Are they a surprisingly fashionable choice of footwear (One Direction’s Harry Styles is said to have a similar pair) or a less generously termed set of “men’s high-heeled booties?”
The political and fashion world have been set atwitter since eagle-eyed New York Times scribe Michael Barbaro spotted Sen. Marco Rubio — the Florida Republican running for president — “rocking some seriously fashionable black boots” in New Hampshire.
Judge for yourself:
Surprised journalists tweeted such reactions as “hawt!,” and “is that real?” Tracy Sefl, Democratic strategist and Hillary supporter handed down this fashion verdict: “How very Michael Landon as Charles Ingalls-ish.” Many remarked on the idea that Rubio was trying to bolster his height, said to be 5 feet 10 inches (short guys don’t have a good presidential track record, apparently).
Vanity Fair published a whole article dedicated to estimating the cost of the boots — according to the mag, they’re either a cost-conscious Giorgio Brutini $85 pair with a two-inch “Cuban heel;” or a one-and-three-quarter inch heeled pair going for $90 from Stacy Adams Santos. If Rubio went upmarket, they could be a 40 percent off pair from Maison Margiela, which still would set him back $597.
Meanwhile, “Morning Joe’s” Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezenski had some fun at Rubio’s expense, calling the boots “shagalicious” with Austin Powers’ theme music playing in the background.
“Stop the presses!” said Scarborough. “I really don’t believe he wore those boots. This is straight out of an Austin Powers movie. This is swinging one to 1966 . . . and you’re wearing that in New Hampshire? This is Austin Powers, baby!”
But that didn’t stop the fashion world from going gaga.
“Marco Rubio and Harry Styles are Totally #Twinning in Boots,” wrote Elle, asking “Who Wore it Better?”
“These two—who are 1000% not grappling with some kind of short-dude Napoleon Complex—have both stepped out in kicky booties this season, proving that real men wear heels and that Marco Rubio is perhaps more discerning about footwear than he is about foreign policy. Kisses! You two look fabulous,” Mattie Kahn wrote.
And Rubio’s presidential rivals were not far behind. An aide to Ted Cruz, who favors ostrich boots (which can be quite pricey), tweeted this:
The Texas senator’s rapid response director quipped:
And for good measure, Rand Paul (R-Ky.) posted a video of him perusing Whoopi Goldberg’s closet for shoes before his appearance on “The View.” “I’ve seen Rubio has those cute new boots and I don’t want to be outdone,” Paul says while holding up a pair of fancy black-and-gold wingtips.