Donald Trump's $399 golden trainers – and more of the worst celebrity sneakers ever made

Former US president makes unexpected stop at Sneaker Con to unveil his first trainer

Former president Donald Trump with his gold trainers at Sneaker Con Philadelphia. AP
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Former US president Donald Trump seems poised to defeat Nikki Haley for this year's Republican nomination. Now, it seems his next target may be streetwear mogul Travis Scott.

The former US president and reality TV star made an unexpected stop at Sneaker Con in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to unveil his first trainer.

The 1980s style basketball shoe, styled similarly to an Air Jordan 1, is entitled the Never Surrender High-Tops, which he's called the first official Trump footwear.

The unveiling was met with loud boos as well as cheers at the Philadelphia Convention Centre, the Associated Press has reported. He then autographed trainers handed to him from the audience. "I've wanted to do this for a long time," Trump told attendees.

"I have some incredible people that work with me on things and they came up with this. I think it's going to be a big success," he added.

The trainers are shiny gold with an American flag detail on the back, as well as a prominent T where a Nike Swoosh might usually fit on a shoe of this style.

"Those are the ugliest shoes I've ever seen," commented Instagram user @Millenial_Sisyphus.

The sneakers are being sold for $399 on his website.

These are far from the first poorly received celebrity trainer, however. Here are few more that flopped.

Lil Nas X and MSCHF's Satan shoe

No celebrity trainer has ever caused quite the stir that Lil Nas X's unauthorised Nike Air Max 97 collaboration, done in partnership with the Big Red Boot creators over at MSCHF. The infamous "Satan" shoe led to huge controversy, particularly for the self-claimed use of human blood in the midsole. Successful lawsuits ensued.

Jeremy Scott and Adidas's 'Totem' sneaker

Many shoes have been bad, but few have been genuinely offensive. That was the case back in 2012, when the celebrity fashion designer Jeremy Scott of Moschino fame drew from indigenous American cultures for these collaborative trainers, which were largely denounced as an egregious example of appropriation.

Jimmy Fallon and MSCHF's 'Gobstomper'

Jimmy Fallon is not known for his pedigree in the streetwear scene, but that did not stop the headline-grabbing brand MSCHF from teaming with the Tonight Show host for a trainer that reveals more colours as the shoe wears in, which were not a hit with consumers.

Drake's 'Certified Lover Boy' Nike Air Force 1s

Drake's power as a cultural force is undeniable. His trainer releases are a bit more questionable and sometimes have been deemed downright lazy by reviewers. His Nike collaboration on the evergreen Air Force 1 silhouette took the standard all-white design and added white hearts to the sole instead of stars, and are currently for sale under their retail price a year after release.

Beyonce's failed Ivy Park line at Adidas

Beyonce is undoubtedly one of the biggest stars in the world, with sustained success now across four decades, dating back to the late 1990s. That makes the failure of her Ivy Park activewear line with Adidas even more curious, as on paper it seemed a surefire success. Many have considered the designs uninspired or hard to style, which may be the culprit for the ultimate end of the partnership. The Super Sleek 72 "Maroon" sneakers have been deemed one such example.

Teyana Taylor's Jordan 1

While the multi-talented star Taylor, 33, has had mixed success in the music world since making her debut as a choreographer for Beyonce, she seems to have a bright future as an actress, set to appear opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in director Paul Thomas Anderson's next film. Nonetheless, her Air Jordan collaboration, which took strong influence from Jordan 1's original "Chicago" colourway, was met with a decidedly indifferent response from the market.

LaVar Ball's Big Baller Brand Genegg G3 Chillers

Lavar Ball made a cultural splash back in 2017 with the launch of his Big Baller Brand with the endorsements of his two rising-star sons, who have both since entered the NBA. Since then, the brand has faded into relatively obscurity, with even the younger son LaMelo Ball having ditched his dad's label for Nike. But that hasn't stopped Lavar Ball from continuing to make releases, which have received a worse reception with each drop. The Genegg G3 Chillers are no different.

Updated: February 23, 2024, 7:14 AM