Donald Trump launches sneaker line a day after $355 million court ruling

Donald Trump wears a suit and tie while smiling and standing in front of a gold-coloured high top sneaker with a T emblazoned on it and a US flag print

Donald Trump launched a line of pricey gold-coloured sneakers just a day after he was ordered to pay $355 million (£281,959,000) in a civil fraud trial. 

The former US president unveiled his “Trump Sneakers” at Sneaker Con – a convention for sneaker fans, aficionados and collectors in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – on Saturday (17 February). 

On stage, the frontrunner of the Republican primary race held up golden sneakers emblazoned with a “T” logo and the US flag. A new website listed the footwear, named the “Never Surrender” high-tops, for $399 (£317) and stated that “only 1000 pairs will ever be released”.

Trump said he “wanted to do this for a long time”, adding: “I think it’s gonna be a big success.”

The announcement of Trump’s new, pricey shoe line came a day after a judge in New York ordered him to pay $355 million plus interest following a civil fraud trial in which he was found to have overstated his net worth to dupe lenders.

Trump promised to appeal the ruling. 

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He also claimed – without providing evidence – before thousands of his supporters at a campaign rally that the judge’s decision was part of a “left-wing” conspiracy to keep him out of the White House

The penalty followed Trump being ordered to pay another $83.3 million (£66,129,221) to E Jean Carroll in defamation damages in January.

Some of Trump’s critics alleged the highly priced sneakers could be a means for Trump to raise funds towards his legal fees. 

Donald Trump wears a suit and tie with a hat that reads 'Trump caucus captain' at the 2024 Iowa caucus
Donald Trump is the frontrunner to win the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. (Getty)

The campaign for Nikki Haley – Trump’s only remaining opponent in the Republican presidential candidate race – said the former UN ambassador “met with voters” while Trump “hawked overpriced sneakers to pay his legal bills”, according to a statement reported by the Washington Post.

President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign also criticised Trump’s footwear launch. Michael Tyler, the campaign’s spokesperson, said in a statement: “Donald Trump showing up to hawk bootleg Off-Whites is the closest he’ll get to any Air Force Ones ever again for the rest of his life.”

The small print on the website selling the golden sneakers states the footwear is not “designed, manufactured, distributed or sold” by Donald Trump or his businesses. 

Instead, they’re from a company called 45Footwear, LLC, which uses Trump’s “name, image and likeness under a licence agreement”. The site claims not to be political and has “nothing to do with any political campaign”. 

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