Trump sneakers? Whichever presidential candidate offers the best footwear gets my vote.

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It was good to see the 2024 presidential campaign settle into normalcy this weekend, as leading GOP candidate Donald Trump took the traditional step of introducing a garish line of sneakers he can use to whittle down the half-a-billion-or-so dollars he owes for fraudulent business practices and other assorted crime-doing.

In case you missed it, former president and current criminal defendant Trump attended a Philadelphia “Sneaker Con” on Saturday and unveiled a shiny gold pair of Trump-themed sneakers called the “Never Surrender High-Tops.” In what one can only assume is an attempt to show how good President Joe Biden’s economy is, the list price for the shoes is $399/pair, and the 1,000 that were available quickly sold out.

Former President Donald Trump introduces his signature shoes at “Sneaker Con” in Philadelphia on Feb. 17, 2024. The sneakers are currently being marketed as “Never Surrender High-Tops" and selling for $399.
Former President Donald Trump introduces his signature shoes at “Sneaker Con” in Philadelphia on Feb. 17, 2024. The sneakers are currently being marketed as “Never Surrender High-Tops" and selling for $399.

Trump's various crimes mean he's going to have to sell a lot of sneakers

On Friday, a New York judge ruled that Trump must pay about $454 million in penalties for years of business fraud. Three weeks earlier, a jury ordered Trump to pay more than $83 million to writer E. Jean Carroll for defamation.

So the Republican Party’s top choice for president is now on the hook for about $540 million. He made $399,000 on that first round of Air-Rogant sneakers, so he only needs to sell about 1,352,383 more pairs and he’ll be square.

The new Trump sneakers look like Trump's arrogance in shoe form

Remarkably, the sneakers look exactly like the kind of sneaker you’d expect from a man who created a fake university named after himself and then had to pay $25 million to settle lawsuits accusing him of fraud.

The sneakers are (possibly spray-painted?) gold, including the laces. They have a big “T” on them in various places. And they have a sort-of American flag thingy wrapped around the ankles.

They’re the go-to athletic shoe for people fleeing responsibility.

They look as if someone took all the tacky couture from a random night at Mar-a-Lago, put it in a blender and then poured it onto a cheap pair of high-tops that, in their defense, never did anything to deserve such a fate.

All MAGA lawmakers must wear Trump sneakers or face expulsion

That 1,000 pairs sold out is a testament to Trump’s ability to extract cash from the gullible. Either that or MAGA-devout House Speaker Mike Johnson bought them all and will now make them the mandatory shoe of the Republican congressional caucus.

Trump's legal bills: How will Trump pay $354 million for real estate fraud? Your campaign donations, of course!

All I know is it’s about time our current presidential election season came to down to that which matters most: footwear.

I’ve long cast my vote for whichever candidate promotes the sweetest kicks, and 2024 will be no different.

A short history of presidential campaign shoe promotions that didn't happen

We’re way past the days of Ronald Reagan’s special-edition Jellybean Reeboks or the controversial Bill Clinton Philandering Fila or John Kerry’s Unremarkable Payless Flip-Flop.

It’s up to the Biden campaign to respond to Trump’s gaffe-in-sneaker-form by showing Americans what the 81-year-old president will do for their feet.

Biden can counter Trump's sneaker play with a comfier line

I recommend a durable-but-comfortable line of already-broken-in Biden Slippers. The motto is simple: “You should trust what you put your feet in. Not gold … just old, tough and cozy.”

They could give them away for free, as Biden has the distinct advantage of not owing more than half-a-billion dollars in penalties for fraud and defamation.

Seems like a shoe-in.

Follow USA TODAY columnist Rex Huppke on X, formerly Twitter, @RexHuppke and Facebook

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump hocks $399 shoes to help you pay the millions he owes for fraud