Bootmakers Tell Politico Ron DeSantis Likely Wears Lifts in Cowboy Boots

AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell

Three professional bootmakers told Politico Magazine they believe Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) is likely wearing lifts in his boots following his viral interview with podcaster Patrick Bet-David, who brought up allegations that he has heels inside of them. 

In the article published Tuesday, Politico Magazine’s Derek Guy noted that three bootmakers, including Zephan Parker, who owns the Houston, Texas-based Parker Boot Company, said that DeSantis’s boots are altered to accommodate lifts. 

“I’ve dealt with these politicians many times,” Parker told the outlet. “I’ve helped them with their lifts. [DeSantis] is wearing lifts; there’s no doubt.”

Lifts paired with the traditional cowboy boots, which tend to have higher heels, can essentially “turn them into five-inch stilettos,” Parker said, noting that in instances where lifts are used, the heels of the boots are often shortened, as the combination is “too much for the common man.” 

“So on a ready-made boot, they’ll cut down the heel about half an inch to accommodate the lifts, which looks to be what happened here,” he said. 

Two other shoemakers weighed in. London-based shoemaker Nicholas Templeman told the publication that DeSantis’s boots have an uncharacteristic crease high up on the decorative, weaker parts, indicating a lift on the interior. 

Austin, Texas-based bootmaker Graham Ebner made a similar point to Politico, saying that he thinks DeSantis’s feet are perched on lifts based on photos he has seen.

The DeSantis campaign slammed Politico while responding to its comment request, calling the article a “hit piece” via email: 

Considering the fact that Politico Magazine admittedly spent money to consult ‘boot experts’ to run this hit piece on DeSantis tells you all you need to know about their ‘journalism.’ The governor doesn’t pad his boots, but if he ever needed anything to line a pet cage or fold up and wedge under a table leg, that would be the highest and best use for Politico Magazine.

Politico Magazine emphasized it “did not compensate any of the boot makers quoted in this story” and noted that it does not “appear in print.” 

The story comes on the heels of DeSantis’s interview with Bet-David of Valuetainment, which aired Monday. Bet-David told DeSantis that his boots have been the subject of internet scrutiny, highlighting one TikTok that has 1.2 million likes alleging he is wearing “hidden heels.” 

“What they’re trying to say with this is, in your boots, you have heels,” Bet-David explained to DeSantis. The boots in question were ones he wore during an appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher. 

“No, no, no,” DeSantis said. “Those are just standard off-the-rack Lucchese.”

“Why don’t you wear tennis shoes and dress shoes?” Bet-David followed up, prompting DeSantis to answer, “I do wear tennis shoes when I work out.” 

Bet-David attempted to gift the governor a pair of Ferragamo shoes, but DeSantis said he could not accept gifts. 

DeSantis has been trolled online for months over his shoe wear, with pro-Trump influencers and the Trump campaign often chiming in.

On his podcast, Triggered, on Monday, Donald Trump Jr. said that “people will only remember [DeSantis’s] presidential run for his ridiculous boots or, as many refer to them, heels.” 

“Tell me what the level of insecurity is that you have to wear heel lifts this high,” he added. 


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