Kamala Harris has a signature campaign look: classic Converse tennis shoes, which—questions of policy aside—I cannot dispute look absolutely sharp as hell. However: aren’t her feet absolutely killing her? Because Chuck Taylors look good, but they aren’t exactly known for their arch support, and if I spent all day barnstorming around the country in them, I would quickly be hobbling and crying.
The Washington Post reported, “By Tuesday morning, videos by two reporters witnessing her arrival had been viewed nearly 8 million times on Twitter—for comparison’s sake, more than four times the attention the campaign’s biggest planned video event, a conversation between Joe Biden and Barack Obama, had received on both Twitter and YouTube combined.” The campaign has embraced them as a signature, with Harris’s sister confirming they’re her go-to and her official account reporting she’s “laced up and ready to win.” While Harris has been wearing Converses for a long time, they’re now part of her campaign iconography, a way to project a sport of sporty fitness for the job, in contrast with Trump and demonstrating her readiness to support her older running mate.
All that is well and good, but Converses really aren’t that great for covering a significant amount of ground! Yes, they’re better than pumps, and they were a major advance in athletic shoe technology when they were introduced in the 1920s as a basketball shoe, and they remained popular with pro players into the 1960s. I personally wore a pair of blue Chucks for much of high school, and they are still in the back of the closet in my childhood bedroom because I cannot bear to part with them. But these days I can’t even wear a flat fashion sandal for more than 15 minutes; a full day on my feet in anything less than a Birkenstock and I feel it all the way up in my shins.
Sources (Jezebel Slack and also this Boston Globe article) tell me that the soles have gotten a revamp since Nike purchased the company, but they still aren’t as comfortable as Vans, much less the old-school white Addidas. And there are so many low-profile retro-look sneakers right now! It’s not Chuck Taylors or chunky New Balances.
Maybe she’s got orthotics in there? Listen, Harris has got a lot of road to cover between now and Election Day, and I just hope she’s taking proper care of her feet.