What Footwear Should the Obamas Wear?

The inauguration of Barack Obama as the nation's 44th president will usher in a new era of politics and bring some fresh style to the White House.

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Red Wing design for Barack Obama.

Photo By Courtesy Photo

Cole Haan design for Barack Obama.

Photo By Courtesy Photo

The inauguration of Barack Obama as the nation’s 44th president will usher in a new era of politics and bring some fresh style to the White House. While Obama has been recognized for his clean, modern approach to dressing, eyes will now turn to the fashions of the First Lady and First Kids. To take the guesswork out of what the Obama family might opt for when it comes to their shoes, Footwear News asked designers from a range of American brands for their fashion projections. Here are their top picks.

“Whether dressed casually in Levis and a polo with Ray-Bans, or stepping out in a chic tailored suit, Obama always appears effortlessly pulled together. Using [Bass’] classic Weejun as inspiration, [we created a] genuine
moccasin construction, hand-sewn on the last and featuring a full-grain leather upper and outsole with a McAfee heel and the presidential seal stamped on its shank.”
Jim McCormick
President, Bass


“Florsheim sees the new president’s style as clean and classically modern. This stars-and-stripes shoe reflects his obvious patriotism in a classically modern interpretation. Obama’s campaign was about making a statement of change and hope while remembering the dreams of our founders. It seems fitting that his footwear should make a statement while based on a
classic silhouette.”
Keven Ringgold
VP of design, Florsheim

“We turned to our 1932 product catalog [for inspiration], the year FDR was elected to his first term. We think the similarities between FDR’s challenges then and Obama’s challenges today are compelling. For Mr. Obama, we selected model 66, a six-inch work boot appropriately named The Winner. Crafted in our finest Featherstone leather, it’s a black leather dress boot perfect for the hard work and long days he will face.”
Peter Engel
Director of marketing communications, Red Wing


“Obama’s style is understated and classic. Because Timberland is a brand with a strong New England aesthetic that’s more casual in nature, the design [centers] on the classic American hand-sewn moccasin. The comfortable upper construction [is enhanced] with a Timberland PRO anti-fatigue technology. The Goodyear construction [would] enable Obama to resole and repair his shoes at the [Maine] factory that [would make] them. This will extend the life of the shoe so that it never finds itself in a landfill.”
Chris Mondelli
Men’s design director, Timberland

“Obama’s style is lean, trim and elegant without affectation. I wanted to offer a clean, long-lined, very serviceable oxford that could take him from morning meetings to a state dinner. My one concession to detail is the prominent welt stitching. Just as strong as its foundation, a shoe is as sturdy as its sole. It seems appropriate and symbolic for the president to have a simple, yet elegant shoe, one that is strong, comfortable and durable and will stand the test of time.”
Adam Derrick
Creative director, To Boot New York


NEXT: Sketches for Michelle...


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