‘Bootgate’ trends on X after Ron DeSantis denies wearing heightening boots

Oct 31, 2023 | Political News

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is definitely not trying to make himself taller by wearing a pair a boots that contain lifts to boost his height, and his ego, he said. Yet “bootgate” is a rising trend on X. It all began when DeSantis was on Bill Maher's talk show and wore a pair of boots that seemed to contain a little bit extra.

He was roundly mocked for it while the DeSantis campaign tried desperately to run cover for the allegedly heightening governor. A TikTok from account Spamellina showed DeSantis in the chair while text read “Tell me he's not wearing hidden heels,” and a song played saying “who are you, what are those…”

Ashley St. Clair joked about it, donning a pair of stiletto heels, saying that these are akin to what DeSantis wears when he is “getting ready to go out.”

Later, after backlash from the campaign, St. Clair made an apology video. She noted that the campaign told her the governor did not wear stilettos, but cowboy boots. So she revised the original “pov” video and instead pulled on a pair of stack-heeled cowboy boots.

On Monday, however, DeSantis took a seat on air with Florida's own Patrick Bet David, who wanted to settle the matter once and for all. He played the TikTok for the governor. 

“I'm sure your marketing team points out how they're trying to troll you in the marketplace,” Bet David said, bringing up the TikTok video for viewing. The video had over 1.2 million likes at the time of Bet David's podcast. DeSantis claimed he never saw the clip—though clearly his campaign had.

“What they are trying to say with this is,” Bet David said, “that in your boots you have heels.”

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

Bet David quizzed DeSantis on his height (5'11”, apparently), and choice of footwear before presenting him with a tasteful pair of Ferragamos. DeSantis declined the gift, saying “I don't accept gifts, I can't accept it, sorry.”

Even Politico got in on the fun, saying that DeSantis is likely wearing lift shoes.

The whole concept already has a “conspiracy theory” definition on Know Your Meme, reading that the “Ron DeSantis High Heels Conspiracy Theory refers to speculation that Florida Governor and Republican Presidential candidate Ron DeSantis purposefully wears shoes with tall heels or height-increasing insoles in order to make himself look taller and appeal to voters. Though initially these claims were brushed off as DeSantis wearing ‘cowboy boots,' subsequent appearances by DeSantis, particularly an interview with Bill Maher, intensified scrutiny that DeSantis was purportedly wearing shoes or inserts to artificially increase his height.”