President Obama, center, walks with Patriots Coach Bill Belichick, right, and owner Robert Kraft at the White House on Thursday. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The New England Patriots visited the White House on Thursday to celebrate their latest Super Bowl win, and team owner Robert Kraft, of course, got all dressed up. Well, at least from the ankles up. From the ankles down, it was a different story. The 73-year-old paired his suit with sneakers.


(Susan Walsh/AP)

But let’s not act surprised. Kraft has long paired his suits with sneakers. He even wore the ensemble to court last month when he testified in former player Aaron Hernandez’s murder trial.

Not just any sneakers will do for Kraft. The Forbes lister is partial to Nike, which makes a special edition shoe just for him. He’s even got a bedazzled pair because, well, this is the kind of stuff eccentric billionaires get to do.

But just because Kraft has more money than Scrooge McDuck, does that make his White House informality okay? Not really, according to the experts.

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It was just a few months ago that San Antonio Spurs star Tim Duncan showed up to the White House sans tie and nearly caused a meltdown in politico fashion circles.

“There always will be a level of formality attached to a head of state,” etiquette expert Pamela Eyring told The Washington Post’s Reliable Source in January. “The government’s formal; you can’t get around it.”

Are you listening, Mr. Kraft?

You know who didn’t listen? Northwestern University’s national championship women’s lacrosse team in 2005, when they showed up to meet then-President Bush in flip flops. The Washington Post dubbed it the “Flip-Flop Flap.”

Let’s not make this the Sneaker Scrap, okay? Maybe just scrap the sneakers next time.