Sneakerhead Congressman is fighting for a nation’s monopoly

Looks like you’re the biggest sneakerhead on Capitol Hill.
No one is challenging me at the moment for that title. But there was a large number of people wearing sneakers while walking around the Capitol—[the floors are] they were all marble, so a lot of congresswomen on both sides wore sneakers. And so the idea came up: hey, let’s start a sneaker meeting. Again, a bipartisan way to get everyone in the room talking about something other than politics so we can learn something about each other.

How many members do you have at the moment?
So Congresswoman Chavez-DeRemer and I launched a caucus and we are currently recruiting members. We have several dozen. But I think we’ll have more soon, because we’ve decided this isn’t just a closed-door meeting for members. This is also the staff caucus, the closed meeting of the families that bring their children here. The kids all wear sneakers. So it’s also a bridge between generations, which is also really cool.

And then it became clear that because McCarthy and Hakeem decided to wear work sneakers to the White House, it sparked this whole discussion about whether sneakers were the right attire. And I happen to believe the answer is yes – it just depends on the sneakers. I have a pair of Jordan Elevens from Space Jam, which are black patent leather Jordans. I wear those with a tuxedo, to black-tie jobs.

I want to ask you about those sneakers. Because I see that the sneaker caucus made a statement in favor of McCarthy and Jeffries bringing them to the Oval Office. But what is your opinion on the true aesthetic qualities of business sneakers? You’re a Jordanian guy – you have to admit that sneakers don’t look good, right?
Look, I want them to come my way. I want to see them in Jordans, I want to see them in Dunks. But listen, I’m going to take the middle route right now, with sneakers. It’s a more formal look, but it’s much more comfortable. We just move and walk too much here to wear oxford shoes all day. And I mean, even people who see me wearing Jordan shoes, oxford shoes, loafers, come up to me and they’re like, Man, I wish I could wear sneakers. My feet are killing [me]. And I like, You can.

I see that you wore DJ Khaled Jordans to the State of the Union.
I can’t get him to be my guest. So I brought him in spirit.

What sneakers would you wear to the Oval Office?
I will be wearing Jordan IV Retros. They are called 11Lab4 Black. It’s an all-patented leather, Jordan IV black.

One last thing: There is a debate about whether the Adidas Samba, the undisputed sneaker of the moment, is ripe or still cool.. Where do you go down on that?
I have an old pair of Adidas Sambas, because when Umbro shorts were still popular, everyone wore Sambas. So I don’t wear them now. But I think Sambas will look cool with the suit. Not in Parliament. Go out to dinner in a more casual setting. But I didn’t know that Sambas could be suitable for House floor. I don’t know if Samba is ready for Hill.


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