Kamala Harris Gives Jolt to a Certain Sneaker

Sales of Converse's Chuck Taylors spike after vice president wears them
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 2, 2021 1:15 PM CST
VP's Favorite Sneaker Enjoying Spotlight Moment
Kamala Harris wears Converse high-top sneakers as she speaks at a drive-in early voting event in Miami, Fla., on Oct. 31, 2020.   (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, file)

Supporters of Kamala Harris appear to have helped boost sales of the vice president's favorite pair of shoes. Women across the country vowed to wear Converse sneakers—specifically the Chuck Taylor versions Harris loves so much—and/or pearls for Inauguration Day, in honor of the nation's first female vice president. And in the week of inauguration, "sales of women's Chuck Taylors doubled versus a year ago," according to Matt Powell of research firm NPD Group, whose data covers about three-quarters of sales made by US retailers, per Quartz. "We are pleased that the Madam Vice President has chosen our sneaker as a staple in her wardrobe," says Nike-owned Converse, but it won't say if it believes Harris is having an impact on sales. Still, it wouldn't be a surprise.

Harris has been an unofficial ambassador of Chuck Taylors, also known as Chucks, since this viral moment on the campaign trail. "Harris was quietly saying something pointed about the energy required for retail politics, the occasional absurdity of sky-high heels, and the power of comfortable shoes to allow a hardworking person to get the job done," wrote WBUR's Joanna Weiss. The impact was so great that women across the country opted to wear Converse sneakers for the inauguration. One Facebook group dedicated to the effort amassed 400,000 members, per Good Morning America. Chucks got another boost a week before inauguration, when Harris was seen sporting them on the cover of Vogue. Online mentions of Converse "multiplied more than tenfold" in the aftermath, WWD reported. (Read more Kamala Harris stories.)

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