender High-Top Sneaker” is $399 with gold laces, a red and white sole, and an American flag design at the top. The Air Force 1-style kicks are also “SUPER LIMITED” to 1,000 numbered pairs, and the website, which says it “is not political and has nothing to do with any political campaign,” claims they are already sold out. (Don’t worry, Trump-loving sneakerheads, some were quickly listed on eBay for thousands of dollars per pair.)

Photo: Screencap/GetTrumpSneakers.com

The laceless Trump athletic shoes are $199, have 45 on them, and come in red (T — Red Wave) or white (POTUS 45). There’s no blue option, probably because of Democrats.

Menswear expert Derek Guy has already written a detailed X thread about why “President Trump’s Official Sneaker” doesn’t appear to be of high quality (and may cost as little as $20 to $40 to produce and market):

But wait, there’s more. Gettrumpsneakers.com also presells $99 bottles of Trump Victory47 perfume (“Infused with a blend of light floral notes, hints of citrus zest, and a whisper of spice, this scent is for the woman who embraces her victories with grace and allure”) and Trump Victory47 cologne (“‘Victory’ is more than a fragrance — this cologne is for the movers, the shakers, and the history makers. Crowned with a Trump Collector’s cap, splash on a bit of Victory and own every room you step into.”)

The first 1,000 bottles are numbered.
Photo: Screencap/GetTrumpSneakers.com

The Trump Sneakers site includes some important disclaimers, though. First, for the sneakers, there is a “STRICT LIMIT OF 3 PAIRS PER CUSTOMER.” Second, the product images “are for illustration purposes only and may not be an exact representation of the product” — so just like some $6 drop-shipped sweater ordered from a sketchy e-tailer in China, this Trump stuff may not look as one expects if and when it arrives. Finally, just in case anyone was thinking these limited-edition items will only increase in value and are thus a worthy heirloom: “Trump Sneakers & Fragrances are intended for individual enjoyment and as a collectible and not for investment purposes.”

Maybe that’s legally required. Or maybe Trump and his scheme advisors don’t want to spoil the market before the “The Trump Mint” offers ULTRA-LIMITED “Never Surrender” .47-carat gold-plated bars for $3,999.00 later this year. After all, the former president-turned-shoe salesman is probably going to need that money, too.

This post has been updated.