Election fever is on the rise, with the Republican and Democratic New York primaries set for Tuesday. But that doesn’t mean everyone will be taking sides in the upcoming presidential election.
Keeping with a tradition started in 1850, legendary shoe brand Johnston & Murphy will be creating a pair of shoes for the next commander in chief, regardless of party affiliation. And, in a historic turn of events, it might be the first time a pair of women’s shoes will be crafted.
According to the company, William Dudley, an immigrant shoemaker and founder of Johnston & Murphy (originally named The William J. Dudley Shoe Co.), offered to make a pair of custom shoes for President Millard Fillmore, who accepted his offer.
Continuing down the presidential line, there’s Abraham Lincoln, who wore a pair of lace-up boots in a size 14, the largest shoe crested by the company to date.
It wasn’t until President Benjamin Harrison’s shoe made in 1889, however, that the company became Johnston & Murphy. It was acquired in 1886 by two new owners.
Moving on, Theodore Roosevelt opted for sturdy dress boots, while John F. Kennedy preferred black wingtips. For Ronald Reagan, a pair of black cap-toe shoes best suited his style.
Herbert Hoover wore a size 11 1/2 AA, the narrowest ever created for a president, while Lyndon B. Johnson need specially designed shoes to accommodate the difference between his right foot, and 11 C and his left an 11 1/2 C.
Barack Obama had two pairs of shoes crafted — black oxfords complete with a box handmade of loa wood from Hawaii in addition to a modern version of Lincoln’s lace-up boots. Seems the more things change, the more they stay the same.
In the late ’80s, Johnston & Murphy took their connection to the Oval Office a step further with a monetary donation to help finish the Presidential Trail at Mt. Rushmore, part of a major renovation of the historic landmark.