'Never Surrender' -- Aka, The Perfect Trump Shoes

They are golden and remarkably ugly, although someone had a sense of humor in giving the kicks a red bottom, like thousand-dollar spikey-heeled designer Louboutins.

Or maybe the bottom refers to walking on a stream of long red ties.

I speak, of course, of the sneaker line that Donald J. Trump introduced over President’s Weekend.

The intro was made at Sneaker Con, in Philadelphia, home of the Liberty Bell and the Rocky Statue, although the latter part of the event’s name might seem too on-the-nose.

After all, Trump has already been successfully moving merch (including a mug) with his mugshot on it, milking that moment of (what others would see as shameful) incarceration.

So this time, we can hardly say “Now, he’s gone too far!” 

Because this one is unlike the dozens of the Trump businesses that have gone bankrupt (and I’ll just mention Trump University here, for which he had to settle a lawsuit for $25 million for the aggrieved students, and which the conservative National Review called “a total scam.” )



This time is different in that these shoes are totally on-brand for the T-man.

And the strategy is well-thought-out.

I’m just surprised it took this unparalleled showman so long to get into shoe business. (He claimed he’s been thinking of it for 12-13 years.)

This $399 sneaker, called  “Never Surrender” is the top of the line, which also consists of less-inspired red and white $199 cloth low-top versions, called T-Red and Potus 45 respectively.

The Never Surrenders are “bold, gold and tough, just like President Trump,” according to the website, allowing owners to “be a part of history.”

But the mighty gold pair already looks like a knock-off of the real thing, So does the web site, so cheap looking that it barely seems interactive.

The site also sells $99 Victory47 cologne in a gold bottle. The male version sports a golden Trump head as a stopper; for women, the topper  is a T- like cross.

The product shots look conceived by AI.

No matter. These shoes are totally Trumpy. The high-top shaping echoes his descending the golden escalator at Trump Tower to announce his run for the presidency. It’s even got a tower-like “T” sewn into the side and the tongue.

Up above, the collar features a tacky combo of gold stars and stripes.

Gold stars and stripes could be a good description of some of the female regulars at Mar-a-Lago, who like to take selfies and put them on social media. They are lookalikes in their platinum hair, helped-along faces and body-straining gold and white dresses that match the resort’s gold and white décor. Others wear ensembles that echo the flag.

And though Trump was not met with the MAGA enthusiasm he is accustomed to at SneakerCon, (half the audience was instead shouting “Let’s go, Biden!”) the launch strategy shows an awareness of sneakerhead culture.

Because this shoe show has nothing to do with paying his bills. Rather, it is an exercise in in selling out—in the “limited edition!” sense.

Only 1,000 pairs of “Never Surrender” sneakers were manufactured. They’re all numbered, like collector’s items, and Trump himself autographed 10 pairs. The website is slapped with “Sold Out!” everywhere, and even the info on back orders is vague.

As consistent with the culture, which is more about curation and sales than actual wear, some of the purchased pairs have, in less than 12 hours, made their way to eBay and are now going for between $1,500 and $45,000 a pair.

After his string of judicial defeats, it’s a quick way to show that Trump is indomitable and a runaway success at something. 

As one of his followers posted on X: “Name me another President that could sell out $399 sneakers in about 10 minutes” -- although I think he's forgetting about Lincoln's famous Rubber Vulcans, which I just made up.

He added: “Trump has the impact of a rockstar, not a politician. That’s why he’s going to CRUSH Joe Biden n 2024.”

That MAGAhead certainly has something there. Trump's followers adore him because he is a great entertainer, not afraid of falling into clownishness.

Meanwhile, we sure did get a good look at the Emperor’s New Shoes.

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