Ron DeSantis accused of wearing heel lifts on GOP debate stage

‘Any woman who has ever worn stilettos knows exactly what Ron is experiencing. Hanging out on the balls of your feet all night is tough stuff’

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Thursday 09 November 2023 16:24 GMT
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Ron Desantis Accused Of Wearing Heel Lifts After Video Shows Him Walking Off Stage

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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is facing renewed speculations that he’s wearing heel lifts after he was seen awkwardly traipsing off the Miami debate stage during a commercial break.

Social media users reacted to the footage of Mr DeSantis speaking to fellow candidate Vivek Ramaswamy before walking off the stage, not seeming all that comfortable in his boots.

“DeSantis trudging along like he’s wearing stilettos,” progressive commentator Brian Tyler Cohen wrote on X.

Policy researcher Will Stancil said, “NBC innocently posting this behind-the-scenes video of the ‘candidates chatting’ is one of the most cold-hearted things I’ve ever seen a news network do”.

“Any woman who has ever worn stilettos knows exactly what Ron is experiencing. Hanging out on the balls of your feet all night is tough stuff,” one account holder said.

“Ron just put on a pair of pumps at this point,” Nick Gomez added.

The Independent has reached out to the DeSantis campaign for comment.

Mr DeSantis previously denied wearing lifts when he faced rampant social media speculation over the structure of his footwear.

He was confronted with an earlier viral video of his appearance on comedian Bill Maher’s HBO programme during an interview on the Patrick Bet-David podcast.

“What they’re trying to say with this – in your boots, you have heels,” the podcaster said.

“No, those are just standard off-the-rack Lucchese” boots, Mr DeSantis responded.

Asked how tall he is, the governor said he’s 5’11” (180cm).

“Why don’t you wear tennis shoes and dress shoes?” Mr Bet-David asked.

“I do wear tennis shoes when I work out,” Mr DeSantis said.

Mr Bet-David then tried to give Mr DeSantis a pair of Ferragamo shoes, but the governor said he’s unable to accept gifts.

Three shoemakers recently told Politico that Mr DeSantis is probably wearing height boosters, with each guessing that about 1.5” (3.8cm) has been added to the governor’s stance.

On TikTok and Twitter, videos mocking the governor’s boots have gone viral as users speculate that he’s trying to look taller next to his top rival, Donald Trump.

Mr Trump claims to be 6’3” (190cm) but appeared to be the same height as former President Barack Obama, who is 6’1” (185cm), when they stood next to each other on the day of Mr Trump’s inauguration on 20 January 2017.

First Lady Melania Trump, President Donald Trump former President Barack Obama and Michelle on the East front steps of the US Capitol after inauguration ceremonies on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC
First Lady Melania Trump, President Donald Trump former President Barack Obama and Michelle on the East front steps of the US Capitol after inauguration ceremonies on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC (AFP via Getty Images)

Zephan Parker of Parker Boot Company told Politico, “I’ve dealt with these politicians many times. I’ve helped them with their lifts. [DeSantis] is wearing lifts; there’s no doubt.”

The DeSantis campaign has rejected the notion that Mr DeSantis is wearing height boosters.

Mr Parker noted to Politico that wearing lifts in cowboy boots may “turn them into five-inch stilettos”.

“That’s too much for the common man. So on a ready-made boot, they’ll cut down the heel about half an inch to accommodate the lifts, which looks to be what happened here,” he added.

The bootmaker also noted that the shafts of Mr DeSantis’s boots appear to be wider than normal to make room for height boosters.

“He looks like he’s wearing trousers with an eight-inch opening, which is plenty of room for a Western boot on a man of his proportions,” Mr Parker said, referring to a photo of the governor speaking at an event in Tampa.

He added that the tops of the boots push against Mr DeSantis’s trouser legs indicating that “the boots are bigger than intended, probably to accommodate his lifts”.

“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.”

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