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People defend Joe Biden after reporter claims he wore sneakers without socks during trip to UK: ‘Impeach!’

‘Tan suit 2023 just dropped,’ one person joked, in reference to 2014 backlash over President Obama’s tan suit

Chelsea Ritschel
New York
Monday 10 July 2023 16:53 BST
Related: King Charles welcomes Joe Biden at Windsor Castle

Joe Biden’s sartorial choices have been called into question after the president was seen wearing sneakers seemingly without socks as he boarded Air Force One.

On Sunday, the president boarded Air Force One at Dover Air Force Base as he headed to London. For the trip, Biden was dressed in blue slacks, a pale blue button-down shirt, and a blue blazer. He completed the look with a pair of navy and grey Skechers slip-in shoes.

However, according to New York Times reporter Doug Mills, one thing the president was missing was his socks. Mills sparked a debate about the apparent fashion faux pas when he tweeted on Sunday that the 80 year old had allegedly gone sans socks for the flight.

“@Potus boards Air Force One at Dover Air Force Base as he departs for London, England. Biden was not [wearing] socks with his sneakers,” Mills tweeted, along with a photo of Biden’s full outfit, as well as a close-up shot of the president’s sneakers and bare ankle.

The tweet, which has been viewed more than 4.2m times, has prompted a conversation about the president’s fashion choice, with some questioning whether Biden’s apparent decision not to wear socks with sneakers was newsworthy, while others argued that Biden was actually wearing the footwear correctly. According to others, the president was likely wearing no-show socks.

“How do you know he doesn’t have very low-rise socks? Anyway, what’s the problem with not wearing socks with sneakers?” one person asked, while another said: “Probably the invisible or low-rise socks. Everyone I know wears them.”

Someone else claimed that “it’s pretty normal for beach locals to go without socks” while noting that Biden and his wife Dr Jill Biden had just returned from a trip to their Delaware beach home.

“It’s pretty normal for beach locals to go without socks and he had just spent a day at his beach home. If he’s more comfortable this way on his flight, why does it matter?” they asked.

According to others, Biden was actually wearing the shoes, which happened to be a $90 pair of Men’s Skechers Slip-Ins Ultra Flex 3.0, correctly.

(AFP via Getty Images)

“Slip-on Skechers are designed to be worn without socks. The fabric is lightweight and breathable, allowing feet to stay cool and dry,” one person claimed in response. “Plus, the sole of the shoe is designed to provide maximum cushion and comfort without the need for socks.”

On Skechers’ website, it notes that the “easy-wearing style” is designed with “air-cooled memory foam” that cushions the insole, and a “Stretch-Fit design for sock-like comfort”.

However, on the shoe company’s website, it also includes a video of various individuals stepping into the shoes, with each wearing a pair of no-show socks.

Although it is unclear whether the president was indeed wearing no-show socks, or whether he had actually chosen to wear the shoes without socks, many defended Biden on the basis that his fashion choices aren’t important.

“Oh thank god, here’s the news finally - we were on the edge of our seats waiting to hear if he had socks on. This was riveting, thank you,” one person tweeted sarcastically, while another added: “Impeach!!”

“So? Sneakers with socks isn’t in the Constitution. Find something else to complain about,” someone else wrote in response to Mills’ tweet.

The reporter’s tweet also prompted some to compare the situation to the uproar after former President Barack Obama wore a tan suit, which his critics deemed unacceptable, in 2014.

“Omg, tan suit again yawn,” one person tweeted.

As of now, the president, who is currently in the UK meeting with King Charles III and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak ahead of a NATO meeting in Lithuania, has not addressed the fashion choice.

The Independent has contacted Skechers for comment.

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