It sounds like you’re the biggest sneakerhead on Capitol Hill.
No one is challenging me at the moment for that title. But there’s a huge amount of people who wear sneakers because walking around the Capitol—[the floors are] all made of marble, so a lot of the congresswomen on both sides wear sneakers. And so the idea came: hey, let’s start a sneaker caucus. Again, a bipartisan way to get people in the room to talk about something else other than politics so that we can learn something about each other.
How many members do you have at this point?
So, me and Congresswoman Chavez-DeRemer launched the caucus, and we’re currently recruiting members. We have a couple dozen. But I think that soon we’re going to have a lot more, because we decided it wasn’t just a caucus for members. It’s also a caucus for staff, a caucus for families who bring their kids here. The kids all wear sneakers. So it’s also a bridge between generations, which is also really cool.
And then obviously because McCarthy and Hakeem decided to wear dress sneakers to the White House, that kind of put this whole discussion out there, whether or not sneakers are proper dress attire. And I happen to believe the answer is that they are—it just depends on the sneaker. I got a pair of Jordan Elevens that are from Space Jam, that are the black patent leather Jordans. I wear those with a tux, to black tie affairs.
I want to ask you about those dress sneakers. Because I saw that the sneaker caucus released a statement in support of McCarthy and Jeffries wearing them to the Oval. But what’s your position on the actual aesthetic qualities of dress sneakers? You’re a Jordan guy—you have to admit that dress sneakers are not cool, right?
Listen, I want them to come my way. I want to see them in Jordans, I want to see them in Dunks. But listen, I’ll take the middle road right now, with dress sneakers. It’s a more formal look, but it’s way more comfortable. We just do too much moving and walking around up here to be in oxford shoes all day. And I mean, even the people who see me wearing Jordans, who are wearing 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’m like, well, you can.
I saw that you wore DJ Khaled Jordans to the State of the Union.
I couldn’t get him to be my guest. So I brought him in spirit.
What sneakers would you wear to the Oval Office?
I would wear the Jordan IV Retros. They’re called the 11Lab4 Black. It’s a completely patented leather, black Jordan IV.
One last thing: There’s a debate over whether the Adidas Samba, the undisputed sneaker of the moment, is cooked, or still cool. Where do you come down on that?
I have an old pair of Adidas Sambas, because back when Umbro shorts were still a thing, everyone wore Sambas. So I don’t wear them now. But I think Sambas would look cool with a suit. Not in Congress. Going out to dinner in a more casual setting. But I don’t know that Sambas could fit on the House floor. I don’t know if the Samba is ready for the Hill.