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?”
Judge for yourself:
Marco Rubio is rocking some seriously fashionable black boots today in New Hampshire. pic.twitter.com/lwiSWuuCUt— Michael Barbaro (@mikiebarb) January 4, 2016
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!”
Rubio’s campaign told Politico that his boots were actually a pair of Florsheims (ones that look similar on the company’s site sell for about $130).
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:
A Vote for Marco Rubio Is a Vote for Men’s High-Heeled Booties https://t.co/nsjEKqLPr4 via TheCut— Rick Tyler-Still Right (@rickwtyler) January 5, 2016
The Texas senator’s rapid response director quipped:
Rubio supports Italian boots on the ground pic.twitter.com/fPOnncpWjP— Brian Phillips (@RealBPhil) January 5, 2016
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.
I was in Whoopi Goldberg's dressing room picking out new show shoes. Eat your heart out @marcorubio! pic.twitter.com/vF06UzZgAL— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) January 6, 2016