She Wears It Well: Equal Opportunity Shoe Coverage on the Campaign Trail?

I’m a shoe girl, through and through. I have a closet dedicated to nothing but storing/displaying my shoes, and it is primarily filled with high heels. In fact, that singular closet is not big enough to contain all of my shoes. My flip flops, casual flat shoes, and too many pairs of fall/winter fashion boots are stored elsewhere, in other closets.

(“Hello…my name is Patti and I just might have a shoe problem…”)

Because I work for myself and I work from home, for 20 years now I’ve been doing what everyone else has discovered during the pandemic these past six months: I work, pretty much year round, in my flip flops.

This just might be a shelf or two in the shoe closet of the editor

High heels come out to play only when I have to dress up for a work meeting or an evening out. Usually, in those instances, I am only walking short distances, or standing in them for a short period of time. Last week, I had to go to Lansing — to the capitol, no less — to meet with a state representative. I knew I needed to park my car about two blocks away and as I stood in front of the shoe closet that morning, in my work-ready dress and blazer, I realized, suddenly, that my shoe closet seriously lacked any low-heeled walking-any-distance dress shoes.


So, I grabbed a pair of high heels, stuffed them in my tote bag “just in case,” thinking I might decide to slip them on as I approached the capitol and no one would be the wiser, right?

I walked out the door in my flip flops.

Just as I arrived in Lansing, it began raining — hard. So, screw the heels. I walked in my blazer and dress and flip flops to the capitol. I met with the state rep. I also attended a committee meeting with her, where, I noticed, two 20-something gals were staring at my foot attire. Umm… (red faced! caught red-footed!). But, I left Lansing without blisters or sore feet.

And no one kicked me out of the capitol for wearing flip flops.

Mission accomplished.

And now, today, in a Washington Post story, Future Vice President Kamala Harris (dare I even jinx this wish by calling her that???) is drawing attention for wearing Chuck Taylors.

Instead of … what?

What is a vice presidential candidate supposed to wear on her feet, while wearing a blazer?

When Joe Biden was the VP nominee under Barack Obama, did anyone write a story about HIS footwear???

I love that Kamala wore the Chuck Taylors, said “Screw it!” to wearing high heels and sore feet that are literally pounding the pavement during a presidential campaign, but I’m just disappointed that this has become news.

I’d much rather be reading about what she had to SAY at this event where the shoes were seen, rather than read a story about what she WORE.

When photos of Harris’s footwear went viral, the Biden/Harris campaign put a positive spin on the “Chuck Taylor Issue” and the internet became abuzz with how cool and youthful Harris must be.

I’m all for that…I agree that she is cool, youthful, and oozes charisma in a way any campaign manager would love to shout about his or her candidate-boss from rooftops.

And if it takes a pair of cool sneakers to help push the first woman over the finish line into the vice presidency, much like when presidential candidate Bill Clinton became cooler-than-cool by donning a pair of sunglasses and playing the saxophone on late-night television, I’m all for it. I do some political campaign consulting and I always tell my candidate-clients to milk what they’ve got.

But as a woman, I’ll be a lot more excited when a female candidate makes more headlines based on the things she has to say rather than based on the attire on her feet.

Leave a Reply