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Trump announced a new sneaker — and it's already sold out

Over the weekend, former President Donald Trump announced the launch of a new sneaker. Speaking at a sneaker convention in Philadelphia, Trump unveiled the Never Surrender High-Top Sneaker — they’re gold, with American flag designs around the back and a capital letter "T" on the side. The shoes sell for $399 a pair, and have sold out — around 1,000 were available.

The Show spoke with Luis Torres, editor in chief at Nice Kicks, more about it.

MARK BRODIE: Good morning,

LUIS TORRES: Good morning. How's it going?

BRODIE: Going all right. So, just from a purely like aesthetic design perspective, what do you make of these?

TORRES: Personally, I'm not a fan, it's a little bit too gaudy for my liking. But you know, there's something for everyone when it comes to sneakers. 

BRODIE: Not a fan of the gold, huh.

TORRES: Not, not too much gold. I like a little bit.

BRODIE: So who do you think these sneakers are appealing to? I mean, obviously there's all sorts of designs, all sorts of brands for all sorts of to use the phrase sneakerheads. Like who, who do you think is these are gonna appeal to?

TORRES: Definitely not sneakerheads. I think this is more for one for Trump's fan base if anything. And secondly, I think it's just a way for, you know, Trump to get some extra money, you know, following the, the lawsuit that, you know, just kind of came down on.

BRODIE: Well, so why, why do you think sneakerheads won't be into these? 

TORRES: I think lately, especially, you know, in the last few years we've seen in the pandemic, at least from a sneaker come perspective, the industry has kind of gotten exploited in a lot of ways and this is just for some sneakerheads. Just a latest example of people trying to capitalize on something that was, you know, like very niche and, and very integral to community and has now become mainstream in so many ways.

BRODIE: We've seen both athletes and non athletes get into this. Have we seen politicians get into the, the sneaker game before?

TORRES: I remember there might have been like a small local politician that made some, you know, blue lives matter related sneakers. But to this magnitude, no, absolutely not. 

BRODIE: Have we seen instances in the past where there's sort of an intersection of sneaker culture and politics though, like, I, I think back to the, the what was called the Betsy Ross flag shoe that Colin Kaepernick was involved in that Nike ended up pulling when he objected to it.

TORRES: Yeah, that's probably the, the most poignant moment, I think for a lot of sneakerheads, I mean, for some members of the sneaker community,, that was like, hey, like, you know, Kaepernick was right. Some people were like, well, politics and sneakers should have mixed to begin with. And some people were saying, you know, well, it's just honoring American history, American heritage, let the sneaker drop. But I mean, this is, you know, obviously when it comes to the Trump, the conversation conversation kind of just steered a little bit given just, I mean, that, that's president, former president, you know, so there's just a lot that, that goes into that as well.

BRODIE: I mean, is it the kind of thing that, that folks in the sneaker community would like to keep politics out of it? Is there a way to even keep politics out of, you know, even something that seems so apolitical as footwear.

TORRES: I mean, every, in, in my opinion, I think everything is political. I think it's really hard from an industry perspective to not have politics, especially we see Nike and, and even Adidas be very vocal about social justice issues in some way, shape or form. So I don't think you can really separate the two in, in certain capacities. But, you know, I, I think there is, is a way to mix it and, but again, I think really what's more bothersome to a lot of people in the sneaker community is that it's just another example of exploitation of an industry that was very much revered as like, not cool, not hip, not commonplace, you know, like people couldn't go into, into clubs and nightclubs with sneakers. And now it's like, well, you have a former president watching his own or his own. So who, who are we really trying to alienate, who really trying to include?

BRODIE: So we've seen that these sneakers, as I mentioned, they sold out to the 1,000 were available for presale. We're seeing them sell for quite a bit of money on, on the resale market. Would you expect that to continue that these are gonna go on on the resale market for far more than people originally bought them for?

TORRES: It'll depend on a few factors, obviously, with it being the preorder, you know, the shoes are typically still being made, depends on who's making them the quality of them because I don't know if they're actually look that golden. You know, when they actually arrive, who knows? Because preorder can get, can get triggered because even, you know, there's a disclaimer on the Trump side, like the shoe might not actually look like this when you receive it. And I know there are a few autograph pairs that I'm sure, you know, account for some limited, you know, limited this of the show and will create more demand and hype for it. But, I mean, anything's possible. I mean, we see Stanley Cups reselling, for a certain moment in time. So I, you know, the, the sneaker game, like anything else is all just a commodification, you know, so anything's possible.

BRODIE: All right. So just a couple of minutes left. I want to ask you about another new shoe that was released to the public recently that is Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker. And these two sold out. What do you, what do you make of these ones?

TORRES: I, I'm a big fan of him. Obviously, I'm biased. I'm a, I'm a Phoenix, you know, native born and raised. So, I'm a big fan. So, and I'm just happy for Booker because, you know, I've interviewed him when, you know, he wasn't really getting the shine like that back in the day and I can see him having some shoe. It's very well deserved in my opinion.

BRODIE: Is it surprising they sold as well as they did, given that while he was a, he is a huge star here in Phoenix and sort of around the region like nationally he, you know, he's not one of the top five or maybe even the 10 most well-known NBA players.

TORRES: Yeah, it's, it's definitely interesting seeing, you know, the, the, because when we post about the shoe on, on social media, you know, you're gonna have two sides of the coin always at play. So we've seen that firsthand but to see it sell out, I mean, at the end of the day, the basketball consumer and the, and the signature shoe space has really kind of been, it hasn't been what it once was. So people are looking for something new and refreshing and you know, whether you look at, you know, the Adidas AE 1 with Anthony Edwards and, you know, the Book 1, which are very polar opposite in design, they definitely appeal to a more younger demographic in two different ways.

BRODIE: Interesting, al right. That is Luis Torres, editor in chief at Nice Kicks. Luis, thanks as always for your time. I really appreciate it.

TORRES: Of course, appreciate y'all.

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Mark Brodie is a co-host of The Show, KJZZ’s locally produced news magazine. Since starting at KJZZ in 2002, Brodie has been a host, reporter and producer, including several years covering the Arizona Legislature, based at the Capitol.